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Supporting Someone Who is Bereaved

If you are a friend or relative seeking advice about how to support someone after they have experienced the loss of a child, you may like to consider these suggestions:

  • Listen with your heart. Your presence and compassion can be healing, even if you feel like you don’t know what to say. Think of your helper role as someone who ‘walks alongside’ the grieving parent.
  • Be aware of anniversaries and significant days. They may need extra support as these days emphasise their loss.
  • Offer practical help – tasks may include cleaning, preparing meals or transport
  • Try to be uncritical and non-judgemental. There is no right way to experience grief and instructions or advice can be confusing and unhelpful.

There is no time limit for grief. Your support is needed in the months and years ahead as much as in the days and weeks immediately following the death of the child.