One of the hardest losses any person can go through is that of having a child die. In a situation such as this, you might not know what to do or how to respond or support your friend who’s just suffered this unthinkable pain. But in your love and care, it’s natural to want to do everything in your power to help. So to help you know what you should do to be a shoulder for your loved one, here are three things you should remember for when you have a friend who loses a child.
When In Doubt, Just Be Silent
Knowing what to say to someone who’s just gone through the tragic loss of losing a child is something that no one is ever confident in. Regardless of your relationship with this person, you might struggle to find words to convey your care for them at this time. And according to Angela Morrow, a contributor to Very Well Health, sometimes the best thing you can do is just be silent. Oftentimes, the parents don’t want to hear about how sorry you feel or that you believe the child is now in a better place. So to ensure that you don’t say the wrong thing and make the situation worse for your friend, consider just being a physical presence rather than speaking about things you don’t understand yourself.
Offer Something Specific
In times such as these, many people want to help out in a physical way. Especially during the loss of a child, the parents might completely lose touch with the world around them and forget to take care of some of their most basic needs. So if you’re willing to lend a hand in any of these areas, Lizzie Heiselt, a contributor to Babble.com, suggests offering specific help rather than just saying that you’re willing to help with whatever they need. At this period of time, the parents don’t want to be coming up with a list of things you can do for them. So if you see a need or have something you want to help with, offer with that specific thing.
You Honor Them By Remembering Them
When the appropriate amount of time has passed, Linton Weeks, a contributor to NPR, shares that one of the best things you can do for your friend who’s lost a child is to honor them with their remembrance. Consider sending the parents a text on their birthday of that child to let them know that you’re thinking about them and remembering something you loved about them. Do something as a memorial to that child during a meaningful time. The last thing most parents want is to forget about their child, or to have other people forget either. So by showing that you haven’t forgotten, you may be able to help your friend get through this challenging time
If you have a friend who’s lost a child, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you know how you can show your love and support for them.