Read. Listen. And never say these words to someone who has lost a child. I’ve heard them all way too many times.


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http://stillstandingmag.com/2014/01/6-things-never-say-bereaved-parent/

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9 Comments

  1. Elisa

     /  January 23, 2014

    Amen. I lost my 24 yr old brother in August to the after affects of cancer (9yr battle) and I have heard all of this so much too. I’m thinking it may be necessary to mandate a national grief seminar to teach people how to use their hearts and not so many words.

    Reply
  2. lamac5@cox.net

     /  January 23, 2014

    So true. You get through it but never over it. Hope you are ok. Let me know if you need a friendly ear or hug. I did an all poppy wreath on my front door….thinking of you.

    All my heartfelt best, Laura Mackey 602-703-0242

    Reply
  3. laura

     /  January 23, 2014

    When I think of you encountering someone saying something like that to you without thinking, I think of the scene from Steel Magnolias when Sally Field’s character is distraught from her daughter dying and screaming that she just wants to hit someone so, so hard……and Olympia Dukakis’ character offers Shirley MacLain to be smacked/slapped and hard! I hope you know so many of us would hit that idiot for you, or at least hold them for you as you lay into them. We love you, Maya, which will not take any of this pain away, but will hopefully help see you through any dark times.

    Reply
  4. Diann Smith

     /  January 23, 2014

    Thank God I have never lost a child…but right now I have a little friend who will be 6 years old on Monday who is dying of brain cancer. Pineoblastoma. Such an ugly name for a sickening disease which has taken many children from their parents. I have never met him (or his family), but I pray for them all on a daily basis. He lives in my town, his parents went to school with my kids, he has an older brother and a younger sister…and he doesn’t have a chance unless a huge miracle comes along. Just as I fell in love with a little boy named Ronan (who I also never met), my little friend, Cash, has touched my heart in ways only a mother of 3 and grandmother of 7 can feel. Thank you for sharing Ronan with us. Thank you for educating us. Thank you for sharing a pain so deep that breaks our hearts, but also makes us so thankful for what God has blessed us with. I think Ronan will make the best welcoming angel in heaven for our sweet little Cash on the day he arrives.
    My love and hugs surround your sweet little family.

    Reply
  5. Amy Roudebush

     /  January 23, 2014

    Thank you for sharing this, Maya. Because of you, I feel better equipped when talking to bereaving parents. Before reading your blog, I believed the things I thought & said were helpful to people suffering a tragic loss. Oh my, how wrong I was (and that’s saying something because I HATE to be wrong!). My heart was always in the right place, but I didn’t know how hurtful my words could be. Today, a friend of mine had to say goodbye to her 12 year old son after he was declared brain dead following a massive brain bleed on Tuesday. A happy & healthy child here one minute, and just gone the next. The things people are saying to her now are well intended, but they’re so off course with what they should be saying. My friend decided to donate her son’s organs. He is helping to save the lives of MANY people as his entire body was perfectly healthy. Yes, he gave a amazing gift. Yes, organ donation truly is a selfless act. Yes, it’s unimaginable to think of his mom & dad signing the papers of consent for organ donation. But her boy didn’t die because this was his plan in life…to save other people. He’s a child. He should be here. Because of your insightful and gifted way with words, I clearly grasp the tangible ways to speak and treat parents who are suffering the tragic loss of a child. You’ve given me tools for life and I’m forever grateful. Thank you for posting this…especially today.

    Reply
  6. Michele

     /  January 24, 2014

    I know you don’t “need” to hear this from anyone, or have your pain justified or validated by ANYONE for ANY REASON, but what you’re doing is amazing. Ronan is so lucky to have a momma who has allowed his memory to be immortalized, his spirit to live on, and his life to touch so many others even after he was stolen from the world. And you… my gosh. Your words are inspiring and your strength is humbling. The vulnerability that you show on this blog is rooted in that strength, and nothing else. Anyone who says differently is a fool, and has clearly never had to be brave. I hope you are afforded some small comfort, cold as it may be, by the opportunity to purge yourself online, and by the fact that you have become a voice for all the bereaved parents who were never told, “it is okay for you to feel this way. you will never be the same. your heart will never fully heal, and you DO NOT HAVE TO BE OKAY WITH THAT.” It isn’t okay, it never could be. And for whatever my opinion is worth, I think it takes more courage to admit that, and to cuss and cry and scream than to cover it with a bunch of pretty lies, clich├ęs, and trite sayings. You are brave because you refuse to live a lie, you choose to open yourself to people who do not understand, and who say hateful things, and judge cruelly about something they do not understand. You are an amazing mother, to your Ronan and his brothers and sister. I hope there is someone to tell you that every day.

    Reply
  7. mtlover@outlook.com

     /  February 20, 2014

    I’ve seen so many cancer stories in my life time (I’m only 12) but this one really touched my heart and its not beacuse you wrote a song and taylor swift sang it and the song that went on itunes but that a mother like you put so much effort into helping your son and everyone else with cancer too you are such a beatufil and strong woman can deal with all of this you are just so great just hearing the name Ronan I see his little blue eyes in my mind and think wow this is what I want to live for I want to live my life fighting for cancer And helping find a cure and I just wanted to say you are the reason i want to help Stop Cancer ! Thank you for the insperation

    Reply
  8. This really is near and dear to my heart a couple years ago (it sounds so crass or nonchalant, but I know exact number of days, minutes, and seconds when) i lost my baby sister, not in the same way as Ronan, but terrifying and heartbreaking just the same and ive heard all the awful things those who dont a similar lost say. Reading your life, soul, heartbreak after heartbreak, love, and amazing big and tiny miracles on a blog made me pray so hard for you all. it reminded me of my loss losing a young life that was so intertwined with mine, but it helped in words i cant express . i would do anything to bring our precious miracles back, but for now I will take their similar spirits and learn to fly wild and free until i can be with mine again. Thank you a bazillion times over for your courage in sharing your story . i hope you have an opportunity to read this and know how much someone who will never meet you loves and appreciate you.

    Reply
  9. Emma

     /  March 3, 2014

    You are so amazing Maya ! Thank you !
    Thinking of Roro everyday …

    Reply

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