Eight holiday gifts to give to bereaved families

The Compassionate Friends invites families to remember and honour their children at annual Candle Lighting ceremony

Editor’s note: the following is from The Compassionate Friends, which provides support to parents who have lost a child.

When a child has died, the normally festive holiday season can be one of great sadness and pain for the family that finds itself with an empty chair at the dinner table. Friends and family so often ask us what they can do to help those mourning the death of a child at the holidays. There are many gifts that cost very little for friends and family to give, but can be very helpful to the bereaved at this time of the year.

Some of those gifts include:

The Gift of Remembrance — When you send a card or talk with the family, remember the child by name. While you might think this would bring pain to the family, there is more pain when it appears the child has been forgotten.

The Gift of Understanding — Realize things will be different this holiday season than before the child died. Tasks which were routinely completed in the past may now go undone.

The Gift of Self —Help the bereaved with some of those routine things that need to be done, such as shopping and preparing meals. Bring some holiday goodies.

The Gift of a Memorial Donation — Make a donation in remembrance of the child to a favourite charity that the family may find important in their lives.

The Gift of Hope — Make them aware of a local self-help bereavement organization whether it be The Compassionate Friends or another group where the members have gone through a similar loss and are ready to help families that are grieving.

The Gift of Kindness — If there are children in the household, offer to take them shopping for whatever holiday presents they may wish to purchase. The hustle and bustle of the stores with holiday music blaring can be overwhelming to bereaved parents.

The Gift of Time — Offer to drive the family to a remembrance service, whether it be through a Compassionate Friends chapter, another bereavement group, hospital, funeral home or church. Your presence will show that you truly care.

The Gift of Love — Let them know that, even though the family feels very alone, there are others who care deeply about them and will truly be there to provide support along the way.

If you know someone who has lost a child, open your hearts and become a friend who is there through the thick and thin of life. Sometimes words are not necessary — just be there!

The bereaved person needs an outlet for their grief that is safe, anonymous, confidential and non-judgmental where they do not feel vulnerable, where they feel comfortable to let go, and where they feel comforted. That’s what The Compassionate Friends (TCF) strives to offer bereaved parents.

TCF meetings are held on the last Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. at the People Place, 3400-27th Ave. in Vernon. For more information please contact any of the following: Darlene at 250-558-5026 in Vernon or Kelli at 1-250-379-2465 in Falkland.

We invite all bereaved parents and their families to join us in remembering our children at the annual Candle Lighting this Sunday at Paddlewheel Park Hall, Okanagan Landing Road (on the lake side) at 6:30 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.) Candles will be provided and can be taken home. You are also encouraged to bring a picture of your child or children to be placed on the remembrance table. After the service you are invited to stay and join us for coffee, tea, juice and goodies. This is an opportunity to recognize and ritualize the pain we feel as the world around us becomes festive with preparations for the holiday season and an excellent occasion to talk with other bereaved parents in an informal way.

The Compassionate Friends of Vernon has compiled a bereavement package designed to offer comfort and guidance as you begin to grieve the loss of your precious child. If you or someone you know would like a bereavement package mailed out, please contact Darlene at 250-558-5026.

 

Just Posted

Needle buyback program fails to gain support in Vernon

Existing Folks on Spokes program proving effective

Conservative leader stops in Lake Country

Andrew Scheer says he would bring back two child-focused tax credits cut by the Liberals

Charlotte Diamond to bring classic children’s music to Vernon

Iconic Canadian children’s entertainer performs Oct. 6 at Vernon District Performing Arts Centre

Decision on Sagmoen voir dire expected today

Media outlets to tackle publication ban in Vernon courts

Greener future rounded up at Vernon fair

Kal Tire Community Eco-Fair builds on environmental best practices

VIDEO: Liberals make child care pledge, Greens unveil platform on Day 6 of campaign

Green party leader Elizabeth May unveils her party’s platform in Toronto

Free Tesla 3 offered with purchase of Surrey townhome

Century Group’s offer for Viridian development runs through Oct. 31

B.C. communities urged to improve access for disabled people

One in four B.C. residents has disability, most want to work

Sikh millworker lodges human rights complaint against Interfor, again

Mander Sohal, fired from Delta’s Acorn Mill, alleges discrimination based on religion and disability

Twenty day search for missing Labradoodle ends with tears of joy

After twenty days of worry, thousands of kilometers driven, hundreds of social… Continue reading

Okanagan inmate who allegedly assaulted prisoners and officer gets trial extension

Afshin Maleki Ighani appeared in Penticton Supreme Court on Monday

South Okanagan gas prices among the lowest at B.C. pumps

Nine of the 10 lowest-priced gas locations are in Penticton

Lakeshore Racquets Club hosts the 23rd Credit Union Cup

Tournament in Summerland draws teams from around the Okanagan Valley

Summerland to hold cross-country races Sept. 29

Trail races will be held at Summerland Rodeo Grounds

Most Read