At Least?

“At least you had him for 23 years.”

Yes, but I thought I’d have him for my whole life!

“At least you still have three other children.”

Yes, but which one of yours would you choose to do without?

“At least  you know he’s in Heaven.”

Of course that brings me comfort and hope, but it doesn’t take away my pain.

A wise friend once said that any comment to a griever that begins with “at least” needs to remain unsaid.

It’s especially true for those of us grieving our child.

Because there is no “at least” in child loss.



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.

12 thoughts on “At Least?”

  1. I get those comments too, since the death of my youngest son.

    I think they hurt me more, as the relationship to the person stating it is closer involved in my life…like my other child, spouse, close family member or really close friend.

    I just have to remind myself that Jesus himself had the most wise response for those things, to impart to his own father upon his own impending death…and I try to recall those words each time I hear a hurtful statement…

    “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do”!

    That statement is so true!

    Truly these folks just want to impart love and comfort to us; they want to make our situation better…they are just clueless about everything involved to accomplish that and instead, end up ” opening their mouth and inserting their own foot”!

    So I just inwardly repeat that statement to myself, everytime someone goes to open their mouth! Lol. I try to look at their intent, more so than their content!

    Have a great day today and everyday; may you recall a cherished memory that warms your heart instead and may you have the chance to create more cherished memories in your life, as well!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve also heard a million “at least…” scenarios for “comforting” my grief since the death of my daughter. Not a SINGLE one makes sense. There is no at least in child loss. The only thing being comforted is THEIR conscious.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My son died when he was 16 years old. I had a woman tell me God would not have let that happen if you couldn’t handle it. Really. She should have said nothing.
    I mentioned to a woman I go to church with that nothing could ever pierce my heart like losing my son. Her response was “oh yes there is, you could lose another child.” Seriously. I was in awe that someone could say that to a mom that had lost her son 12 months prior. Then she emailed me because she was afraid that comment was taken wrong.
    I’m at a place where I don’t want to say I’ve lost a child, mostly because I can’t handle the unbelievable responses.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think this comment (at least you have other children, your health, etc.) bothers me because it minimizes, not the departed child so much or the pain of the loss, necessarily, but rather the surviving siblings. My three other children, my husband, my health – any of the blessings that remain in my life – are not a second best consolation prizes. There is nothing “least” about anything God has seen fit to bless me with. Perhaps these comments would be OK if they just dropped the “at least” part, and added a reminder to focus on the blessings and mercies of God we enjoy every day even while we are carrying this appalling pain.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes my “favourite” was when a neighbour said “At least you always knew she was going to die (because she had cystic fibrosis). It’s worse for my friend whose child recently died in a skiing accident.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my goodness!! I am so sorry that happened to you.
      My only child, Amber Hope, was killed in a car accident. I use to get, “Don’t you regret now not having more children?” Please! Just don’t say anything!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Wow! My son just died 2 months ago in my arms also from cystic fibrosis. He went down so quick I had no idea he would leave us at 22. Ignorant people trying to comfort have no idea what to say and need to just keep quiet! And yes with cystic fibrosis you steel yourself against all odds that your child will live to 40 or even 60 and fight that constant nagging thought with each cough of “could this be the infection that damages beyond repair?” We’re no different than any other parent that hopes our child will live forever.

      Liked by 1 person

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