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How best to help friends

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#1 Bearynice

Posted 01 February 2020 - 06:53 PM

Our friends had a baby who was recently born sleeping. Dh went to visit hospital and met bub.

Just looking for guidance about how we can support the parents in a practical and supportive way ( or anything we shouldn’t do)

I know there are similar threads in here... but looking for updated information

#2 IamOzgirl

Posted 01 February 2020 - 07:01 PM

Just be there.

Check in regularly. There is a great resource ‘still standing magazine’

I love the saying “have the courage to sit with me in my grief”

I’m here if your friend needs someone. It took me a while but one day your friend will want to connect with others.

When that day comes please PM me.

#3 LouLou86

Posted 01 February 2020 - 07:32 PM

Yes agree with the above poster, just be there. I also think it’s important to acknowledge the baby - use its name - and try and gauge if she wants to talk about it.

I know for myself I preferred people acknowledging what had happened, using my twins names rather than tip toeing around and ignoring/forgetting them.

Also, continue to check on. For the first few weeks she will have lots of support with ppl calling, visiting , sending flower etc but it will stop, while her grief will continue. Just a simple text now and then’hkw are you doing’ will help.

Also remembering the babies birthday, acknowledging how she might be feeling around the due date and first Xmas as well. Pending where you live there are some great support organisations she can use if needed.

You’re a great friend already checking to se how you can help x

#4 Bearynice

Posted 01 February 2020 - 08:25 PM

Thanks for the responses so far. I really appreciate the help.

#5 IamOzgirl

Posted 01 February 2020 - 09:20 PM

Yes, use the child's name.

And honestly just never forgetting.

This past Christmas, my second without my son, my sister told me to get over it, move on.

Just never day that. Or even imply it.

Your husband has done an amazing thing by meeting their child.

In the future you acknowledging that "I wish I had meet them" will go a huge way.

#6 just roses

Posted 01 February 2020 - 09:42 PM

I am so sorry for your friends.

Put the dates in your diary - date of birth and even due date if relevant. And transfer it to your new diary every year so you never forget to call/send a card etc.

It's now 11 years since my friends' baby was born sleeping and I'm not in close contact with them anymore. But I text on their daughter's birthday every year and I know they appreciate that.

I remember seeing them for the first time other than at the funeral, about six months after she died (we lived 2 hours away) and I had been trying so hard not to cry but couldn't not cry. I was apologising for not having the right words or knowing what to say, and my friend said something like 'there's nothing you can say that could make this pain hurt any more or less, but I appreciate you just being here'.

Edited by just roses, 01 February 2020 - 09:43 PM.

#7 Hands Up

Posted 01 February 2020 - 09:51 PM

My niece died soon after she was born. A lot of people didn’t know what to say to her parents (or the rest of us). Just say something. Acknowledge the baby by his/her name whenever you can. Say you are sorry. Saying something awkward on a regular basis is so much better than saying nothing.

#8 IamOzgirl

Posted 02 February 2020 - 06:28 PM

This is a good read. They are a good resource


#9 3babygirls

Posted 02 February 2020 - 07:22 PM

A family member lost multiples and was given matching Christmas baubles with their names on them. It had a note with it, and I can't remember exactly what it said but something along the lines of the little shining lights watching over the family..

#10 Tinky Winky Woo

Posted 02 February 2020 - 07:39 PM

Even order her a home food delivery or food shop.  Going out and seeing all the other people with little babies at the start could be confronting.  Don't forget her partner has also suffered as well and if they have other kids.

#11 IamOzgirl

Posted 02 February 2020 - 07:42 PM

Tiny, the worst for me was going out at first. It's been over a year for me and I still wonder what a few of my neighbours think of me being heavily pregnant to nothing.

The supermarket as well. To blocks from my house. Watched my belly grow and disappear and no baby to show for it...

#12 Bearynice

Posted 02 February 2020 - 08:24 PM

Thanks for the helpful responses. Please don’t quote as I may edit later...
But the dad works with DH ( hence why he was invited to visit and not I, as I have never met the parents)
so we are checking in on the dad regularly.

We plan to drop some meals and snacks for them in next couple of days.

#13 JBH

Posted 03 February 2020 - 11:49 AM

I’ll be indirect here as you’ve requested no quotes, but the thing my friend in a similar situation at work hated was when he was left out of conversations in which he could have participated. For example, it’s emerged that someone has an unusual middle name so it’s started a conversation about middle names and person A ways to person B “how did you choose Mia’s middle name?” And so on, but no one asks how he chose his child’s middle name. Either they act like he has never named a child, or even worse they go silent and stop talking about children altogether, even though it’s clear they were. He’d like the opportunity to talk about his child’s middle name, because that is a part of parenting he has had the opportunity to be involved in. Similar if people are discussing experiences of a partner’s pregnancy etc. He says it’s not a painful reminder of his child, because he never forgets his child. It’s much worse to be involved in a conversation about children in which it is expected he couldn’t participate. But I acknowledge it might not be like that for everyone.

#14 rowd

Posted 03 February 2020 - 12:19 PM

Remembering dates is a really big one. Put a calendar reminder in your phone and text them each month to say you're thinking of them on "the date". Say their child's name, acknowledge how hard/painful milestones and celebrations are.

Practically, I found food very helpful. More food vouchers or delivery services, as actual food itself got overwhelming and I would feel terribly guilty if it didn't get eaten. Flowers on birthdays or mothers day etc were also very much appreciated. I also liked pamper type things, eg I was given massage vouchers and things like that, and it was nice to focus on self care a little bit down the track. I also loved being given items that I put into my daughter's room, things with her name on them, special books, art etc. That's all personal, I suppose, but generally anything that was given to me (unless it was heavily religious) I still display in her bedroom.

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