Welcome to ~ FOR YOUR TEARS ~ If this is your first time here I would love for you to visit my first post from June 21st, 2009 THIS COMES FROM MY HEART and also my post from February 20th, 2010 SAYING GOODBYE.

Friday, April 9, 2010

WELCOME TO FOR YOUR TEARS


If you are visiting today from Just Breathe thank you for stopping over. I am very proud of my ministry here. (As of today I have sent out 190 handkerchiefs) The heart of the grieving mother is deep with sorrow. Not only does she have horrific pain from her loss but so often these woman are also suffering from the loss of their connection with their family & friends. People just don't know how to help or what to say so they tend to stay away. This is something that I would love the world to know (what you can do to help them through their grief) so today I am posting this list in hopes that I can touch the hearts of a few more people who will understand and be prepared to help the grieving parent.

The following suggestions may help you provide that support:

— Don’t try to find magic words that will take away the pain. There are not any. A hug, a touch, and a simple, “I’m so sorry,” offer real comfort and support.

— Don’t be afraid to cry. Your tears are a tribute to both child and parents. Yes, the parents may cry with you, but their tears can be a healthy release.

— Avoid saying, “I know how you feel.” It is very difficult to comprehend the depth of the loss when a child dies, and to say you do may seem presumptuous to the parents.

— Avoid using “It was God’s will” and other cliche's that attempt to minimize or explain the death. Don’t try to find something positive in the child’s death, such as, “At least you have other children.” There are no words that make it all right that their child has died.

— Listen! Let them express the anger, the questions, the pain, the disbelief, and the guilt they may be experiencing. Understand that parents often have a need to talk about their child and the circumstances of the death over and over again. It may be helpful to encourage them to talk by asking a gentle question such as, “Can you tell me about it?”

— Avoid judgments of any kind. “You should . . .” or “You shouldn't . . .” is not appropriate or helpful. Decisions and behaviors related to displaying or removing photographs, reliving the death, idealizing the child, or expressing anger, depression, or guilt may appear extreme in many cases. These behavior patterns are normal, particularly in the first years following the child’s death.

— Be aware that, for parents with religious convictions, their child’s death may raise serious questions about God’s role in this event. Do not presume to offer answers. If the parents raise the issue, it would be better to listen and allow them to explore their own feelings. They will need to arrive at an individual philosophy about this.

— Be there. Run errands, help with household chores, provide child care, and help in whatever way is needed. Don’t say, “Call me if there is anything I can do.” That call will probably never come. Be aware of what needs to be done and offer to do specific tasks.

— Give special attention to surviving children. They are hurt, confused, and often ignored. Don’t assume they are not hurting because they do not express their feelings. Many times siblings will suppress their grief to avoid adding to their parents’ pain. Talk to them and acknowledge their loss.

— Mention the name of the child who has died. Don’t fear that talking about the child will cause the parents additional pain. The opposite is usually true. Using the child’s name lets parents know that they are not alone in remembering their child.

— Be patient. Understand that grieving family members respond differently to their pain. Some verbalize, others may seem unable or unwilling to talk, some withdraw, and others strike out angrily.

— Sharing fond memories of the child through statements such as “I remember when she . . .” or “He had a wonderful gift for . . .” can be reassuring to parents and show that you appreciated their child and are aware of their sense of loss. Relate amusing anecdotes about the child. Don’t be afraid of laughter. It helps to heal the hurt.

— Remember the family on important days such as the child’s birthday and death anniversaries. Send a card, call, or visit. Let them know you remember, too.

— Gently encourage a return to outside activities. Suggest a lunch or movie as relief from the isolation of grief. If your invitation is declined, don’t give up! Ask again and again, if necessary. The third or fourth time you call may be just the day that an outing would be welcome if someone took the initiative.

— There is no standard timetable for recovery. Grief usually lasts far longer than anyone expects. Encourage bereaved families to be patient with themselves. They often hear, “Get on with your life; it’s time you got over this!” Those demands are unfair and unrealistic. When parents express concern about being tired, depressed, angry, tearful, unable to concentrate, or are unwilling to get back into life’s routines, reassure them that grief work takes time and that they may be expecting too much of themselves too soon.

— Be sensitive to the changes a bereaved family experiences. Family members will adopt new behaviors and roles as they learn to live without the child. This is a painful and lengthy process. Don’t expect your friends to be unchanged by this experience.

— Refer a grieving family to
The Compassionate Friends. Many types of support are available, both online (www.compassionatefriends.org) and through the nearly 600 TCF chapters in the United States which are ready to offer friendship, understanding, and hope to bereaved families. Call the TCF National Office toll-free at 877-969-0010 for chapter referral information and to request a no-charge customized bereavement packet.

— Continue your contact with the family. Grief does not end at the funeral or on the first anniversary. Stay in touch often, and in conversation, as easily as you would mention any other member of the family, don’t forget to mention the name of the child who died.


Other information is available at THE COMPASSIONATE FRIENDS so feel free to go over and read more.




P.S. Please email me at dpucci9972@gmail.com if you are in need of a handkerchief for yourself or someone you know. Take care and God bless.

18 comments:

ModernMom said...

Debby....such beautiful advice. I wish I had read it years ago...

Mara said...

I don't know anybody who has lost a child and I hope I never will. And you're right: all those cliché things are just wrong. I couldn't imagine having 'other children' would make the loss of another one easier!

Brandy said...

thank you for posting this. I think people struggle with how to help people with grief. but you are right there is no magic. just be there.

Headless Mom said...

You have such a beautiful heart, Debby. Love you, friend!

Colleen - the AmAzINg Mrs. B said...

You are amazing..this is the best advice ever..and who can understand or "know how you feel" when a Mother/Father looses a child..this is such a beautiful reminder..:-)

Schmutzie said...

This weblog is being featured on Five Star Friday - http://www.schmutzie.com/fivestarfriday/2010/4/9/five-star-fridays-edition-98.html

Deborah Ann said...

I had no idea you had this ministry! I think it's wonderful that God has given you a heart for these dear people. My heart goes out to them. Your advice is very helpful. Though I don't know anyone who has lost a child, I do know people who have lost a spouse. I was always afraid to bring up their lost loved one in conversation for fear it would make them more sad, but now I see that it's wrong not to talk about them, they need to for their own healing, and to know that we haven't forgotten them. Thank you!

Alexis AKA MOM said...

Debby your heart just always brings me to tears! You are the reason so many have hope to move forward. You're the best my dear, you're angel from heaven to so many!

Holly said...

Thanks Debby! I was looking for my handkerchief the other day and I cannot find it at all. I think my hubby threw it out on accident since I still had it wrapped up in tissue paper. Can you please send me another one? I can pay for it!! I'm sorry I lost it. :(

Heart2Heart said...

Debby,

These are some amazing tips and ones that I have copied for reference. You don't always know what to say or do and these are great for me to remember when I encounter those going through the grieving process.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Laura said...

I haven't been here since you changed the look of the blog- very nice- and as one of the bereaved mommies and reciever of one of your amazing handkerchiefs- THANK YOU!
Hugs-
Laura

SupahMommy said...

What a beautiful blog you have. One of the best things I've seen yet on the web. I am so glad to have connected with you . I will be posting your information on my blog this week. Your blog is beautiful
xoxo
supah

Oka said...

Supahmommy shared your link...I love the advice you offer and am sending your link to a very close friend, whose best friend lost her daughter just a few months ago.

Trennia said...

These words are so true, as I feel so left out from other's.
Either people say hurtful stuff,say nothing at all just ignore me and fact that Emily died, I'm not included in anyway,anymore like other's having babies, it's like I'm plagued and an outcast.
I hope other's read these beautiful words of yours and helps other's.

Ginny Marie said...

What wonderful suggestions! My friend's son died when he was almost three, and I remember that day so well even though it was many years ago. It was just awful. She went to Compassionate Friends for a long time, and her group really helped her though the grieving process.

Thank you for your ministry, Debby!

Pam Ponder said...

what a beautiful post and a beautiful heart you have!! these are great things for anyone to follow for anyone who is grieving, tomy knowledge I don't know anyone who has lost a child and I hope I never do, what a sad sad thing...

tour and travel said...

Hi I saw your blog. You have done a good job, I really liked your blog and very informative. I believe that many visitors will find it very useful to you

Raymonde said...

Hello Debby

I found you through Unknown Mami and I feel blessed.

I have a friend who's son recently died at the age of 36, your post is timely. Thank you.

Have a blessed Sunday. xxx
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SPECIAL REQUEST: I would sincerely appreciate it if you did not share my Ministry on Facebook or Pinterest so I can continue to mail out my handkerchief's. These audiences are just too big for my small ministry.....thank you.

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This blog is my way of sending love to women who have unbelievable heartache after the loss of their child. I will send a handkerchief to catch all their tears. Debby

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Forget-Me -Not, Oh Lord! and Pregnancy, Miscarriage & Life with Chronic Pain

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THIS PHOTO IS CALLED "A HUG IN YOUR HEART"

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