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What To Give Someone Who Has Lost A Child

Last update: 2023-12-17

Losing a child is an unimaginable tragedy that no parent should ever have to endure. When someone close to you experiences this kind of devastating loss, it can be difficult to know how to be supportive and what to give them during such a painful time. While nothing can make up for their profound grief, there are some thoughtful gifts and gestures that may bring a small bit of comfort.

Comfort Items

Knitted sweater, lantern with candle on beige knitted blanket. Comfort and care, cozy home conceptA warm blanket, soft pajamas, cozy slippers or a robe are useful gifts for grieving parents. After a loss, simple self-care can seem impossible. Comfort items can help make resting and looking after themselves a little easier during the darkest days. A gift card for a spa, massage or facial could also help them practice small acts of self-nurturing.

Memory Gifts

Creating keepsakes or memory gifts using fingerprints, footprints or a snippet of hair can be deeply meaningful for bereaved parents. Beautiful memory jewelry crafted with a thumbprint or the impression of their child's hand or foot helps keep their baby's legacy close. Planting a tree, starting a garden or dedicating a plaque in the child's name also provides an ongoing place to feel connected.

Care Packages

Delicious chocolate candy on gray backgroundAssemble a care package with soothing items like candles, lotion, tea, comfort food or chocolate. You could also include a soft teddy bear, cozy socks or a framed image of uplifting inspirational quotes. Practical supplies like paper plates, cups and plastic utensils can ease their daily burdens. Gift cards for grocery delivery, housekeeping services, lawn care or takeout meals are also extremely helpful.

Books

There are many poignant books written just for grieving parents. Reading other people's stories and insights may help them cope and provide some connection. "Empty Cradle, Broken Heart" by Deborah Davis addresses grieving and contains journal exercises. The book "Pregnancy After Loss" offers guidance on coping with anxiety and fear after losing a baby. For parents grieving the loss of an older child, "Healing After Loss" by Martha Hickman can provide support.

Memory Journal

Old photo albums and pictures from the early 1970s of the family at a beach on a bulletin board.A blank journal is a thoughtful gift where grieving parents can process emotions, document memories or compose letters to their child. Include a nice pen and ideas for journal prompts like listing favorite memories and funny stories about their child. Decorating the journal cover withstickers or their child's photos personalizes it. It becomes a legacy treasured long after the pages are full.

Charitable Donations

Make a donation in their child's name to a charity that has significance for them. Donating toys, books or baby items from their child to hospitals or women's shelters can memorialize their baby while helping others. Support research foundations working to prevent the kind of loss they endured or volunteer for foundations that assist grieving families. This transforms grief into a meaningful legacy of service.

Experiences

llustration of two ticketsGestures that honor their child's memory in an ongoing way can be powerful. Purchase concert tickets or plays for special anniversaries like their child's birthday. Plan an annual visit to support groups like The Compassionate Friends which unite bereaved parents. Sponsor memorial trees, park benches or bricks engraved with their child's name. Commission an artist to create a painting or sculpture memorializing their baby.

Listen

Sometimes the best gift is simply being present and listening without judgment. Don't try to find silver linings or quickly cheer them up. Becoming a safe space for them to freely share grief without expecting positivity allows healing. Saying their child's name and allowing tears is hugely comforting. Remember grief comes in waves, so periodic check-ins matter long after the loss.

While nothing can erase their anguish, these gifts communicate love and support. Offering practical help, creative keepsakes and compassionate listening eases isolation and reminds grieving parents their child remains a source of joy worth remembering. Though their world is changed forever, kindness and community make loss survivable.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it okay to give a gift to someone who lost a child?

Yes. Though gifts can't compensate for their loss, thoughtful gestures show you care and want to comfort them in a very painful time. Simple gifts like meals, self-care items or memory keepsakes are usually appreciated.

When is it appropriate to give a gift after a child's death?

It's ideal to have gifts delivered within the first two weeks after the loss when grief is most acute. Following up with periodic gifts like on holidays or the child's birthday provides ongoing support.

What should you not give someone grieving a child?

Avoid gifts focusing only on moving forward, excessive positivity or erasing grief. Also refrain from giving clothing for the deceased child, as this can deepen pain. Gifts with time limits like flowers can unintentionally communicate their grief should be brief.

How do you help someone grieving a baby or young child?

Offer practical help with meals, chores and childcare for surviving siblings. Provide comforting items like soft blankets, candles or stuffed animals. Give keepsakes like memory jewelry or donate to charity in the child's name. Mostly listen and let them freely express grief.

What do you write in a card for someone whose child died?

Express how deeply sorry you are for their loss and that you're thinking of them. Include a favorite memory or something you cherished about their child. Affirm you are available to provide any support they need. Refrain from religious platitudes or philosophical explanations for their tragedy. Keep messages simple, loving and personal.

Conclusion

Losing a beloved child is a profound tragedy no one is ever prepared for. Though grief for a child lasts a lifetime, there are many thoughtful gifts we can give grieving parents to provide love and comfort during the darkest times, as well as creating keepsakes and legacies allowing their child's light to endure. While our words often fall short, gifts from the heart communicate the message: You are not alone. Your child remains a source of joy worth remembering.


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