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?
Phrases like, “What can I do?” or “Call if you need anything,” are too open ended for parents who’ve just lost a child. Try to be more intentional with yes or no questions, such as, “I’ll come mow your lawn on Saturday. Would 10am be a good time?”
In the early stages of grief, it’s hard to make decisions and the number we are able to make is limited. And any stories you have about the child that died are appreciated. We always love those.
You have no idea what to say. Will talking about their child make it worse? Will it trigger more grief? No. Because we think about the one we lost every day till the day we die. It changes over time. But we never, ever forget for even one day.
If that parent lost a child to suicide or drug overdose, they suffer the stigma of a “less noble death” even though both of those causes of death are from diseases of the brain. So people say even less. Parents who’ve lost a child are avoided, eliminated from guest lists, and … Read more...