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10 Ways to Handle Insensitive Comments After Child Loss

hurtful things people say after loss of a loved one

UGHhhh......this hurts!

Losing a child is an unfathomable tragedy that leaves a grieving mom with an unimaginable void in her heart. During such a devastating time, the support and understanding of others can be invaluable. However, it is not uncommon for well-intentioned people (even loved ones and friends) to inadvertently say the wrong thing, unintentionally causing further pain to a grieving mother. In this blog post, I've included ten tips to help you deal with people who may not fully comprehend the depth of your grief.

1. Cultivate Compassion for Yourself

Grief is a deeply personal experience, and there is no right or wrong way to grieve the loss of a child. Be kind to yourself and understand that your emotions are valid. Embrace the grieving process, and remember that it is okay to feel a range of emotions, including anger, sadness, and even moments of happiness, as confusing as that my be. Each mother's journey through grief is unique, and it's essential to allow yourself the time and space to heal.

2. Educate Your Inner Circle

During times of grief, your inner circle may be the most significant source of support. However, they may not always know the best way to comfort you. Consider having an open and honest conversation with them about the kind of support you need and the comments that are hurtful. By communicating your feelings, you empower them to be more empathetic and sensitive during your grieving process.

3. Respond with Gratitude

When faced with insensitive comments, it can be challenging to respond graciously. However, choosing gratitude can help diffuse tension and open the door for a more meaningful conversation. For example, if someone says, "You should be over it by now," respond with, "Thank you for your concern. Grief is a unique journey, and I appreciate your support as I navigate through it."

4. Set Boundaries

During the grieving process, you may find yourself surrounded by people who unintentionally cross boundaries or overstep. Don't be afraid to assert yourself and kindly ask for space when needed. Setting boundaries is crucial to safeguarding your emotional well-being and ensuring you have the time and space to heal at your own pace.

5. Create a Safe Space

Create a physical or emotional space where you can honour your child's memory without fear of judgment. This space could be a quiet corner in your home, a memorial garden, or even a journal where you can pour out your thoughts and feelings. Having a safe space allows you to channel your grief constructively and maintain a connection with your child.

6. Seek Support from Support Groups

Connecting with others who have experienced a similar loss can be incredibly comforting. Online and in-person support groups offer a safe environment to share your feelings, find understanding, and gain coping strategies. For example, the Hope & Healing Community offers a space that is nurturing and offers resources for learning and navigating the loss of a child. Knowing you are not alone in your journey can help ease the burden of grieving and provide hope for the future.

best book about child loss
Lisa's book for grieving mothers

7. Educate About Grief and Loss

Society often struggles to understand grief fully, leading to insensitive comments. Consider sharing educational resources on grief and loss with your friends and family. Books, articles, or websites that articulate the grieving process can help them grasp the complexity of your emotions and, in turn, improve their communication with you.

8. Create Rituals to Honour Your Child

Rituals can be a powerful way to honour your child's memory and cope with your grief. Lighting a candle, releasing butterflies, or writing letters can be meaningful acts of remembrance. These rituals not only provide comfort but also offer an opportunity for others to participate in commemorating your child's life.

9. Focus on Positive Memories

While grieving, it's natural to focus the pain of loss. Yet, focusing on the happy times you spent together can help counteract the overwhelming sorrow. Surround yourself with photos, videos, and mementos that celebrate your child's life. Sharing these memories with others can also inspire heartwarming conversations and foster a deeper understanding of your child's impact on your life.

10. Practice Self-Care

Amidst the emotional turmoil, it's easy to neglect yourself. Yet, taking care of you is essential for the healing process. Engage in activities that bring you joy, whether it's spending time in nature, pursuing a hobby, or seeking professional counseling. By caring for yourself, you empower yourself to navigate the grief journey with strength and resilience. Dealing with insensitive comments while grieving is beyond frustrating, but with compassion and understanding, it is possible to navigate these interactions more effectively.



PS: I created a special free video for grieving mothers that will help you navigate the rollercoaster of grief and child loss. You can read more about it here.

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