If current times have taught us anything, it’s that you can’t always know what is in the near future or just around the corner. Many people have lost friends and family, if someone that you know has lost a child, you can feel utterly helpless with how you can help ease their pain.
There is no way you can ‘fix’ this deep of a loss, however, there are things that friends and family can do to help support them as they grieve. Although you are never going to take away the pain ther are some things you can do to help, we’ll go through some of them below:
Get There As Soon As You Can
One of the most important things you can do as a close friend can during the immediate aftermath of the loss of a child is to show up and show your support. Never assume that there is someone taking the reins with making meals, cleaning, making funeral arrangements, finding children and baby caskets, making calls, and proving other family members with lifts from train stations or airports. Even if someone has a large family they may need help with something, even if it’s cleaning around the house.
Don’t Ask Them What They Need
It is easy to feel as though you are helpless when someone you care about is experiencing something awful like this. But, one thing you shouldn’t do is ask them how you can help. They will have no idea what they need and certainly won’t know how you can make them feel any better. Think about making a list of everything that you would normally do in a day, week, or month. Include tasks such as laundry and restocking the fridge. If you notice they haven’t bought any milk or have any fresh fruit or veg in the house think about picking some up or arranging a small home delivery for a few weeks.
Check-in Once A Week
Once the funeral has happened and most of the extended family/friends have left town it’s a good idea to physically check in once a week. You should do this for at least the first year. Be relentless and consistent. Take them for a coffee, bring them some lunch, run the hoover around, pick up a few bits from the store, etc. If you’re a friend who lives away, call once a week instead, and keep in touch with another friend who lives close by, they will be able to tell you if they are struggling. As well as keeping in touch, it’s a good idea to make sure you make an extra effort to reach out on the important dates. Think mother’s day, fathers’ day, the child’s birthday, and the anniversary of their death. Also, make sure you still invite them to events, even if they aren’t up to it, they will appreciate being included and not forgotten about.
This is just a short guide to help you to support someone who has lost a child. Remember everyone is different, but everyone needs to know that help is there if they need it. Do you have any other tips you could share in the comments below?