GRIEF, LOSS AND WHAT TO SAY AND DO
When a child dies, the shock is often great and we don’t know how to respond when such a tragedy befalls our community. Thinking through such a devastating situation is almost unimaginable and we put such thoughts out of our minds. Unfortunately, there are times when we are faced with these darkest of hours. We feel pain and wonder what the parents must be going through. And for a moment we can’t help but put ourselves in their shoes, hug our children a little tighter, and cry for their unbearable loss. We wonder how we can help. What do we do? What do we say?
My community recently had the tragic unexpected death of a toddler, a beautiful little girl whose life was cut inexplicably far too short. The parents have been left to suffer immeasurably, their closest friends and family were reeling, the community in shock. As a therapist I was involved with helping the family but through it was sought out by many in the community wanting to know what they could do.
How can you help? Here are some ways from my experiences as a counsellor and information provided by brave parents who have gone through the loss of a child and reached out and shared.
Lend a Helping Hand
There are obvious and less obvious ways to help a family. In our community help came from workplaces, friends and all corners to meet practical the needs of meals, rides, phone calls, places to stay, flights for supportive family to come in, and help with other complicated logistics. This is a great place to start. What practical things could the family use? Think day to day, think practical, and ask the family, they will likely need something you wouldn’t expect...