Thursday, November 11, 2010

What can you do?

Here is another post that I read about on Honoring our Angels. She listed do's and don't's on what to say to people that are going through a loss of a child. I have had such amazing support but at the same time I have had some people tell me things that just made me think "Did you really just say that to me?!" But overall everyone has been so amazing to me and my family. This has been an extremely rough week for me. I use to have just one break down a week but this week I have been having them everyday if not a few times a day. Sienna's due date is Sunday and it has been hard for me to not get mad that I can't be having a happy healthy little girl right now. I have been craving babies lately. So if anyone has a baby I would love to watch and hold them cause that has brought me the most comfort at this time. All I have been wanting this week is a baby. It has been hard to focus on the house, on my running, and on eating better. I tried to start the hcg today but after half a day a lost it. It was hard and I didn't think I could put another stress on my plate so that will have to hold off until I can be a little bit happier for now I will just have to enjoy my muffin top. Plus food is my comfort right now and I know that is bad but it just is. Anyways read this post and hope it will help to know what to do to people in the future who are grieving. I know that from this experience I know what things to say to people and how to help them cause I have gone through the same thing.

What is the best question you can ask a bereaved parent?
Answer: How are you REALLY doing since your child died?
(use the child's name)


  • Do ask, "How are you REALLY doing?"
  • Do remember that you can't take away their pain, but you can share it and help them feel less alone.
  • Do let your genuine concern and care show.
  • Do call the child by name.
  • Do treat the couple equally. Fathers need as much support as mothers.
  • Do be listen, to run errands, to drive, help with the other children, or whatever else seems needed at the time.
  • Do say you are sorry about what happened to their child and about their pain.
  • Do accept their moods whatever they may be, you are not there to judge. Be sensitive to shifting moods.
  • Do allow them to talk about the child that has died as much and as often as they want.
  • Do talk about the special, endearing qualities of the child.
  • Do give special attention to the child's brother and sister--at the funeral and in the months to come (they too are hurt and confused and in need of attention which their parents may not be able to give).
  • Do reassure the parents that they did everything they could, that the care the child received was the best possible.
  • Do put on your calendar the birth and death date of the child and remember the family the following year(s). That you remember the child is very supportive.
  • Do extend invitations to them. But understand if they decline or change their minds at the last minute. Above all continue to call and visit.
  • Do send a personal note or letter or make a contribution to a charity that is meaningful to the family.
  • Do get literature about the disease and grief process to help you understand.

  • Don't be afraid to ask about the deceased child and to share memories.
  • Don't think that the age of the child determines its value and impact.
  • Don't be afraid to touch, it can often be more comforting than words.
  • Don't avoid them because you feel helpless or uncomfortable, or don't know what to say.
  • Don't change the subject when they mention their child.
  • Don't push the parents through the grieving process, it takes a long time to heal and they never forget.
  • Don't encourage the use of drugs or alcohol.
  • Don't ask them how they feel if you aren't willing to listen.
  • Don't say you know how they feel.
  • Don't tell them what they should feel or do.
  • Don't try to find something positive in the child's death.
  • Don't point out that at least they have their other other children.
  • Don't say that they can always have another child.
  • Don't suggest that they should be grateful for their other children.
  • Don't think that death puts a ban on laughter. There is much enjoyment in the memory of the time they had together.
  • Avoid the following cliches:
    • "Be brave,don't cry."
    • "It was God's will" or "it was a blessing."
    • "Get on with your life. This isn't the end of the world."
    • "God needed another flower in his garden."
    • "At least it wasn't older."
    • "You must be strong for the other children."
    • "You're doing so well."
    • "You're young, you'll get over it."
    • "Time will heal."


Rochelle said...

Those are great do's and dont's. Praying especially hard for you this week, that due date is a hard day as we have experienced.
Hope you guys do something wonderful to remember her on Sunday.

Lindsay Quinney said...

I love you Teresa! If you need to talk to anyone give me a call!

Anonymous said...

I was thinking that Sienna's due date was coming up soon, and I've been thinking about you.
It's okay to grieve. And it's okay to eat. Do both as much as you need to.
Thanks for the list. I'm never sure what to say to people who are going through rough times.

Kristen's mom said...

I think it is best to at least say something. I feel bad when people ignore me because they don't know what to say.

Great Idea to eat whatever you want. I'm not giving up my chocolate anytime soon. I need it!