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You should be with other mothers of dead children

I love being with other parents who’ve lost a child. No one understands my pain more than other members of the club no one wants to be in. But I also want to be with my old friends, too.

The thing is, after Charles died, I was in fear of losing my old friends–friends who had not weathered a tragedy like this. I was afraid if I let on how sad I still was or how much I missed Charles, or talked too much about my loss that those friends would label me as Debbie downer and no longer want … Read more...

7 things we need our ‘ungrieving’ friends to know

When you lose a child, it changes you. And our friends don’t know how to act or what to do. They don’t know what to do with the new you even though you’re the same person you were in so many ways. So here’s what we want our friends to know.

1. You are enough

Period. We want you just the way you are and we crave your company. Being alone all the time can be a recipe for agony.

2. You can’t fix this

No one can. No one has the magic wand and no one has the perfect … Read more...

We’re fixers not listeners

We need to be listeners. But if we can’t fix it, we tend to turn in the other direction.

Those of you who’ve suffered watching a loved one with addiction or a mental illness or both know what I mean. We wanted the formula. And in our first support group, we sat there waiting for the magic recipe to fix our kid. There had to be steps we simply missed.

If we took them to the right rehab, said just the right thing, did just the right thing, everything would turn around and we’d have our child back.

After our … Read more...

Grief: How relationships with friends have changed

friendship-after-a-loss

A friend and I had a conversation just recently. And we talked about how things have changed with my friends. For one thing, having lost a child doesn’t exactly put you at the top of an invite list for social events.

Once I noticed this, I made the decision not to be bitter but to host more events on my own and reach out more. Start my own party so to speak.

But why was I still feeling left out?

My friend said something interesting in our conversation, “We haven’t changed how we’ve treated you.” And in general, that’s true.

Except for … Read more...

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