“My children are very open now to discussing their father’s death and their feelings.
It was also comforting for me to have time with adults around my age
who lost a spouse and have small children.”
-Sheila, parent

Childhood Grief

When a child experiences the death of someone special, the impact is emotionally devastating. Loss has a profound effect on a child’s life. Many grieving children feel alone and keep their feelings inside, not wanting to burden their parents or other family members. Even school friends don’t seem to understand if they haven’t had a similar experience. Children who do not resolve the difficult issues around grief and loss are at risk to themselves and to society, now or as adults. 

Unresolved childhood loss is often linked with depression, violence, truancy, school failure, substance abuse, and suicidal tendencies. By supporting grieving children who are at risk of developing these complications and providing them with life coping skills, the potential social, emotional and health problems associated with unresolved grief can be minimized.

All of the programs at Ele's Place are offered at no cost to families.

How do I get my children started?

To enroll children into Ele’s Place Programs parents or guardians need to:

1.  Call the location you plan to attend:

Ann Arbor:  734-929-6640

Flint:   810-232-3040

Grand Rapids: 616-301-1605

Lansing Area:  517-482-1315

During the initial call, a clinical staff member will gather basic information, answer questions you may have, and send an enrollment form to be completed.

2.  After Ele’s Place receives the completed enrollment form, an Ele’s Place clinical staff member will call to schedule an orientation with your family.

3.  You and your family come to your orientation appointment for a tour of Ele’s Place, to discuss the expectations for participation and to ask questions you may have about the support group program.  At this time, we will ask your availability of weekday evenings to help determine which night your family will attend.

4.  Following your orientation, the Family Services Coordinator of your assigned night will call to confirm a start date.

Click on the links to the left for more information about the programs that Ele's Place offers.


Based on the US Census, 1 in 20 children will experience the death of a parent.  Many more will experience the death of a sibling or other loved one.