By total coincidence, I have two dear friends and outstanding women whose young sons, both named Chris, were killed in tragic car accidents. I hurt for my girlfriends, while marveling at the ways in which they have gone on with their lives, kept the memories of their sons alive, and reached out to others in need.
One of the moms, Jill Lentini of Euless, Texas, wrote the following Top Ten list for helping anyone who has lost children – of any age. The list deserves much attention and review, and I share it with you in amazement and honor of her and in forever memory of her son, Chris.
Thank you, Jill, for being a great Mom to Chris and all your kids, and for sharing your wisdom as you carry on. Melody
Things I Would Do To Comfort Someone Who Lost a Child
Rub their back in a circle right where it hurts the most; where their heart is.
Cry with them.
Tell them it is going to be okay, no matter what.
Speak their child’s name with Love.
Listen to them wail and wail and wail.
Write comforting words to them in e-mails, cards, little notes and long letters; forever.
Ask them how they are doing; really.
Tell them I know it is tough, horrific, horrible, a nightmare, profoundly sad, seemingly impossible to live through, but you do live through it, as if lead by some invisible energy through the darkest night.
Keep them warm.
Sit quietly with them in their child’s room.
Let them talk about the sequence of events on that fateful day, over and over again.
Laugh with them.
Visit now and again.
Talk to them about prayer and never say “Our prayers were answered” because it will make them feel like their prayers weren’t.
Stand by them despite the excruciating pain they emanate.
Encourage them to find their beacon in the storm of grief; one place, person or thing where they can get their bearings.
Listen . . .