2016-10-19 “Loss of a child” (part 1)


My sister sent me a well written letter from a bereaved mother who wanted to share what she had learned over the years since her son’s death. This will take more than one musings to get through…

Child loss is a journey that many of us cannot comprehend. For most of us, all we know about losing a child is that we don’t want to know about it.  If you do know a parent who has lost his or her child, remember that what they need is compassion and love, not advice.  A good day for a bereaved parent is probably harder than you can even imagine.

One of the most important things that a bereaved parent would want you to know is that, just like you and I, they never stop thinking about their child. The unconditional love that they have for their child, just like we have for ours, never goes away.  And just as you and I like to hear people say our children’s names, so do they.  How many times have you been engaged in a boring conversation but someone mentions your child and you perk right up?  You might think that saying a deceased childs name will make parents uncomfortable, but it is actually more uncomfortable for them when you avoid saying their child’s name or sharing memories of him or her. Even though a child’s life may be cut short, the love that a parent has for a child never dies.

There is a special and unique bond between bereaved parents that only bereaved parents can understand. The Mom who wrote the letter talks of how strangers can become kindred spirits within seconds and how a look or a glance, a knowing of the heart can connect them even if they hadn’t met before.  Nobody can understand the loss of a child more than another bereaved parent. There are bereavement groups for parents available in our area.  You may resist becoming part of a group, but if you would just give it a chance, you would find that you are not alone and that there are others who will understand and listen.

I have talked before about that moment after my sister’s death, when I learned that everything that I was feeling and all of my emotions were normal…it made such a huge difference to me. If you or someone you know needs help to get to that point, don’t hesitate to give me a call and I will give you some direction.

I will continue to write about the loss of a child next week.