The death of a child is ALWAYS traumatic. No parent ever dreams of the day when they will have to bury their own child. Our culture deems that we as children will eventually have to plan the funerals for our parents. Never, do we expect to purchase a miniature casket.
What happens when you friend loses a child? Being there for them, emotionally, can be so very difficult. You don’t know what to say or how to act. Do you mention the child, or do you avoid the issue?
A dear friend of mine lost her son and began the J.O.S.H. Foundation (Joining Others Seeking Healing) to be able to help families with the horrible tragic loss of a child. One of the projects completed by the J.O.S.H. Foundation was an Angel of Hope Memorial Garden in Eldersburg, MD. The memorial garden is a place where parents and family members can go to grieve. The actual Angel of Hope was born from the book The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans (who does a great deal of philanthropic work) and is one of over 100 Angel of Hope memorial gardens in the US dedicated to children.
When talking to my friend, years after the tragic event, one of the things she said to me, that has really stuck through the years, is that she so very much appreciates when her friends send a card to her on the anniversary of her son’s death. No matter how many years go by, she relives the crisis on that day…just knowing that her friends and family members are thinking of her gives her a great deal of comfort.
However, not everyone would appreciate the reminder each year. One thing we know for sure is that all people are different. Below is a presentation of some very basic do’s and don’ts for how you CAN help.