How to Console Someone Who Lost a Child

Updated on November 01, 2006
A.V. asks from Port Arthur, TX
21 answers

My friend just lost her 2 month old baby boy yesterday. She put him down for a nap and when she went in there to wake him up to breast feed him he had already passed away. He had blood coming out of his noise and had quit breathing. They think he died from SIDS, but they are doing an autospy on him today to make sure that was the reason. She has a seven year old daughter and a two year old daughter. Her and her husband wanted a boy so badly, they got pregnant and lost it and then they got pregnant again and it was a boy. After she had him she got herself fixed cause she was done having kids. Now her little boy is gone. She keeps saying that she should of been in the room with him the entire time that he was sleeping and my other friend, which is her sister, told her that there was no way she could of known that this was going to happen and that it wasn't her fault. She told her that there is no way you can stay right next to your child especially when you have two other children to deal with. The doctor gave her some medicine to calm her down so she can function and sleep. But I don't know what to say to her and I know that no matter what you say, nothing is going to take the pain away. I'm just so sad cause I keep thinking about one of my kids passing away and I don't think that I would beable to deal with it. The funeral is most likely going to be this Wednesday and I don't know how to act or what to say to her. I am so scared for her and I just want to keep telling her that I am so sorry. He was just so young and I don't know why things like this happens. I mean, she will never hear him say mommy or daddy and will never see him laugh or talk or walk. He will never beable to play a sport or go to school. I don't know how to deal with this. Has anyone gone through something like this or known someone who has? If so then what should I do?

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answers from Beaumont on

Pls take advice from a person who has lost a son..myself. There is nothing at all you can do, say, or anything. It is a time-healing thing. My son has been gone for almost 2 yrs in November and it stills agitates me when a person says or asks is there something they can do. The only real response is..."Give me back my child" can't. So, really all you can do, is be there for that shoulder and that ear. Just be there...

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Brownsville on

A., I know just how you are feeling, earlier this month my cousin lost her 3month old boy also to SIDS they think. i felt there was nothing i could do to ease her pain. I have lost a Son too but i had a good warning, (we knew he had a defect..) long story short. all i could tell her at the funeral was that i was so sorry for her loss. I know from experience that i wanted the world to go on just like nothing had happened, i didn't want ppl to stop bringing their kids over or to stop talking about them just because i had lost my Son. when i talked to my Cousin she said she felt the same way. My son and her son were only 3 wks apart in age so i had to ask her if she was ok with meeting him 2 days after the funeral. anyway, just ask if there's anything you can do, offer to be of some help. and don't avoid talking about her Son, (you might want to ask if she's ok with talking about him first though). I hope that helps, i'm sorry to hear of her loss, i hope she can find the strength she needs to get thru these difficult times.


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answers from Corpus Christi on

Hi ~

My heart goes out to you and your friend. :( :(

I think the best thing is just to be there for her. Offer to do any errands (if you can), help with chores, fix a meal or two for her, etc. Allow her plenty of time to grieve. Call her at least once a day unless she doesn't want you to. She will probably feel depressed, angry, guilty (although its not her fault).... be there for her as she grieves the loss of her son.

NEVER, NEVER say things such as:

* "He's in a better place now" (Although true that he is in heaven it doesn't help her pain!)
* "Be grateful for your other children"
* "Be strong for your other children"

Be very careful with giving her advice, as it might be hurtful. Check out this site just for families who have lost babies to SIDS:

You might also do some research to see if there is a local grief support group for parents who have lost children. If you live in a big city, there might be one just for parents who have lost babies to SIDS. After some time has passed you might share the info you have.

Hope this helps a little...

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I am so sorry to hear this about your friend. My heart cries out for her. I have children of my own and I couldn't imagine loosing them. My advice...Don't look for anything to say because you could end up saying something wrong. What you want to do is continue to be a shoulder for her to cry on and tell her that it is okay and it's not her fault. Let her know she is a great mother because she laid the baby down to check on the other children. If at all possible, pick your friend up, walk around a park etc. and let her cry it out. Grieving is a many step emotional process...I lost my mom and I went crazy...The first thing I did was blame myself but she was sick already...but I went thru many phases, by myself and it hurts when there is no shoulder to cry on. So, just console your friend, listen to everything she has to get out, hug her when she needs it. It will get better but the greiving phase is a natural emotion consisting of all kinds of healing emotions.
Your name is A.?! There you go!...The guardian friend of your friends heart. God Bless
Hope this was helpful.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from College Station on

This is such a tragedy. Probably the most stressful and anxiety-provoking act in human existence is the separation of a woman from her newborn infant. Your friend will no doubt experience a range of emotions. The chaos surrounding a SIDS death leaves most parents feeling that nothing in life is predictable; a SIDS death throws everything off balance. SIDS parents and family members need to be around people who will offer them support in a nonjudgmental way; they need to know that some things in their lives are permanent and there are certain people on whom they can truly depend. Just be there for her, if she will allow you. Offer to help keep her other children, run errands, organize things and prepare meals. Don't be afraid to talk about the child. Other family members, friends, or professionals can provide the sense of dependability and assurance by allowing parents both permission and ways to express their grief and talk about their confusion. SIDS parents need to talk and they need someone to listen-really listen-even if they tell their story, express their doubts and fears, and ask the same questions repeatedly. What SIDS and other bereaved parents are really saying is, "Let me tell you about my pain; let me talk about my child with you; please do call my child by name; please do not let my child be forgotten."

Friends and family members should try to do all they can to show their concern and help the parents in keeping alive memories of their baby. For most SIDS parents, it is also reassuring for others to try to mention special things they noticed about the baby and to remember the child's birthday or the anniversary of the death. By extending these personal and sensitive gestures, loving and concerned relatives, friends, and caregivers can become a source of reassurance and comfort for the grieving parents.

Many individuals do not understand the depth of parental attachment to a very young child. Bereaved SIDS parents should not be made to feel that others don't want to hear them, that others won't permit them to openly grieve. The parents of SIDS babies want their child's short life to matter not only to them, but to their families and friends, to the others in their "circle of concern," to the world.

God Bless you all and I pray for Him to lift this family up, comfort, and draw them closer to Him.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from El Paso on


I am sure that you may already know this, but the power of prayer is grand and I believe that the best thing that you can do for your friend in her time of dispair is to pray for her and her familiy.

Of course helping her keep her mind busy and away from direct focus on her loss is extremely important. Please know that you have taken part on a huge role to be a consoling friend and it is a big task to fulfill. Your name fits you well :)

I will keep your friend in my prayers as well.....



answers from Austin on

I have to say my heart aches soooo much. I have a 3 month old daughter and I had to go wake her up and make sure she was ok. I couldn't imagine losing any of my kids let alone one that I am just starting to get to know. I agree with the other woman. If you could please let me know if it was sids and also did her baby sleep on his stomach or back. I will keep her and you in my prayers. I wish you all the luck. Be strong and like the other moms just be there.



answers from Fayetteville on

My heart dropped when I read awful to have to go through the death of a child. All I can say is don't tell her that you understand, because you don't, but you can be there to listen and to support her any way she wants you to. Just offer yourself to her, and that will be enough to make her feel loved. One point of comfort for her if she is a Christian is that one day she will see him again, and he will greet her with open arms and say "Come here mom, I have been waiting for you." she may have lost a few years with him down here, which is a tragedy no one should have to go through....but she will get to spend a perfect eternity with him in the most beautiful place ever.


answers from College Station on

When my mom passed on, people weren't sure what to say to me. But I found that when they DID say something about my mom, whether is was in memory of her (things she used to do or say) or just that they will miss her, anything, I just felt better. I think the instinct is to NOT mention the person who has passed, but for me, it was a comfort, even in those first raw days and months. What a sad, sad thing your friend has to experience this. She will grieve as long as it takes.



answers from Baton Rouge on

Unfortunately there is NOTHING you could possibly say to ease her pain. Just hold her, cry with her and be there. Don't ask what you can do... just do! I have three daughters.. and if something happened to one of them... my biggest issue would be how to help them deal with the pain without forgetting about myself and my husband. And I know that when I'm in need... I hate it when people ask me what they can do for me. I want them to just know what to do.
Also, don't forget the Daddy. They don't always show their pain and they don't know how to deal with it. They feel like they have to be strong for everyone else.
My prayers are with your friend and her family!



answers from San Antonio on

I have a friend whose wife died after 30 years of being married. It's not the same as losing a kid but here's the thing his friend did for him:

He called him EVERY DAY FOR THREE YEARS at 6 a.m. to pray with him. My friend said it saved him. After three years my friend told him he was ready to stop the daily devotionals and thanked him for his unfaltering love.

During that time, my friend even met another woman and got engaged. But he still needed the support and prayer. Even if your friend is not particularly religious, the friendship gesture might get her through this unimaginably tough time.

I will pray for peace and healing for all of you.




answers from Anchorage on

I agree with Lori. All you can do is be there for her and her family. Bring her food and offer to run errands, help clean, etc. My friend lost a baby to SIDS a couple years ago and it was devastating. Remember, it may take a very long time for her to grieve. And by long time it may be years before she is "over it". I don't think you truly ever get over the death of a child, but it will become easier for her in time. The important thing is not to push her to talk or move on. Just be there for her. My prayers go out to you and your friend and her family.



answers from San Antonio on

I would call her, or leave her a message on her machine, and just simply say that you wanted her to know you are there for her should she need ANYTHING. At the funeral, I would tell her to call me if there is ANYTHING I can do, including listening, or sitting with her and doing nothing but crying. Not feeling all alone really will help her at this time.



answers from Houston on

Hi A., my heart goes out to you as well as your friend. A hug and a I'm here if u need me means so much at this time. hey, facts are she will never hear him say mom, play ball or even go to school. But she can remember his smell, holding him in her arms breast feeding is such a bonding time its as if your child as they are sucking look into your eyes directly to your soul and her little A. saw her soul. my prayers will be with you as well as her doing this difficult time. PS after a few weeks outdoors, malls and the gym might not be a bad idea. be blessed



answers from Corpus Christi on

Hello A., I have a cousin of mine who went through the same thing. She so wanted a little girl she already had two boys and her little girl was 3 months old and passed away 5days before christmas in her sleep too...go figure that pain. Then like they say when it rains it pours...her husband died 2 months later...She is doing ok now, its been a few years now, and her and the boys still celebrate their bdays each year. Now on what to say, that's very very hard cuz all you see is pain in their eyes. All you can do at this point is let her know that she's in your prayers and let her know that you're there for her no matter what.



answers from San Antonio on

I have never lost a child, but my aunt did. My aunt and uncle tried for 17 years to have a child and when they finally did, the baby passed away the same day he was born because of complicaitons with breathing. Everything was going well, no one knew this would happen, but it just did. I was only 14, but I have never felt so sad to hold that child in my arms and watch my aunt fall apart. I never said anything, I couldn't stand up...I just hugged my aunt and cried. I cried hard and for a long time. When we were at home and the burial was over, my aunt was very mad and I was mad too. It wasn't fair and my aunt thought the same thing, so we sat in her bedroom pissed as hell yelling, crying, and just hugging. I was so young, but my aunt said I made a difference during that time because everyone just kept saying they were sorry or how bad things just happen. But I was so excited and my cousin was just taken from me in moments, without warning and I was just as upset as my aunt and uncle. Like most of the ladies here say, you should just be there with her and vent with her, cry with her and just hold her. She is never going to get over it. My aunt had two other children much later on, but we still go to the grave site and she cries, gets mad and hugs me. I have three children of my own now and I have always been scared that something will happen to them, I have never gotten over the lost of my little cousin. It is always there, but my aunt and I can talk about it whenever she needs to. Just be there for her, words can not help as much as a shoulder to cry on or arms to hug.



answers from Lafayette on

Hi, A.,
I am new to this site. But I am not new to losing a child. I lost my daughter in April of 2005. So I know the lost your friend is feeling. The best thing to do is to just be there for a shoulder to cry on even if you break down. Just be the best friend you can. Believe me there are no words that can help, just having all my family and friends there for me was great. My family doesn't always get along, but they all go along so great for me. They were all in one place just to make sure I had plenty of shoulders to cry on. Just show up and tell your friend you love him/her, and you are there for them, if they need a shoulder to lean on. I promise, anything else you say won't ease the pain. Everyone meant well when they told me it was all for a reason, and she is in a better place, and so on and so on, but at the time I really didn't want to hear that I just wanted to cry and cry and just let people know how I felt at the time. It tore me apart. But the comfort of having somewhere there to hear me and hold me, was really helpful. I hope this helps you. God bless and I will keep your friend and they're family in my prayers.



answers from Houston on

Dear A., How tragic :-( I've not lost a child, but could have easily as my twins were born 15 weeks early; therefore, I am familiar with catastophic events. I'm sorry to hear of your friend's loss and the pain you feel for her. My only suggestion is: Let your friend grieve over her loss, let her feel her feelings, and let her cry it out. You are her friend and the best thing you can do is 'just be there for her'. Even if you don't say anything, 'just be there'. Hold her and love her. She will probably want to be alone at times and thats ok. Don't let this become a habit or she will go into depression. For a short period, help her with her other two children by taking them to school or babysit so she can grieve, but don't make this a habit either. Your friend will eventually need to stay active with regular routine (even if she doesn't feel like it). She will need to stay on track to keep from going into deep depression. Gosh! I wish there was something I could do. I'm so sorry for this loss. God Bless! Please let your friend know I will pray for her and her entire family and you A. (her friend). With Love....



answers from San Antonio on

I can't think about how I would handle that situation. My mind just won't let me go there. However; my boss lost her son to sids and has created a website on how to handle someone else's loss and it also would be a good site to share with your friend. I think it is good for you because it tells you how to respond to her without avoiding because that can make it worse. Also, it is good for you friend because it lists things that have to be done immediately that she might not be thinking about during her grief, but that she will be glad she did later. You'll understand better when you go to the site. Good luck. The site is



answers from Fort Smith on

My heart is broke a little when I read your story. This is so sad. I have three kids and couldn't imagine losing one.
I think the best thing to say is nothing at all. I don't think there is one word that could make a grieving mother feel better. She will need her time to grieve the loss of her son and that will just take time. Be patient and kind. Be there for her with lots of hugs if she wants them. My best friend from high school lost her mom when we were seniors and she said the best thing she recieved from anyone was the long silent hug she got from me. Just let her know that anything she needs will be taken care of for her while she is going through this time. Let her scream, yell, cry, or any other thing she needs to do and just let her know you are there.
So sorry to hear about this. I will be praying for you and your friend and family.



answers from Shreveport on

I lost a child and she is going to be numb for a while and when she does feel better to go out and about, she wont be able to see a stroller or baby without going into a mini depression, just let her know that you are there for her.

Love her as much as you can, but most of all, let her vent to you, and you will get sick of hearing about it, but just condition yourself now, so she can talk about the child, if she doesnt she will more than likely go into a deep depression.
Its very hard, its not so much what you say, but how you listen. Help her with meals for her other children, or better yet, go over there and yall cook together so you can have her doing something constructive. Remind her about being strong for the other children, but in a kind way.

D. in Louisiana

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