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Bereavement Program | Overview

We are deeply sorry for the loss that has brought you to this page, whether it is a recent loss, a loss from some time ago, or a potential impending loss.

We often hear from parents and caregivers that grief begins at the time their child is diagnosed with a serious illness. We call this “anticipatory grief,” or loss that begins in advance of the end of life. Anticipatory grief is an expected process for many parents, and the palliative care team may be able to support your child and family through their serious illness. To learn about the Pediatric Advanced Care Team at Boston Children’s Hospital, please visit this page.

If you have experienced a death loss or will in the coming weeks, months, and years, we hope your family’s relationship with Boston Children’s Hospital may become a source of support in your grief.

Our services

  • Informational seminars about grief
  • Grief groups and programming
  • Expressive arts workshops, including grief yoga and journaling
  • An annual spring Memorial Service
  • An annual fall Keeping Connections Family Conference
  • Bereavement mailings and grief resources

About us

The Bereavement Program at Boston Children’s Hospital serves our community of bereaved parents and family members following the death of a child who was treated at Boston Children’s Hospital and/or at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Located within the Hale Family Center for Families, the Boston Children’s Hospital Bereavement Program offers workshops, groups, referral information, and memorial events. For more information or resources, please reach out to SoYun Kwan at

Meet our team

SoYun Kwan, LICSW

SoYun Kwan, LICSW

SoYun has been a clinical social worker at Boston Children’s Hospital since 2005. She currently manages the Boston Children's Bereavement Program, where she is dedicated to offering bereavement support and programming to Boston Children's and Dana-Farber families.

Ellie Frechette, LICSW, APHSW-C

Ellie Frechette, LICSW, APHSW-C

Ellie Frechette is one of the inpatient clinical social workers on the Pediatric Advanced Care Team (PACT), who specializes in supporting bereaved parents/caregivers and siblings. Ellie facilitates and runs many of the programs offered through the bereavement program, including support groups, educational sessions, and expressive arts workshops.


Community and virtual resources in Mass.
  • The Children’s Room (Arlington)
    • Free grief support services for children and their families
    • Peer support groups, parent groups, teen programs, and Family Night
    • Consultations and referrals
    • Online resources
  • Hope Floats (Kingston)
    • Free bereavement and educational center for adults, children, teens, and their families
    • Peer support groups for specific experiences including: bereaved parents, pregnancy loss, overdose and substance use child loss, and groups for children and teens
    • Grief workshops and Family Nights
  • Care Dimensions (Danvers): Free virtual and in-person support groups, workshops, and an annual remembrance service
  • Jeff’s Place Children’s Bereavement Center (Framingham): Free peer-based support groups and services for children, teens, families, and individuals
  • HEART Play (Eastern Mass.)
    • Free caregiver support groups (also available in Spanish and Portuguese)
    • Children, teen, and young adult groups, and a weekly afterschool program for those of all abilities
    • “Mini-camp” sessions throughout the school year
  • The Carriage House Grief Support Center (Worcester): Free peer support groups to grieving children, teens and their caregivers
  • Rick’s Place (Wilbraham): Dedicated to supporting grieving children, teens, and their families through facilitated peer activities, school-based programs, and community outreach
  • The Compassionate Friends: Chapters throughout MA
  • Courageous Parents Network: Provides resources and tools for families with a child with a serious medical condition, including resources for end of life and bereavement
Regional resources (Conn., R.I., N.H.)
Pregnancy and infant loss
  • Empty Arms Bereavement provides virtual support groups for Massachusetts residents who have lost a child during pregnancy, birth, or infancy, including specific groups for fathers.
  • The HOPE Group is a peer support group for parents who have suffered the loss of a child through miscarriage, stillbirth, or neonatal death with monthly meetings across the state.
  • Hope After Loss offers virtual support groups for parents who are grieving a pregnancy or infant loss, an anniversary card program, and outreach and education resources, including a podcast.
  • Return to Zero is a national nonprofit that provides services and support to parents who have lost a child during pregnancy and infancy, through virtual resources and community, including BIPOC and LGBTQ+-affinity groups.
  • Pregnancy After Loss Support (PALS) is a non-profit organization and community support resource for mothers experiencing the confusing and conflicting emotions of grief mixed with joy during the journey through pregnancy after loss.
  • Post Partum Support International is an organization that promotes awareness, prevention, and treatment of mental health issues related to pregnancy and postpartum. There are virtual support groups for pregnancy and infant loss, and well as resources such as a provider directory.
  • Glow in the Woods is an online community for parents who have lost a baby, with discussion forums and articles.
  • Share Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support is an online grief support organization dedicated to serving those who have experienced pregnancy loss, stillbirth, or loss in the first few months of life.
Sudden or unexplained loss
Homicide loss
  • The Center for Homicide Bereavement provides resources including crisis intervention and ongoing bereavement counseling for all ages and for families, bereavement support groups, and community referrals. Note: this resource is not specific to child loss.
  • The Massachusetts Garden of Peace is a memorial to victims of homicide. The garden serves as a way to honor loved ones and as a symbol of hope.
Suicide loss resources
  • Hope Floats’ Child Loss Bereavement Group 3 is open to any parent coping with the death of a child of any age due to suicide.
  • LOSSteam MetroWest (Local Outreach to Suicide Loss Survivors) is a volunteer group of suicide loss survivors who are called to the scene to provide comfort, support, and local resources to the family and friends of the deceased.
  • American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has a support group finder, allowing you to search for in-person and virtual groups for those affected by suicide loss.
  • Safe Place is a peer support group for those who have experienced suicide loss. Samaritans in Boston offers virtual Safe Place groups from 6:30 to 8 p.m. every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evening via Zoom, and an in-person meeting in Boston on the first and third Tuesdays of every month from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
  • Alliance of Hope is an organization that provides resources, articles, and opportunities for connection.
  • Friends for Survival provides a variety of peer support services including monthly meetings, newsletters, comprehensive resource lists. A suicide loss helpline is available at 1-800-646-7322.
Resources for siblings
Bereavement summer camps
  • Camp Erin in Eastern Massachusetts provides a one-day camp experience for children and teens ages 6 to 17.
  • Comfort Zone Camp with locations nationwide, including in Southeastern Massachusetts, provides three-day overnight camps for children and teens 7 to 17 and their families, and also offers virtual camp and online workshops.
  • Camp Stepping Stones through Care Dimensions in Northeastern Massachusetts provides a day camp for children and teens ages 4 to 18 and their families with relaxation activities and workshops for adults.
  • Camp Angel Wings in Southern Massachusetts offers a two-day bereavement camp for children ages 6 to 15.
  • Camp Kangaroo in Eastern Massachusetts, and with locations nationwide, provides a one-day camp for children ages 5 to 13.
  • The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in Connecticut offers a residential bereavement program of three weekends over the course of one year for families who have lost a child ages 0 to 18 due to serious illness.
  • Experience Camps in Maine, and with locations nationwide, offers weeklong camps for children entering grades 4 through 12.
  • Camp Sunshine in Maine offers a five-day retreat for families who have lost a child to illness.
  • Rett’s Roost provides "Open to Healing" weekend-long bereavement retreats in Maine for families who have lost a child to cancer or other chronic illness.
Support for siblings with autism
  • The Autism and Grief Project is a website designed to help visitors navigate and support autistic individuals through grief and loss, including articles and book suggestions for different age groups. This resource is not specific to autistic youth or sibling loss.
  • Social Stories can be useful tools for helping explain the loss to a child with autism, as well as prepare them for events like funerals. These virtual social stories can be customized with pictures and words specific to the child.
  • HEARTplay is a heart-centered bereavement program that supports children, teens, and young adults of all abilities and their families who are coping with the serious illness or death of an important person in their lives. HEARTplay offers a virtual bereavement support group for individuals with autism that meets on Zoom on the first and third Mondays of each month from 4 to 5 p.m. Individual support is available on an as-needed basis.
Recursos en Español

Contact us

Call 617-355-3195 or email

Cover of "When Grief is New: A guide for parents and families"

Download our ‘When Grief is New’ Guide for Bereaved Parents and Caregivers

If you have thoughts of self-harm, substance misuse, and/or suicide, call 988
or visit The Lifeline provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Please call 911 if you’re in immediate danger.