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How are you coping?

It’s a simple question.

However, once the loss of a child is acknowledged in a memorial service and everyone else gets back on the bus, those of us who have lost a child still struggle. If it’s a stigmatized death like suicide or drug-related death, there are additional struggles that come with having lost a child to a “less noble” cause of death.

The question is have you asked your friend or relative how they are? How they are coping months after when no one else is asking or bringing meals?

You guys ask me because I have this blog. I’m in your face all the time, my facade no longer exists and I’m hard to ignore.

But when I talk to other parents, I hear that no one ever asks them this question. No one asks how they might be doing. Support seems to dissolve after the funeral.

And you know what else?  Those who suffer a serious illness or disability tell me the same thing. Parents of children with disability rarely get asked this either. No one ever asks how they get along despite monumental challenges. Why is that?

Is it that people just forget? Have other things on their mind? Are afraid of death? Is it because it’s awkward?  Or because people think the person has moved past it? Maybe it just didn’t occur to others to ask. Perhaps things on the surface look pretty good. Maybe you don’t want to “remind” them.

Or is it that you can’t fix it?

I think that’s it. When people feel they can’t fix a thing, they don’t bring it up. They feel utterly helpless. And humans hate to feel helpless or uncomfortable. So why bring it up?

That simple acknowledgement means a lot. And it’s so easy.

So I’m empowering you to ask the question because a little human compassion and selflessness goes a long way. Don’t be surprised when you hear, “Thanks for asking.”

A crazy post about name calling

 

Published by

Anne Moss Rogers

I am an emotionally naked TEDx speaker, and author of the Book, Diary of a Broken Mind and co-author with Kim O'Brien PhD, LICSW of Emotionally Naked: A Teacher's Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk. I raised two boys, Richard and Charles, and lost my younger son, Charles to substance use disorder and suicide on June 5, 2015. I help people foster a culture of connection to prevent suicide, reduce substance misuse and find life after loss. My motivational, training and workshop topics include suicide prevention, addiction, mental illness, coping strategies/resilience, and grief. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now the legacy I try and carry forward in my son's memory. Professional Speaker Website. Trained in ASIST and trainer for the evidence-based 4-hour training for everyone called safeTALK.

6 thoughts on “How are you coping?”

  1. I often bring up my nephew… tragic death due to a motorcycle accident 4 years ago….to his parents and surviving siblings. Also, I continue support for my sister’s son( 29) and a heroin addict who is 10 months clean, living and working in a court ordered, state supported rehab facility in CA. Also, try to be emotionally available for my sister who suffers from depression.
    Like the saying goes, people who are remembered, never die. So true.

  2. Very good post. Like a friend who gets it, said to me, “What, I’m gonna upset you? Like you’re not upset forever?”

  3. Because of your educating me, when I saw a friend whose 9 year old daughter was murdered several years ago, I told him I hadn’t forgotten her. We talked about her and I mentioned that I have her picture on my refrigerator. He shared precious memories. Before reading your blog, I wouldn’t have spoken about her, for fear it would upset him.

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