T.B. asks from Eau Claire, WI on November 12, 2009
E.F. answers from Omaha on November 13, 2009
I can't imagine ever having to lose a child...but I'm thinking you do things that need to get done without asking...mow/water the lawn, clean things around the house (kitchen, fridge, bathroom, etc), do his laundry, make his bed, bring groceries, unload the dishwasher, etc...just help with the basics and let him know you're there for him whenever he needs to talk , etc.
M.F. answers from Minneapolis on November 13, 2009
Just be there....If they call in the middle of the night because they felt like they are just going to lose it, be there! If you want to prepare some meals for them to freeze and warm up later, that is always a great way to show you care as well to...Be the shoulder they need...they will let you know what you can do for them....trust me, even though I have never lost any of my children, showing support and letting them know that you are always there for them is the best thing to them right now. When they hear those words they know that they can call on you if they need something. Even sending them affirmations whether it be by email or snail mail, that is something that can help them deal with things as well, I did that for my mom after my dad passed...I still do it every once in a while.
S.S. answers from Omaha on November 13, 2009
There are no words that will work in comforting your friend. I am the mom of an angel baby, and, no matter how good your intentions, words never come across right. When I work with parents of lost children, I simply place my hand on their shoulder or give them a hug. I try to use no words, other than, if you need anything, let me know. Then in a week or so, send a card- or make a call and tell them you are bringing a meal, or dessert or something.If you are close enough friends and you see he needs the dishes done- or food in the fridge, just do it, don't ask or tell him, just step up and start doing it. I know I didn't want to burden my friends, and never accepted help when it was offered. This is a very touchy time, and everyone handles grief differently. My prayers to your friend.
1 mom found this helpful
S.D. answers from St. Cloud on November 13, 2009
So sorry for the loss, it is a very sad time for all that knew the child I'm sure. Many times the family puts together a photo board of the person and their life for the funeral home visitation. Maybe you could help sort through photos with your friend as that would be a very difficult thing. Also, put together a necessity basket/bag of things that they may not want to shop for and will probably need on hand with guests showing up at their house: paper towels, kleenex, tp, paper plates, napkins, soda, juice, papercups,coffee, etc etc. Make bars/cookies etc. for them to have on hand also.
A.P. answers from El Paso on November 12, 2009
The best thing to do in any situation involving death, in my opinion, is to let them know that you are available. Not just for an emotional outlet but also to help get their mind off the situation for a bit. Go to lunch or dinner with him and do not discuss the issue unless he brings it up, and listen. Just knowing that people care means alot.
Maybe send a meal to his home instead of the typical flowers. No one wants to cook during these times. And they rarely even think of food.
I am sorry for the lose, and best of luck in such a terrible situation.
J.F. answers from Minneapolis on November 12, 2009
How sad!!! Just being around to see and do things that need to be done is very helpful. When I lost my mother everyone wrote cards and said they were there for me but I didn't really feel like calling them. I talked to the few people who were by my side and showed up to visit me.
If you don't feel like just popping in...call every day or so and offer to pick something up for him or say you'd like to come to visit and then while you are there make yourself busy. If you just show up and look at each other it will put more pressure on him to do something for you. You may even have to make an excuse of "I made too much food for my family so I'd like to swing by and drop some off."
Bless you for being a wonderful friend at such an important time.
C.D. answers from Omaha on November 13, 2009
Grieving does not stop at the funeral, if you are a really close friend besure and keep up the little things in the coming days. Call to talk, bring a dessert, go for a walk together etc. That will be the best thing you could do for her.
T.S. answers from Minneapolis on November 13, 2009
I am very sorry for his loss. My 9 yo daughter died one night unexpectedly of an enlarged heart 7 years ago while I was home alone with my 8 other children. It was a very traumatic event but we had the most wonderful help from our neighbors and friends from Church. Everything people have replied is exactly right. You didn't say if he had other children. If he does, make sure that you let them know you are there as well. Things really got difficult after about two weeks when the help dwindled and we were alone again. Keep checking, as people have said. If you want to go the extra mile, remember the anniversaries and let him know you are thinking of him on those days. I'm so glad that you are there to help him. Best wishes.
J.F. answers from Rochester on November 12, 2009
I'm so sorry for your friend! The best thing you can do is just be there. Whether he needs to vent, cry, or just be silent, knowing you and your family are there for support will mean a lot. I will keep him and his son in my prayers.
M.W. answers from St. Cloud on November 12, 2009
Definitely send meals now. Ask them what they need. Let them know you are there for them. Perhaps go to their home and just clean a bit. (Dust, mop, straighten, etc.) Nobody feels like doing maintenance things during their time of grief. If you don't know what to say give them a card letting them know if they need to talk and that you will listen.
And down the road make sure to continue remembering. They will feel alone when the one month, six month, one year, etc. anniversary of their sons' loss comes. Make sure to acknowledge it. Maybe send a note, flowers, or gift card to go out to eat at each of the anniversaries. Anything to let them know that you remember and care.