According to the National Center for Child Death Review Policy and Practice, approximately 53,000 children die each year in the United States. That means over 100,000 parents along with their extended families face the unthinkable loss of a child. Friends want to help but are clueless as to what to do and often end up saying the wrong things.
That “losing a child” fear became a reality for author Kimberly Calabrese when she lost her daughter when she was six months old.
There are organizations and books to help through the grieving process, but there was nothing to give concrete, step-by-step ideas for friends to support and help the parents and family members through the darkest days of their lives.
“Friends want to help,” says Calabrese “they just don’t know what to do.”
Simple things like
- Organizing meals for the family for at least three months;
- Shoveling snow;
- Mowing the lawn;
- Making sure the other children don’t get left out when it comes time for Christmas or special events;
- Cleaning the house;
- And many other things from their “normal” lives that no one thinks about.
Parents who have lost children describe the deep sense of pain and isolation when their friends began to avoid them because they didn’t know what to do or say. Calabrese shares the heart wrenching stories of those who have lost their children with practical ideas how to provide that critical support.
“Don’t ask for details of the death”, Calabrese says. And certainly, don’t say platitudes about the child being in a better place. That just pushes the parent further downward.”
Up until now there has been no “guide” on how to help support someone when there is the loss of a child. It is a journey that never ends, but just evolves.
Calabrese coaches friends to “just be there” and take charge of the normal household things. Become the coordinator of the friend brigade. Life is never the same for these parents, but with the help of friends and family who come along their side in this critical time, they can at least truly serve.
Calabrese is a woman on a mission to touch as many lives as possible with her message of serving grieving families who have lost a child. She is becoming an in-demand speaker to any organization that affects parents and children. Whether it’s the garden club, the PTA, or a prison, Calabrese is determined to share her support message with very detailed ideas to as many people as possible.
This book is a practical guide that should be in every home and on every bookshelf so if/or when that call comes, friends can grab it and know exactly how to help. The book can be found on Amazon or in Barnes and Noble.
To learn more about Kimberly Calabrese, please visit www.SupportOfALovedOne.com