Providing Practical Assistance
Below are some additional ideas as to how to benefit the parents. You don’t need to ask the parents how to help; if you see a need, go ahead and try to fill that need.
- Help Maintain the Home. Shovel the driveway or mow the lawn. Clean the house or help with laundry and dry-cleaning.
- Go the Store. Many grieving parents find it too painful to go to the store, especially if the parents have memories of spending time at the store with their deceased child. Even if the parents didn’t spend time with their child at any particular store, many grieving parents have difficulty being surrounded by large crowds of people. Grieving parents find it difficult to believe that most people are living life “as normal,” when the unthinkable has just happened to these grieving parents. For these reasons, you could provide tremendous assistance to the parents by shopping or running other errands on their behalf.
- Send the Parents on a Trip Together. As a way of honoring the child and helping the parents, consider purchasing a scholarship to Smile Again Ministries, located in the Brainerd Lakes area. You could purchase the scholarship yourself, or purchase it along with a group of others. If the grieving parents attend a church, ask a church elder if the church might be able and willing to contribute funds towards the cost of the grief retreat to Smile Again Ministries. Alternatively, consider pooling contributions with others in order to send the grieving parents on a trip together, even if only for a weekend getaway. For married grieving parents, anything that would encourage the parents to take time to be with each other would be tremendously helpful for their marriage.
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