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27.07.2015
Understanding the best ways to help grieving parents who suffered the loss of a child gives you the information you need if you have to support a loved one who is faced with this tragedy.
While it is true that bereaved parents want to be alone in their grief, they don't want to be totally avoided. Avoid cliches such as "It's for the best" and "You're young, you can have more children." Parents want sincere sympathies, but not something that doesn't make them feel better about their situation. Enter your name and email to get your FREE '5 Star Grief Support' Guide and regular updates! The parents want the child they lost back, so they don't want to hear how they can have more children down the road. It doesn't matter if the child was a one-year-old or a 43-year-old, that mother and father lost their baby. After the loss of a child, a parent may not have the energy to complete simple daily tasks such as housecleaning, cooking, grocery shopping or walking the family dog.
Many times, it may seem easier not to mention the events surrounding the child's death, but in reality, most parents want to remember, and they want those closest to them to remember as well.
What one parent feels when dealing with the death of his or her child, may not be what another does.
Parents whose child already passed away feel apart from most of their friends and family for experiencing this type of loss. Many times, during the early stages of grief, bereaved parents can't even think that far into the future. Even if the mother was pregnant when her child died, she still had hopes and dreams for the baby. However, as time goes on, talk of the child who died may not be as prominent, but the memory will always be there. This old man, in turn was fond of all the children in the household, consisting of my four half-sisters, two half- brothers, my full brother and myself. This old man at times was arbitrator between the children in the many quarrels and differences that we had from time to time. Each of these instances may not be applicable for every situation, but overall, you will get an idea of what a parent in mourning may or may not need during his or her period of grief. From time to time, the old man with tact and kindness growing from the wisdom of the aged alleviated our childish differences and smoothed over our petty quarrels and jealousies. This is a very private time and the family needs to adjust their lives being without their child. Leave some home-cooked meals or snacks on the front porch or pick up a few groceries and leave them outside of the door as well.
Birthdays, death anniversaries and holidays are the most important times to memorialize the child.
This kindly old man as a matter of duty, also as long as he was able did light chores, such as to feed the chickens in the farmyard, carry in the wood for fuel to heat the house, and also wood for the kitchen stove. You can always knock on the door and leave or call and leave a short voicemail or answering machine message. As time went on, the old man became ill and on one cold winter morning was found dead in the little room that he occupied in my fathers home.
As for the other types of support, contact the family's immediate kin and set up times when you can take the dog for a walk or even babysit surviving siblings.


BirchamDuring the period preceding the so-called hard winter of 1889 -1890, the owners of large herds of cattle, also the owners of great flocks of sheep and large bands of horses, did not to any extent depend on hay or grain as winter feed for the great numbers of livestock that they owned. Since the beginning of the white mans era in this section of the country, the livestock owners had driven or herded their bands to the high mountain ranges for summer grazing or forage. These ranges were well watered and produced vast quantities of natural grasses and other palatable livestock feed.During the late fall, the stock was started toward the southern end of the state of Nevada, this area being called the desert on account of its lower altitude, milder climate, and usually less precipitation in the form of snowfall. This snow was necessary on these long drives since its water content was the only form of moisture the animals could find to subsist on. This was the situation on most all of the desert and on a good many of the routes to and from the desert.
The names no doubt were quite appropriate since water was taken by the means of a scaffold, then with the help of a horse or a windlass, a barrel at the end of a rope was lowered and raised, the water so obtained was used principally for saddle horses, work teams, pack animals, and also for human consumption. Sometimes the water drawn from the wells, especially after several months of non-use was green with vermin, snails, and rodents. The mountain ridges were also obscured by a sort of haze as heavy wind storms swept the country at large, all in all, the general atmosphere seemed quite ominous or suggestive of some great change. The stockmen in general did not give much thought to the possibility of a clean sweep or as to what was to happen the total loss of their livestock in some cases, and nearly all in others.  No provision was made for the sipping in or storing of feed.
Alas, when the snow did come, it came so fast and with such a fury and depth that the livestock were never moved.  Band after band of sheep were huddled together and smothered in the deep snow.
This man, at a later date rebuilt his fortune to some extent, which was consistent with the spirit of the west at that time.Another personality of that time and a close neighbor of my fathers was a victim of the extreme cold weather that followed the heavy fall of snow. Bircham, froze to death at a point not over three hundred yards from his home.  On this occasion this man was returning from the direction of the desert where he had been making strenuous efforts to move his livestock toward a better feeding ground. Failing in this, he turned back, owing to the extreme cold which was in the locality about forty-five degrees below zero, at the time.
In addition to the cold and snow, there was a heavy fog and in this, the man became bewildered and although only a few steps from home, lost consciousness, fell asleep, and froze to death. The mans body was found fortunately the following morning by his brother-in-law and returned to the home that this poor man had tried to reach. This man was an early settler in the country and at the time the incident occurred was busy in his chosen occupation as a truck farmer or gardener, he also owned about three milk cows and the one yearling heifer. Reese River Reveille1907With the little he owned, he was endeavoring to make a living for his family, consisting of a wife and eight or nine small children. The circumstances surrounding this, the theft of this mans only young animal would make the act all the more despicable.
A group of roving cowboys, or vaqueros ( some of them being Mexicans ) were camped for the night only a few miles away from the gardeners little home and although they were tending a herd of cattle that in numbers counted in the thousands, they took it upon themselves to drive this one lone animal to their camp and butcher it for meat, leaving only the waste matter behind as they moved on. Maestretti, on missing his animal searched high and low and at last finding tracks in the deep snow which by that time had crusted, started out on foot to trace the animal.
The snow had crusted to a certain extent but not enough to bear a mans weight, so in order to follow the tracks he crept on his hands and knees to the spot where he found the evidence that the animal had been butchered. Greatly disappointed and vexed at the discrepancies of human nature, this man returned to his humble home to carry on, and at a later date lived to be a large stock owner and rancher, as well as the patriarch of a family that now by extention numbers in the hundreds. This man died at the age of ninety-nine years, only a short time ago, such was the stamina and ruggedness of most of the early day pioneers.
This situation in itself was not very encouraging as the loss of feed for their horse's weakend them for the long jouney home of about fifty miles.
However, his stepdaughters, my mothers two girls by a former marriage, were not susceptible to my fathers swaying influence.


The power that my father exercised over his children was formed more from a mental attitude than from any form of forceful chastisement. It is known that he only whipped my brother John the one time, and this was for carving on a window-sill with a jackknife.
In fact, he always wanted his children to respect other peoples property. The one time that he whipped me with a piece of flat board was at a time when he had a leg injury caused from a four hundred pound barrel of cement falling from the level of a wagon bed directly on his instep. This injury for a time was very serious, since in addition to a bruised condition, a couple of his foot bones were crushed.
The accident necessitated his use of crutches and at a time when he was using these crutches he was obliged to drive a team of horses hitched to a wagon up to the Barley field for the purpose of irrigating a small patch of potatoes that was planted there.On the way to and from the field, a distance altogether of fourteen miles, was a gate to be opened and closed. Although much to small to be of help, and more likely to be in the way of older and stronger hands, I was very determined not to leave the ranch with my father. However, while some other family member held me, my father paddled me lightly with the flat board and as a consequence I finally, although reluctantly, mounted the wagon seat beside him. When we were only about one-half of a mile from the ranch I could see tears in my fathers eyes and he asked me if I still wanted to help the boys handle the horses.
You can go back and help the boys."  As I look back over the circumstances surrounding this whipping, the only one he ever gave me, I think on the whole, the light paddling I got was entirely too mild a punishment. I do remember, however, of feeling very small that evening whem my father returned from his trip to the Barley Field. The story began with a cattle sale that involved moving stock from the Walsh Ranch in Nevada to Northern California. The purpose of what we detail here is to remember that it is not only family that shapes us, but also the friends we meet along the way.
However, I am pleased to state that I did not find any such people, nor were any of the cattle missing.
Finally, I was convinced that the cattle were reasonably safe in the enclosure, and as a consequence of this assurance, I did not ride fence everyday in the week.For a period of about two months, I remained very lonely indeed, brooding constantly over a sudden ending of my first love affair. The Post Office was located in the one general merchandise store in the village, and was taken care of by the same people who owned the store. Of this family, three members lived in a small building adjoining the store, and these three people, the father, the mother, and the one son, operated the store and also attended to the Post Office. He was a student at Stanford University, and I met this young son only once when he was home for the Christmas holidays.After a time, the Collins boy, who lived at home with his parents, and myself became good friends and quite chummy. Therfore, we had much in common and confidentially we compared notes and sympathized with one another. This fine young man was lost in the service of his country, and while I will not attempt to be a sentimentalist regarding him, it was a pleasure to have known him, and as a friend departed, I have the greatest of respect and admiration for this fine young man.



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