How to Help Those Grieving the Loss of a Child

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

I wish people would have asked more about my son and not act as though he didn't exist.

Before the loss of my son, I never really understood why people sent food to families after a death. Wow, I appreciated that so much!! I could barely get up and dress myself, so the food was awesome .... Some sent uncooked casseroles that could be frozen and baked whenever, again, wonderful!!!

I wish someone had been there to answer the phone. I did not want to talk to many people except my 2 living sons and my immediate family.

I wish the organization to which quite a bit of money was donated in my son's memory had given us a combined total of the donations, let us know how the donations were used, and... the desire of my heart was that something... no matter how small.... would bear my son's name.

My grandfather was the only person who would sit and just hold my hand or let my just cry on his shoulder for as long as I wanted to

Not said to me, "well, maybe you can have another baby"

What I wanted & needed most then & now, was for people to talk to me about my 2 Daughters! We are childless! It is so special to hear people reminisce about my Girls!

Wish everyone would have shared their favorite memory of my son instead of being afraid to even speak his name.

wished that people would'nt pull away and leave when we talked about our son,wished they would talk about him and share his memories with us

Don't say "call me if you need anything"...just come over and wash the car or weed the garden, bring by a few groceries, etc. I didn't have the energy to do any of the routine day to day things.

The best things I received were notes and cards from friends of Michaels. Some shared incredible stories about him

I wish people would realize that they don't have to say anything. They can just sit with the grieving person and be there.

i wish people would remember there is a grandmother in grief too

Send me a card on my son's birthday

Bring the parent their favorite drink, such as coffee, coffee filters, etc..... Don't ask "tell me what you need" "if there is anything I can do, let me know" Why not say-I'm here to do "dishes" "laundry"

I also wish that for the surviving sibling (especially if there is just one) someone would take the initiative and allow that sibling to be able to play with their/other kids because they are now lonely

Bring copies of all the photos you have with the precious child in them and talk about your favorite moments with him

I couldn't cook, grocery shop, didn't do laundry. It would have been helpful if people just brought groceries by. Even fruit and veggies. Just to call or drop in. People waited for us to ask and we didn't have the strength.

cry with me.

One of the best things that I remember a friend did was come in my house while we were at the funeral home planning and left a case of bottled water, paper plates, napkins, silverware, and boxes of kleenex.

I wish my friends would've come by to hang & hold me while I cried...

I wish our pastor would have suggested we have a funeral for our stillborn daughter and that someone would have visited us in the hospital even though we said not to.

I wish people would have still visited. The day after the funeral, our home has been like a ghost town. It's been nearly 2 years and no o e comes to just visit. No one will just call and talk. It gets really lonely.

i just wished ppl would have stuck around longer instead of giving me money and not being there ... please don't tell me that I will be ok someday because that is not even possible

I wish that someone wld have printed my son Ethan's hand and foot. All of his "prints" left in cookie and who knows watelse have all been washed away. I wld do just about anything to have his lil hands and feet to see. I miss the cookie prints sooooooo much!!!

Its like "where did everyone go?", after the funeral. We still need you.

I wish that the men in my church and my husband's brothers would have taken better care in comforting him. They neglected him very badly. And since we had two children die at different times, it was a double dose of neglect. My husband had to be strong for me, and no one took the time to make sure he was okay....:(

With all the self help shows are aired on tv. Why doesn't someone do one on parents loosing a child and the emotional support that a family needs after the fact!! I really think that people need to be educated on this "after the fact"

Hugs. Just hugs. Not trying to cheer me up or take away the pain. Just hugs

although the food and the visits would have been nice, of the hardest days for me was the day i made my way to the mailbox and there were no more cards. those sweet cards had somehow become a lifeline for me...almost a ritual. the day the mailbox was empty was one of the lonliest of my life. ♥ ♥

Wish I had more help with the two surviving children. It was so hard to be a parent to them for the 3 years after we lost our daughter. I was a mess.

Let others know what had happened, so I didn't have to

I wish more of my son's friends would have come around, kept in touch

Just say his name.

Just let me know you still think about her too. Know that her birthday and angel day are not the only hard days. The days that lead up are actually harder. The first day of school, Halloween, Valentine's Day, St Patrick's Day, Easter, all those holidays she loved are hard. Post something on her fb page. Share some memories. Don't cringe when I say her name

We were given many restaurant gift certificates....that were great 5or that not wanting to look at the empty chair days!

Everybody says call me call me, anytime, for once I'd like somebody to say he Pete, Jean lets go do whatever

NEVER tell us that we need to "move on" or "get through this"...

I agree Vicki, it was like after the funeral the dust settled and (almost) everybody was gone. Would have been nice to have some visits in the week or two following the funeral. Someone to help with all the thank you notes

Grocery SHopping is still one of the hardest things for me to do.

just pick up a phone and CALL me! Visit me, don't be "afriad" to talk to me! If I am not up for being social, then I just won't go - don't assume I don't want to do things

Listen......just smile and listen and a hug now and then........

At the funeral, some of my daughter's teachers stood up and recalled some of her antics in school, and other memories of her. I wish someone would have taken time to write some of these things down. I heard them, but it would be so nice to be able to go back and read their memories of my daughter again, especially now when I am missing her so badly

I wish I'd had a friend who would have found a way to advise or even pay for financial counseling in the months following my son's death.

I wish someone would have thought to take pics of all the flowers and gifts from friends after my Amelia's accident..It was all so Beautiful ,but I can't remember it! :(

But...the best idea I have seen in this list is a type of memory book that people could write memories, scriptures and thoughts to my husband and I of special times with us and our son it would help the parent, if you would just listen, offer hugs and just be their no matter how long it takes. Don't worry about the empty stares into space, the blank look of emptiness...the loss was everything they had and in an instant, its gone. Love, compassion and just being a friend is bountiful gift to those that mourn.

I also am sick and tired of hearing that she is in a better place now.

Three years later and I have friends call me on his birthday and ask to go for a walk or go eat sushi.

Compassionate Friends is a dedicated organization supporting those grieving the loss of a child.

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