A couple comforting each other while putting their feet in the ocean

 

Written by Jacob Terranova

 

The month of July is known for vacations, barbecues, and Independence Day celebrations. But July also is a month to reach out to parents who have gone through the unthinkable — the loss of a child.

 

Bereaved Parents Awareness Month is meant to help us recognize and support parents who have endured tragedy. The grief a parent experiences lasts a lifetime. So what can we do to help?

 

We’ve come up with a few ideas:

 

Ideas for Support

  • If your community doesn’t have a support group for bereaved parents, consider partnering with others in the community to set one up. As a funeral director, you see all kinds of loss — use your compassion and expertise to help guide parents.
  • Remember that loss lingers. Anniversaries, birthdays, and other important dates will be hard on parents, even years after their child has passed. Organize a brunch or community dinner to celebrate the life of the deceased.
  • With recent loss, the parent’s life will be turned upside down. Set up a task force to help with everyday chores. Have someone make a grocery run, mow the lawn, or babysit other siblings.

Articles

Writing can be a powerful way to connect with others and gain insight in the event of a tragedy. Here are a few powerful articles that share the experiences of bereaved parents.

Other Resources

  • Direct bereaved families to Bereaved Parents of the USA, an organization dedicated to the support and understanding of grieving parents and families. They have chapters across the country that offer grief support as well as a large collection of other resources.
  • Get your community involved in the Angel Gown Movement. The movement repurposes donated wedding dresses to be used as burial gowns for newborns, infants, and young children.
  • There are several books that help promote understanding for bereaved parents. We’ve put together a short list of seven helpful books for parents who recently lost an infant or child.

Of course, supporting bereaved parents doesn’t have to be set aside for just a month. Use these resources and ideas to help your community year-round.

 

Are there any other resources you recommend? Share them with us in the comments!