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children in grief



Having recently lost a dear family friend who also worked with us we thought about the subject of grief. Particularly, what kinds of support lawyers can provide those clients that we have come to know so well, especially those with children. Grief is like an invisible client in our boardrooms, meeting rooms, courtrooms, hospital rooms, living rooms, and personal lives. Our ability to cope with grief and to assist our clients in coping with it is an invaluable skill set to develop.

According to the Canadian Alliance for Children’s Grief, over 203,000 of Canada’s 7.5 million children under age 18 will experience the death of someone in their extended family each year. One in 14 children will experience the death of a parent or sibling before age 18.

From personal experience, I know that losing someone close to you as a child is devastating, with impacts that ripple outward for decades. In recent years, understanding of children in grief has deepened. Incredible services are available for children and youth navigating their way through loss.


Here are some valuable resources to support both adults and children in grief, which may be useful both personally and professionally:

Bereaved Families of Ontario (BFO) BFO is a charitable organization with branches throughout Ontario, offering a variety of individual and group support programs. Each chapter provides links to a wide range of resources, services, and events. 

Canadian Alliance for Children’s Grief (CACG) This national website offers links to programs throughout the country. And a forum for child and youth bereavement professionals, research, and educational resources. CACG also supports Children’s Grief Awareness Day, which raises awareness of the painful impact of a loved one’s death on a child. The CACG site also links to bereavement camps across the country. It offers children a mixture of regular camp activities and grief-centered activities, learning coping skills, and participating in memorial activities.

Youthgrief.ca Youth Grief is a group founded by grieving youth for grieving youth. It provides children in grief access to advice, artwork, stories from other youth experiencing loss. It links to support services such as the Kids Help Phone line and other nationally available services. The site is both heartbreaking and life-affirming, much like grief itself.

PAIL Network (Pregnancy and Infant Loss Network) is committed to making a positive difference to those affected by pregnancy and infant loss. Our loss is unique, and our grief is often discounted, to parents the death is devastating. Pregnancy and Infant Loss Network provides support services to bereaved parents and their families all over Ontario. We are Canada’s leading educators promoting sensitive care and management to families following a loss.

Bereavement Ontario Network (BON) is a diverse group of organizations and individuals throughout the province who work in the field of grief, bereavement, and mourning as professionals and volunteers.


Sudden & Expected Loss – A death that occurs suddenly and unexpectedly can be a significant shock.  This loss can present unique challenges to a person’s healing process and cause an overwhelming amount of grief.  One of the most important things for someone to remember is that healing looks different for everyone.

Open to Hope Foundation® is a non-profit foundation with the mission of helping people find hope after loss. They invite you to read, listen, and share your stories of hope and compassion.

Meaningful Funerals– We recognize that the thought of planning a funeral can be very overwhelming. It is not something that everyone is prepared to handle. Most of us are not prepared to plan and carry out a funeral ceremony for someone we love. And so much of the information available on this critically important subject fails to focus on what is most important: having a personalized, meaningful funeral that helps families and friends begin the healing process of mourning after the death of someone we love. Meaningful Hearts is intended to provide the information you need to make informed choices. These choices will help you plan and experience a meaningful funeral to honour the unique life of your loved one.

Hospice Toronto – offers free support for children, youth, and parents.

Camp Erin Toronto – a free weekend bereavement camp in May
(accepting applications now – only a few spots left!).

Lighthouse Centre for Grieving Children (Oakville) offers free support for children in grief and parents.

My Grief – is a Canadian resource offering free online grief support for adults.

Kid Grief – is a Canadian resource offering free online grief support for adults caring for children in grief and youth.


Supporting clients through grief, especially children and youth, requires empathy, understanding, and the right resources. These resources can help provide the support needed during such difficult times.


Read our latest blog post, Understanding the Complexities of Disinheritance and the Rising Trend of Contested Estates

Want more information?

Are you interested in a consultation with Peter R. Welsh?
Contact me at Peter@SmartWills.ca
By telephone 416-526-3121
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This material is for general information and educational purposes only. Information is based on data gathered from what we believe are reliable sources. It is not guaranteed as to accuracy, does not purport to be complete and is not intended to be used as a primary basis for investment decisions.

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