What Not to Say to a Grieving Parent


This is a subject I should’ve discussed months ago. I know it has crossed many of your minds as well as mine! Trust me! Grieving parents are as awkward around others as we are to them. Isn’t that funny?

Sometimes I stop in my tracks from a question I get asked and don’t know how to reply. I was asked not too long ago if I had any children. I stupidly said, “kinda.” Like I said, it happens to us too.

I am sure many of you get a little anxious on how to approach us. Do you smile, frown, hold back happiness, etc? You totally be yourself! Smile, laugh, no holding back. When we see others it is a moment of peace for us so your big smiles and laughs are medicine for our injured spirits.

We go through enough sadness when we are alone, so bring on the happiness! I have greeted others and I can tell they don’t know what kind of facial expression they should wear. So let me tell you, wear your happy face! 🙂

Some of my feelings of what not to say to a grieving parent will apply to most grievers but others may disagree and that is totally OK. We are all different and this is a very personal situation. Every person in their lifetime will typically have to face grief. With that in mind, what not to say to a grieving parent can be a guideline for all grievers.


I Understand

This should almost be self-explanatory. If you have lost your child, YES, you unfortunately understand and my gosh share your thoughts! It all helps. But if you have not had your child removed from your life than it’s probably best not to say you understand what a grieving Mom is going through.

Every loss is tragic and life-changing, don’t get me wrong. Losing a parent, spouse, sibling, grandparent, close friend, or pet is heartbreaking. I feel a Mom that walks the earth that her child is buried under is wrong and we are a different breed. A Mom will do anything for her child and if we could change things and be the one buried and have our beloved child still walk the earth we would do it in a heartbeat. No doubt about it!

Time Will Heal All Wounds

how are youFrom my personal experience, it gets HARDER with time! You miss your child more every day, are overwhelmed with how you will never see them again, you worry how you will feel 10 years from now, everything reminds you of your child.


I have talked with other Mom’s and they agree. We are simply stuck here! We would rather be with them but we can’t so we are forced to put on a facade and act like we are OK. This is our new life. Stinks!

You Need to Get Out More

WRONG! Going out does not help with missing your child. We have this cloud that follows us everywhere we go. Yes we can still smile and laugh but the more smiles we have does not mean we are not hurting inside and missing our child.

I feel it’s harder because when I go out, which isn’t often, all I think about is how much my son should be there with me. How he would enjoy doing what I am doing. How he should be living life. To be honest, it almost feels like guilt.

When I get out, I am guaranteed not to go anywhere the following days so I can regroup. Yes I know my son wants me to enjoy life and live it to it’s fullest. I tell myself that a lot. It’s just very hard. Almost impossible. He should be here with me.

God Doesn’t Give Us Anything We Can’t Handle

Whew this one really gets my attention. Think about this, how CAN we handle losing our child? Is there a proper way to go about living without your child who you would have given your life for? There is only one way to get through this, to keep waking up every day knowing it will be the same as yesterday and the same as tomorrow. There isn’t a parent that will handle losing their child in a good way. Like I  said previously, there is no right way to handle this, we just HAVE too.

You are Handling This Well

man hiding in closet.jpgAnother one that’s makes my blood boil! Nobody sees a grieving parent when they are alone. A parent that boohoos her eyes out in front of people opposed to a parent that does not cry in front of others does not mean one is handling this tragic situation better or worse. There are many people who do not like public display of grief. And I am one of them! Some people are private and others seek more support from others. Neither should be judged on how well they are handling the death of their child. Just hearing that makes me cringe. It’s not right!

Ignoring Me

understand-silenceYou know who you are. 🙂 And guess what, I have been that person too. Nobody knows what to say to someone suffering a loss. It is easier to simply ignore that person. I found myself a couple years ago awkwardly ignoring someone who had lost her husband. So I understand and don’t hold it against anyone. But, it is very obvious. We see you looking over at us and looking away. But, honestly, if you aren’t comfortable than I feel it’s OK to just wait until another day. But just remember, time doesn’t help. We will still feel the same in 5 years from now as we do today.

These occurrences have happened to me these past four months. People wonder why grievers stay home all the time. It is easier to stay home where we are safe than get into a situation that makes us uncomfortable. We walk on egg shells too. Trust me! If you happened to say anything I have mentioned, please don’t worry. We are all human and this is not a situation any of us thought we would be in. Like I said, this is how I feel.

I encourage you to please share a story or any thoughts you have. It can be anyone. All is welcome here!


9 thoughts on “What Not to Say to a Grieving Parent

  1. Hi Kristy,
    This touched me reading this blog. First I want to say sorry for what you are going through and thank you for giving good responses in your point of view because I have not walked in your shoes but I have met other people who have, and sometimes I do not know the best way to comfort them or to respond so this gave me good insight 🙂

    I also wanted to point out something you said about God presenting us with things we can’t handle. In all honour and respect, instead of looking at life the same as it was the day before and from a negative point of view, leave the past behind by focusing on the present moment, and focusing on creating a better future.

    I’m not saying to completely forget about the loved ones who’s passed and never think of them again, but what I’m saying is when your mind is stuck in the past, when you continue to let the negative emotions take control of you and not focused on living in the present moment and creating a better future, you will stay stuck and life will continue to be a battle because your mindset is in the wrong place. I don’t know whether you are religious or not, but as a Christian and from my view, God is far beyond human knowledge and understanding, we will never understand his purposes and answers to some of the mysteries in life, including death. We can ask why all our life, but the only thing that will bring us peace eventually overtime, is coming to the realisation that the mysteries of life can only be accepted.

    Death, although it is not pleasant, will happen to everyone, even me! What brings me peace is accepting the fact that we are all going to die at some point and when someones time is up on this earth, that is just the cycle of life.

    All you can do is to wake up everyday with a purpose, that purpose may be different for everyone. For me is to achieve my goals and dreams and to be happy in everything I do and to be successful. I have lost people who have been close to me, but I do not let their deaths be an excuse as to why I can’t be happy and be successful in life. The way I think of it is if I were to die today, the last thing I would want for my family and friends is to go life miserable because I am not there anymore. Instead, I would want them to still go after their goals and to fulfill God’s plan for their lives while they are still living on earth. I would want them to be happy and I’m sure your son would want you to be happy too. Don’t go through life thinking “why did this happen to me? why am I dealing with this?” Instead, be grateful that you are still alive to see another day, be grateful for all the good and bad times and know that your pain has a purpose and strive to live your life with power and purpose. 🙂

    1. Hi there, Happy Easter and good morning 🙂 Thank you so much for your response. I’m very glad you left it because it sounds like I need to edit the post more. The impression that was sent was not correct. I am very very close to God and always have been. I am a very positive person and have absolutely no ill thoughts towards God. If you read some of my blogs I mention my relationship with him. Knowing you perceived my post in this manner will allow me to edit that area so I am so appreciative.

      My point that I was hoping to get across is that God doesn’t pick and choose people he thinks can handle a great loss and take away their loved one. Since the loss of my son in November I have heard many people tell me how strong I am. I look at this as something I must get through. When a parent’s child is gone, we simply HAVE to handle it. It isn’t a choice. We must live on.

      You mentioned for me to be grateful I am alive and my pain has a purpose! You are soooooo correct!!!! My pain has allowed me to want to help other grieving parents battling this. That is why I created this website. Immediately after losing my son I searched on the internet looking for other grieving parents. I needed some kind of comfort and the only other person experiencing the depth of losing their child is another grieving parent. The websites I found didn’t fulfill me so I wanted to make one with a little bit of everything and anything a parent can find to bring them comfort and peace to their day, hour, or minute.

      Losing a child is the hardest thing a person can ever fathom. I am not sure if you have any children, if so, I know it is something unimaginable for you to think of. My son is soooo alive! He has done things since his passing that proves the spirit lives on. I won’t go into all the awesome things he has done but it is true! He was a wonderful young man! God had another purpose for him. His spiritual journey was over here on earth and God has another one for him to conquer. I know I will see him again. I can’t wait to see him again! 🙂

      Thank you again for leaving the beautiful message!


  2. Kristi, even with everything you’re going through you’re still thinking of others!?. You’re an awesome human being and I love you!!!!!

    1. Awwww thank you so much! I don’t realize I am. Helping others makes me happy. 🙂 I’ve always had a huge heart for other people. Sometimes to a fault. That’s so nice of you to share that! Thank you!!!

  3. I do catch myself talking about my kids or grand children. And think oh I was so thoughtless but did not mean to be. They are everything to me as Chase is to you. I can’t even imagine.
    My heart truly aches for you. And if you see that face, I’m sorry. But one thing I love is you talking about him and telling stories. Your eyes sparkle when you talk about him.

    1. Chase makes my whole mind and heart sparkle. He was, is, and will always be my world. Thank you so much for speaking about talking about your children and grandchildren around me.. I am sure someone else feels that way too. When I hear other people talking about their kiddos it doesn’t make me sad at all. I picture a young child or young adult full of life with their whole life ahead of them. I can’t really explain how I feel. Not sad, no jealousy.. probably protection. I never want anyone else to go through this but I now know how short life is. So lock up your kids! Forever! 🙂 just teasing

      Thank you again for sharing! You aren’t the only one who feels that way I am sure!!

    1. That’s great.. I hope it eases anyone that is uneasy being around someone going through a loss. We are all human.. but I know if I were on the opposite page I would be very uncomfortable around someone because I would worry what to say.. I would’ve blurted out everything NOT to say.. lol 🙂

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