Why Didn’t I Think of That?

I know (really, I do!) that people MEAN well.

I understand the temptation to share cute little sayings like these in response to a bereaved parent’s Facebook post.

shed tears or love

What runs through my mind, even five years later when I read this isn’t, “Oh my!  Why didn’t I think of that? Why didn’t I just turn that frown upside down and CHOOSE to be happy instead of sad.”

Instead it’s, “If I could, don’t you think I WOULD?”

If I could just make a mental adjustment and wash away all my sorrow, I’d do it in a heartbeat.

Often those who have been spared think that those who haven’t are holding grief too close, refusing to let it go.  They think we are using it as an attention getting prop.  They rest certain that if it were them, THEY would rise above, get over or overcome grief.

You will never know how thankful I am that YOU. DON’T. REALLY. KNOW.

So when you’re tempted to subtly correct me and (out of the goodness of your heart) try to steer me toward a “cure” for my grief, think about it.  Think about how hollow these words might sound in the ear of a mother or father who will never, ever hear or see or touch their child again. Think about how ridiculous it would be to suggest that all it takes to “be happy” is to “choose” correctly.

Think about which one of your children you could live without.  




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.

9 thoughts on “Why Didn’t I Think of That?”

  1. Sometimes I think these well-meaning sentiments come from a place in people where they simply don’t want to believe that childloss is THAT devastating. That somehow, like some other hardships in life, you can just apply some sort of positive thinking and reason your way out of the heartache. Missing someone, your child, just doesn’t work like that. These types of things are only ever said by people who really have no idea what they are talking about. Thanks again for expressing the true reality.


  2. Such a well timed piece….. I just passed the 20 month mark, I’m starting to really notice more people drifting away. Starting to feel like people are wondering when I’m “going to snap out of it.”
    I hate that comment: “Katie would rather see you happy.”….. I usually snap back: “Well I’m sure she would. As for me, I’d rather have Katie back in my life. THAT would make me happy indeed.”
    I love all the posts from this site… I get something out of each and every one!!! Nowhere else do I find that…
    Thank you, with love and gratitude

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Such raw truth …
    Yes you nailed it
    Oh how your blogs each touch my heart ..
    “An open wound that never closes “

    Thank you Melanie for your outreach to each of us living the life we didnt choose

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’ve seen that “You can shed tears because they are gone” either/or post several times and wondered who exactly they were talking about who died. I tend to believe it was written about a divorce or breakup, not a death. I’ve also heard that last line many times in the past two and a half years. Although I can’t see that I could ever say that to anyone else, it is one of the most succinct statements for parents like us. “Think about which one of your children you could live without. ” Problem is that I don’t really believe anyone could force themselves to spend any amount of time thinking on that topic. Good blog. You nailed it again.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Bleed? Grief is an open wound that never closes. Never heals. It’s a hemorrhage. It doesn’t matter how many tomorrows we live to see, there’s a hole there and someone missing. You tell our story so well.

    Liked by 2 people

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