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Acorns to Oaktrees

December 13th, 2008 at 9:36 pm

Ways to Comfort a Grieving Parent

in: General

  • Acknowledge the child’s death by telling the parent(s) of your sadness for them and by expressing love and support and trying to provide comfort.
  • Allow the parent(s) to express feelings without imposing your views or feelings about what is appropriate behavior. Avoid telling the parent(s) you know just how they feel.
  • Allow the parent(s) to cry–-it is appropriate to cry with them.
  • Visit and talk with the family about the child who died; ask to see pictures or memories the family may have. Refer to the child by name.
  • Extend gestures of concern such as bringing flowers or writing a personal note expressing your feelings, letting the parent(s) know of your sadness for them.
  • Attend the child’s funeral or memorial service.
  • Offer to go with the parent(s) to the cemetery in the days and weeks after the funeral, or find other special ways to extend personal or sensitive gestures of concern.
  • Remember anniversaries and special days.
  • Donate to a specific memorial in honor of the child.
  • Make practical and specific suggestions, such as offering to stop by at a convenient time, bringing a meal, purchasing a comforting book, offering to take the other children for a special outing, or treating the parent(s) to something special.
  • Respect the dynamics of each person’s grief. The often visible expressions of pain and confusion shown by the grieving parent(s) are normal. Grief is an ongoing and demanding process.
  • Keep in mind that the parent(s) may not be able to ask for help or tell you what they need.

From the National Sudden and Unexpected Infant/Child Death and Pregnancy Loss Resource Center

Category: General Tags:

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  • 1

    And always remember that it isn’t just the parents who are grieving but everyone who loved the child. Again, I am so sorry about Diego.

    Liza Lee Miller on December 14th, 2008
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