22 answers

Something to Give to Family Who Just Lost Child

We just found out today that friends of ours lost their 17 yo in a tragic accident. I woud like to get the parents, as well as their remaining child, something tangible and representative of the memory of their loved one. I was thinking something for each or something for the family as a whole. Planting a tree or anything along these lines is not something we would consider as this family has a great deal of access to plant material and in truth I think that something may be done by his classmates.

This family is a great family and their son/brother was a good kid with a loving heart and much ambition for life. I cannot explain the magnitude of loss to this family (not to mention additional family and friends).
The funeral is this weekend so any suggestions would be much appreciated.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Try this: http://www.lunaslight.com/UniversalGrievingSymbol.html
Created by two Ohio sisters to remember their other sister who passed away.

More Answers

My family and recently lost our 17 yo to a drowning accident also. It is really hard trying to get over something like this. There is really nothing that anyone could give us but our son back but thats not going to happen. The only thing that keeps us are the photos and family. The main thing to give is support and prayer. Those are the 2 main things. We still have support from our family and we pray everyday. There is not one day that goes by that I don't think about him. It's hard.

I have a close friend who lost a baby at under two weeks, before I ever knew her. Her friends at work purchased a star and named it after the baby to remind her that her angel is always in heaven watching her. They also purchased a brick that is at the walk-in area in the zoo. When we are there with our kids, we will sometimes go look for it and it brings a smile to her face. Sometimes just finding something the son or the family loved together can be made into a commemorative item. I am so sorry for their loss and will be thinking of them.

So sorry for everyone's great loss! You could start a scholorship fund in his name? Best wishes!

My Mom got a nice big blanket with a picture of her sister to give to her kids when my aunt died. Just a thought. Something they will have forever.

A friend of mines father died and I went to hallmark Cards and Gifts. There I found a coin that I can't really remember what it said but something along the lines of remembering me rub this coin. I will always be there in your heart. He still carries this coin with him and thanked me over and over. It was a small jester but something that ment something to him. Good luck.

I am so sorry to hear about your friends' loss. What a terrible tragedy! Bless you for wanting to do something special for them at this devastating time.

I belong to a bereavement web site where they might find some comfort at this terribly sad time. We have another woman there who lost her 16 year old son to an accident last April, and she might be in a position to offer them help from the unique perspective of someone who truly has been there. The web address is:


They can visit the grief center and participate in live chats in the evening, or go to the Grief Support Forum and post a message. It's a lovely site, and I know a lot of people have found comfort there. they can also post a memorial to him at the site where they can update it as often as they want to, and friends will be able to post messages in their guest book.

Now, regarding a gift for them...Jim Shore makes lovely figurines, and has a number of angel figurines that might hold special meaning for them. His figurines are affordable, and of wonderful quality. I have on that my sister gave to me after the loss of a pet that brought me a lot of comfort then. Please check these links to see if something here looks like it might be a good idea for your friends:









These are lovely figurines, made of a resin material, so they are unbreakable and virtually indestructible. The quality is high, and they are a nice size to place in just about any room.

God bless that dear family. We have a lady down the road from us that makes "Memory Bears". She takes an article of clothing from the deceased and tailors it to fit a special teddy bear that she makes. this way the family always has a teddy bear wearing a replica of favorite clothing from their loved one that they can hug and cuddle when missing them the most. For the mother, a locket with her sons picture in it? This is very hard to even imagine. I pray that God will comfort them during this time and give you wisdom and strength to be there for them during this difficult time.

So sorry to hear about your friend's loss. I lost my 27 year old brother in a tragic accident almost 5 years ago and the pain and shock for my family was unbearable. One thing that my mother treasures is a quilt that my aunt made with pieces of my brother's clothing. She made one for my mom and one for his widow (only married 7 months!) We had such an outpouring of support it was amazing. We were in such shock that it was hard to function. Family and friends provided meals and cleaning and everyday things and that was truly appreciated and necessary. One thing to remember that after the funeral and everything is over and they are left with just the silence of the loss, that is when they will need you the most. One of my mom's best friends came over every Friday for months with wine and taco dip and they just hung out. That really helped her get through those first few months. My heart goes out to your friend.

Hello, C.. I'm sorry to hear of the horrible loss of your friend. What a tragic accident... especially during the holiday season. I don't know if you have any photos or access to any, but a small album would be a beautiful thing for his family to have. Hearing of this loss really makes me so blessed to have my three children, no matter what the condition! I'll be praying for your friend! God Bless!

When my father-in-law passed away we received a "comfort basket", I know there was a blanket and a candle in it but don't remember what else. You could get items that their son enjoyed and but together a basket. If he enjoyed basketball, get a basketball blanket. Anything comforting to them that reminds them of their son.
I think wind chimes and steppping stones are nice gifts also.
If you are crafty you could do a scrapbook.
We also had someone take the roses off the casket and have them dried and put into a keepsake glass container, you could also personalize this gift by putting the dried flowers into something the son enjoyed.
Good luck and God Bless!!

I'm sorry to hear about their loss.

A friend of mine also just lost her son...he was a twin.
They were born sharing the same intestins. They went through lots of surgeries all their lives.

A week before Thanksgiving Dillon got the flu and got dehydrated and as they took him into the hospital he passed out...That's when they realized his heart had stopped and they tried for an hour to revive him with no luck. (so sad)
He loved outerspace and so a group of us are going to get the family his own star named after him.

A friend of mine is handling all the details.

Do you know if he had an interest in anything specail?
If so, try to do something to do with that.
Just follow your heart and you'll choose the right thing.

Deepest Sympathy to the family!

The tree planting IS really STILL a good idea. When my sister-in-law lost their full term boy, the hospital recommended that they should plant a tree.

Does the mother have a favorite tree, bush or flower that she likes planted in the yard? When my Aunt Helen died, I recommended that they plant a lilac bush in the backyard and call it 'Mom's Garden Spot'. My Aunt Helen loved lilacs. An Angel statue would be great in the yard.

Other thoughts: 1. Have them over for a home cooked meal. It helps to bring all the family together.

2. Give them a get away package for a resort, lodge or a historic place of interest. Tell them you will watch the house or family pet in the mean time while they are gone.

It was President Kennedy who said, "It is against the laws of nature for parents to bury their young." He said that after he lost his premature son Patrick.

Keep us posted.

Try this: http://www.lunaslight.com/UniversalGrievingSymbol.html
Created by two Ohio sisters to remember their other sister who passed away.

How about a digital picture frame filled lots pictures of him from as a baby/child/teen?

I like the idea of the quilt someone mentioned. If you have any photos of him that they do not you could make a photo album for each of them. If he spent time with you and your family maybe a letter of your favorite memories of him or with him, like "My favorite memory of____ is" and give it to each of them. But i think most of all just be there for them as much as possible but also be prepared to be pushed away, that is when you can not give up but also give them their space. Offer to do every day things that they will not be able to do, go to the grocery store, clean their house. Just be there. When my mom passed away, the hardest time was after the funeral and everything was over. Check in with them the day after, see if you can help out in any way. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

I am not sure of their religion, but when my father died our cousin took flowers from the funeral and had a Rosary made from them. I am not sure where she had it done, but you could probably Google it.

Also, there was an online guest book (possibly through the funeral home in Florida)...a friend of my dad's emailed a lot of friends and family asking them to leave a memory or thought of my father...now we have a little booklet of all of those memories together. It is really nice to read it from time to time and know how highly others though of him.

I am so sorry for your friend's loss. Take care.

I know losing a parent as an adult isn't as tragic as losing a child, but when my dad passed away very unexpectedly at 62 a year ago, it was devastating to my brother, sister, and I. A lady from his work, whom we had never even met before, made a small photo album filled with pictures of my dad from golf outings and such with his coworkers and friends. It meant SO MUCH to us. I have it tucked away, and when I'm really lonely for him I get it out. It has really helped me grieve and cope.

I also loved the idea of a quilt made out of articles of his clothing...I think that would be a wonderful healing tool.

I will keep the family in my prayers. (((hugs)))

Alot of times, just simply offering your help by supplying meals, movies for a movie night, or cleaning the house is more appreciated than material things. After such a great loss, it's going to take a while for the mother especially to get back into her role. In the meantime, a helping hand would not only help her out, but would also keep up a comfortable consistency within the household.

Digital picture frames are a very meaningful gift. Kodak has some good features on theirs.

My heart and prayers go out to this family. As a mom who has also lost a child, it's heartbreaking to hear of another family suffering such a loss.
It is very sweet that you would like to offer something to commemorate this loss. With the holidays, there are a few ornaments out there that are specific to the loss of a loved one that are beautiful. Or even an angel ornament (I have many of those). If their son was treated at a hospital, you might also make a donation to the hospital in his memory. This also might work if he was involved with a charitable organization, or anything that may have been significant to him.
Above all, the most important thing you can offer your friend is your support and friendship. Just spending some time with her and offering a shoulder to cry on will mean more that anything.


If there is an organization the son belonged to - Boy Scouts, sports, music/theater, etc. - a donation in his memory would be nice. If there is any type of resources the family will be using, a donation to that organization in their son's name. You may also want to check with a family member to see if they have requested any specific donations.

So sorry for your friend's loss. What a terrible tragedy! They are so lucky to have friends like you to help them through this difficult time.

I haven't read the other posts, so sorry if this is a repeat. One of my best friends lost her husband in Iraq a year ago, and we got her one of those big engraved stones to put in her yard. Can be used with landscaping, or by a tree that someone else might give them. We had a nice saying put on it...something very nice that they can always have to remember, yet not another figurine to have to dust around.

Hope this idea helps. Good luck, and blessings to you and your friends family.

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