You may ask yourself, should I give grieving parents gifts? I received a variety of gifts of condolences when Todd passed. Lots of food, flowers and money but the most cherished gifts were definitely the stories that others shared with me about how Todd had impacted their lives. Many of those stories involved a mischievous and/or humorous element because that’s who he truly was, an adventurous free spirited soul full of determination, courage and laughter with a spark of a rebel mixed in for good measure.
Stories: Grieving Parents Gifts
As the stories of Todd’s lives emerged from people I knew well and others that I didn’t, I relished every moment and found myself in awe of how a 12 year old child could have so much impact on so many people, young and old alike. Every story brought a smile to my face when I really didn’t think I would ever be happy again. As Todd’s 6th grade teacher stated so eloquently put it, “I never met a child who was more charming and mischievous all in the same breath. It was impossible to stay mad at him.” Yes, that summed him up pretty well.
I never met a child who was more charming and mischievous all in the same breath. It was impossible to stay mad at him.”
My initial fear was that people would forget Todd and what a bright light he had brought into my life and the world. But, as I listened to these stories and let them settle in to my being, I came to realize that nothing can ever be lost. Memories last forever and the emotions associated with those stories remain with us in our hearts. We never know what will trigger a memory, but when it does, the story plays again and the characters live on. Todd was a character. He did have an impact on others in his short lifetime. To know him was to love him – on his terms of course. There was no way people could possibly forget Todd.
Never underestimate the power of a story for those who have lost a child. It will stay with them longer than you can imagine.”
Grieving Parents Gifts Ideas
Prayer: Grieving Parents Gifts
Prayer is definitely the single most powerful grieving parents gifts to give for healing. I’m convinced it helped move through the grieving process beyond my ability to understand it or express it here. In my opinion, it’s the one thing you can never have too much of. It’s like having too many Angels. Not possible. I really appreciated when others thought of Todd and sent me their prayers. I know they helped lift me from my overwhelming sadness, even if for just a moment, into a higher space where I could feel a glimmer of hope that maybe I wouldn’t always feel so bad. That hope was the little spark that kept me moving, especially in those early days.
Books: Grieving Parents Gifts
I also treasured books and anything written that spoke to an everlasting life. In my heart I know that we are all eternal souls but I didn’t fully understand what that meant. As Todd’s mother, I was driven to find validation of what my heart knew but my mind couldn’t explain. Books became my life line as I sought to expand my understanding of where Todd might be and more importantly how he was. All I really wanted to know was that he was okay and that I would one day hold him again in my arms.
I’m convinced that because that became my overwhelming desire, that’s why I had one of the most vivid dreams about a year after his death. In the dream Todd appeared to me and I got to hold him again. I was so shocked and so elated. As I cried tears of joy and ran my hands through his beautiful soft wavy hair again, he said, “I know you worry about me because I see you cry in the night. But I’m okay. Really I am. I’m not in Heaven yet because it takes a while to get there and I still get in trouble now and then with the Angels. (Laughing) But I’m okay and when it’s time for you to go, I’ll be the first one you see. I promise.”
I know you worry about me because I see you cry in the night. But I’m okay. Really I am.”
I woke up feeling like the weight of the world had just been lifted from my shoulders. I still remember it like it happened yesterday. I’m convinced the power of prayer and the books I read were the precious seeds for that powerful experience. Was it a dream or was it real? I don’t know. All I can say for certain is that I was sleeping so my mind was out of the way. It was as real to me as these words here and it was definitely my greatest gift in my darkest hour.
Grieving Parents Gifts Not to Give
I realize that my family and friends felt helpless in the immediate aftermath of Todd’s passing and they all wanted to do something, anything to make me feel better. But the advice did not help unless it was coming from a parent who had also lost a child. For example, someone at Todd’s funeral said, “I know you’ll be okay because you are one of the strongest people I know.” Although that person was really trying to be encouraging, that was like a huge slap in my face. My immediate thought was,’ I wish I was a weaker person, maybe Todd would still be here.’ Sometimes less is more when it comes to words.
Grieving Parents Gifts: Storm of Joy
Todd and I wrote Storm of Joy together. It’s really a gift of hope to others, especially parents who have lost a child. While it’s framed as a fairytale, it’s based on the story of my life and my relationship with Todd both before and after his death. Our hope is that Storm of Joy opens the conversation about death in a way that both children and adults can relate to, in the energy of the child where all things are still possible. For it’s in that place that I believe we can all learn to communicate again with our loved ones in the higher realms. We know that we will join them there eventually, but we don’t have to wait until we get there to communicate again. How we communicate is as unique as each of us but Storm of Joy reminds us to trust what we can’t see and that’s why we believe it’s a great gift to grieving parents. The love for a child lives on forever in our heart and Storm of Joy reminds us of what we know is true, that we are all eternal souls, that we can still communicate, and that we all live happily ever after.