What to Do for a Friend Whose Child Passed Away-would Have Been His Senior Year

Updated on May 11, 2010
J.A. asks from Richardson, TX
13 answers

I have a friend who lost her child two years ago. He would have been a senior in high school this year and with the current flurry of senior activities, she is really struggling right now. I'd like to do something for her and I don't know what...I know nothing eases the pain...any ideas?

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So What Happened?

Thank you to all of you who took the time out of your day to help me with this. That, alone, blows my mind! You all had amazing ideas and after contacting the school and getting a very pat, disappointing answer from the administration, I redirected based on some of your suggestions. My friend works at an elementary school and preliminary plans are in place now to purchase a tree to plant directly across from the school, where she can be reminded daily of his life and hopefully, the timing will also let her know that he is remembered and not forgotten. I so appreciate all of your ideas....nothing is good enough but this feels right.

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answers from Dallas on

I have heard people advise others to try to include the parent in an activity that lets them know that their child is still remembered. Maybe help in selecting clothing for her son's best friend, maybe even have friends do some sort of memorial thing -- such as all wear a certain color flower in rememerance of her son-- or add I stem of a certain flower to the flowers the kids will be wearing. Just a thought, J

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answers from Austin on

Find some way to have or do something "in memorium" that involves his school/senior class. It could be an event/fundraiser/scholarship, etc. You would be amazed how the students will embrace the cause, remember they also had attachments to him. Our community recently lost a senior to an accident, and the whole town has rallied around his family & spirit. The support of his peers may help the mother, as she will get to see how his life affected others. :)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Bring him up often - one of the things that parents that have lost a child fear is that their son/daughter is going to be forgotten. I lost my brother when he was 22 years old and my parents actually lost friends because those people didn't know what to say or how to respond and they simply found it easier to walk away than to figure out how to support them. You are right - nothing eases the pain - nothing fills the void. Just knowing that she has a supportive friend that isn't going to run out the door when the tears start truly will help even if you feel as though you aren't doing enough. As the previous post stated - some sort of memorial would be wonderful. It would give her an avenue to really find out ways that her son's life affected others. My brother didn't have any insurance and some of his friends did a benefit to help us pay for the costs of his funeral, etc. During that time his friends came forth with stories, both funny and endearing that we had never heard before. It was amazing. Good luck and bless you for standing by your friend!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

Hi J.,
I think it would be really nice to plant a tree and have a plague made stating his name for his high school. Organize his classmates, family and teachers and have everyone join together to say a few words. You could have a bench or picnic table and flowers for the area (if school will allow) so that it is a space to be used not just walked by. You could call a local nursery to see about a discount or donation then have a small luncheon or "memory hour".
Best Wishes!



answers from Lubbock on

well J. I've never been in that position or niether of my friends have been but I've read & known of other people making themselves feel better & learning 2 cope w/it by actually getting involved in those activities that her son would have been in. For example becoming a volunteer, because that's what their child would want them 2 do if he was still here physically. Because it's also somethin to keep busy and free the mind of any other stressful things goin on in your friends life. I don't know maybe you could suggest that to her and also encourage her by volunteering w/her. That will also let her know that she is not alone.



answers from Fort Wayne on

Could you see how she'd feel about having some type of memorial for him at one of her child's close friend's house who is graduating this year? It may help for her to see that his memory is being celebrated along with the other seniors. She could even have one on her own, but with as busy as that weekend gets, if kids end up not showing up like she'd be hoping, it may make her feel worse.


answers from Cincinnati on

Ask her to lunch, then take her to get a pedicure or such. Something that will keep her relaxed and take time out for herself. Start a conversation about planning something like a memorial stone, tree, flower bed, Etc. She what she's up for. Suggest that she attend the graduation ceremony, and release a balloon for her son. Offer to go with her to support her, and afterwards have her over for dinner with your family and talk about her son, and what that day would have meant for their family. Does she have other children, or was he an only child? Involve them in a memorial.



answers from Dallas on

Maybe you can offer her information on becoming a CASA? Court Appointed Special Advocates can be the only constant in a slew of chaos a young person can encounter when he or she is placed into the foster care system. There are lots of good kids (babies up to age 18) in the program that could use her help, and, while nothing will replace her own child, she might be able to channel her mothering energy, really make a difference in another's life, and provide some warm fuzzies to her hurting heart. ?? One of only two training sessions per year for the Rockwall/Kaufman counties begins in the beginning of June, so she'd need to get in her application soon. I'm not sure about her area, but it's a national organization. ??



answers from Dallas on

Take her to a concert the child would have attended and injoyed as a senior. Think young!



answers from Dallas on

All very nice suggestions but the biggest aid to someone who has lost a child is a friend, you, who is willing to listen and share. Remind her that there is someone else she can talk to at any time Ps 55.22 and remind her of his promises John 5.28. Talk about that promise when she will see her son again and help her visualize how that time will be - give her hope. Give her faith. Make it real in her mind. It will give her peace.



answers from Dallas on

I like the ideas for a memorial such as a tree or schlorship but another suggestion that might give the mother as well as the whole family comfort is a Voicequilt. I will include their website so you can read about this fabulous company.



answers from Dallas on

You have many great suggestions. I just want to tell you that I think you are a blessing to your friend. They always say a person has all the support they need at the funeral and then everyone fades away and gets on with their lives. I'm sure it will mean a lot to her to know you still care and think about her son.
God bless you both on this Mother's day weekend and at graduation.


answers from Austin on

My stepmothers only child (daughter) was killed in a tragic accident her freshman year in college. There have been been many ways to memorialize her. There is a a band scholarship given out each year, there was a tree planted in her daughters honor on the school grounds and then a bench to go under the tree was also dedicated.

I agree the best thing to do is share her memories. If she has put together a scrapbook or scrapbooks ask if she is willing to share them. She will really appreciate a chance to talk about her son and know that others also enjoy remembering him. She may cry or get teary, but that is ok.. Do not be afraid to bring up his memories.

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