The following are 10 WAYS to SUPPORT someone who has lost a child. These were put together as part of our ministry at theRproject.org. If you have experience child loss, we want you to know that you are NOT ALONE, there is HOPE!
~ Seth & Pam
Acknowledge their loss, right away. You may be afraid you’ll say something “stupid,” but it is even worse to ignore the loss. Remember, a “HUG” can speak volumes!
Note: Avoid saying things like “you’re young, you can try again,” “at least you have other children,” “things happen for a reason,” “they are in a better place,” etc…
2. PRAY & SHARE
Pray for and with them! Share Scriptures that bring comfort, encouragement, and hope. (ex. Psalm 46:1, Psalm 34:18, Isaiah 40:31, Romans 12:12, Ephesians 3:20-21)
Let them talk about their child, the good and the bad. A listening ear is worth a lot. Let them cry, allow them to vent. You don’t have to have all the answers, all you need to do is listen.
4. OFFER AN IDEA AND DO IT!
Don’t say, “Let me know if I can help.” They are not in a place where they can give direction right now. Offer an idea instead. Say, “I am going to bring you dinner Thursday night,” and just do it.
5. DROP OFF A CARE PACKAGE
Drop off groceries, home made meals, fruit, desserts, etc. You could also give them a couple of lighthearted movies, a book to read, or even a gift card to their favorite restaurant.
Note: If they have other children, don’t forget to think about them. They are hurting too!
Give them a condolence card, write a note, buy them a memorial/remembrance gift, or donate to a charitable organization in honor of their baby.
7. BE THERE
If you’re close, ask if you can come over and just “be” with them.
When you see them, don’t be afraid to speak their child’s name. Letting them know that you have been thinking about their baby means more than you’ll ever know.
9. ALLOW THEM TO GRIEVE
Everyone grieves differently. If they want to be alone, give them their space. Just let them know that you are there for them when they are ready.
10. STAY CONNECTED
Keep texting, calling, e-mailing, and facebooking to let them know you are thinking about them, even after it’s been a few weeks or months. Even when they appear to be “over it” or back to their old selves, they will still be hurting, and will still need to know people have not forgotten about their child.
Note: Try to remember and acknowledge important dates, such as their due date, loss date, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day.