15 January 2008

Unless You've Lost A Child...

Don't ask us if we are over it yet. We'll never be over it. A part of us died with our child. Don't tell us they are in a better place. They are not here with us where they belong. Don't say at least they are not suffering. We haven't come to terms with why they suffered at all. Don't tell us at least we have other children. Which of your children would you have sacrificed? Don't ask us if we fell better. Bereavement isn't a condition that clears up. Don't tell us at least we had our child for the time we did. What time would you choose for your child to die? Don't tell us God never gives us more than we can bear. Don't avoid us. We don't have a contagious disease, just an unbearable pain. Don't tell us you know how we feel unless you have lost a child. No other loss can compare to losing a child. It's not the natural order of things. Don't take our anger personally. We don't know who we are angry at and why and may lash out at those closest to us. Don't whisper behind us when we enter a room. We are in pain, but not deaf. Don't stop calling us after the initial loss. our grief does not stop there and we need to know others are thinking of us. Don't be offended when we don't return calls right away. We take each moment as it comes and some are worse than others. Don't tell us to get on with our lives. We each grieve differently and in our own time frame. Grief can not be governed by any clock or calendar.

Do say you're sorry. We're sorry too, and your saying that you share our sorrow is far better than saying any of those tired cliches you don't really mean anyway. Even if you're more sorry that we hurt than you are at our child's passing. It wasn't your child and you weren't as close to them as we were so we'll understand. Just say you're sorry. Do put your arms around us and hold us. We need your strength to get us through each day. Do say you remember our child, if you do. Even if you just remember us being pregnant or how happy we were when we were pregnant. Memories are all we have left and we cherish them. Do let us talk about our child. Our child may have or may not have lived, but still lives in our hearts, forever. Do mention our child's name. It will not make us sad or hurt our feelings. Do let us cry. Crying is an important part of the grief process. Cry with us if you want to. Do remember us on special dates. Our child's birth date, death date, due date, and holidays are a very lonely and difficult time for us without our child. Do send us cards on those dates saying you remember our child. We do. Do show our family that you care. Sometimes we forget to do that in our own pain. Do be thankful for children.

-taken from the "Utah Share" Newsletter January/February 2008

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