Sunday, October 12, 2008

When Children Die: What to Do. Or Say. Or Not.

A friend called today with a few questions. Her friends in Seattle lost their six month old baby yesterday. Suddenly. Inexplicably. While she was at her first day of daycare. The baby wasn't eating, wasn't feeling well....when mama arrived she saw the paramedics....it was too late. Their baby died.

My friend wanted to know...should she go? And....could she help, how could she help, should her children come too, what should she say, should she say much, and why was this causing some strange emotional clog for her, my friend?

We talked for a while on the phone; when we hung up I felt my own emotional upheaval - so sad for this family, so angry at the sudden loss of this baby girl, but gratified that I could offer any helpful words.

There is no manual for what to say, and one extremely good reason for this is that no manual would ever work for every family, every encounter.

But because I have a big mouth and am a self-appointed public service educator, I am going to go ahead and tell you what was helpful or memorable for us in the immediate aftermath of Elijah's death:

Click here to continue reading...

Gwendomama is a guest blogger on Bridges.

1 comment:

SeaStar said...

It sucks that this post is necessary - that children die - but given that they do, wise and helpful post.