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How To: Helping Others Deal With Loss

Dear Sugar
My cousin's wife, who I am relatively close with, lost her baby in childbirth. Although this tragedy was not a total surprise, the doctors suspected the baby's lungs were not developing properly and that is what caused it to be stillborn. My cousin and his wife are devastated.

Because I don't have children of my own and don't know anyone who has been through a similar tragedy, I am finding it difficult to figure out what I can say or do to comfort them. What can I do besides send flowers? Any advice you could offer would be greatly appreciated. Helpless Heidi

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear Helpless Heidi
I am so sorry for your cousin's loss, what a terrible thing to have happened to them. Unfortunately there is no correct way to act and there isn't a magical thing out there to say to make them feel better. Sending flowers is always a nice gesture and will hopefully bring some cheer into the house.

Let your cousin and his wife know they are in your thoughts and prayers. Tell them if there is anything they need, you are there to offer assistance. Who wouldn't appreciate that kind of selfless gesture? Once your cousin and his family settle in back home, you could bring them food, offer to run errands, or ask to babysit if they have other children.

Don't worry about saying the wrong thing to them. Actions speak louder than words, and if you can't come up with something to express your sorrow you can always send a card or a letter when the time is right. Support comes in so many different ways and being available for them will mean a lot. They are very lucky to have such a wonderful and caring friend and cousin.

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