When I had my miscarriage, I was devastated.  I felt so much pain I couldn’t express it, nor did I think I would ever feel joy again.  As I went on my healing journey, I was shocked at how society treated women who had suffered from miscarriage.  And thus began OurHopePlace.com – I wanted to make it better for those who came after me…  

Well, I have to write about a more painful loss right now…  someone I know, her (teen) son died last week.   How I wish this didn’t happen!  How I wish I could help her more…  I wanted to share some ideas on how to help, give your courage to help, b/c maybe someone will read this and help another!  If you have any other ideas, please add a comment.

Healing is a process, and everyone grieves differently.  Try not to judge someone b/c they grieve differently than you (would expect).  Just let the person guide you each day as to how they are feeling and if they do or don’t want to talk (about the death or about anything).

Healing is a process that takes place over time (can be a LONG time).  Supportive family and friend are very important!  

Maintain contact; this may be a lonely time b/c family and friends often don’t know what to say or how to help.  Don’t be one of those people who disappear…  the parents will never forget, there won’t be a “good” time…  be a friend and call/email/write a letter or card, do something.  And if someone reaches out to you, be supportive.  Be there.  Listen.

Family members are grieving, and like I said earlier, everyone expresses grief in their own way. Make sure you check on adults and children alike.  Be there for each other:  tears, anger, and silences that give way to memories and maybe even a laugh (eventually).  Listen to it all, share.  Don’t be afraid to mention the child’s name… 

Expect that important dates (e.g. holidays, mother’s day, father’s day, anniversaries, birthdays, first day of school, graduation day…)  all holidays will be a challenge.  Realize that planning for special day will be trying.  And, know that often the days leading up to the important date are often worse than the day itself.  On those days be supportive of the parents needs, help them/enable them to do what’s best for their emotional needs…  that could mean whether that means a day of distraction, or surrounding yourself with family/friends, or planning a quiet day of reflection.  And be flexible, b/c what may seem like a good idea before the day could differ on the day itself.

Lastly, when offering help, try to be specific:

– I’ll drop off dinner tonight

– I’ll take the kids for a day

-I’ll do the gardening this weekend

– Can I get your dry cleaning for you

– I’m going grocery shopping, I picked up a few things for you

– It’s Monday, let’s get dinner

Whatever you think your friend would like, offer…  

Thanks for listening/reading…  this has been a tough week for me, but it pales when compared to others.  I am so sorry for your loss my friend!  Maybe someone will read this and help you…  maybe they will help others…

If you have any other ideas on how to help, please leave a comment.