Today, it is 12 years since my child, my daughter, my Leah died.
I am going to take this day to share 10 things we should all know about being around parents after the death of a child.
- Don’t tell me how lucky I am to have other children. This does not change the fact that one of my babies has died.
- Don’t say you know how I feel, unless you have lost a child.
- Don’t tell me my child is in a better place. No matter how strong your religious beliefs, would you prefer your child to be in “ heaven” or at home with you?
- Don’t say I will get over this. You never get over loosing a child. You learn to go on. And this is with you every day for the rest of your life. Don’t ask what I need. Just show up, and help. Nobody who has just lost a child is going to ask for help.
- Talk about my child. Our worst fear when a child dies is that they will be forgotten. Don’t be afraid that talking about my daughter will upset me. Not talking about her makes me cry.
- Don’t look away when I say I have 3 children. I will always have 3 children.12/11/14
- Loosing a child can destroy the strongest families. If my husband and I cant hold each other up right now, help one of us. Help us together or alone, so our family has a chance of making it through this
- Be there for my other children. They have lost their sister. They are seeing their parents in a way that is frightening to small children. Take them out, tell them I love them. Tell them I will be more like my old self eventually.
- If you call me on the first anniversary of her death, please, call me each year. This is a day that will never be easy for me
- Don’t tell me you want me to be happy. Don’t ask me to smile. I will find my way, with your love and support, to a new normal. Be patient with me.