Friday, January 22, 2016

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

We've been so blessed by our family and friends.  So well taken care of.  Everyone has been so thoughtful.  We are grateful.  It grieves me what some hurting families have to endure.  I thought this list from Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep was helpful.  I chose not to post the "Things Not to Say" list because, honestly, I just can't imagine anyone I know saying those things.  Ugh.

I must admit, one of my biggest fears is that William's beautiful person will be forgotten.  He was such a great child.  It always means so much to me when someone else remembers him.  Yesterday I got a phone call from a young adult friend of his who just wanted to come by and visit his grave.  I wasn't home, but it really meant so much to me that he is still thinking of and remembering William.

The list below has been compiled from the hearts of the bereaved parents of Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. Here are some thoughts and ideas of what to say and/or do for a grieving parent and family…

  • The most helpful thing people said to my wife and me during that time was, “You’re in our prayers.” Knowing that we were in the hearts and prayers of friends, family, and even strangers, was one of the few comforts we felt.  Damon Fecitt,Aidan’s daddy
  • Please don’t avoid us. I know it’s hard to know the right words to say to me right now. But, just being there for me so I can cry on your shoulder, means more to me than you’ll ever know.
  • Please let us know that the death of our baby affected you also.
  • Please let me share my story with you. Over and over again if necessary. Sometimes, I need to keep going over the details until they seem real.
  • Please send us a card, so we know that you are thinking of us and that we are in your prayers.
  • If we have other children, please remember them, also. They are grieving, too. Offer to take them on an outing, because we still can’t face the reality that “life goes on.”
  • If you are running errands, please call to see if we need anything.
  • Please arrange for meals for our family. Something that can be frozen for later would be preferable.
  • Please remember our baby on her birthday. Mark the birthdate of the baby on your calendar so you can send a note or call. I have found that when friends call and say, “I thought of Marah today.” it makes me smile. Just to hear the name of my baby or to see it in print gave me some comfort. ~ Deb Stoner, Marah’s mommy
  • Purchase a special ornament or figurine with baby’s name on it. ~ Cheryl Haggard, Maddux’s mommy
  • If you think about giving us a call or stopping over for a visit…. don’t think about it, just do it. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve had come up to me and say, “I wanted to call you or stop by but….” ~ Tammy Becker, Chase’s mommy
  • Truthfully, one of the most memorable things I received as a gift after my son died was a gift certificate for a tree. I picked out a birch and we have it in our backyard… it is a beautiful tree that is doing well. ~ Jessi Hill, Tristan’s mommy
  • As much as you may want to comfort a family member or friend and make the tears stop, unfortunately there is nothing that can be said or done. Just being there for us, and letting us know you are thinking about us, not wanting to run away when we shed our tears truly means a lot. This is a difficult task to ask of you, but it also lets us know that you care. ~ Tammy Becker, Chase’s mommy

  • Offer to come over to throw a load of laundry in the wash, or other light duty house work.
  • Give a gift certificate to the families favorite restaurant, preferably with no expiration date, if possible.
  • Give a gift basket just for mom. Bubble bath, shower gel, stress relieving soaks, candles, etc. Or lounge clothing and a box of chocolates or other sweets.
  • Get something for the other children (if applicable) like a gift basket of age appropriate toys, coloring books, reading books or even DVD/VHS movies.
  • It always seems awkward when someone asks how many children I have and you’re not sure if you should say the living number or include those who have passed. Sometimes it is just easier to say the living number to avoid the awkward look or questions. But, then I wonder, who is it really easier for? It’s definitely not easier on me and why should I make someone else’s life “easier” when I am going through so much pain? ~Tina Denzer, Isaiah’s mommy

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