Wednesday, February 15, 2012

How To "Be There" For Your Friend (who lost a child)

Katie from Katie's Keepers wrote such a beautiful post the other day that I just had to share (some most of it)...

This has been on my mind for a long time now, and it's time to step out in faith and write about it.

Sometimes I get asked, "What can I do for my friend who just lost her baby? I hurt for them so badly, but I have no idea what to do or say..."

Everyone is so different in their grief, so I'm by no means speaking for every woman. From what I've observed though there are several common themes among families who have lost children.

Of course you know your friend the best so think about what she likes or what would mean a lot to her. Make whatever you do personal and unique to her and her family.

Start a name gallery for them...

Make a meal for them one night and/or organize friends to bring them meals for a few weeks. Our church had two people deliver the meals so we didn't have to deal with seeing a lot of people. This was a wonderful thing.

Be there be there be there. Do not shy away. My friends wanted to be there for me so badly but had no clue what to do. They felt helpless, but there really is a lot you can do.

Hug, cry with them, listen, and let them say anything to you. Their emotions are everywhere and will be for a long time. You feel such loss for your friend. Tell her this.

Be there with them in their pain. It's a hard place to be but this is where they need you. Remember right now to them their lives are over. They have lost their most precious treasure. 

Music was very healing to me. I received a few Cds like Selah's "You Deliver Me" and Steven Curtis Chapman's "Beauty Will Rise." They are wonderful! I also love Kari Jobe's music. 

Several friends sent me cards with Scripture on them. I still have them up in my bedroom and use some of them as bookmarks...

I received jewelry with Reese's name or initials on it. I wear something almost every day that connects with Reese in some way. A charm necklace or a bracelet is a good idea.

Those close to me shared what the LORD was teaching them through our loss. Your friend will be seeking truth, and GOD's word is the only thing that will provide this.

Do NOT EVER EVER say, "Everything happens for a reason or good will come from this." It is not comforting to anyone and usually just shuts people down. Some things should just be left to the LORD to instill in hearts. I'm SO thankful no one said this to me. 

Do NOT say, "GOD never promised an easy life." Unfortunately people did say this to me, and all I could think was, "I never said He did." 

Let them know you will always remember her sweet babies. Did she name them? Did you see pictures? Say their names often. I know this can feel strange, but to them it isn't I promise.

Talk about how handsome/beautiful he/she was (if you saw them or pictures), and how special they are...

Affirm what wonderful parents they are to their babies.

Call, text, or email every day or every other day just to say I love you. Send a card in the mail to let them know you are thinking of them.

Remember every month the exact day their baby was born and passed away (especially the first year) and let them know you are thinking of them. Donate to something important to you in their honor.

Always be available. This was one of the most important things to me. Several people offered to go to lunch or coffee. Know your friend may not ever accept, but it's still important. Just knowing people are there gives some security.

I hope this helps! All of these things validate the precious life that is in Heaven. Follow your heart as you know your friend. They need family and friends now more than ever.

I couldn't have said it any better!!! Thanks Katie!!!

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