- "I'm sorry for your loss" - Always, always say this. Use it to lead into other things, reword it to suit you, but always tell a grieving parent that you are saddened by what happened to them and their child.
- "What was his name?" and other questions you would normally ask a new parent - Any parent wants to talk about their child. It's no different if the child has died.
- "Congratulations on the birth of your baby" - There was a baby born. The baby may have died, but s/he was born nonetheless. My favourite card we received had a heartfelt congratulations alongside their sympathies.
- "..." - I said yesterday that saying nothing was a bad thing. I'll now admit that's not always true. Just use your silence wisely. Sit quietly as they talk about their baby. Hold them in silence as they cry. Cry with them if you must, but do not overpower their own grief.
- "Happy Birthday!" - Obviously you don't say this to the newly grieving parents. Someone remembering Ianto's birthday is one of the few things I found that picks me up on those awful days at the end of February. Someone remembered it wrong this year (they said it on the anniversary of his death, two days early) but it still made me happy! Including him on cards to other people is something we almost always do as well.
- "Ianto", "him", "the baby", etc. - The opposite of yesterday's last point. Always use personal nouns when speaking of someone's child. Just because he died doesn't mean he's any less of a person.
October 07, 2012
Capture Your Grief, Day 7: What to say.
Today's subject is a lot lighter than yesterday's. Today is about the things you should say to grieving parents. As with yesterday, this is not a one-size-fits-all thing.