What to write when someone’s child has died

I will never, never forgive myself for once writing an email to a couple whose premature baby died just a few hours after he was born. In it I wrote, “never mind, you’re young. You can have another one.”  Stupid, ignorant, idiotic cow that I was.

what to write when a child dies

“We need your support, patience, understanding, love and friendship…” Dawn Allen, bereaved parent

At the time, I hadn’t become a parent. And unless you are a parent, it’s hard to understand just what agony the loss of a baby can cause – whether via a miscarriage (even an early one), via an actual birth, and of course later on through childhood and beyond.

It was only once I had a child of my own that it dawned on me what a vile, thoughtless and cruel thing that was to say. Here’s what I have learned that may stop you making similar mistakes… [Read more…]

What to write when someone has died

died,deceased,passed away,write,condolence,sympathies

Update October 2015: please note that although this article is still helping many people like you, I have written an updated article on this topic which includes more information about what to write in our increasingly important online environment. Click here to see that article.

Ah, this is a difficult one – when someone has died and you want to write a letter of sympathy with his or her relatives and friends.

For a list of all 12 articles in this series on how to write well to people dealing with death, bereavement and other life sadness, click here. 

[Read more…]

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