Q: How do I help a family whose baby has died?
A: To help a family when a baby dies, it is important to realize that the family has lost a lifetime of hopes, dreams, and milestones. These missing milestones will occur for what would have been the child’s entire life – everything from first steps and words to getting married and having children themselves.
- Baby sit other siblings
- Clean their house
- Make them dinner
- Grocery shop for them
- Have a shoulder ready for them
- Talk with the family about the baby, using the baby’s name – you will not be reminding them of anything they are not already thinking about
- Remember the baby’s birth date, due date, etc.
- Be patient with them the initial grieving process can take years to complete. As much as you want their hurt to go away, you can’t make it stop, but you can comfort them during this time
- Cry with them, pray with them, make time for them – they will need you
- Above all, ASK what you can do
- Tell them that it was “for the best”
- Tell them that it was “God’s Plan.” This may become an issue for them later, and some may struggle with their faith
- Assume that everything will be fine once they have another baby – another baby cannot replace the one who died
- Avoid them because you do not know what to say – DO tell them how sorry you are and ask if there is anything you can do to help them
Q: How do I help a family with a fragile baby?
A: When a family has a baby with medical problems, it is important to realize that their dream of the normal, happy birth of their child is no longer a reality. The family may even grieve the “loss” of having that experience with their child. If the baby is born with health issues, there will be stress involved. If the baby has problems that will last a lifetime, there will be more grief involved.
Q: What does Touched by Nathan provide?
- An Inspirational Library to help families learn about their baby’s condition to offer them hope and comfort.
- A Travel Program to help with transportation costs and car beds for fragile infants
- Some medical equipment to take home with baby when it is prescribed by the doctor
- Individual needs some assistance is provided on an individual need basis
- Food vouchers and overnight rooms
- Some Funeral expenses
- Memory boxes