Life doesn't stop, although it feels like it should. Read More
Thank you for this article. Sometimes the most helpful thing you can do is to just listen & not be put off or scared away by the crying, and the feeling of not knowing what to say - simply keep coming back to give more support!
I agree - no parent wants to imagine losing a child. It's the wrong order of things. Bo matter how much you don't know what to say to people who experience this kind of loss or how horribly inadequate you feel, it's important to give them your love and support in any way you can.
I love that you start off making clear that no platitude is going to be of service in response to the loss of a child. Personally, I find platitudes to ring empty in nearly all situations, but especially in a situation as profound as the death of a loved one. I find that just listening and, when appropriate, holding/hugging is sufficient. I appreciate when someone allows me an opportunity to "let it out" and sits quietly while I cry. And I even appreciate when someone says, "I can't imagine how you feel. If there is anything I can do for you, please let me know." and they mean it and they're there when I call on them.
I can't imagine the impact of loosing a child - as never having my own; but have seen close relatives who have lost a child. Time seems to be the only answer - each day you get better, but never forget.
Sometimes our words get in the way in these devastating situations. Thank you for pointing out that the best help is simply being there, listening, or doing every day tasks that seem too big for those suffering. I appreciate you sharing your wisdom with us.
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Deborah King, New York Times best-selling health & wellness author, speaker, and attorney.
When and how should we open up to loved ones?