ARTICLE by Olivia Coleman

Grief Awareness Week 2023: Supporting bereaved families

 |  Reading time: 3 minutes
B_for_Blog | Natural Baby Shower

In recognition of Grief Awareness Week, taking place between 2nd - 8th December, Natural Baby Shower is dedicated to shedding light on the immense impact of losing a child and offering guidance on how friends and family can provide meaningful support during these challenging times.

Collaborating with The Lullaby Trust, we've gathered insights from bereaved families to create a comprehensive guide that aims to foster empathy, understanding, and compassionate care for those navigating the complex journey of grief after the death of a baby or child.

Lullaby Trust

Speak their name

Acknowledge the child by using their name. Many grieving parents find solace in hearing their child's name spoken, as it helps keep their memory alive.

Share memories

If you knew the child, share any special memories you may have. While tears may be shed, expressing these emotions is natural and can bring temporary relief to the bereaved.

Ask about their feelings

Grief is a fluctuating journey, and every day brings new challenges. Ask your loved one how they feel on a particular day, showing that you are present and willing to support them through the ups and downs.

Open communication

Be open to conversations and encourage your loved one to talk. Repeat discussions may be a way for them to process the events and emotions surrounding the loss.

Accept all feelings

Acknowledge and accept all emotions, understanding that it's okay for the grieving person to express sadness, anger, or moments of breakdown. Your non-judgmental support is invaluable.

Express your feelings

If you're unsure of what to say, be honest about it. Saying something as simple as, "I'm not sure what to say, but I want you to know I care," can mean a lot to someone in mourning.

Offer practical help

Provide concrete assistance by asking, "Tell me what I can do for you." Offer help with daily tasks such as childcare, shopping, or household chores, which may feel overwhelming during this time.

Be present

Ensure your loved one is not alone. Coordinate with friends and family to create a support network, offering companionship and assistance whenever needed.

Advice from The Lullaby Trust

Listen actively

Allow the bereaved person to express their feelings without judgment. Seek support for yourself if needed, as these conversations may be emotionally challenging.

Remember and share

Encourage conversations about the baby or child who died passed away. Share in remembering the special qualities of the child and be open to discussing photographs and keepsakes.

Avoid offering false reassurance

Refrain from providing uncertain reassurance or telling them how to feel. It's okay to admit not knowing what to say but assure them of your devoted support.

Attend to other children

Pay special attention to any other children in the family, offering comfort and meeting their individual needs during this challenging time.

Practical assistance

Assist with practical matters, such as phone calls, shopping, and cooking, while respecting the bereaved parents' preferences regarding the child's belongings.

Respect differences

Everyone grieves differently, and it's crucial to respect these differences. Avoid imposing advice or attempting to find positivity in the bereavement experience unless the parents express a desire to do so.

Supporting a loved one through the loss of a child requires compassion, understanding, and a willingness to be present. At Natural Baby Shower, we hope this guide helps you navigate this challenging journey alongside your grieving friends and family members. Remember, your sincere support, even in the absence of perfect words, can make a lasting impact. If you or someone you know needs additional assistance, call the Freephone Helpline available on 0808 802 6868 or via email at