Helping a Loved One Cope with the Death of a Child
Losing a child is often referred to as the most devastating loss anyone can experience. If your loved one loses a child, he or she will need your support long after the funeral services are over. You can’t end his or her pain, but you can offer meaningful support that eases the burden in some way. These tips will help you find the best ways to be there for a loved one who has suffered the loss of a child.
Provide Practical Help
During the funeral planning process and afterward, there may be day-to-day tasks your loved one needs help with that he or she may not even think to mention. Although emotional support is important, be prepared to offer practical help as well. Make a phone call to arrange for the obituary, greet funeral attendees as they arrive in town, or prepare food to serve for when the house is filled with funeral guests. After the funeral ends, do the shopping from time to time, mow the lawn, or help with the housework. Small, practical tasks can help your loved one move forward when even the simplest steps seem overwhelming.
Don’t Offer Advice
When someone is in pain, hearing advice can feel dismissive and disingenuous. You can’t understand how your loved one feels unless you have actually experienced the same loss, and what helped you cope with grief is not the same thing that will help your loved one. Resist the urge to try to fix the situation, and instead, simply listen when your loved one needs to talk.
Take the Long View
Losing a child can be a pain that never really ends. There is no cutoff date at which your loved one should get back to his or her old self, as he or she is irrevocably changed. Don’t let your support drift away after a certain time, but be prepared to stand by your loved one during everything the future holds.
Mountain View Funeral Home, Memorial Park & Crematory is pleased to offer grief support in Lakewood, Washington to families who need help coming to terms with a loss. You can learn more about grief support services by calling (253) 584-0252.
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