A Grieving Mother's Greatest Fear after Child Loss
Updated: Feb 17
My greatest fear is that the world will eventually forget about my daughter, Katie. Seven years ago, she walked out the door and never came home.
People surround you with love and compassion when your child dies, but then their lives and responsibilities pull them back to their own worlds. They get on with their lives....Will they forget about the loss of your child?
Over time, people retreat and they stop saying your child's name. Is it because they think it will hurt us? Or do they truly forget that our child lived too? People don't like it when you talk about your dead child. They don't know what to do or what to say. It's just too much for them and it makes them uncomfortable.
We are a reminder of what can happen and no one wants to be reminded.
I know that not everyone understands and I know that no one wants to cause me additional pain, but what they don't know is that by not saying anything my heart breaks all over again. Hearing my daughter's name or the fact that you were thinking about her warms my heart. It doesn't stir up my pain. My pain is always there and it will never go away.
While I don't expect that Katie's name will be a part of every conversation, it is nice that she is remembered on her birthday and on the day she went to heaven. Those days will forever be awful for me and wrought with emotion. A simple card, hug, text, or email is always appreciated. It helps me know that you haven't forgotten about my girl.
She will always be a part of me. Every single day of my life.
Here is an excerpt from my book A Journey to HEALING: A Mother's Guide to Navigating Child Loss. It is part of the appendix I included at the back of my book to help friends and family support us in our loss.
If you are a friend of a bereaved mom, or family, or even an acquaintance, please be patient with us. We may look the same to you, but we are very, very different now. We are fragile and need lots of gentleness, kindness and patience. Please know that there is no timeline to healing, that healing is the choice of the bereaved, not your choice or your timeline. We are human beings and have different wants and needs during our grief and it changes over time. No two people grieve the same. Good communication, like other areas of life, is paramount.
To help you best support a bereaved mother consider the following: