10 Ways to Honor Your Friend’s Child that Died this October

Do you have a friend whose baby died? Maybe she took a healthy baby home and months later her son died tragically of SIDS. Or maybe he never got to meet his baby awake outside of the womb because his daughter was stillborn. Maybe you have a friend who suffered a miscarriage more than once but once is enough pain to endure. Maybe you have a friend whose toddler, school age, or teenager tragically died.

If you do know someone who has been shaken to their core by the loss of their child, no matter what age, please take a moment and honor your friend and her or his child by remembering them this October for Pregnancy, Infant, and Child Loss Awareness Month.
I know, right now you might be saying to yourself, “Okay, yeah I have a bereaved parent friend and I want to help honor their child’s memory but I just don’t know what to do.”

Fair enough; that is why I’m here to help. As a bereaved mom whose child died two years ago, I have come up with some ideas I would love if a friend did for me. I am sharing them with you in hopes that you will reach out to your bereaved parent friend and let them know that you are thinking of them and always remembering their precious child this October.

1. Light a Candle for them. October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day (I like to include ALL children no matter what their age) and is recognized around the world and you are invited to participate. The remembrance ceremony can take place in your own home. It’s that easy. All you have to do is light a candle at 7 p.m. your local time and leave it burning for an hour. Doing this in honor of your friend’s child contributes to the wave of light that is created by others doing the same in their time zone on October 15th in remembrance of all children who left us too soon.

wave of light

2. Say their child’s name.  When you grab that cup of coffee with your bereaved parent friend or you pass them at work, take a moment and say their child’s name in your conversations. It doesn’t have to be formal, maybe just in passing, bring their child’s name up if it seems appropriate. For example if you are at their house and see a picture of your friend and their child make note of it and say, “I love that picture of you and Susie.” Or if it doesn’t come up easily then just say, “I heard it’s Pregnancy, Infant, and Child Loss Awareness month and wanted to let you know I was thinking of Johnny.”

3. Send a card. You know that section in the store where the cards are that says, “Thinking of You.”? That would be perfect sentiment to send during the month of October to remind them that you remember their child this month and always. I’m sure it would brighten their day. As a bereaved mom, every card I still receive from family and friends that acknowledges my child and my pain as a grieving mother is almost like a hug in the mail from my daughter. I see it as my little girl working through you to get to me. Maybe your friend will feel the same way, and that is powerful stuff. Oh if you need a special card for a bereaved parent then check out this card line on Red Bubble.

Photo Credit - Red Bubble
Photo Credit – Red Bubble – Franchesca Cox

4. Call up your friend and just say, “I wanted to let you know I’ve been thinking of you and wanted to tell you this October during Pregnancy, Infant, and Child Loss Awareness month about how I think of your child often.” You could also go on to ask if there was anything they might need from you or like for you to do with them in remembrance this October.

5. Do a RAOK (Random Act of Kindness) in their child’s name. What better way to show that your friend’s child’s life has impacted others than by continuing to do things in his/her name?  The MISS Foundation started The Kindness Project and this idea of remembering our children though random acts of love. So this October, do a RAOK. Maybe buy a cup a coffee for the guy in line behind you with a note that it’s in remembrance of your friend’s baby that died or let the mom in line at the grocery store go ahead of you and tell them all about how Timmy, your friend’s child would have done the same. Be creative, the possibilities are endless and you will do it all in your friend’s child’s name. Don’t forget to let your friend know. It might just bring a tear of joy to their eye.

Kindness Matters
http://www.naturallife.com/kindness-matters-car-magnet

 

6. Participate in a Remembrance Walk with them. There are so many out there during the month of October. As a bereaved mom I find remembrance walks to be powerful experiences. It’s just so moving when your family and friends come out to support you and honor your child that you are missing. I know this might sound weird to the non-bereaved parent, but for those few hours, during that one time of year, when my feet pound that 5k course, I get to really “be” my child’s mom that day. People acknowledge me as “Nora’s Mom” and I get to publicly parent her in ways I never will get to in life. Now wouldn’t that be a good gift to give a friend this October. To find one near you click on this link at Remembering Our Babies October 15th.

7. Stop in for a visit and spend time with your friend. Don’t forget to mention why you are there. Maybe bring over some baked goods or a meal to share. We bring over food in the early days of grief and mourning after a loved one dies, I think a nice batch of cookies would be just as helpful years down the road too.

8. Invite your friend to a remembrance service or ask if you can go with him or her to one they might be attending. See if there is a remembrance ceremony being held in your neighborhood and ask your friend if they would like to come along. It would be a wonderful gesture and if you are uncomfortable bringing up the topic of their child that died it’s a nice way of segueing into the conversation.

9. Send an, “I remember with you” note through e-mail or as a Facebook status. Want to acknowledge your friend’s child this month but don’t know how to say it. Then send an e-mail, private message, or leave a note on their Facebook wall. Better yet, post something on their Facebook or yours publicly saying, “I remember your child with you” this October. Not sure if you could do it? Okay, here. I’ll help you out. You are more than welcome to share this meme below.

I remember with you meme

10. Donate an item to a child in need and in the name of their child that died. Something that bereaved parents often do around the holidays, their child’s birthday, or the anniversary of their child’s death is to donate a gift in their child’s name to a child in need that is around the same age their child would have been or was when they died. It’s a nice way to give back to others who need a helping hand while also remembering the child that is no longer with us. Maybe you could do this as a special gesture this month as a way to honor your friend’s child. It just might make them smile.

 

Whatever you end up deciding to do in honor of your friend’s child that died this month, remember even though it may seem like a small gesture to you it just might mean the world to your friend.




  • 12 Comments

    • lenora

      October 7, 2015 at 1:21 am

      My baby was actually born on October 15 2014 and she died October 21 2014 I wear my pink and blue ribbon in her honor this month Gabrielle MyLisa Ann Young I’ll love you for a lifetime rest easy My Love

    • Ashley

      November 3, 2015 at 11:01 pm

      Thank you so much for this. My best friend just lost her child a month ago. I want to be there for her now and forever and this info is so helpful. I have a question for you. I guess i wonder how much is too much caring. This has been so hard for me, i think about her every day and it hurts to think how much pain she is in. And all i want to do is send her some type of love every day. I realize i probably shouldn’t do that, so i have been trying to do a weekly contact. What would be your advice? What is appropriate?

    • Christine

      December 22, 2015 at 5:47 pm

      I am trying to think of ideas to do annually in remembrance of my son Caeden which I lost when I was six months pregnant. He survived for about an hour and we miss him terribly. He is my only son. We have not been able to conceive again as of yet. We would like to do something to say add to every year too or etc. Any ideas would be appreciated. Thank you!

    • Alex

      February 4, 2016 at 1:42 am

      Hi there, I recently lost my baby boy to SIDS and have been browsing some stuff online. I was wondering…is it normal that I actually hate it when people ask how I am and if someone mentioned my baby’s name in conversation I would feel resentful?! Everywhere I read it is advised that people not be afraid of saying the child’s name, but my advice would be the opposite! Don’t bring it up unless I do. I just want people to treat me the same. I save my grief for when I’m alone or with my husband. If I’m having a good day and I get a text saying ‘thinking of you’ it just forces me into a place I wasn’t ready to be in. I know it must be so hard to help a bereaved friend, you can’t win! But as a private person who has a wide social circle, I’ve found people (in their sincerity and kindness) have often overstepped their boundaries and made assumptions I want to talk to them about how I’m feeling. An obvious change of conversation tends to work, but it is exhausting. What I really appreciate are invitations to social events, especially if I’m made aware it’s totally fine if I’m not up for it – from a small dinner party to a concert or even just a bottle of wine around a friends house.

    • Victoria Howard

      October 4, 2016 at 7:20 pm

      My son AJ would have been 17 years old on Oct. 15th this year. My AJ died May 21, 2016 and this has been like hell on earth for my husband and I. We plan to be at graveside at 11:24am the time of his birth with family and friends, to remember our wonderful son. I believe we are releasing ballons for him also. We are also doing a random act of kindness day on behalf of AJ. Im hoping that every year on his birthday we can continue do a random act of kindness and to never forget how wonderful our son AJ is and was.

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    • Nadalie

      November 17, 2016 at 11:12 am

      Do u have any more ideas I don’t have a friend who lost a baby but I lost mine when he was 15 days old this month on the 23 he would be 6 months and I just want to do a little something for his 6 months but I’m not sure what todo other than light a candle and have 15 blue bloons be released

    • K

      February 26, 2017 at 1:06 am

      While I think these things are meant to be kind, for some of us it is not helpful. I am the only survivor of a house fire. I actually caught on fire trying to rescue my children about 20 years ago. I would be extremely offended if someone were to send me cards or bring up the subject. What I have always asked (from those who know) is to allow me privacy.

      1. Sands

        February 28, 2017 at 2:29 pm

        I hear you K. It breaks my heart and I start sobbing if anyone mentions my daughter. She died of an aneurysm exactly 4 years ago today.

      2. Phyllis

        November 5, 2017 at 1:40 am

        God bless I am so sorry to hear this wish I could wrap my arms around u and make it all go away but I will definitely keep u in pray may God continue to strengthen ur heart and mind that the loving memories outweigh the bag be blessed

    • Karen Doherty

      October 22, 2017 at 1:28 pm

      I lost my son 8 months ago. His birthday is in 2 days, October 24. He would have been 21. My heart is in pieces. We have no family or friends nearby, as we moved to Colorado from Maryland for my husband’s job. Tuesday is going to be beyond difficult.

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