When loved ones suffer the unthinkable loss of a child, it can be difficult to find the right words or know exactly how to help. At times, there is nothing to be said or done other than be a present loved one. You can only show your support by reminding them that you are always here during this hard time. They need to know that they have the ear of loved one no matter how they feel each day.
These gifts honor the lost child, celebrate their life or showcase photos of their family in a loving way. You can also gift items that will encourage them to reach out to join you for coffee, dinner or an afternoon sitting and talking. Above all, recognize that there are no perfect words at this time, and your sympathy gift simply acts as a reminder of your love and friendship.
1. Plan A Dinner
Find ways to open your door to those in mourning, especially during these early months. You can include personalized family dining items like plates, runners and glasses to remind them that they’re always welcome at your home.
2. In The Stars
Registering a star in memory of their loss will give them something special to think of. Whether they believe in an afterlife or not, there will always be a piece of their family in the night sky.
3. A Night Out
It can be difficult to even think of going out after such a loss, so this doesn’t have to be grand. Do the planning for a night out to dinner and a favorite spot, like a park or movie. It can be simple and your planning will be appreciated.
4. Animal Comforts
If they’re animal people, ask them if they’re ready to adopt an animal. A dog or cat can be a great source of comfort. If they’re not, volunteering together or donating to a shelter in their name is a thoughtful gift.
5. Framed Vase
Hand paint a vase onto a medium-sized canvas and cut a several-inch slit to tuck fresh or dried flowers into the material. The faux vase can sit at the center of a photo collage of family images.
6. Solar Lantern
A solar lantern is a great addition to any garden or front pathway. It will charge during the day and emit a soft glow at night. It will be a reminder for them that there’s light even in the darkest of times.
7. Give Your Time
Whether they have a favorite charity or could just use an extra hand, your time is one of the most valuable things you can give. Help them with groceries, meal prep or volunteer with them. This is a great way to show that you’re there for them and supportive.
8. Photo Book Memories
Memorialize their child’s milestones with a one-of-a-kind photo book. Showcase important times, like the day they were born, birthdays and family vacations. It’s a special way for them to look back on their favorite times as a family.
9. Get Creative
Creativity is often looked over as a route for grief but can be incredibly helpful in processing. Schedule a class for them, whether painting or pottery. They can channel their energy into creating something in honor of their child.
10. DIY Weighted Blanket
Heavier blankets are said to relieve anxiety and insomnia in times of stress. As you sew up the quilt, add plastic or glass pellets between the panels to weigh the blanket down evenly.
11. House Sit
They likely have a lot going on, and things can get hectic quickly. If they need to travel or be away from home for long stretches, offer to take care of the house. Water the plants, check their mail and take care of any pets—your help will be invaluable.
12. Let Your Garden Grow
Do they have green thumbs? A garden is a lovely place to heal and channel energy. Gift them a set of garden tools and seeds to plant for the new season. They can tend to the space over the seasons and watch it evolve.
13. Yoga Mat
Yoga can provide the peaceful space grieving parents need to begin healing. Whether they like to sweat it out in hot yoga or prefer a gentler class, a new yoga mat can aid their practice.
14. Build A Shrine
Aid your loved ones in creating a set space in their home to honor their lost child. Include a collage of photos inside a large frame, pillar candle and a fresh set of flowers each week.
15. Meditation App
We live in a digital age, which can provide amazing resources for daily peace and reflection. A meditation app will give them an outlet in their pocket to find stillness whenever they need a moment.
16. In Their Honor
Never underestimate the power of donating in someone’s honor. If the parents have a favorite charity or their child received treatment at a local hospital, donating in honor of their child will send a positive message that you truly care.
17. Handmade Card
Layer pieces of craft paper to create a personalized card to honor your loved one’s loss. Dried flowers are a thoughtful touch during such a difficult time.
If the parents love greenery, dried eucalyptus is a cleansing and aromatic plant to have in the home. Whether in a vase or wrapped into a wreath, it’s said to bring positive energy to a space and can last for months when dried. You can also gift them a live plant to have in their yard.
Honoring the loss of a child is personal to each parents’ experience. Be a supportive pillar in their lives by gifting them with reminders that you will always be there to celebrate their life. Consider these unique gifts to honor other lost loved one’s lives as well, whether you’re honoring a parent or creating a memorial to a lost pet.