Even if you have a loved one who has experienced the loss of a child, you may not know that July is Bereaved Parents Months. In the loss community there will be opportunities for bereaved parents to share and connect with other parents of loss. But what you might notice is that even with all of these extra resources and support, your loved one is needing you more than ever. Because no matter the age of the child, it is agony for their parent to be living life without them.
Like everything that grief touches, months like Bereaved Parents Month can be daunting. Yes, there are incredible resources and events planned to support those who have experienced loss, but inside every one of these events lays the reminder that our children are gone. If we had a choice, we would rather not be celebrating this month. We wish it wasn’t necessary to raise awareness about such a devastating issue.
But, here we are. Yes, months like this are important but the truth is we need the support of our loved ones every day. So let this month be one of many where you reach out to the grieving parents in your life.
Here’s what you can do to support your friend, family member, or co-worker as they navigate Bereaved Parents Month:
- Say their child’s name. No matter how you do it, saying or writing the name of their child will mean so much to them.
- Donate to an organization like MISS Foundation or The Compassionate Friends. These organizations exist to support grieving families after the death of a child. (If the parent you know is passionate about a certain cause or organization, then consider donating there.)
- Share an article about grief or child loss.
- Check in with your friend. Ask if they are doing anything to participate in this month. Let them know you remember their child.
- Invite them to do something. They may not feel up to it, but it will mean the world that you asked.
- Engage with them when they share on social media. Like or comment on the posts they share related to their grief or their child.
- Perform a Random Act of Kindness in their child’s name.
- Do something kind for THEM. A cup of coffee. A little note. A piece of chocolate. Just a little something to let them know they are loved.
Ask them what they need. They may say they’re fine. They may say they don’t need anything. That’s okay. You asked. You let them know that you are thinking of them. That is probably what they needed most.