Every once in a while
I read a blog post
And say out loud to myself
I WISH I had written this
This says everything I want and need to say
Want and need my friends and family
And EVERYONE to read
It is not a comfortable read
But the life of a bereaved parent is not a comfortable one
And that is why we need to talk about it
Write about it
Raise awareness about it
Shout out loud about it
And not be sorry for doing so
But Scary Mommy did
And I want you please to read it
My child died, and I want you to speak about her. More importantly, I want you to allow me to speak about her.
Please don’t dodge my conversations about her, because the last thing I need is to be shut down. I don’t say this from a “wiser than thou” standpoint, but unless you’ve lost a child, you can’t understand how deeply the pain stays with you.
Before our daughter died, I remember seeing bereaved parents going on and on about the children they lost on social media. And I’m embarrassed to say, I felt a little uncomfortable with the newly-found, hurting voices they publicly shared within their grief. Somehow, I foolishly thought they needed to stop dwelling via social media… because it made me feel uncomfortable. How ignorant was I?
So, I have been in your shoes. I get that it’s uncomfortable, scary, and messy. I understand that you don’t know what to say or how to say it. I’m fully aware that you cannot fathom what it’s like to bury a child, and you fear you’ll make circumstances worse for me if you bring up my daughter’s memory. (Remember, I used to have all of my children alive and well.)
But wouldn’t it be easier just to tell me that?
Because if I’m being honest, I don’t even know what to say about it sometimes. Actually, my go-to phrase for this cruelty usually goes like this — It. Just. Sucks.
How incredibly profound, huh?
You could never remind me that she is gone, because her death is a part of her story. To forget her death would be to forget her… and I could never. So there is no “reminding me,” and there is no making me “more sad.”
What makes me sad is feeling like I’m cut-off from all conversation about her, because the rest of the world feels uncomfortable, as I once did too.
But now that my child died, I live in the slums of uncomfortable.
I will never see my little girl again, and the only opportunity I get to talk about her is when someone is willing to listen. So if you want to help, just hear me out.
I thought I would have a lifetime to say her name, yell her name, and possibly cheer her name from a front-row auditorium stand, but I don’t.
No amount of perfect, cookie-cutter words will ever bring her back, and that’s perhaps the loneliest part of all. Point being, it doesn’t take some long, drawn out, slew of words to make a difference.
Taunting me deeply is the realization that I don’t have time for people who cannot respect my way to grieve. Because while my loss doesn’t make up the entirety of who I am, it is undeniably a huge part of me.
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