Family and Friends Resource Page
It’s challenging to know how to help a family experiencing grief. Here are things that we’ve found helpful:
1. Pray! And let them know that you are praying.
2. Be willing to sit in silence. There are not words that fix the situation or make it better. If you feel a need to speak, then quote scripture. It’s the only Truth that will heal.
3. Send a card or gift. Acknowledging the child’s life and the family’s grief are essential to loving on them well. You don’t need to find something profound to say; nothing fixes it. Quote scripture, tell them you love them, pray for them.
4. Gifts are encouraging. Jewelry with the child’s name on it, plaques, coffee, tea, bubble bath, wine, books, music… anything that essentially states, “We love you. We want to help.” Check out our Resources page for good books and music to choose from.
5. Live plants are more encouraging than cut flowers. Give them something that grows. (But flower arrangements are always nice too.)
6. Providing tangible support is huge. There are so many responsibilities that weigh on a person, and its nearly impossible to attend to them during the grieving process. Ask them what tangible thing would be most helpful, and give them options: Make meals. Babysit their children. Clean their house. Do laundry. Get the car cleaned/serviced. Buy groceries.
7. Death is tragically expensive. Parents do not plan on having funeral expenses. Support them financially.
8. Provide for emotional breaks – something that will distract. Rent lighthearted movies. Buy a frozen pizza. Give the mom a pedicure coupon. Offer a vacation home for a few days. Buy them a hotel room for a weekend.
9. Send texts, emails, and facebook messages. “I love you and am thinking of you,” is encouraging.
10. Remember, remember, remember. It’s discouraging when it seems like the rest of the world keeps going, and you’re stuck. Remember the date of the child’s birth/death. Acknowledge the hard days. Continue to ask them how they’re doing, months afterward.
11. Never be afraid to ask them, “How can I love you best?”