Loss of a child: Say this, not that

Don’t say: At least he’s in a better place now
Say instead: I know you miss him every day

Don’t say: I couldn’t survive losing a child
Say instead: I can’t fix your hurt. But I can listen

Don’t say: Call me if there is anything I can do for you
Instead say: I will be over at 4 pm to take Sara to soccer.
Is that OK?

Don’t say: I know exactly how you feel. I lost my great grandfather last year.
Instead say: I don’t know how you feel. Can I give you a hug?

Don’t say: You will have other children.
Instead say: I know nothing will ever replace your love for Timothy. Tell me something about him.

Don’t say: Oh no, don’t cry! How can I cheer you up?
Instead say: Cry all you want. My shoulder is here for you. And I might even join you.

Don’t say: You’ll get over this.
Instead say: I have no idea what this is like or what you are going through. I’m just going to keep checking in on you.

gift for grieving parent

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Give a drug store card. Or give a gift that shows you really care from a parent who knows the pain of losing a child. (opens in a new tab)

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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.

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