“He Wouldn’t Want You to be Sad” and Other Myths

If I got ten grieving parents in a room we could write down fifty things we wish people would stop saying in about five minutes.

Most of the time folks do it out of ignorance or in a desperate attempt to sound compassionate or to change the subject (death is very uncomfortable) or simply because they can’t just shut their mouths and offer silent companionship.

And most of the time, I and other bereaved parents just smile and nod and add one more encounter to a long list of unhelpful moments when we have to be the bigger person and take the blow without wincing.

But there is one common phrase that I think needs attention and here is why:  It simultaneously dismisses my current reality and assumes knowledge that you simply do not have.

“He wouldn’t want you to be sad.”

Really?  How do you know?  Did you live with my son for nearly 24 years? Were you his confidante?  His nursemaid in illness?  His champion in victory?

My tears are as much an expression of the love I STILL have for my son this side of death as the hugs and kisses I gave him since he was a baby were on the other side.

My heart holds him now as surely as my arms held him then.

This is what I have left-tears that bear witness to that love.

You can’t bury love.

Love is forever.

Dominic would totally understand.

grief only exists where love lived first

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.

11 thoughts on ““He Wouldn’t Want You to be Sad” and Other Myths”

  1. I am I right that this post was born out of an exchange on WWW? Loved what you had to say yesterday and thank you so much for speaking out today. My response to well intended people who offer this up has always been, “No…I think Sawyer would totally get me”.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this – especially the last line! We know our children like no one else ever does. We know, probably better than anyone else, what our sons would have wanted us to be or not be. Love your writing. Thank you for sharing your heart so beautifully.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not sure we have a choice whether to be happy or sad, but I do think we have a choice where we fix our gaze. I am sad because I miss Dom, but I am also happy because I continue to experience blessings in my life. I feel them both.

      Liked by 1 person

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