We Need You
Supporters help parents survive this most horrendous time in their lives, if they really know how to be supportive. If you want to help anyone, then you must be able to deal with parental bereavement in a better way. We invite you to begin to explore how to be a support to grieving parents.
People were well meaning but for some reason said the most stupid things. One thing that sticks in my mind: One lady told us: “I know exactly how you feel, the same thing happen to us when our dog died.” – Gavin Blue
Things to say or do when supporting bereaved parents
What made the most difference: dropping food at our door, taking Harry out to play… just being ok with how we were. – Gavin Blue, President of Heartfelt Australia
First and foremost bereaved parents have shared with me that supporters should not feel obligated to say anything. What some call the “Art of Presence,” being there is all that is needed.
However, should you feel compelled to say something, here are the three simplest things to say:
- I am sorry for your loss.
- I am here for you.
- I don’t know what to say, I’m at a loss for words.
Whatever you do or say, remember these things:
- Acknowledge the parents
- Listen but do not try to fix
- Encourage and give them hope
- Practice the Art of Presence.
Our blog post A Complete List of Do’s and Don’ts When Supporting Bereaved Parents offers additional suggestion that will help you acknowledge the grieving parents’ pain, journey, and responses.