Friday, March 18, 2011

How family and friends can help

Thank you for wanting to help your friend or family member through their loss. The biggest thing you can do to help is to acknowledge that loss. Below are some helpful points on what you can do to be of support to your friend.

Acknowledge

This loss has irrevocably changed your friend or family members life.
Be there for them. As hard as it may be for you to do that, what they are going through is harder. Sending a card, flowers or making a meal for them shows them that you care.

Speak Aloud Their Child's Name


Do not be afraid to speak the child's name. Hearing their child's name come from the lips of someone other than themselves can be so comforting. It shows them that their child matters and is thought of.

Listen


Know that just listening can be so helpful to your friend. Giving out advice at this time may not help at all. Allow your friend or family member to speak there heart. Do not change the subject quickly if you feel awkward. Be honest with them if you do not know what to say. Let them know that you are there for them. Ask them to tell you about their child.

Help In Practical Ways

Take the family around a bag of groceries. You could cook them a meal. Ask them if there is any errands you could run for them. Helping the family in these small ways will actually be a huge help to them because everything will seem to hard at this time.

Things Not To Say Or Do

Do not compare their grief to anything else.

Saying things like "God needed another angel" may seem like a comforting thing to say but in so many cases this will only upset your friend.

"It wasn't meant to be" Telling this to someone who has lost a child will break their heart.

Do not suddenly change the subject if they start talking about their child. You may feel a little awkward but your friend has shown that they feel comfortable talking to you about their child.

Never tell your friend or family member to "Get over it" This is not something they will ever just get over.

"Everything happens for a reason" will not help. What could that reason possibly be? You could never make any one feel better by saying that when they are in the depths of grief.

If you do not know what to say.... Tell them that. Tell them you are sorry that you can't say anything o take away their pain. That will mean more to them than silence.

Do Something To Honour Their Child's Memory

This could be anything. It does not have to be something grand. You do not need to go and spend a lot of money. You could release some helium balloons with the childs name on them. You could donate to a Charity that would be significant to your friend. You may want to plant a special tree. You could donate some blankets to the hospital that your friends baby was born at. You can visit Christian's Beach or Rory's Garden and have the childs name written. This is a gorgeous idea and their is absolutely no obligation to purchase the photo if you do not want to. There are endless ideas on what you could do.

Accept and Allow


Accept that this loss may change your relationship with your friend or family member. Allow your friend to cry, to scream, to get angry, to be unreasonable. They have had their world ripped apart and right now that is all that their life is about.

Mark The Dates

Mark down their child's special dates so that you can remember them for anniversary's. Remembering them on their anniversary will mean the world to the family.

For Christmas time, Mothers Day and Fathers day, remember to mention their childs name in cards. It is as simple as writing "Remembering Christian today" and this will mean so much.

Help Them Find Us


Send your friend or family member the link to The Grief Effect so that they may have a look around and be able to find help on the internet. The internet is a wonderful place for grieving families looking for support. They can find it with out even leaving their front door.

Thank you

Thank you for coming in here to find out how you could help your friend. Just by doing this you are being a good friend. Be gentle on them. Give them time. Allow them hibernate if that is what they need to do. It is not about you, it is about them.