sample letter


The following idea for a letter to family and friends could be used either in its entirety or just in part to your own family and friends. It is written looking for understanding during the holidays but could be could be modified for use at any time of the year.

Dear Family and Friends:

Thank you for not expecting too much from us this holiday season.
The absence of our child when the "whole family" gathers seems to accentuate our incomplete family. It is difficult to cope with the "spirit" of the holidays on the radio, TV, in the newspapers and stores. We will need the patience and understanding of our family and friends to help us through the holidays as best we can.
Our family traditions may be too painful for us to continue this year. We may want to change the way we spend Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Hanukkah. Please understand this and maybe some time in the future we will have these traditions again. Whatever our thoughts are for coping with the day, please take our feelings into consideration when you make your plans.
Please allow us to talk about our child, if we feel a need. Perhaps the single most helpful thing you can do for us is to include our child in the holidays. We want to hear his/her name, to have you recall fond memories of their lives, to know that you, too, are feeling their absence and remembering them with love.
As we work through our grief, we will need your patience and support, especially during these holiday times and the "special" days throughout the year.
Thank you for not expecting too much from us this holiday season.


a bereaved parent/family


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