What next and making choices

This section has been written using the real experiences of bereaved parents to support parents and carers. It provides information about the choices you may have to make when you know your child is going to die.

Making informed choices

There may come a time when you are told that your child isn’t going to get better and that they are going to die. It is likely you will have many questions. Some will come straightaway and others when you have had time to think, to talk to close family and friends and consider your personal situation. You may feel overwhelmed and helpless. The team caring for you and your child can support you and help you to understand more about the decisions and choices ahead of you.

You go through the stages of just being numb. And then the anger kicks in. Blaming other people. What did she do to deserve that? Why? Why? 

Having a good understanding will help you to make decisions that are right for you and for your family. Here are some common questions parents ask and some suggestions and options for you to think about.

How much longer will my child live?

One of the first questions you may ask is how long your child has left to live. The consultant looking after your child can advise you and may be able to give you an approximate time. But nobody can tell you exactly when as every situation is different.

Can I continue to talk to the consultant?

Your consultant will want to help you with all the information and advice that you need. You may find it helpful to make a list of any questions that you want to ask your consultant, or another professional in the team caring for your child, as it can be difficult to remember all the things you want to ask about. Having the right information will help you to have a better understanding of what lies ahead.

Where can I get support?

CLIC Sargent care professionals are there to help you cope both emotionally and practically. Talk to your CLIC Sargent Social Worker to find out what support you can get.

You can also get help and support from the team caring for you and your child in hospital, in a hospice or at home; your GP; spiritual leaders and communities; family and friends; and support groups or helplines

Reviewed July 2014, next review planned 2017