An Open Letter To Newly Bereaved Parents

Dear Newly Bereaved,

I remember standing where you are. The world feels different. A vast emptiness closes in around your heart as you wrangle with the idea that your child is no longer a part of this world. Your world, broken. The last image of them burning in your mind because there will be no more. Don’t focus too long on the idea that it’s over. It will crush your soul and pull the breath from your lungs. Forever has new meaning. Torture.

How do I keep going? I can’t imagine my life without them.

Life is so unfair. You will realize that statement never held meaning until now. I don’t want to do this! I hate this! There is so much anger! The situation feels impossible. There is not enough hate for the life you have been thrust into without a single say. Everything around you seems to be spiraling. As it turns out, control is only an illusion. We don’t have any.

The mere mention of a death will always have the ability to transport you back to this moment. It will always be raw. These images haunt you right now. They replay over and over as your brain tries to make sense of it all. There is no sense to be made.

A heart cannot begin to process this level of pain. Very few people will be able to support you through this kind of pain. Believe me when I say it is not you! It’s them. You will learn that unless someone has experienced deep loss like this, they cannot begin to understand what you now know. You may be surprised to find the best support comes from total strangers. The people you expected would always be there in your lowest moments seem to disappear or be unaware of what to do.

Know that you are not alone, though it will feel that way. Grief is a very solo journey. Every one will experience it differently. What you feel is normal! It’s important for you to know that. So please do not compare your grief to anyone else. You will question whether or not you are crazy. You are not. Just do whatever feels right to you in the moment.

The struggle to find yourself again is real. It’s been 18 months and I am no closer. Be patient and kind with yourself. So much of your experience will define you. This grief journey is all about you. Find people that can support you in the ways you need. There will be casualties. Accept it.

It sucks being a member of this club. None of us ever expected to join. While every parent thinks about what it may feel like to lose a child, no one ever believes it can really happen. Unfortunately, it does. The reality of it never sinks in. What you do need to remember is your child is still with you. They are standing on the sidelines supporting you, cheering you on. They know how difficult this journey is for you. Keep going!

Much love! XO

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10 Comments on “An Open Letter To Newly Bereaved Parents”

  1. Well said, all true..Not enough hate for the life we have been thrust into without a say. But we must release the hate or be swallowed up. A very difficult thing to do, but vital to survival.

    1. So true! The anger and hate can drag us down. It takes time to learn how to balance it with living and finding joy again. XO

  2. AMAZING & PERFECT! I enjoy your blog, it is definitely helping me with the loss of our newborn son last Christmas Eve! I used to have so much control & balance in my life, work, home etc…now that im grieving, the depression and constant thinking of my son blocks out everything else and makes it hard for me to focus! IT”S SO HARD for me to focus on other things i HAVE to do in life right now when it used to be so easy! This blog is a complete inspiration to me and others! i enjoy reading everything you write about knowing, someone else knows what i am going thru!

    1. Thanks for reading! Focus was a huge issue for me the entire first year. Not that it has gone away, but I believe we are forever changed. Much love to you Megan. I will think of you guys each Christmas as we also mourn our son.

  3. Extremely good to read n relate…people say it’s a year..should be doing better and a part of you wonders if they are right n da other part wishes to slap them.i lost my 2 kids last year and it feels like yesterday

  4. My older brother passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on March 10 2019. He was 38yrs and 5months old. It’s been alittle over 2months and It’s my mom’s birthday today. Our first Easter and mother’s day without him was really hard. It’s been so surreal. Sometimes it’d like i forget he’s gone. Even though we saw him shortly after he had passed at the hospital and again before his cremation. We know it in our heads but it doesn’t feel real. I’m “handling” thing as best i can but i try not to let it effect me in front of my mom. No-one is struggling more than her and i just want to try and lighten the load. I try to be positive…optimistic. Remembering he’s not in pain or suffering, he’s at peace and surrounded by loved ones. He’s keeping an eye on all of us and is watching over Ali (his 6yr old daughter and spitting image)…
    Special times are coming up and i’m not sure how to approach them while we’re still grieving. I know this kind of pain and loss is never going to go away but i’m hoping with time it will change and not be so all consuming and overwhelming. It’s like being on the longest biggest roller coaster and not being able to see the dips, drops, turns and change in direction til it’s already started happening.
    I don’t know what to say to her. Today is a special day for us to celebrate her. I plan on keepin it low-key and making a special dinner. I made her a hummingbird cake and might have my godson come by to sing and have cake. I always have trouble finding a card that doesn’t feel generic or say what i’m feeling but this yr is especially difficult. I just don’t know what to say. I don’t want to upset her. I don’t want to make anything any harder then it already is.
    I know this is short notice for today but any help with how to handle tough times and special events would be greatly appreciated

  5. I lost my beautiful 23 year old son Micheal😢 December 16th, 2018. The worst day of my life. He had overdosed twice in one week, and also had pneumonia, which we weren’t aware of until we received the coroners report. The night he came home from the hospital, he refuses treatment, he ended up taking a Xanax, another thing we didn’t know, he didn’t wake up in the morning. We are so devastated and life isn’t the same without our kind hearted, beautiful son. He had struggled so much that year with addiction and we stepped in and had an intervention, but he refused all help. I love and miss him so much. So hurt😭😭

  6. Beautifully written. I know two mothers who have found connection and comfort with your words. Thank you for helping them.

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