P.O. Box 3696
Oak Brook, IL 60522-3696
For Immediate Release
FROM: Wayne Loder
Public Awareness Coordinator
The Compassionate Friends
Eight Holiday Gifts to Give Bereaved Families
After the Death of a Child
Oak Brook, IL, December 6, 2006—When a child has died, the normally festive holiday season can be
one of great sadness and pain for the family that finds itself with an empty chair at the dinner table.
“Friends and family so often ask us what they can do to help those mourning the death of a child at the
holidays,” says Patricia Loder, a bereaved parent herself and Executive Director of The
Compassionate Friends, the nation’s largest self-help bereavement organization. “There are many gifts
that cost very little for friends and family to give, but can be very helpful to the bereaved at this time
of the year.”
Some of those gifts, says Mrs. Loder, include:
• The Gift of Remembrance—When you send a card or talk with the family, remember the
child by name. While you might think this would bring pain to the family, there is more pain
when it appears the child has been forgotten.
• The Gift of Understanding—Realize things will be different this holiday season than before
the child died. Tasks which were routinely completed in the past may now go undone.
• The Gift of Self—Help the bereaved with some of those “routine” things that need to be done
such as shopping and preparing meals. Bring some holiday goodies.
• The Gift of a Memorial Donation—Make a donation in remembrance of the child to a
favorite charity that the family may find important in their lives.
• The Gift of Hope—Make them aware of a local self-help bereavement organization whether
it be The Compassionate Friends or another group where the members have gone through a
similar loss and are ready to help families that are grieving.
• The Gift of Kindness—If there are children in the household,