Things Not To Say to the Grieving Parent


As I sit here this morning

and sip my coffee,

I am reminded of how

bittersweet some days can be.

We come across people

in our lives, sometimes every day.

And when tragedy hits,

those people tend to say

the wrong thing.

Maybe they’re

trying to do good

and they truly mean well.

Or maybe, they are

just trying to be nosy.

Whatever the ulterior motive is-

we must remember

that most of these people

are innocently ignorant.

I can remember the day

of my son, Bo's funeral.

Just 10 months old,

and in a tiny little white casket.

Sleeping so peacefully.

And in his visitation line there were

people that came from so many different places

just to show and pay their respects.

But there was still that one person

in his visitation line that

stopped and had the audacity to ask:

“What happened?”

Being in shock,

I couldn’t respond.

My husband politely said

We don’t know...”

As we directed this

person toward

our son’s casket,

we were reminded

of how our hearts

were plummeting

right before our eyes.

And she was unaware of the hurt she had caused.

Years into our loss and directing multiple

child loss support groups,

we have learned that there have

been multiple instances where

people have endured some

not so pleasant conversations,

And inconsiderate comments.

It is almost as if this particular

person is putting their finger

into a gunshot wound that has

been inflicted on us.

Our hearts are bleeding

even though you cannot see it.

These ignorant comments

and questions only cut us deeper.

Being young is irrelevant to the situation.

And need I say, that there is NO replacement

for the child that we had, pass away.

You can’t imagine?

We don’t want you to imagine!

We don’t want you to force us

on another island of segregation.

We just want to know that

you are here.

And that it is okay for us to

talk about our child.

We don’t want you to imagine.

There is no “at least” in child loss.

I went through a similar situation when a

Jehovah’s Witness

was at my door and

went on to

talk about the book of Job

from the Bible.

I was infuriated because it was

a story about how the

children that died

were replaced.

Not only replaced but doubled.

It fueled my anger.

There is a spot in our

hearts that fits the exact

size and shape of our child

that is gone.

There is no replacement.

Again, another baby

won’t solve the hurt

that our agonizing

hearts are feeling.

And it isn’t fair to

put that type of stipulation

on our future children.

Would you want to fill those shoes?

“Aren’t you over it by now”

If you are contemplating

saying this to a grieving parent

I would urge you, strongly, to not.

This is not compassionate.

This is not okay.

Who are you to give a time limit?

Who are you to tell someone

if they are over it?

We will be grieving a lifetime

for our children.

That does not make us bad parents.

On the contrary,

it makes us damn good ones.

Heidi hits the nail on the head with this post.

I would strongly urge

anyone thinking of

commenting about God or

heaven to wait.

Just wait.

Especially if the loss just happened.

Our world Just turned upside down.

Shaken to its very core.

We are in shock and we are

debilitated by agony.

Something that is a parents worst

nightmare just happened to us.

We don’t want to hear how our

child “is in a better place”

or that “God had a plan.

We are most likely

mad at God.

At least I was.

And it is all right.

It is okay.

His shoulders are big.

He can handle it.

It is not your job to instill our faith.

Your job is to support us

Compassionately.

Wholeheartedly.

The fact that V had to endure

this comment is preposterous to me.

Each child is like a snowflake.

They are different and unique in their own special way.

The thought of another child replacing

the one that has passed away is unfair

to both children.

Unfair for the child that has

passed away because that

discounts their life completely.

And unfair to the future or living

child because

they have an impossible burden

to carry to keep up an unrealistic expectation.

Maybe?

Take out the word maybe in the sentence.

How horribly insensitive this is?.

It is an unneeded comment

and it isn't helpful.

Scrap this one from your vocabulary.