Grief Resource Library

Many people who lose a loved one are entitled to government resources and benefits and do not know about the services that are available to them. The Grief Resource Network provides the links to resources pertaining to government and regional or state agencies to help with support, advice, and assistance.

Parentless Children Statistics

  • 330,000 girls under 18 years old in the U.S. today have lost their mothers. Source: "Help for Motherless Daughters," accessed August 12, 2017, www.webmd.com/women/features/help-for-motherless-daughters.
  • 1.1 million women now under age 60 lost their mothers during childhood or adolescence, before they turned 18. Source: "Help for Motherless Daughters," accessed August 12, 2017, www.webmd.com/women/features/help-for-motherless-daughters.
  • The death of a parent can shake the foundations of a child's belief in the world as a safe place. Source: "Helping a Child Cope with the Death of a Parent," accessed August 12, 2017, www.kidshealth.org.
  • Teenagers fully understand the meaning of death and, conversely, may focus on trying to understand the meaning of life. Source: "Helping Children through the Grieving Process," accessed August 12, 2017, m.realwarriors.net.
  • One in nine Americans lost a parent before they were 20 years old. Source: "Families with a Missing Piece," accessed August 12, 2017, hellogrief.org.
  • One in twenty-nine children age five to sixteen has experienced the death of a parent or sibling. Source: "Helping Children to Cope with the Pain of a Parent's Death," accessed August 12, 2017, theguardian.com.
  • According to the U.S. Census Bureau, one in twenty children under the age of 18 will experience the death of a parent. In Michigan alone, that represents more than 117,000 grieving children. Source: "Kids Losing a Parent: When Mom or Dad dies," accessed August 12, 2017, www.metroparent.com.
  • If a parent dies during these crucial, turbulent years, it can leave a teenager with unfinished business--things left unsaid or undone. Source: "When Teenagers Lose a Parent," accessed August 12, 2017, www.beliefnet.com/Love-Family/2000/06/When-Teenagers-Lose-A-Parent.aspx#
  • There is strong evidence that aspects of the family environment, such as quality of parental care and relationship with the surviving parent, are important in affecting long-term psychological reactions following parental loss. Source: "The Lifelong Effects for a Child After the Death of a Parent," accessed August 12, 2017, www.goodtherapy.org/blog/parent-death-during-childhood/
  • An estimated 3.5% of children under age 18 (approximately 2.5 million) in the United States have experienced the death of their parent, and reviews of the literature indicate that parental death places children at risk for many negative outcomes, including mental health problems (e.g, depression, anxiety, somatic complaints, post-traumatic stress symptoms), traumatic grief (e.g., a yearning for the deceased and lack of acceptance of the death), lower academic success and self-esteem, and greater external locus of control. Source: "Evidence-Based Practices for Parentally Bereaved Children and Their Families," accessed August 12, 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2888143/

Children and Teens General Grief Statistics

  • Grief is a natural and normal response to death and a lifelong process. It is made up of many different emotions, thoughts and behaviors. Through understanding, support, and opportunities to freely express thoughts and feelings, children and teens can develop healthy coping skills that enhance their lives. A child’s hope can be restored and they once again can imagine a life full of possibilities. Source: The Moyer Foundation, https://moyerfoundation.org/ accessed September 17,2017.
  • Every year, countless children experience the death of someone they love. Source: The Moyer Foundation, https://moyerfoundation.org/ accessed September 17,2017.
  • Grieving in Schools: Nationwide Survey among Classroom Teachers on Childhood Bereavement Conducted by New York Life Foundation and American Federation of Teachers, 2012 Classroom teachers report that students who have lost a parent or guardian typically exhibit: - – Difficulty concentrating in class (observed by 87% of teachers) – – Withdrawal/disengagement and less class participation (observed by 82%) – – Absenteeism (observed by 72%) – – Decrease in quality of work (observed by 68%) – – Less reliability in turning in assignments (observed by 66%) – 7 in 10 teachers (69%) currently have at least one student in their class(es) who has lost a parent, guardian, sibling, or close friend in the past year. Source: https://www.aft.org/sites/default/files/release_bereavement121012.pdf accessed September 17, 2017.
  • More than two in five teachers say their school pays more attention to the way students are dressed than to student grief. Source: https://www.aft.org/sites/default/files/release_bereavement121012.pdf accessed September 17, 2017.
  • In a New York Life Foundation general population survey of 1,006 adults conducted in late 2009, one in seven respondents reported losing a parent or sibling before the age of 20. Specifically, among adults who lost a parent growing up, more than half (57%) said they would trade a year of their life for one more day with their parent, and 73% believe their life would have been much better if their parent hadn’t died so young. Source: https://www.aft.org/sites/default/files/release_bereavement121012.pdf accessed September 17, 2017.

Loss of a Spouse/Widower Statistics

Loss of a Child Statistics

  • The death of a child is one of the most painful events that an adult can experience and is linked to complicated/traumatic grief reactions. Source: Rogers, Catherine H. et al. “Long-Term Effects of the Death of a Child on Parents’ Adjustment in Midlife.” Journal of family psychology: JFP: journal of the Division of Family Psychology of the American Psychological Association (Division 43) 22.2 (2008): 203–211. PMC. Web. 17 Sept. 2017.
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2014 alone, there were 3,830 children who were aged 1-4 who passed away, which translates to 24 deaths per population of 100,000. For children aged 5-14, 5,250 passed away, which translates to 12.7 deaths per population of 100,000. For both age categories, the leading cause of death were accidents. Source: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/child-health.htm accessed September 17, 2017.
  • The death of a child is one of the most difficult experiences a person ever faces. The loss of a child can sever a parent’s feeling of connection to the future. Losing a child often feels to parents like losing a part of themselves. Self-blaming thoughts can derail the adaptation process and lead to complicated grief. The highest rates of complicated grief occur in parents who have lost children. Source: https://complicatedgrief.columbia.edu/complicated-grief/complicated-grief-after-the-loss-of-a-child/ accessed September 17, 2017.

General Overall Grief Statistics

General Deaths Caused by Suicide Statistics Suicide is a very painful way to lose a loved one and it is not uncommon. In 2013, there were more than 41,000 deaths by suicide in the United States. Someone dies by suicide about every 13 minutes. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death. If you lost someone to suicide you are not alone. Source: https://complicatedgrief.columbia.edu/suicide-loss/ accessed September 17, 2017.

Books Grievers Can Turn To

Movies Grievers Can Turn To (for comfort, or to relate to fictional characters who deal with loss on the screen, these movies have some form of grief/loss in them in all different types of genres)