When your child won’t get better

There may come a time when you are told that your child isn’t going to get better. There is no right or wrong way to react to such devastating news. It is normal to feel that your world is falling apart, or to be angry, to not believe what you are hearing, or maybe you've known this moment would come. Everyone will experience grief for the life they thought their child would have.

You may not know what your child's outcome will be in black and white terms. It could become clearer as time goes on and you get a better sense of how the treatment is going.

You need to know that you won’t be alone. If you need support, or just want to talk, ask your Young Lives vs Cancer Social Worker or speak to the team caring for your child.

Palliative care – what it really means

Why palliative care might not mean what you think and how it could benefit the whole family.

How do I tell my child that they are dying?

Advice for talking to your child about dying, in a way that's right for you – and them.

How do I talk to my other children about their brother or sister dying?

How to talk to siblings about their brother or sister dying.

How do I tell people that my child’s treatment has failed?

Telling friends, family, work or school that your child will not get better and managing reactions.

How do I support myself?

How to care for yourself when you face losing your child.

Do I carry on with everyday life or make special times?

Finding a balance between carrying on with everyday life and making special memories.

The end of your child’s life

How to plan for the end of your child's life and what to think about.

Sorting practicalities when your child dies

Informing people, sorting paperwork, funeral costs and finances.

Grief and bereavement

Information and advice about grief and loss, for parents and carers whose child has died of cancer.