Written by Clara Hinton
We often wonder what we can do to help ease the burden and pain of child loss for our friends. We don’t feel eloquent with our words. In fact, we feel awkward talking about the loss. We don’t have hours and hours of free time to go spend with our friends who have lost a child. Yet, we have a strong desire to do something that will help ease the pain.
If I had to choose one single most important way to help, encourage, and send a message of hope to parents who have lost a child, it would be to remember the death of the child. Over and over again, the cries of hurting parents will say, “Nobody remembered!”.
Child loss is a painful journey that seems like it has nothing but harsh terrain and barren lands. Child loss is a lonely, difficult walk. “This is the time that we most need the faithful help of a friend.” (Silent Grief, page 47) The comfort of just one friend who remembers can be the singular act that was needed to light the candle of hope within a parent’s grieving heart.
We live in an extremely busy society where we hardly take the time to express tenderness within the confines of our own home, much less take the time to express love and concern to friends. However, this one act of remembering another person during his time of pain is an encouragement that reaches far beyond anything words can adequately express.
When a child dies, including death from miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, or stillbirth, mark the date of the loss on your personal calendar. Be sure to send a card to the parents that will arrive on the date of the first anniversary of their child’s death. Every “first” is of major significance to a parent, and you will be amazed at how many couples say through tears, “Nobody, not even one person, remembered!”.
The card you send does not have to contain the lines of a lengthy poem, or be filled with catchy phrases or quotes from the Bible. The pure, simple words “I am thinking of you on this day” will suffice. Often, just the two words “I care” are enough to touch the hearts of those parents who are grieving their loss, feeling so alone in their pain.
Remembering the loss is an act of compassion that will never be forgotten. I can honestly tell you that had I received even one card to say “I remember” on the anniversary of any of my six miscarriages or my stillbirth, that card would be framed and sitting in a very special place to serve as a reminder that somebody remembered, and took the time to tell me so.
You will not stir up painful memories, a common misconception, by remembering the date your friends lost their child. You will, however, touch hearts, give lasting encouragement, and lift someone’s hurting heart with hope!
By remembering the death of your friend’s child, you validate that there was a life worth remembering. That’s the greatest gift you can ever give to a grieving parent!