Ways to help bereaved parents

Many of us are at a loss when we meet a friend or family member who has suffered the death of their child. Others might offer platitudes without thinking. This is generally because it may be the first time we have known a person in this sad situation, and we have only got past experiences of other people’s deaths and therefore can inadvertently cause more pain to those grieving for their child.
If you are in this position it is better not to say anything, simply say you’re sorry for the loss, give them a hug if they are receptive and just sit with them quietly. Don’t feel you have to fill the silence, should you feel you need to do something make them a coffee then leave after an hour or so -to give them time to rest – it’s amazing how energy zapping grief can be.
On another visit you could take in some provisions such as biscuits, tea and coffee so if the person is not yet up to going grocery shopping, they will have something to offer their visitors.
These suggestions are mostly relevant for the first month or two, but might be useful for longer. However, it is important for the grieved to slowly take back control of the day to day running of their lives, but it would be a good idea to call in or phone them every couple of weeks – more to let them know you have not abandoned them to their fate, as this is all too often what happens. This in turn leads to isolation for grieving parents.

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