Death of Eagles coach Andy Reid's son a chance to consider helping those who grieve

Published: Monday, Aug. 6 2012 7:00 p.m. MDT

He also noted that it's a myth that parents who are married and lose a child will probably divorce. A 2006 study affirmed earlier findings that less than one-fifth of couples who share that loss divorce. And only 40 percent of those who do split up cite the death as one of the reasons, he said. That's important for families to know as they cope with the immediate aftermath of their child's death, because they're already devastated by one loss and should not have the sense that the other loss is nearly inevitable, too.

A survey sponsored by the group noted that just more than half of parents employed outside the home that had a child die found their employers very helpful in supporting them during the immediate crisis. Most of the others said employers were neither helpful nor unhelpful in that time; 8.8 percent said they were unhelpful.

The Compassionate Friends offers a brochure of advice for people who hope to comfort someone who is grieving. Among the advice is not to impose time limits on how long someone can or will grieve. "You will grieve for that child for the rest of your life," Loder said. "It just gets a little softer and easier to handle. But to expect it to go away after a couple of weeks, a couple of months or even a couple of years is asking way too much."

Also important is mentioning the child by name and being patient with those who grieve and remembering them all on important days like anniversaries and birthdays.

The Associated Press reported that Garrett Reid was sentenced to nearly two years for a 2007 high-speed car crash while he was high on heroin. Andy Reid took a leave of absence that year to spend more time with his family, the article said.

EMAIL: lois@desnews.com, Twitter: Loisco

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