Bereaved Parents Month

Before Dominic ran ahead to heaven I knew only a handful of bereaved parents, all of whom I met after their bereavement.

I had never walked with anyone through this Valley.

Now I am friends with dozens of them and there are hundreds more I “know” online through private groups and blogs.

Until this was MY life, I would have dismissed “Bereaved Parents Month” as another random and narrowly applicable declaration by some group trying to muster support for their own agenda.

I’m ashamed to say that, but it’s true.  

Like most folks,  I assumed my life would follow the typical trajectory of marriage, children, their marriages and grandchildren in an unbroken chain of generations-the younger burying the older.

That’s how it is supposed to be. 

But that isn’t how it has turned out for me and so, so many others.  

Now, “Bereaved Parents Month” is near and dear to my heart.  I understand that we need to raise awareness of the ongoing challenges parents face in the wake of child loss.

I see clearly that those outside the child loss community really have no clue.  

How could they?

So my challenge to readers for the remainder of this month is twofold:  

  • If you are a bereaved parent, please use this time to share articles, blog posts and personal experiences on your social media platforms.  One of the easiest ways to raise awareness and to educate the public is simply to make the topic unavoidable. (That’s what book tours and movie trailers and press releases do.)  Be honest.  Be bold.  Be unapologetic for the fact that you continue to miss your child, that you continue to love your child and that the life you have NOW is very different than the life you had before loss.
  • If you are the friend or family member of a bereaved parent, please read what we post-even if your first response is “Oh, no!  Not again!”  However tired you are of hearing about our loss and ongoing struggle cannot compare to the exhaustion of living it.  Honor our child and us by listening.

Compassionate response is only possible when we begin to understand what another heart is facing.  

This month is an opportunity to do that.  

Let’s make the most of it.

juliy bereaved parents month

Author: Melanie

I am a shepherd, wife and mother of four amazing children, three that walk the earth with me and one who lives with Jesus. This is a record of my grief journey and a look into the life I didn't choose. If you are interested in joining a community of bereaved parents leaning on the promises of God in Christ, please like the public Facebook page, "Heartache and Hope: Life After Losing a Child" and join the conversation.

36 thoughts on “Bereaved Parents Month”

  1. My name is Deborah (proudly South African). Each day I learn more and more about this broken journey on earth . I salute the initiators of this site for Bereaved parents and thank them for their encouragement and compassion.
    Our Tim has seen his Maker’s face and is now standing in His Glorious Amazing Grace! Timothy ‘forever 22’ on Earth but in Heaven he’s 27 yrs presently.
    Timothy always danced to his own rhythm and I will tap my toes to his beat forever…
    2146 Days have passed towards Eternity Togetherness..I just can’t wait to get there to be with My Jesus, my son , my mum and my dad & my family …
    but I am still ‘Commissioned to Mission …
    Love God,Love people (especially little people)
    Find Purpose and finally be an INFLUENCE TO LEGACY .

    Beautifully broken -This is where God does His Best Work …

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have not lost a child but have a very close friend to my heart that has. Her son and my son were both born on the same day same year, and we also have daughters who share the same birthdays! so we have always shared this special bond. He son died unexpectedly last June and I just don’t know how to be there for her in the way she needs. I even planned a getaway last Oct so that even if she had moments of not living her hell it would help a little . Do I talk about him, do I try to call her even when she doesn’t want to talk just to let her know I’m here, do I leave her alone. I would do anything to take away her pain and I know I can’t. I feel like the more time that goes by the worse the hurt and the more she has pulled away. I know time doesn’t heal any wounds, it just becomes different. You either die or live in it, there isn’t a choice of changing what is. I know I don’t live this grief as all of you so I can’t really understand that it feels like but my heart hurts for her so much. I just wish I knew what to do to help her heart even if it’s just for moments at a time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gina, what an amazing friend you are! I know it’s really difficult to know what to do and what to say and quite honestly, sometimes nothing will be “just right”. But please don’t stop trying! I’ve written a lot about compassionate companionship and sticking around for the long haul. If you’ll use the search bar when you open a blog post, you can explore those articles at your leisure. I pray that one or more gives you direction as you try to support your friend. May the Lord richly bless you for your compassion and grace. ❤

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    2. As a parent that lost my daughter, please continue to let her know that you are there for her……..especially in the middle of the night when no one is around to talk to. That is when I had my worst times. Tell her she can call no matter what time it is. Also, please bring up her child’s name even if she cries. That way, the child is not forgotten. One thing that also helped me was reading a book called The Precious Present. I can’t remember the author’s name, but I am sure you can google it. All of this takes time. Time never heals it, but it does help. God Bless you and your friend. In time, she might want to get involved with a self help group such as Compassionate Friends where she can talk to people that have also gone through the process of losing a child.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. July is a tough month for me with our son’s birthday at the end of the month, July 29th. He would have been 37 years old this year, now gone 17 years. It is an unending, difficult journey. I started my blog to raise awareness of what it’s like to walk the walk of a parent whose child has died. No matter how much we try to raise awareness, there will always be those who feel like the time is past to grieve or to talk about the death of a child and there will always be those who turn away.

    Thank you for sharing this, Melanie.
    ~Becky

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right, Becky, there will always be those who turn away. I always hope, though, that one or two hearts find the courage to be more compassionate to all people who struggle, not just us who bear the weight of child loss, when we share our experience. I am grateful for your blog and record of your own journey. Thank you for being transparent for all these years. ❤

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  4. The last day of July. Yesterday my son celebrated his golden birthday within the golden gates. He left us 9 months ago. Still such a struggle and the emptiness and hole in my self is indescribable . My grandkids are my salvation here on earth. It’s hard enough dealing with my own grief but what makes it even harder is seeing the pain in the eyes of my husband, mother, and other family members. My son died 2 months before he was to be married so his fiancé’s grief is gut wrenching. We didn’t choose this but what can you do but keep moving forward one step at a time. One step closer to seeing him again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes my son, Shaun.💗 meant the world to me. I miss him so much.💞 We lost Shaun.💗 3years ago at the age of 35 year’s, he left 4 beautiful boy’s behind. He is now our angel.

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      1. I pray that the blogs help. I try to be as honest as possible-the good, the bad and the ugly. It doesn’t do anyone any good to pretend. God knows it all anyway. May He give you strength for each day and help your heart hold onto hope. ❤

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      2. I am so very sorry for your loss and your pain. I pray that the Lord gives you what you need for each new day to help your heart hold onto hope. ❤

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  5. I am a parent who has lost my child also. The endless pain and emptiness is numbing. The whys, what if. The longing to hold your child, kiss them. So many lost dreams. The feeling of being lost. And also trying to find eho the new you is. I have found with my grief there is no avoiding it, no way to go around it…..you have to face it, except it and ride the neverending wave of pain. But its been 2 years and l am here. Xx

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  6. I have written a book ‘ Empty arms, broken heart, my journey through grief. An Islamic and scientific perspective on miscarriage’. My aim for writing this book is to recognise bereaved parents and the impact their loss has on them. The book has been written to bring about awareness of bereavement.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, yes-all of us are living it if we have buried a child. But this is an opportunity to let others know a bit about our journey and the kind of ongoing support we need to be able to make it through. ❤

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  7. I love your honesty!
    I’ve only been on this journey for 25 days, and I keep coming back to your articles because it’s all “real” with no “fluff”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so sorry you have joined this “club”. I’m sorry for your pain and loss. It helps my heart to hear that my words may speak courage to another grieving mama. May the Lord wrap His loving arms around you and may He shower your heart with His grace and mercy. ❤

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  8. I have not lost a child. I am for some reason drawn to your blog. It has challenged me to be more aware of those around me who are hurting (and there are a lot more than I had thought). I am glad you are able to share your thoughts. Because I am listening.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. How absolutely beautiful of you, to want to try to understand those who have survived this nightmare. Many want us to forget and ‘get on with our lives’.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you for the challenge to bring awareness. I often share articles on grief, suffering, caregiving, etc. Many fb friends have lost children, spouses, parents, friends. They, or loved ones, deal with issues like cancer, alzheimers, fractured families, depression, addictions, disabilities. I rarely share the personal pain of child loss anymore. So many are hurting, I feel like a voice lost in a crowd. I want to help and encourage them through their valleys, thus the articles, but I now seem to wear a label of “bereaved parent” that no one can see past, and few want to affiliate with.
    This is also sarcoma awareness month–double awareness for us this month. My son fought Ewings Sarcoma, one of the over 50 types of sarcoma cancer which most people have never heard of. We hadn’t, until his diagnosis. 15% of children’s cancers are sarcoma’s, 1% of adult cancer are a type of sarcoma. We also wear the label “cancer parent”, which no one can see past and few want to affiliate with. I don’t post much about cancer anymore either. Most of my contacts from the cancer world are bereaved parents also.
    I’m thankful for the few who have walked beside us, and for the opportunity to encourage them in their own struggles.
    I will be bold today, and remind others of the pain of child loss, and the challenges of a rare, aggressive cancer.

    Liked by 2 people

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