Author Topic: How To Respond Part-1...What Do You Think? (Long...but EXCELLENT!!!)  (Read 2704 times)

John-Danielle Marie's Daddy

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Some very good ideas.

Honestly I do not think most people mean to be mean, rather I believe they are ignorant and clueless. I often put myself in their shoes; if I were able and think what would I do if it werenít me. What would I have said if the table had been turned and it wasn't my child, my heart ripped out? Below is a great site and I only with I had read it sooner. What do you all think?? Please feel free to share your experiences.

http://www.bereaved topics/respond. php

How To Respond

You will notice that in place of not knowing what to say, people will say just about anything. Most times, it is not to be uncaring or to discount your feelings. It is literally that they try and fill an empty space in an effort to 'help'.
I have found that by saying "You don't need to say anything. Your thoughts and prayers are enough. There is honestly nothing you can say." will stop alot of the 'stupid' comments. But, just in case it happens anyway, below are ways that some bereaved parents have dealt with them.

How many children do you have?
* I have two children. One is 18 years old and the other is in heaven.
* I have 3, my girls are 11 and 15, my son is forever 19, I lost him in 1997.
* I have three children; two on earth one in heaven.
* I have 3 great little boys (then here comes the look of confusion from the people), 2 living and one sweet one in heaven.
* I have seven children, one is in heaven.
* I have one living and one in heaven.
* I have 3 children. Two daughters ages 15 and 11 and one son, forever 7.
* Two living & one precious baby in Heaven.
* Four. Two that walk and two that soar.
* I have 3 children, two are with me ages 13 and 7 and my other is in heaven.
* I have had 3. Two are still here with me, Jeffrey 6 and Jessica 4. My first son, Kevin, died at 18 months.
* I have none that run and two that fly.
* I have Three Beautiful Daughters, One still here with me and two waiting on the other side for me.

I know how you feel.
* I am sure you may think you do, but honestly there is no way to imagine this pain.
* No you don't, but let me help you understand.
* I usually look them in the eye and say "God I hope you don't".
* No you can't possibly, and by the grace of God I hope you never do.
* Oh, you've lost a child, too?
* I'm sorry, have you had a child die? The loss of a child can't be compared to the loss of any other family member.
* Do you really? I am so very sorry! What happened to your child?
* Really, then tell me how I feel right now!
* How can you unless you've lost a child? No matter how many memories you make with a child, the pain is still the same whether they were here 22 years or only 4 months like mine.
* Perhaps, but unless you've lost a child, I don't think you do. Grief for the loss of a child is very different from grief over the loss of your parents/spouse/ pets.
* This one I usually just walk away from. People honestly believe that because they have lost a parent, spouse, or even a pet, that they have a concept of the loss of a child, and no amount of arguing is going to persuade them otherwise.
* Have you lost a child also?

You need to get over this.
* I don't ever see myself getting over this. "This" is my son/daughter, a part of me.
* Having your child die is something no one should ever "get over".
* Funny the entire country is allowed to mourn the death of Elvis 23 years after his death, yet you ask me to get over the death of my child. I will never get over his/her death but I will go on. Walking through the door of grief and not over or around it.
* And just how do you propose I do that?
* He/she was my son/daughter, he/she was real, and this is something I'll never get over.
* Uh, you wouldn't say that if you had lost your child.
* I will never get over it. Would you if you lost your children?
* There is no time line to getting over a loss of a child. It will be with me forever.
* You don't get over the loss of a loved one, especially a child. It is something you live with for the rest of your life.
* This is not a cold; this is the death of our only children.
* I'm sorry, I will never get over the loss of my child, I have learned to live with it.

It's time to let go and move on.
* This is my first time dealing with the death of one of my children. Grief doesn't come with a handbook on how is the right way to grieve. I do what I have to do to get through each day and until you have spent one day or even on minute in my situation please don't tell me what I should do or how I should be acting by now. My life has changed forever, it will never be the same again, I am doing the best I can to keep moving forward and yes there are times when I fall backwards and have to start all over again. So please just be patient with me and try to understand my loss.
* I am moving on, I get up everyday. Where is this manual on grief where you can see that time line?
* I shall hold my son/daughter in my heart forever. So there is no letting go.
* How do you know? Have you been in my shoes?
* I have been moving on. But let me tell you itís hard to let go. They were my children.
* Letting go? No, you can't let go of a person you loved. You carry that love with you always. Moving on? Every day we "move on", but that doesn't mean we forget!
* I have no choice but to "let go", but moving on is a slow process.
* Would you let go of your child that is living, I think not.
* I choose go on and embrace the wonderful memories, keeping her alive.

You need to find a hobby.
* I have many wonderful hobbies. But not a day passes where I do not miss my son/daughter.
* No matter how many hobbies I have I'll never forget my son/daughter.
* You don't replace a child with a hobby. I do have ways to keep me busy, but my child is always on my mind.
* I have plenty of hobbies, but that still doesn't make me forget my child.
* I have a hobby, don't you? I help other sad mommies what do you do?
* How can you suggest that a hobby could replace the love and loss of a child?
* Such as?
* Oh I have, talking to other Mom's who KNOW the pain we all feel.
* I have many.

Shouldn't you be over your crying now?
* I don't know, this is the first time I have had to deal with something like this. But I don't cry as much as I used to.
* Yes I do and I thank God for them every day, but I gave birth to 3 and I want 3 here with me. Guess I am selfish.
* Maybe I should, but this is the best thing I can do right now.
* I don't think I'll ever be over my crying, and I wouldn't want to be. It helps me heal. And if I didn't cry, I'd explode.
* My love for my child will never end, neither will my tears.
* I don't think I will ever be over crying until I see my child again.
* I will always cry over my children, they should be here not there.
* The crying will ease over time... but there is no time limit on grief.
* Maybe, but their isn't a day go by that I don't think about my girls, and my grandson.
* Here is a very unfair, judgmental question; I choose not to explain my reason for tears over my child to you at this point.

At least you have other children!
* While that is true it doesn't stop the pain and sorrow of losing my son/daughter.
* I know that, but they have to be patient and give me time to grieve, they are probably grieving too, (if old enough to understand the situation.)
* And my son/daughter is one of my children; I miss him/her every day.
* Yes, they are not interchangeable. I still have all my children.
* Yes, but he/she should be here, too.
* I am thankful for all of my children but my heart aches for the one
no longer with me as well.
* Yes, I do, but there is an empty space at our table every night where my son/daughter should be and an empty spot in my heart.
* So what if I have other children, they needed their siblings as much as I do.
* Yes, I do, but my missing child was just as special and should be here with me now.
* I've had other children. They are a blessing, but they do not replace the one that died. There is always an empty place in our family.
* Since we have no other children, yet, no one has said this to me. Closest was "There will be other babies", which my cousin said to me at the foot of Michael's opened grave at his service.
* Yes, but another child doesn't take the place of the one you lost. They each have their special places in your heart.

He/She is in a better place.
* Yes he/she is and it does help knowing that he/she is, but I want him/her here with me.
* Yes, the Christian in me knows that but the mother in me wants to hold her son/daughter here.
* I am sorry but I think the best place he could be is here with his family.
* There is a better place, but the best place is in my arms.
* Do you really think I don't know that?
* My child is in Heaven, but I'm a Mother and I feel that no place is better than here with me.
* Who's to say he is!?! He should be here with us where he belongs.
* No, they would be better off in my arms. Not in some cold dark, deep grave!
* How do I know that for sure? Have you lost a child? Do you know if he/she is better off not with you?
* Yes, I believe in heaven, but it doesn't ease the emptiness of the here and now.
* There is no better place for a child then with its mother.
* Yes they are, I have no doubts. But I would rather they be here with me. He/She only lived two years, my son/daughter lived 22. I lost more.
* You may measure the amount of love you have your child with time, BUT I DON'T. I love my son/daughter as if he/she were alive for 100 years.
* With an older child you have so many more memories and sometimes the memories are the only things that keep me going. The pain is the same. We were all cheated when we lost our children, but the ones who lost little one were cheated out of so much more.
* Loosing a child is loosing a child, no matter when they were lost.
* Love for a child has no time limit. Seconds, days, years, itís all the same.
* I still love my child just as much as you love your child.
* I am sorry, for your lost, but please don't diminish mine, its just as painful.
* No matter what the age, the grief is just as intense. You cannot measure one person's grief against another's -- everyone grieves differently.
* You have 22 years of memories to comfort you when you miss your child. I have 33 weeks. No matter the time you had with your child, you never fully got to know them, and that is the sharpest cut of all. If it were my child I would no longer be on this earth.
* So now you love your children more than I love mine because I didn't kill myself?
* There was a time when I didn't think I would survive this either, I used to feel the same way as you, but I don't have any choice. I love my children just as much as you do.
* Well I am sorry you feel that way. I on the other hand do not.
* I thought the very thing at one time. But we have no choice but to remain here, which is one reason it is so difficult!!
* I'm sorry you feel that way and at times I felt that way, but somehow we go on.
* Well, that is good for you, but I have other children that need me just as much.
* You survive the only way you can... by the grace of God and the support of your family! Your other living children help you to get through each passing day!
* That thought crossed my mind many times. Thankfully, I was expecting my second child and I knew that he deserved a loving mother also.
* Perhaps...grieving is as unique to a person as fingerprints.
* What do you want me to do commit suicide?

But he/she is finally really happy!
* He/She was happy here.
* And why would he not be happy here with us?
* Oh, my daughter/son was very happy with her/his family, really happy.
* Yes, but my child would be happy here with me, too.
* How do you know that! Maybe my child would rather be here with us.
* He was very comfortable with us here on earth and I only hope he is just as happy where he is today!
* My child was happy. He was the happiest baby! I could only imagine him/her crying, being separated from the ones and me he/she loved, as much as we cried being separated from him/her.
* They were happy with their family here also. He/She was an Angel on Earth - not meant to be here.
* God doesn't make mistakes. He/She was meant to be and I am so thankful he/she was no matter how long I had him/her.
* Yes he/she was an Angel. But I think by getting pregnant he/she was meant to be here.
* That is truly unfair.
* My child was meant to be! He/She was a gift to me from God.
* Yes, he/she was an angel, but he/she deserved a life here on earth.
* God could never punish me like that. It was by his hands that I survived here on earth than the human hands that took my child from me.
* He/She was certainly meant to be here, even if his/her visit was but a short one.
* They wouldn't have been born if they weren't meant to be here. He/She wouldn't want you to cry.
* Crying is part of grieving and healing and should/must be done. (I read once that it is a proven fact that the tears of grief are a different chemical makeup than other tears.)
* Probably not, but he/she understands.
* Your wrong, my son/daughter knows he/she and me would say cry if it helps then smile for me.
* Maybe not, but crying is better then being angry with everyone around me.
* You'll have to excuse me. I'm a little selfish and I want him/her here.
* No, but my child knows that my tears are my way of expressing my love for him/her.
* Perhaps, but crying does make me feel better.
* I think my children, understand that momma is sad and momma is going to cry. Besides how do you know they would not want me to cry over them?
* My child was only 18 months... I'm sure he/she wouldn't understand the tears I shed for him/her, but somehow I doubt that he/she wouldn't want me to mourn his/her death.
* Well, I wouldn't want him to be dead so that makes two of us out of luck.
* I'm sure they wouldn't.

Time will heal.
* Time won't heal this hurt; it only makes it easier to bear.
* I have heard that too and I am waiting, I'll let you know.
* Your wrong, time only allows you the grace to find a living place. A place to go on living and carry the pain.
* God I hope that is the case. But you never know about time.
* Exactly how much time would it take you to "heal" after something like this?
* Time is endless.
* No, time doesn't heal; it just makes it easier to cope.
* Well, I sure don't see time healing.
* Time is not what heals, though it does dull the sharpness and frequency, thankfully. But when you are newly bereaved you don't need to keep hearing that over and over because it negates the immediate feelings that you are having.
* Time does ease the intense pain, but the deep scars are forever.
* Time also punishes me.

This is killing you.
* No it is not killing me, it is hurting me.
* No, it's making me a stronger person.
* No, I'm very much alive. It isn't that simple.
* Maybe slowly, but somehow I will manage.
* Yeah itís killing me, I should have died first not them!
* Yes, in a way it is a death inside to have one's child die.
* It already did. The person I was before my children died with them.
* There was a time I wish it would, truly. But no I am alive, at times the walking dead, but alive. As time passes you shall notice that a part of me died with my child, you will mourn the "Old me" you once knew, accept the "New me," or choose not to.

Wishing You All Continuous Comfort & Peace,
John-Danielle Marieís Daddy
1/4/95-2/20/06 (head trauma-motor vehicle accident)
ďHer friendship was an inspiration, her love a blessingĒ


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Re: How To Respond Part-1...What Do You Think? (Long...but EXCELLENT!!!)
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2007, 02:28:18 PM »
I have copied this John. And I am going to tape it to my desk at work.

Once again... thank you John.
Love and hugs,
Johanna, Micheal's mom

Who, then, can so softly bind up the wound of another as he,
who has felt the same wound himself?
Thomas Jefferson


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Re: How To Respond Part-1...What Do You Think? (Long...but EXCELLENT!!!)
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2007, 08:51:20 PM »
This is an excellent article, worth sharing, thank you.  What really got me thinking is, except for the first question (How many children do you have) is the fact my husband and I have pretty much said the same stupid statements to each other since we lost our son 9 years ago.  I laughed realizing we say stupid things to comfort each other, so how can I possibly resent uneducated people saying them to me, and believe me they have and I've been offended!
I'm suprised that we bereaved parents actually try and teach things that cannot be taught but must be experienced, what is this desire of ours to educate and explain in words or quips an experience so unexplainably painful.  I also realize there are times I don't want to talk about my son Jason, even though I spend time thinking about him daily.  That is why this cannot be taught, even between my husband and I we are seldom in the same moment of time, and we still stumble in the dark with each others emotions, what are the right words or the right time or the right memory to bring up.  Because now that is all they will ever be, memories, and as precious as they are, it leads up to the horror.  When you go down that path the pain of the ending is always close behind the smile.  I agree there is a horror in being forgotten, so we like to make sure we include our children who are gone when asked.  But why set ourselves up for rejection when others are going to get uncomfortable, and like you said, truthfully why shouldn't they.  It's not comfortable, there is no pleasure derived from it most times unless you are with the type of person who intuitively knows not to say much besides I'm sorry, or the one's who have actual memories to converse with.  But yet there are those moments when I boldly announce to someone I just met about my son.  It's almost like swiping out in pain, defying them to say something stupid because I carry around this burden and want someone else to momentarily be stunned in a mean way.  Or worse, share with someone who disappoints me by saying those stupid things when I thought they actually might have something wise to say, like I truly thought there would be some words that heal.  Then later I remember to forgive most for their reaction or non-reaction, I remember briefly what it was actually like before I knew the true meaning of such a loss, when I was one of them. 


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Re: How To Respond Part-1...What Do You Think? (Long...but EXCELLENT!!!)
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2007, 04:17:09 AM »
I read this yesterday, and printed it out.  I have had most of these things said to me, some by co-workers, some by friends and close relatives, some by new acquaintances.  I have a particular problem with people who compare the loss of a child to the loss of their pet, proclaiming that the animal is just like a child to them. 

Many of these statements have nothing to do with our grief, and more to do with people being uncomfortable with the situation, and not wanting to deal with our grief.  If it's been more than a few weeks, they don't even want to hear about it.  The moving on, find a hobby, have another child lines replace the I know how you feel lines, and the topic of conversation changes.  If you don't move on at a pace that society deems appropriate, you are left behind. 

Thanks for posting this,

Mel's Mom