Children's Hospital Colorado

Bereavement Services at Children's Hospital Colorado: The Colors of Healing

The Colors of Healing is a family-centered bereavement program that offers you and your family support through a variety of programs, gatherings and resource information. The intent is to help you meet others who are also grieving, as well as provide the opportunity to learn about the wide range of feelings and emotions associated with grief. The groups and programs provide an opportunity for families to meet one another for support and understanding. There is solidarity in grief that can be experienced as one family meets another.

The Colors of Healing Program is a program within the Spiritual Care Department at Children's Hospital Colorado. Learn more about the Spiritual Care Department. Please contact Cassie Matz, Children's Bereavement Coordinator, at 720-777-6978 for further information on any of these topics or for support.

Bereavement Programs

Nine-Week Grief Support Groups

Many parents find comfort knowing they are not alone in their grief. There can be a sense of peace and healing when parents who have had a child die come together. Nine-week grief support groups are held twice a year at Children's Hospital Colorado, where bereaved parents learn about the grief process and its impact on the "new normal" of their life. A sibling support group is also held, depending upon the number of siblings interested in participating.

Ongoing "Healing Hearts" Support Group

Making and continuing supportive relationships to other bereaved parents can be very healing. The Bereavement Program holds drop-in monthly support groups for bereaved parents can discuss their grief and its associated feelings and experiences, with the hope that the families in attendance will be able to build life-long connections and find support and understanding with one another.

The groups are held on the third Wednesday of the month in the Mt. Bross conference room on the third floor of the hospital. Any parent can drop in to group at any point and participate.

Special Children, Special Grief

"Special Children, Special Grief" is a support group for families who have lost a child with special needs. The group meets monthly at Children’s Colorado, and parents can connect with others who understand the sense of loss that comes with losing a child with special needs.

Photo Album Workshops

Photographs record precious memories. In the case of a child who has died, those photos become even more precious. A few times per year we offer a Saturday workshop where you can build a photo album in a supportive atmosphere with other bereaved parents. No experience is necessary. We provide the supplies and the guidance to help you build a beautiful memory.

Schedule: Saturdays, March 28, July 18 and November 14, 2014

In the Mt. Yale Conference Room at Children's Hospital Colorado.

Teen/Young Adult Video Group

Each summer, a nine week group is held for teens and young adults who have had a sibling die. Also invited are teen parents who have had a little one die. Over the nine weeks, participants create videos with their loved one in mind. Technical aspects of video creation include: recording footage, downloading and editing into a digital DVD format. This group may help bring words to the grief for which words often falter.

A Time to Remember

At Children's Hospital Colorado, we annually remember all of the children who have died in the past year. We do this by offering a time for you, your family and the staff of Children's Hospital Colorado to come together. We have music, special readings, an activity for brothers and sisters, and a special gift for you, in memory of your child. Typically, the service is held on a weekend, which affords time for those of you who have many miles to travel. It can be a meaningful time for you, your family and friends to share as a time to remember your child.

Fall Grief Conference

Each year, the bereavement program sponsors a family conference with topics where related to grief and loss are discussed. This is a time to reconnect with other families you may have met through your experience at Children’s Colorado and to meet new families in situations similar to your own, while learning about the topic of grief.

During this evening, speakers and other bereaved parents speak about grief issues unique to the death of a child. Movies and other media may also be shared with participants as a way to begin conversation and build connection between families. This evening includes an activity for school aged children and child care for the little ones.

Library Services

There are a number of books and pamphlets written regarding the unique death of a child and the grieving process that follows. Bereaved parents have authored many of these books. We have books available that deal with infant and children's death, sibling grief, the unique grief of teenagers, how to deal with gender differences as well as how to plan for the holidays. This unique library can be accessed through the Bereavement Coordinator. We would also love to hear from you if you have found a book or pamphlet to be particularly helpful.

In the Presence of Light

Every December, the Bereavement Program offers an evening event entitled "In The Presence of Light". The evening involves poetry reading and ceremonious candle lighting in remembrance of your child. "In the Presence of Light" is a chance for you to meet with other bereaved parents and support each other around what can be a very difficult time of year.

Sibling Day Camp

Sibling Day Camp is a half-day program that provides children ages 6-12 who have experienced the death of a sibling the chance to come together and process their grief through directed play activities and art. The day is designed to encourage siblings to talk about their difficult feelings related to grief, and to connect with other children who have had similar experiences as themselves. 

Bereavement Videos

Our collection of bereavement video resources aim to help parents navigate their grief after the loss of a child. These bereavement videos were created by bereaved parents, for bereaved parents; they illustrate the different grief experiences of a mother, a father and a sibling in the hopes of facilitating understanding around the different ways individuals grieve.

Parents, siblings and healthcare professionals can turn to these videos when:

  • They need a reminder that they're not alone
  • They don't have the right words to say
  • They want to help family, friends and loved ones understand their grief experience

Grief Packets

A grief packet is given to every family who has experienced the death of a child at Children’s Hospital Colorado. These packets include separate informational inserts for parents and for extended families which explain what to expect in the days and weeks after your child’s death.

The grief packets also include information on the local community resources for grief support outside of Children’s Hospital Colorado, local funeral homes and burial assistance, and lists of books and websites regarding the death of a child. These packets are designed to be the first step the Bereavement Program takes in supporting your family throughout the grieving process. 

Bereavement Coordinator

A Bereavement Coordinator is available to you and your family members to answer questions, and to provide support throughout this difficult time. The coordinator has current information regarding supportive services at Children's Hospital Colorado, community groups and professional counselors. The coordinator can also assist you in researching support and assistance in your hometown in Colorado or out of state. Please call Cassie Matz at 720-777-6978 for more information.