Grief Support
and Services

We provide compassionate support for caregivers, siblings and grandparents coping with unimaginable grief.

After the death of a child, the days, years and months that follow are a journey filled with grief. Roger Neilson Children’s Hospice provides grief support and services for family members, whether or not the child had previously received services at Roger Neilson Children’s Hospice or CHEO. 

Individual Grief Support

Grief is intensely personal, impacting every person differently. Individual grief counselling at Roger Neilson Children’s Hospice provides a private venue to gain emotional support and talk about feelings, thoughts and difficulties in a safe space. A social worker experienced in various psychosocial interventions listens, identifies strengths and resources, and explores coping strategies.

Group Grief Support

There are multiple grief groups at Roger Neilson Children’s Hospice, which exist to provide opportunities to various groups of individuals who have experienced the death of a child. These facilitated groups include those specifically for parents, grandparents and siblings, helping them connect with others coping with a similar life-changing experience.

Parent Grief Support Group

Our Parent Grief Support Group at Roger Neilson Children’s Hospice is a facilitated group that brings together parents experiencing grief to share, connect and support one another. This group is open to any parent or guardian who has experienced the death of a child aged 28 days to 19 years so they can find support and community with other bereaved parents.

Grandparent Grief Support Group

Grandparents often feel hopeless and isolated in their grief. They struggle with supporting their grieving adult children while coping with their sadness and emotions regarding the death of their grandchild. Our facilitated Grandparent Grief Support Group allows discussion of grief-related themes pertinent to grandparents.

Sibling Grief Support Group

Every child goes through the process of grieving in a profoundly personal way. Our facilitated sibling grief support group is a program for children that supports siblings through various therapeutic activities. Recreation therapists help normalize feelings of grief, provide a listening ear and create a supportive relationship with each sibling so they can express their emotions. In addition, any sibling from age 4 to 19 can meet individually with a recreation therapist for additional support.

The Otto Family: Giving Back and Honouring their Daughter through Maddy’s Gala

“They are our family now. They are our Roger Neilson Children’s Hospice family,”

The Otto Family: Giving Back and Honouring their Daughter through Maddy’s Gala

Dean and Jeanine Otto’s lives changed one summer day in 2007 for their little girl who was always playing a hero.

They were up at their cottage, it was a day like any other, everyone got up, was playing and having fun, and it was time for Maddy to have a rest in the afternoon. When she woke up, she seemed “off”, said dad Dean. Within a few minutes, we realized that she had suffered a seizure.

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