One of the worst things that a person can experience in their life is losing their child to an early death. But for many parents,this is a reality that they’re faced with at one point or another. If you know someone who’s recently lost a child, it can be hard to know what you can say or do for them to help ease their pain and encourage healing. So to help you to feel less at a loss yourself, here are three things you can say to someone who’s just had a child die.
“Can I take care of ______ for you?”
When a child has died suddenly, it can be very challenging for the parent or parents to take care of all the logistics in their life. But for most people, it can be hard to ask for the help that they so desperately need at this time. When speaking with your friends or family members who’ve just lost a child, FuneralWise.com recommends that you help to make arrangements or do chores for the family by asking if you can take care of a specific thing for them. If you leave the offer or question too open-ended it may never get answered and help make never be given. But by thinking of something on your own that you can assist with and just asking for a “yes” or “no”, you can do some real good for this family and make yourself less of a burden.
Bring Up Memories
For most people who know of someone who’s just lost a child, their greatest fear is to say something that would somehow make the situation worse for their friend or loved one. Because of this, you might shy away from speaking about the child who’s died for fear that you’ll stir up unwanted emotions in the parents. But according to Victoria Lemley, a contributor to AARP, speaking about the child and bringing up your own cherished memories can help the parents continue to feel close to their child even after he or she is gone. The parents will never forget about the child they’ve lost, and having you bring up memories of them will show that you haven’t forgotten either,which can be very helpful.
Don’t Say Anything
If you’re ever in doubt about what to say,Angela Morrow, a contributor to Very Well Health, reminds us that it’s perfectly fine to say nothing at all. In many situations,simply being a physical presence that’s there for the parents at this difficult time is enough of a help and support. Every moment doesn’t need to be filled with verbal condolences; giving a shoulder to cry on or a warm hug can be just as uplifting. If you know of someone who’s just had a child die, consider using the tips mentioned above to know what to say or how you can be of service during this time of grief.