Main Page Gallery Audio/Video Candles Condolences Memories Life Story Edit Page
Latest Candles
Remembering CameronIn Cameron's NameGrandparents PageScrapbook PoemsChoices and Conseque...Things to RememberUnderstanding This G...Let us know you were...Kristen & CameronMom's thoughtsCarsurfing AwarenessAlways Thinking of C...
Family Tree
613065 Create Memorial
Bookmark and Share


Understanding This Grief

The Death Of A Child - The Grief Of The Parents: A Lifetime Journey


After the death of a child...

Please, don't ask me if I'm over it yet.
I'll never be over it.

Please, don't tell me he's in a better place.
He isn't here with me.

Please, don't say "at least he isn't suffering."
I have yet to come to terms with why he had to suffer at all.

Please, don't tell me you know how I feel-
unless you've lost a child yourself.

Please, don't ask me if I feel better.
Bereavement isn't a condition that clears up.

Please, don't tell me "at least you had him so many years."
What year would you choose for your child to die?

Please, don't tell me that "God never gives us more than we can bear."
Please, just say you are sorry.

Please, just say you remember my child.

Please, just let me talk about my child.

Please, mention my child's name.

Please, just let me cry.


The following is written by Angel Roberson after the loss of her daughter Breanna.  A few things have been changed, added or deleted, -- but she captured many of the emotions and daily struggles that we face each and every minute after the loss of our child. 


*Normal is sleepless nights filled with what if's and why didn't I's.

*Normal is feeling more comfortable at a cemetery than a family reunion.

*Normal is finding it hard to smile, sing to the radio or express any type of joy without catching yourself and feeling guilty about it.

*Normal is becoming paralyzed at the sound of sirens.

*Normal is trying to decide how to decorate our child's grave instead of our house.

*Normal is checking to see if I am wearing two of the same shoes, while searching for the phone I'm actually talking on and grabbing my keys out of the freezer or some other strange place I can't remember where I left them.

*Normal is feeling closer to someone in Canada than the person sitting next to me because they too share this new Normal.

*Normal is tears waiting behind every smile because my child is not here to share important moments in my life.

*Normal is crying every single day and knowing tomorrow will be no different.

*Normal is knowing without a doubt that I can never be hurt this badly again for as long as I live.

*Normal is being afraid of everything yet being afraid of nothing and then wondering which is worse.

*Normal is dreading that paperwork or conversation that will ask how many children you have?

*Normal is a constant sense of "loss of control" at any given time or at any given place because you never know when it will hit.

*Normal is an ache in the center of my chest that I am learning to live with yet it still has the ability to double me over without warning.

*Normal is not knowing how much longer I can sit somewhere without getting up and screaming to the top of my lungs.

*Normal is waking up every morning, hoping it was a dream and then wondering why this happened to me and my child and the nightmare starts all over again.

*Normal is feeling resentment towards people when they complain about how awful their lives are because they can't pay a bill, or their kid lied or didn't do their chores, or because they are having relationship problems, or in my mind, other trivial problems.


*Normal is knowing I will never be as happy again for the rest of my life as I was before my child died.


written by Elaine Grier, The Compassionate Friends, Atlanta, GA

Every time I am in a group of bereaved parents, I hear people say things like, "I wish my child hadn't died" or "I wish I had him back".  Those wishes, unfortunately, can never come true. Another wish I hear is "I wish my friends (or church, or neighbors, or relatives) understood what I am going through and were more supportive." This is a wish that has some possibility of coming true if we are able to be honest and assertive with the people around us. What do we wish others understood about the loss of our child? Here is a partial list of such wishes:

1. I wish you would not be afraid to speak my child's name. My child lived and was important and I need to hear his name.

2. If I cry or get emotional if we talk about my child, I wish you knew that it isn't because you have hurt me; the fact that my child died has caused my tears. You have allowed me to cry and thank you. Crying and emotional outbursts are healing.

3. I wish you wouldn't "kill" my child again by removing from your home his pictures, artwork, or other remembrances.

4. I will have emotional highs and lows, ups and downs. I wish you wouldn't think that if I have a good day my grief is all over, or that if I have a bad day I need psychiatric counseling.

5. I wish you knew that the death of a child is different from other losses and must be viewed separately. It is the ultimate tragedy and I wish you wouldn't compare it to your loss of a parent, a spouse, or a pet.

6. Being a bereaved parent is not contagious so I wish you wouldn't shy away from me.

7. I wish you knew all of the "crazy" grief reactions that I am having are in fact very normal. Depression, anger, frustration, hopelessness, and the questioning of values and beliefs are to be expected following the death of a child.

8. I wish you wouldn't expect my grief to be over in six months. The first few years are going to be exceedingly traumatic for us. As with alcoholics, I will never be "cured" or a "former bereaved parent", but will forevermore be a "recovering bereaved parent".

9. I wish you understood the physical reactions to grief. I may gain weight or lose weight, sleep all the time or not at all, develop a host of illnesses and be accident-prone, all of which may be related to my grief.

10. Our child's birthday, the anniversary of his death, and holidays are a terrible times for us. I wish you would tell us that you are thinking about our child on these days, and if we get quiet and withdrawn, just know that we are thinking about our child and don't try to coerce us into being cheerful.

11. It is normal and good that most of us re-examine our faith, values, and beliefs after losing a child. We will question things we have been taught all our lives and hopefully come to some new understanding with our God. I wish you would let me tangle with my religion without making me feel guilty.

12. I wish you wouldn't offer me drinks or drugs. These are just temporary crutches, and the only way I can get through this grief is to experience it. I have to hurt before I can heal.

13. I wish you understood that grief changes people. I am not the same person I was before my child died and I never will be that person again. If you keep waiting for me to "get back to my old self", you will stay frustrated. I am a new creature with new thoughts, dreams, aspirations, values and beliefs. Please try to get to know the new me - - maybe you'll still like me.