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suggestions needed to help a grieving teacher


New Member
I live in a small rural area where teachers from one school often know many teachers from other schools in the county. Today a teacher from a neighboring school was in an accident on her way to work, and one of her own children in the car was killed. What I want to know is, does anyone have any suggestions of what OUR school could do for her to show her that we care? We have all grieved deeply for her today, knowing that nothing we do is ultimately going to make anything better, but we all feel like we want to do SOMETHING to show that as fellow teachers, and fellow moms, we feel some of her pain and want to offer comfort. Any ideas? We are already collecting money, but the elementary teachers especially would like to do something a little more personal, but we don't know what. Has anyone dealt with something like this before? What do you do for someone like this?



You could post a calendar and have any teacher who wanted to prepare a dinner meal for the family. The people that lived closest to the teacher could help deliver the food after school. We have done this and it is appreciated.


Senior Member
grieving friend

I have been told before that you should, of course, listen when they need a friend and don't ask if they need something done, just go do it!!! Go over with a friend or two and clean the house, do laundry, bring dinner or give them a gift certificate to restaurants, do yardwork, babysit, etc. It's so hard to know what to say or do so just be sincere and your hospitality and caring will come through loud and clear.


My ideas

I'm very sorry to hear about the teacher's loss. I can't imagine losing a child, especially in such tragic circumstances.

I know a family who lost a child a few years ago, and these are a few things that helped them:
Collect money and donate a tree (his school did this and planted the tree at school)
Set up a schedule to make dinner and bring it to their house. During this time it's difficult for them to cook or think about making meals, so this is very helpful. Especially if they have other children to take care of.

When my mom had breast cancer the teachers from my brothers' school collected money, called a cleaning person, and hired her to come in 1/2 times a week to clean. Of course you may want to find out if they'd like this. Some people may not. It's another responsibility that can be difficult for the family to do during this time.

Show your sympathy and support through letters and cards.


Founding Member
Donate Leave Days

She will probably not feel like returning to work soon. Does your system have a procedure for donating sick leave days to people when their time runs out? Our school system set up procedures a few years back so that teachers could donate one or two sick leave days to a teacher that was completely out of days because of illness or family emergency.


Senior Member

A flag pole in the child's memory. Scholorship, reference books in the child's name for the library, tree (fruit tree ---apple, peach, pear. One that has beautiful flowers each spring and produces fruit that can be shared if the family doesn't want it) Flowering bushes, CARDS, Cards and more cards. Post the address. You may think everybody knows, but even in small communities not everybody is for sure. Put a card in the coffee shop down town for the community to get involved.


Senior Member
People have already said my suggestions, but I'll reiterate them anyway.

First off, this year one of our 4th graders and his grandparents were killed due to a car accident during Hurr. Katrina evacuation. The teachers put together a fund and we gave the money to the family, all his previous and current teachers went to the funeral.

I agree that if you can, you should find out if school sick leave or off days could be donated.

Hope things turn out well.


New Member
THanks - and other 2 questions

Thank you for all of the valuable suggestions. Some I hadn''t thought of at all, and really like a lot - others are just as good, but not feasible. I'd LOVE to donate sick days - but we are separate schools within a county, not tied together by a district or anything, so I know that just isn't possible. But I do appreciate all of your ideas, and your taking the time to pass on your thoughts. Calling hours are TUesday, funeral is Wednesday, and I just don''tknow how she will get through this. how on earth do you go on living when one of your children has died through what seems to be your own fault?" Two other quick questions - someone suggested a "care basket" but I have no idea what would be good to put in it, and I thought about an easy, appliqued quilt with a hand and heart design, with each of our names small on the hand or the heart, but do you think that it would be too painful, too PHYSICAL, a reminder to use? The thought was to wrap our warmth around her in a physical way - but others thought she would never want to use it/see it, because it would remind her of this awful time. Just wondering. Thanks again for all the ideas - we decided already to do the books and tree in a little while, and we're still considering some of the other ones. We've also collected about 300.00 just last week, which will help with ongoing expenses while her other son is still in critical condition in the hospital 2 hours away from home.