Supporting Children When a Parent Dies From Overdose

The death of a loved one as a result of substance use can leave a family reeling. When a parent dies from overdose, children of all ages can be tremendously impacted. The most important thing you can do is recognize that grief is unique for each child, just as that child’s relationship with the person who died was. Quite often, listening is the best way you can support a child or teen dealing with the grief of losing a parent to addiction.



Some words are better left unsaid. For some, funerals can be uncomfortable to attend, and sometimes it’s easy to get nervous and end up sounding cold when our words are meant to be compassionate and supportive. It’s hard to know what to say at a funeral or the days and months following. Ultimately, offering your genuine sympathy and support during such a difficult time is what matters most. 

Let them know that you haven’t forgotten them, and be a presence they can lean on in times of pain, struggle and confusion. Consider times when you have experienced loss or grief, and think of what was said by others that you appreciated most. This insight can help you comfort those who are now experiencing loss.

If you would like to express condolences through a guestbook or online obituary, you can find them here.


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