Losing a child is an incredibly painful experience and very difficult to understand unless experienced firsthand. Choosing a gift for parents during the difficult time after a child's death is a way to offer support through a kind gesture.
Photographs are the best way to remember a loved one, and websites such as Imagekind and Shutterfly offer various ways to create beautiful photo memories. Put together a photo collage of the parents with their child during happy times, and have it matted, framed and gift wrapped directly by the website. Other photo memory options include photo books, prints, keepsake boxes and even photoshow DVDs.
The Grief Pin from griefhaven.org is a subtle, elegant way to let parents who have lost a child show that they are grieving and show their support for other grieving families. The pin consists of an upside down heart, which represents grief, and a diamond pattern, which represents hope. The pin is worn upside down while grieving to symbolize a loss, but it can be turned right side up when the wearer eventually starts to heal.
Plant a Tree
A wonderful gift for grieving parents is to have a tree planted in memory of the child they lost. The Plant-A-Tree program by the U.S. Forest Service helps parents remember their child with a memorial that will last for hundreds of years. Planting a tree requires just a $10 donation and the parents will receive a certificate and can even specify that the tree was planted in memorial.
Name a Star
Another thoughtful way to give the gift of eternal memory to parents who have lost a child is to name a star in honor of the child's memory. The International Star Registry offers star naming gift packages that include a beautiful framed certificate and a copyrighted name with location coordinates. Parents and family members can actually use a telescope and the coordinates to look into the sky and see the star named for their loved one.
Create a Memorial Web Page
While a memorial web page may seem like a less conventional gift for grieving parents, creating a place where friends and family can share fond memories and express their love can also be a very comforting experience. Many sites allow you to create free homepages, and Facebook even allows memorial pages for people who have passed on. Create a memorial page and invite all of the child's friends and family to post photos and comments, then present the parents with a card with the Web address.
- Nightmare image by Petro Feketa from Fotolia.com