Experiencing the death of a child is something no parent should have to go through. The pain is unimaginable. At Bayliff and Son, we often field questions about how to support loved ones after the death of a child. While there are no easy answers, here are some helpful tips our staff has put together.
Let them know you are thinking of them
While your friend or family member may resist accepting help or company, it’s important to ensure they know you will be there when they’re ready. Sending a card or gift is an act of support that won’t overwhelm in the moment.
Provide them with meals
Drop off a meal, order food to be delivered, or send a restaurant gift card. If you ask how you can help, your good intentions may not pan out as planned. Those who are grieving often feel they are burdening others with their offers, so they refuse them. Or they may feel it’s one more detail to tend to during an already overwhelming time. Sticking a card and/or gift card in the mail is a gentle way to show support and meet a practical need.
Remember their children on holidays
Birthdays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas, and other holidays can be extremely difficult for grieving parents. Any celebrations centered around family likely serve as a reminder of their loss. Sending them a card or planning something special for these days can be extremely valuable to a grieving parent, as it lets them know you are thinking about them.
Don’t compare their situation to others
Everyone’s grief journey is different, even if two situations seem similar. Comparing your loved one’s loss to someone else’s experience can cause them to feel invalidated. While comparisons likely stem from a place of compassion, they may not provide true support to the person who is grieving. It’s also okay to admit that you don’t know what to say. Even just sitting with your loved one shows that you care.
Grief is complex and difficult to understand, and we want our neighbors to know that we are here with resources, support, and a listening ear. Don’t hesitate to contact us anytime.