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
Read the rest here: “He Wouldn’t Want You to be Sad” and Other Myths
One thought on ““He Wouldn’t Want You To Be Sad.” Oh, Yes. Yes He Would.”
I think what’s also hard about this comment is that the person saying it seems to somehow be suggesting that your tears and sadness are not ‘honouring to your child’ and that it’s not what they would want. Which makes the grieving person feel judged in their grief in yet another way.
I once had a friend say to me after my daughter died -“she would want you to be happy”- and in the most loving tone I could muster, I responded with “in what way would my happiness communicate my love and longing for her better than my tears?”
Sometimes I like to respond to people’s unhelpful statement with a gentle question to get them to really think about what they’re implying. But most of the time the only energy I have is to nod and smile and exercise much grace towards those who have no clue.
Thanks for your post, Melanie xx
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