As December rolls around and gift-giving season is near I’d like to share what could be the best gift you give all season. If you know a family who lost a child (or other loved one) consider sending them a picture of their child doing something silly, engaging, or just really cute. If you can make it a picture they haven’t seen before that’s the best.
Why? Because they can’t make new memories with their child. Seeing their child in a new setting, or with a new facial expression, doing something perhaps they never saw them do, will create something novel in their mind to feast over. Those of us who’ve lost a child run the same old movies in our heads, the same old memories recycled over and over. As the years go by, they lose some of their power to FEEL them in any meaningful way. But show me something new and my imagination takes off! I fill in the blanks and create a whole new story about my boy and how charming he was, how smart and silly too. And it fills in a bit of that Mikey-sized hole in my heart.
If you know a parent with a child-sized hole in their heart, consider giving them the gift of a new story to tell, a new vision to hold of that oh-so-longed-for child. You will have given a priceless gift.
P.S. Please be sensitive and let the parent know that your present will remind them of their child so they can be prepared to receive this gift.