What do you say to parents who’ve just lost a child?

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...

Why saying ‘he’s in a better place’ can be a dangerous phrase

grief, in a better place

I made a pledge when Charles died by suicide not to nitpick what people said to me after his death. After all, it is so hard to know what to say. I was overjoyed if someone said anything at all.

To be honest, the worst thing you can say is nothing at all. So don’t fret if you have used the “better place” expression.

Here is my issue with it

When we say “better place” we could potentially be glorifying heaven as a destination. Basically you could be promoting an early exit since you are implying the place after death is “better” than … Read more...