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How to help a family who've lost a child

(4 Posts)
DirtyHabit Sat 06-Aug-11 13:31:54

A family I know lost their DS (3 yrs) Thursday night unexpectedly. I'm not quite sure how to help them and would be grateful for advice from someone.

I have a card for them, is it too soon to give it to them now? I'm worried about giving it to them as it makes it 'official' that he's gone once they start getting cards etc.

I've made them a meal for the whole family which just needs to be heated up. Again, is it too soon to give it to them? I don't want to intrude but I know their teenage DD is not eating so I'm guessing the parents and other teenage kids aren't either.

Thanks in advance

crispyseaweed Sat 06-Aug-11 18:52:33

No I dont think its too soon. As soon as you acknowledge to them their loss they will know you are thinking of them, and want to support them.
Its so so sad, what happened?
My best friend lost her 20 yr old son, (the same age as mine) and I always let her know I am thinking of her. I say "I am here for you"... "call me night or day "etc. <<<HUGS>>>
I think my friend has found people were there for her when it all happened but now they are not. Even now, 3 yrs later I let her know I have not forgotten her loss and support her always.
Just let them know that they can call you at any time and if there is any way you can help, or anything you can do for them, they only have to shout. etc.
Go to the funeral , if they would like you too , showing support.

zeno Tue 09-Aug-11 19:16:44

Hello DH,

We were in the same shoes as your friends three years ago, so I can speak from experience.

Yes, take them the meal. Offer to heat it and serve it up, and eat with them if they want. Someone organised our friends into a food rota that lasted weeks to get us through to the point where we could function well enough to feed ourselves again.

I would strongly recommend looking at this link, which is a sheet of tips on how to support bereaved parents. We were fortunate that someone circulated it to friends and neighbours, and it was incredibly useful to them in knowing what to do to help. I'm sure it will cover lots of the questions you have.

If you know anyone else who knows the family, don't be shy about sending them the link or printing a copy for them. I know everyone worries about saying or doing the wrong thing, to the point where they do nothing at all. Well, this tips sheet points people in the right direction and gets them actively supporting.

All the best,
zeno

DirtyHabit Sat 13-Aug-11 21:23:46

Crispyseaweed - Thank you for your reply. I did drop round a card for them the next day. We are going to go to the funeral to support them and to say goodbye to their DS. He died from an undiagnosed heart condition. If it was picked up he had a good chance of survival. So so sad.

Zeno - I'm very sorry for your loss. I did take them a meal but they weren't eating at all so I popped it in the freezer for them. Some other friends have also taken them some food round and have tried to get them to eat.

Thank you for that link, I have printed a few off to give to some friends and also emailed it to a couple. Sorry again for your loss.

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