Capture Your Grief, Day 7
I’m sorry that someone in your life has experienced the greatest loss—the loss of a child. You must feel so sad, yet so awkward...so unsure as to what you should do. Because, what can you do? What can you say? You can say nothing. You can do nothing. Just be. Just be there for them. Nothing will fix this. Nothing will take away their pain. Nothing will make them feel better. No cliches, no words of wisdom, no biblical quote or spiritual truth. Nothing. Don’t force them to get out of the house. Don’t force them to move forward. Don’t force them to even get out of bed. Pray for them. Bring them a meal/coffee. Tend to their living children. Do their laundry. Sit with them. Cry with them. Listen to them. Talk about their loss...even 3 months, 6 months, 10 years down the road. Don’t ignore it. And as time moves on, and the days move further from the tragedy...don’t move further, too. Your life will go on, but their’s will stand still. Don’t disappear. Don’t check out. Rather, check in on them, even if they push you away. Know that the child they buried is always on their mind. It will occupy them entirely. Holidays and family gatherings will be hard—especially Christmas and birthdays. Be gentle with their grief. Understand that they may not want to go, because their child’s absence will be so predominant. Large groups and social settings will be overwhelming, so just be patient with their healing. Don’t try to fix them. If you recognize their pain, don’t ignore it. Enter into it with them. Say their child’s name. Remember the anniversaries, and let them know that you remembered. And know that they will be tired. So extremely tired. They won’t think the same, speak the same, act the same. They will never be the same. This loss has impacted their life entirely. So please lower your expectations, and take them as they are. If they have a good day, or a good moment, then acknowledge their victory. But know that the bad days and the hard days will still be there, too. Don’t put a time line on their grief. Although it will manifest and take shape, they will be grieving for the rest of their lives. Don’t expect them to be “over it.” Losing a child is not something you get over. Recognize that the child they lost is irreplaceable, and love them despite it all.
A Loss Mom