Helping a Grieving Mom
It's interesting to me that I have lost a child, which in my option, is the worst loss ever possible and then have to deal with hurtful words from friends, family, and others. I'm in enough pain without hearing things that people say to try and make it better! I know these words come from caring and love, and the words said are meant to help and comfort me. But many of the
things people say that are meant for good are extremely hurtful. As I have said before, the pain of losing a child is something you do not understand unless it has happen to you. It's like before you have a child, you can't understand the love you will have for your child until you have one. Before Carly died, I had no idea what deep sorrow and pain felt like. It's not something one can imagine if you haven't been through it, and my wish would be that no one ever would have to understand.
Nothing anyone can say will fix the loss. Nothing anyone can say will lessen the pain. Nothing anyone can say will change the situation. So, please don't tell a grieving mom that you understand because you have lost a parent or grandparent, or have been through a divorce. While these are terrible losses, they are not the same as losing a child. Please don't tell a grieving mom that her child is in a better place or that the child is the lucky one because he/she is in heaven. Don't say that life goes on and you need put this horrible tragedy behind and move forward. The loss of a child is a lifetime journey, there is no putting it behind you, it's learning to live without your child the rest of your life which very hard and painful.
The nicest thing you can do is show you care, love, and support a grieving mom. Listen to her, let her talk about her child, let her cry on your shoulder. Don't be afraid to talk about her child, she wants to talk about him/her. Let her know that you are there for her at anytime and check in with her periodically to let her know you still care and are thinking of her. Invite her to do things often, even if she says no, keep asking. When she is ready, she will go. A grieving mom needs lots of support and love to help get through every day without her child. This journey is long and torturous. A community of caring friends is a needed aspect to moving in a healthy way learning to live this new life.
A grieving mom needs empathy, not sympathy. "Brene' Brown on Empathy" explains this so well. Dr. Brown says empathy is feeling with people which bring people together. Empathy will go a long way in helping a grieving mom walk through life without her child.
Miss you so much my Sunshine!