Today a co-worker lost her son in a car wreck.
How can we help?

Question:
Today, a co-worker lost her son in a horrible car wreck. Her son was in the same grade as my stepson. I feel that there has to be something special we can do for her as a family. Do you have any suggestions about how we can help?

Answer:
Right now I'm sure she is focused on preparing for a service for him. For that, but really beyond that, I've found that parents are really grateful to receive pictures of their child that they don't have in their collection. It is a nice thing for other families to provide photos from their collection that include their son or daughter.

Write down on your calendar what will be the one-month, two-month, six-month, one-year, anniversaries of his death. And determine to send a note, some flowers, something, anything, to let her know you remember and recognize that it is a hard day. When graduation or some other big milestone comes along, be sure to look for a way to include her and to recognize that her son is missing.

Continue to speak his name. Hearing your child's name is a balm. Something as simple as, "I thought about (name) today at the ballgame, and I so wish he was here to play with my stepson." Don't be afraid this will make her sad. She might cry. But you didn't make her sad. She was already sad and you let her release some of that sadness.

Nancy