Read stories from others

Please read these stories from other parents, families and friends who have suffered and are surviving the physical loss of their beloved child or close loved one. This community of fellow bereaved parents, family and peers will touch your heart and remind you that you are not alone. You will survive this journey… one step at a time. Others are on this path… just a few steps ahead or behind you.

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Insights from Kristan Rojas

The people who really stand out in my memory are the ones who didn't stop checking on us. They didn't give us "space" or "time." We are going to be sad for the rest of our lives... that's probably a long, long time. When is a good time to contact the family? ASAP. It doesn't have to be a grand gesture.

Things to say: - "I'm so very sorry for your loss!" - "I'm sorry. I wish I could help you somehow." - "I love you." "I love your child." - What do you need?" etc. - "Thank you for sharing this wonderful child with us."

Don't say: - "It's for the best!" - "He was meant to go now!" - "God picked you because you're such a strong person!" - "I don't know how you do it. I couldn't do it!" - "I have to be truthful, I'm glad it wasn't me!" - "God only gives you what you can handle."

How can you help: - TALK ABOUT THEIR CHILD. SHARE MEMORIES. - Hug them. (more can be said with a hug, than with words) - Send a note saying "I love you" "I'm remembering him" etc. - Offer to take the other children (siblings) for an outing so they can be a "regular" kid for a while - Drop off a dinner that can be frozen - Give a gift certificate to a restaurant - Offer to wash their laundry, write out thank you notes, walk their dog or grocery shop for them - Offer to pickup/drop off family/friends from the airport - Drop off groceries, paper products, thank you notes, stamps - A friendly bouquet of flowers - Go through your own pictures and find photos of their child that they might not have (feels almost like a "new" memory when you receive never-before-seen pictures of him)

Things to do at Holiday Times: - Call them just to say "I love you" "We remember" on the child's birthday, Anniversary date, Mother's Day, Father's Day, the parent's birthdays, the sibling's birthdays etc. (No holiday/observance will ever be the same) - Drop off a "Secret Santa" gift at their front door to siblings on Christmas Eve. (This brings a little bit of the old Christmas excitement back for them) - Request a mass/religious observance to be held in memory of the child. - Donate to charities in his memory. - Send pure white flowers on a holiday in memory of their beloved child.

There are a thousand ways to remember, honor and "help" this family. Don't be afraid of doing the wrong thing. The wrong thing is doing nothing at all.

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