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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.

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Free Grief Journey-in-a-Jar Kit

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 mental health 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 addiction 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 mental health keynotes, training and workshop topics include suicide prevention, addiction, mental illness, anxiety, 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. Mental Health Speakers Website. Trained in ASIST and trainer for the evidence-based 4-hour training for everyone called safeTALK.

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