I posted the following on LinkedIn. Below are some of the lovely quotes from that post.
What grieving parents want you to know….
You are still important to us.
We still want to be asked, invited, and included.
We might not go. And then again we may.
We still want to talk about our child who died.
Days, months, and even years later.
Our greatest fear is that our child will be forgotten.
We hope you will listen and be there for us, asking us on holidays how we might be coping.
And understanding that certain times of year might still be a struggle even decades later.
We may still want to visit the grave,
Or have some kind of shrine.
It might make you uncomfortable and you may have decided that we should have moved past all this.
But we never move past it, we just learn to live with it.
It’s not your job to push us from sad to happy.
You can’t fix it but your ears and empathy help.
The one first is from someone who has not lost a child. So we are reaching people outside our “club.”
Wisdom from parents who’ve lost a child:
“Anne Moss Rogers I’m going to read your book. Your post so resonates with me, not for one suffering a loss, but for one to better understand others who have. Grief, should not be surrounded by others’ grief– grief needs to be surrounded by understanding. When I first looked at your post I said to myself what a handsome young man, and then it sunk in. What was he feeling that others did not know? Thank you, from the bottom of my heart!”
Stephen Cohen, landscaper
“The best humans will sit by your side in your grief and do absolutely nothing to change how you feel…..”
“I just heard someone say in an interview this morning, that we are allergic to grief in this country…”
Leslie Weirich, Suicide Prevention Specialist, Mental Health Youth Advocate, Motivational Speaker
“…….We lost our son on April 29, 2021, in a car accident. We’ve been wrestling with all the things you mentioned in your post and have seen the best in many and the worst in some as we continue to grieve this loss and try to find our way down this new road we find ourselves on. We did not want to be part of this club – but I’m often amazed at how quickly a connection is born when I meet other members of this club….”
Chris Dukes, Vice President Information Technology at Aspen Surgical
“Too many people think that loss of a child and the tremendous amount of grief that follows us FOREVER, should end at some point in our lives.
Truth is grief is with us forever, hitting us like the waves of the ocean on the beach gently every day. Sometimes hitting us like an unpredictable storm, and then there are those days it hits like a tsunami wanting to drag us out to sea and it does, but we come back fighting to hold on to our precious memories of our child.
In loving memory of middle son, Jordan Michael Baxter 1.10.85 💙 12.24.08 Always on my mind, FOREVER in my heart ❤”
Sue Bennett Baxter, Business Development Manager at First Call Staffing
“…..Grief is a journey with no final destination. Sometimes it is forward, sometimes you go back. Good memories, bad. Pride, shame, guilt, regret come at times, but so does laughter, joy, pride, love. My journey with grief has been 28 years, and while today is not the same as day 1, the loss will always be there and the emotions – good and bad – visceral. My way of overcoming it was making a conscious decision to take the grief and make it a strength as opposed to letting it consume me. Being able to talk about loss, being honest on how I felt about it, and internal blame all helped.”
Brian McDonnell out of network, Global Head, Marketplaces
“This is absolutely beautiful! Grief is something that you don’t get past. Like you said you learn to live with it but when people see you laugh and move on they think you forgot and aren’t in pain anymore. But you are and always will be.
Through these words, your son is living and he is one lucky guy 🙌”
Nafissatou Tankary (She/Her), Visionary Leader | Digital Economy & Women Empowerment Advocate| Bilingual
“This post goes to show how much opportunity for education and support actually exists. People don’t like being uncomfortable and this is a very uncomfortable topic. ….Speaking their truth IS how things get better. For them. For you too believe it or not. For everyone. Seriously. If you can’t handle it, don’t look away, scroll past it or pretend it doesn’t exist. If you do, you’re part of the problem.
Imagine, just for a second, that it’s your loved one. Embrace that discomfort. Empathy and support should be natural after that. That’s how things get better. Slowly, but surely. In summary, don’t look away. Give a hug instead. Or at least direct your thumb to the Like/Support/Care button and keep your flack to yourself.”
Andrew Wright, Consultant and Advisor | Entrepreneur | Crypto and Digital Asset Enthusiast and Advocate
“I lost my teenage son and I will never get over it, he was my only child but I have learned to live with it. I do have a beautiful life and that’s what Jonathan would want me to do.”
“Thank you for being able to articulate what so many of us bereaved parents cannot. ❤️❤️❤️
While there is no easy answer, I think your words just scream… be there, and listen….
Diane S., Mortgage Loan Processor at NVR, Inc.
“…..It’s harder when people don’t mention my son at all because they think it will hurt me. It hurts more when no one mentions him at all.”
Kimberli Mock, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Coach at TalentEvolutions
“This is an amazingly difficult topic – I wish there was some additional talk on siblings left behind – I can’t imagine the pain of losing a child; however I have seen too much the wreckage of a sibling still alive and borderline forgotten or neglected – how does a parent deal with the loss of one child without shutting out the surviving one…???”
Jason Adams MBA
If you want to add your story or quote, do so in the comments here or add yours to the post on LinkedIn.