It’s not hard to tell someone to be there for their grieving mother, but what do you do when they ask how? When a loved one loses a child, the grieving process can seem impossible to navigate, particularly if you haven’t had your own children or have never lost anyone close to you. It can be tough to know what to say and what not to say, how to help, and how much support to offer during the grieving process. While we all grieve differently, there are some things that grieving mothers need from those around them during this difficult time.
Let her know you're there for her. If she doesn't want to talk about it, respect that but let her know you're available if she needs to vent. Encourage her to seek out grief counseling or at least join a support group that can help her learn from others who have been through similar situations. From time to time, bring up memories of your loved one and share them with your friend; don't feel like every conversation has to be on message. Talking about things that happened between you and your loved one before their death is often a comfort rather than an insult, even if those memories are somewhat bittersweet. And remember that there are no right or wrong ways to grieve; everyone deals with loss differently so don't judge how she chooses to deal with hers!
What’s Appropriate? If you're still not sure what to give someone going through grief, here are some basic guidelines. While every situation is different, there are some general things to keep in mind when giving gifts to grieving mothers. Chances are, she will want to be alone for a while after her child's death and won't necessarily feel like receiving gifts. However, it can be kind of nice if friends and family reach out with their presence and love instead of material items during those first few weeks or months after losing a child. It's also good to know that what works for one person doesn't necessarily work for another. Gifts such as flowers, these bereaved mother gifts from Laurelbox, laser-engraved photos of their child, personalized memorial stone, engraved memorial keepsake such as a jewelry box, glass candle holder, or personalized frame are all appropriate gifts that she can hold dear to her heart.
The best way to support her emotionally is to let her grieve on her own terms. That doesn’t mean you should avoid asking about or discussing her feelings about losing someone close to her. It just means that instead of lecturing, preaching, or trying to fix things, try being there for her as she goes through each step of grieving and how she expresses that grief. Give her space when she wants it and comfort when she needs it. It may be helpful to have some grief 101 literature around—but if she doesn’t ask for help understanding what’s happening, don’t bring it up uninvited.
If you want to ease your loved one’s pain, try treating her with compassion and understanding. Most importantly, be patient and give her time. With these loving gestures, she can start healing.