Preparing your self
Preparing yourself for the loss of your child is something that no parent ever wants to have to do. You may never feel ready for this but preparing yourself in certain ways may help you when the time comes. It is important to remember that people deal with situations like this in different ways and there is no right or wrong.
When people deal with things in different ways and at different speeds, sometimes can can create upset and arguments. This can be so difficult when you are already dealing with so much but it is important to take time when you can to discuss your thoughts with each other to try and work together.
What it is important to remember
You will always be your child's mother or father and your other children will always have a sibling.
Remember you are not alone. If you feel you cannot talk to friends or family, please talk to health professionals or even go online to parent support groups where parents offer mutual support to each other. There is always someone. The Samaritans have a phone line open 24/7 365 days a year. There is always someone to talk to or listen.
If you are struggling to know what to do next, just look forward a few minutes at a time. Get through those few minutes and then try again.
Where should my child pass away?
For many parents, this decision is made by the clinical situation of your child. If a child passes away quite unexpectedly or rapidly, there may no time to make this decision. Whether your child passes away at home, in hospital or in a hospice, there will be people able to support you throughout your child's journey.
If you have more time to decide, it can be difficult to know what is best. The important thing to know is whether your child passes away at home, in a hospice or in hospital, there will be professionals that can help make them as comfortable as possible.
Some families feel it is best for their child to pass away in hospital, close by to the medical team. Others feel it would be better in a hospice in a less busy environment and others decide that the child remaining at home would be best. Your child's care team will help to talk you through the options.
Can my child donate their organs?
This is exeptionally difficult to think about, but some families decide that they want to talk about this. If you would like to, please talk to your child's care team. It is sadly not possible to donate organs if a child has a cancer that has spread from where it originally started (metastasised). The reason for this is to prevent the potential recipients from developing cancer from the organs that they have received. There may be some (limited) options however, so aks if you would like to find out more.