is a national support organization for parents who have lost a child at any age, and I am sure they would have something to offer.
to your friend. And to you for trying to help.
~*The days are long, but the years are short.*~
I would also say that while you are a really nice person to want to comfort this woman, you cannot take on the discomfort that her beliefs leave her with.
I'm an atheist, but although I am very fortunate not to have suffered a devastating loss like the loss of a child, I know from reading and talking to other people who have suffered huge losses that -- even if they are religious -- words like "she's in a better place" or "God needed another angel" or "you'll meet again in heaven" are not necessarily sources of comfort and may even be extremely upsetting. Because no matter someone's beliefs about an afterlife or lack thereof, the truth is that NO ONE wants to lose a child even to a "better place." It hurts here and now on earth and even people of faith aren't necessarily going to take comfort in religious platitudes coming from outsiders, KWIM?
I am very sorry for your friend's loss. : You are very sweet to try to look for resources for her, but maybe the most comforting thing you can do for her is tell her how sorry you are and try to be there for her in the weeks and months ahead to listen to how she feels and how she's living with/through her grief.
(and FYI, Buddhists are not necessarily atheists -- there are lots and lots of gods/deities/supernatural figures depending on which form of Buddhism you believe in!)
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even if they are religious -- words like "she's in a better place" or "God needed another angel" or "you'll meet again in heaven" are not necessarily sources of comfort and may even be extremely upsetting.
I'm an atheist and what I believe I would want in this type of situation is for somebody to acknowledge/validate what I'm feeling and experiencing. Often when people offer "comfort" they're trying to change the situation, but the grieving person needs to feel what they're feeling, not have somebody try to make them feel better.
The friend I mentioned above feels similarly. It has been two years since the loss of her daughter and she still values it when people acknowledge her loss or remember her daughter.
I also think it's incredibly kind and thoughtful of you to have asked that question. I'm sure you'll be a great comfort to her.
Again, I am just so very sorry for the loss of what I'm sure was a precious child.
I think what I'm struggling with are that there are lots of websites, and some books, about dealing with the death of a child but I don't want her to find that the only comforting thoughts they give are religion-related, kwim? Or at least, afterlife-related. I honestly don't know what could possibly comfort someone who doesn't believe that there is an afterlife for their child I mean, I have no religious beliefs myself, but if I suffered such a loss tomorrow I'm sure I would find myself believing in *something*. This isn't a knock on athiesm AT ALL, just thoughts.
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