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opinions on what to get family who lost a child

Posted by on Jan. 25, 2010 at 4:10 PM
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Hi.  My neighbors had twin boys 2 months early.  They got to bring one home on Christmas day but the other one has continuted to have ups and downs and long story short, they've made the decision to take him off the ventilator today.  I'm not extremly close with this family but I consider our families to be strong acquaintances if nothing else.  I'd like to get them something, anything to show that we care...instead of just saying, "I'm so sorry.  Call us if you need anything". 

What would you get this family?  My mom suggested a silver bell from a jewelry store that has "In Memory Of" followed by his name and birthday.  Does this sound ok?  Or is there something else that somebody suggests?

Thank you in advance.

by on Jan. 25, 2010 at 4:10 PM
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by on Jan. 25, 2010 at 5:21 PM

I was thinking flowers but the bell sounds nice. Maybe make them some dinners, like a casserole or something like that. They may be too distraught to want to cook but they still need to eat healthy.

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by on Jan. 25, 2010 at 6:31 PM

I love the bell idea or some other type of charm. But I really think that making a few dinners for them would be the best thing. Maybe there are a few other neighbors on you street who would be willing to do this also and you could probably end up with a weeks worth of dinners for them. Or space them out everyother night for a couple of weeks. It is something that really is simple but truly appreciated. Chances are they are not really going to be in the 'mood' to cook or even go out and there is nothing better than a home cooked meal. It shows you care and are thinking of them during this difficult time with out being too much. We do meals for moms who have a baby, surgery, are really sick, or face a death in my MOMS Club and it is always talked about as the best thing they could have recieved during that time. It is just one less thing to have to worry about for them.

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by on Jan. 25, 2010 at 6:52 PM

I immediately thought of a tree.  We lost a little girl at school and our school planted a lilac bush to remember her.  They were her favorite flowers.  If they planted a tree in their yard, they could look at it and always remember that their baby will be with them always.  My cousin did this when their son died, and they would have picnics with the older boy under "Carter's tree".  Of course, this depends on if they own their home and plan to stay, and if you think they'd like that sort of thing.  You can get trees in pots and they can keep it  until it's planting time where you live. 

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by Barbara on Jan. 25, 2010 at 8:50 PM

I really like the bell idea.

I also agree with the food suggestion also.  Many times when a family is greaving, it's hard to want to do mundane things like cook dinner.  Plus they probably have many things going on in their lives right now, and may not have time to cook much.

by on Jan. 25, 2010 at 9:18 PM

I don't know the cost, but there's also the option of having a star named after the child. Kind of like he's always there, looking down on them.

by on Jan. 25, 2010 at 9:22 PM

The bell sounds nice or even chimes inscribed with the info so that whenever the wind blows, they think of their sweet baby.


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by Emerald Member on Jan. 25, 2010 at 9:29 PM

I can sympathize with this family.  A little over 10 years ago I had twin boys 3 months early.  Neither one of them made it.  I will say that the one thing I wanted more than anything was to be left alone.  I had people at my house constantly.  The doorbell rang and rang with people trying to help by bringing food, flowers, cards, etc.  My husband finally had to just be very rude and kick every one out and we just didn't answer the door.

The bell, tree, food, etc are all lovely ideas.  I would just suggest that you get/do something that can easily be left on the porch or just dropped off quickly incase they aren't in the mood for visitors.

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by on Jan. 25, 2010 at 9:33 PM

"Every time a bell rings an angels gets it's wings" I love your mom's idea about the bell , it seems so sweet  and thoughtful.

by on Jan. 25, 2010 at 10:35 PM

Speaking as a mom who has lost a child, the most appreciated things were:  Meals, child care, errands, taking my other kids to the park, museum, over night, helping the kids with homework, just listening don't talk, just listen, grocery shopping, etc.

We planted a tree.  It was healing to pick it out, bring it home, dig the hole and nurture it.  But not till much later.

Immediately, this family needs day-to-day living help. 

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by Kandice on Jan. 26, 2010 at 1:39 AM

 The bell is a very sweet idea. But so are the suggestions of the cooked meals. They are grieving and taking care of a new baby too. The food would be very helpful. Maybe offer to watch the baby while the mom takes a nap, or offer to clean up some, while they relax.

But time is also a good gift.  Just give them time to grieve. When my daughter was still born all I wanted was time alone to deal with my loss in the only way I knew how. And having people around made it hard to do so.

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