These parents need to have their kids acknowledged-both the ones who are alive and the ones who they may have lost. I have some concrete suggestions which I am going to offer and please feel free to add more:
1. Please don’t avoid these parents on the holidays because you don’t know what to say. Avoidance is not helpful. They need and value your company.
2. Do a lot of listening. Let them talk about the child who they lost. It helps them keep the memories alive. You may even want to ask to see photos. Don’t be scared. If they don’t want to share photos they can say so.
3. Share your own memories of the lost child. This will be appreciated.
4. Help them enjoy the holiday. It is okay for a sad parent to have a moment of laughter.
5. Bring a gift that gives these parents joy. This includes not only your presence but also maybe a box of their favorite chocolates. Despite their sadness they still deserve all things related