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What to say and what not to say to a parent who lost a child

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by Monika, Jan 9, 2020.

  1. Monika

    Monika Established Member

    Please, if someone can help me with this?
    "I am sorry for your loss" is strictly out from my personal list.
    "Im here for you whenever you need"?
    Just say nothing and offer silence?
    Mostly i would go with whatever my heart says but i cant comprehend what it means to loose a child.
    Kurt likes this.
  2. mac

    mac Staff Member

    I have lost a child but I wouldn't know what to suggest, Monika. Two I heard were "He wasn't meant to be." and "You can always have another." The worst was "So what." The first two weren't factually wrong but they hurt like hell at the time - definitely not acceptable. The last one was during a phone call and left me open-mouthed in disbelief but from someone I later realised had his own issues.

    I don't know what would have worked best for me and my wife but perhaps just "I'm so very sorry to hear of your sad loss." would have been OK initially. I didn't mind telling folk about our son's death but not everyone would be comfortable listening.

    Before it happened to us I don't think I would have had a clue what to say either. I don't suppose there are any words that would be right for every such loss.
    Kurt likes this.
  3. Monika

    Monika Established Member

    You are right Mac, it feels that there exsist no words which could be "correct" to say. I know that nothing i say will lessen the pain but i dont want to give them even a drop of extra pain.

    Those two examples you said sounds quite insane and i feel uncomfortable that you had to hear someone saying that :(

    During last several years some of my friends lost their parents in imediate accidents or similar. I never knew what to say but it seems that the hug gives people most comfort. When i hug someone who has faced tragic i think to myself "you know im here for you, let me know how i can help you if you feel that you need help". I dont say that. But it seems we are able to feel the thoughts so to say, at least during very close contact like hug with open hearts. Then everytime those people come back when they are ready, speak their heart out, try to find words to explain the pain they feel. Ask questions... This is a way what works for me.

    But i never faced someone who lost a child. For now all i do is i ask Michel and all who can hear me and are ready to support me and give an advice, to help me to find correct words or actions.

    Though, its very important to ask the living too. So thank you mac very much for your answer. I really appreciate your time and thought♡♡♡
    Kurt, mac and Bill Z like this.
  4. Bill Z

    Bill Z Established Member

    What Monika said about the hug rings true for me. I have a very dear wonderful friend who gave me such a hug. I was reading letter's that Susie wrote me. Susie had aphasia and for her last several years could seldom speak so when she was still cognizant we wrote letters every day. I started crying and my friend didn't say a word just walked over hugged me and my heart opened and I felt all the pain but also all the love that exists (or can exist if we let it) here.
    Kurt and Monika like this.
  5. mac

    mac Staff Member

    My own experience was that I felt moved to talk about everything that had happened to us to anyone who appeared to want to know and listen.

    Doing that certainly helped but didn't change the depth of sadness and loss we both felt. But having folk ask me what happened and then explaining didn't hurt and that realisation came as a surprise.

    Even if they didn't want to go into things too deeply or to hear too many details it was still cathartic and I eventually realised I was emerging into regular, everyday life when I began to get bored with relating the story.

    But I expect everyone similarly affected has to cope in a way that's right for her/him and there is no single way that's right for all - and no single way to approach someone bereaved and still mourning that would be right for everyone.

    Being a Brit. hugging didn't use to work for me but over this past 15 years in the US it's what I like to do and to have done to me, guys and gals alike. We Brits. are naturally a. retentive or used to be. I think over some years, though, we in the UK have picked up the rather-nice way of hugging from our Transatlantic friends. I like that!
    Kurt likes this.
  6. Monika

    Monika Established Member

    I understand mac, thats completely true that not everyone likes hugs. I by myself am not a big hugger but family and dearest friends i will hug everytime i meet. And in situations like this i do believe in the power of hug. I think when our auras meet they can share and take what is needed from each other. When Michel died i got tremendous amounts of hugs from people i know and also complete strangers. Everybody knew what happened from the news and Michel was very open person so a lot of people here knew him. And i can not say that the hug from complete stranger in the shop on on the street made my pain less but it gave for me feeling of beeing cared about. It is strange how much one hug can say. A real and open hug.
    Kurt and Bill Z like this.
  7. Ruby

    Ruby Established Member

    I agree with the above. It did help. Some people avoided me and said nothing. You really remember who sent a card or note. One encounter on the street I do remember as this woman acquaintance told me, in great excitement, that her close friend who died a few years back had spoken and said to her to go to the hospital where it turned out she needed urgent surgery! I just thought she was a little eccentric, but nice, then six months later the same voice thing happened to me. It was a very helpful thing to say, and brave! However, I didn't research anything about it online until it happened to me, and the only "paranormal" subject I'd recently come across at that time was the research of Prof I Stevenson.
    Kurt likes this.
  8. Kurt

    Kurt Major Contributor

    I am genuinely disturbed at that disgusting response he gave you... I feel bad for you nonetheless.

    Mac... You have a incredible ability to hold yourself back... Or maybe I'm just American.. :D If he told me that I would have (it would make everyone laugh but would be innappropiate for me to say) told him off in a very deep and personal way.

    I truly do grieve your pain however.
  9. Kurt

    Kurt Major Contributor

    Giving them a hug and telling them that you truly do grieve their pain and circumstances seems like a sure route to go. Also being very silent and just listening would help out.
    Monika likes this.
  10. mac

    mac Staff Member

    thanks, Kurt, for your thoughts - Their words hurt but compared with the totality of the situation were small beer and I am sure they weren't intended to hurt me. Folk often didn't know how to respond and I get that.
    Kurt likes this.

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