How To Help Your Friend Whose Little Child Has Died
Of course, there is almost always an element of sadness when somebody passes away. However, when a child dies, that feeling is usually intensified. Hard-to-answer questions are often asked: Why did he die without experiencing the rest of his or her own life? Why did this happen to me when I always took such good care of my little one? Even though there may not be answers to those questions and others, from everyday one-on-one support from you to the suggestion of grief support meetings, there are ways you can help your friend whose little child has died.
Little Things Can Make A Big Difference - Think of ways that you can help your friend to attain a measure of joy amidst his or her sorrow:
- Do you see your friend withdrawing from everyday activities that he or she once enjoyed? For example, did you two play tennis together in the past? If so, this is a good time to invite your friend to join you again.
- Think about asking your friend to share special memories with you. Sometimes it just feels good to recall the time that the little one did crafts or watched his or her favorite movie and laughed hard.
- Consider sending little messages through the mail, especially if you are having a hard time succeeding in bringing your friend out for activities. A note expressing the ways you remember the little child will often show your friend that you knew him or her well, too.
Larger Steps Can Make A Difference - If you think that your friend is starting to go through a major depression, or if you see that he or she is simply not being able to cope with the child's death, think about suggesting help:
- Are you close enough to your friend's spouse to have a conversation with him or her regarding your concerns? If so, think about setting up a time when you can talk frankly without your friend's presence.
- Consider suggesting that your friend joins a grief support group. Your religious leader at your church will move than likely be able to refer your friend to an organized group that deals with grief.
- The great thing about grief support groups is that the individuals who join them have a lot in common. There will probably be a group leader who will direct the discussions in a way that will help those who attend to begin the healing process.
If you have a photograph of the child who passed away, think about putting it in a special frame and giving it to your friend. Contact a grief support service for more information and assistance.