December 20, 2012
How To Support a Family Grieving the Loss of a Child
Kids Path Bereavement Counselor
- Don’t assume what the family needs, always ask. It’s important to remember that the family’s needs will change throughout the course of their grief, so ask frequently.
- Offer to help with practical things such as running errands, child care for other children in the home, meal preparation, etc.
- Give special attention to the other children in the family and remember that they are grieving too. Avoid telling them not to cry or not to upset the adults.
- Be available to listen. Sometimes, all that is necessary is a squeeze of the hand, a hug or your presence. Accept whatever feelings are expressed. Do not say, “You shouldn’t feel like that.”
- Remember that sometimes the family needs permission to be normal and not constantly talk about the child’s illness and his or her grief. Respect this need if a parent says, “I don’t want to talk about it right now.”