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Why do people say/do these things when your child dies?

(110 Posts)
ElsaAintAsColdAsMe Tue 26-Jan-16 11:51:15

'When I heard about your child I hugged mine a bit tighter' - Like I care, I don't want to fucking hear it.

'If my child died I would never be able to <insert whatever nonsense here>'- So you would be so much more upset than I am, you have no clue what you would do or be like unless it happens to you.

'At least you have your other children/can have more' - I could have a million more children, it still wouldn't replace my son and daughter.

'I know how you feel my dog died and he was like a child to me' - Just no.

'I know how you feel my Granny/Uncle/Great Grandad died' - again, just no.

Then you get the people who make it all about them, so I end up comforting them because my children died.

The ones who don't even acknowledge that my children exsisted, the ones who shuffle uncomfortably when I mention their names, the ones who think I'm weird for daring to have pictures of my children up, the ones who think they should be forgotton, the ones who try and look for a way I am to blame so they don't have to think that it could happen to them, the ones who try to create a history that never happened to try and hijack my grief by making out they were so close, when in reality they never bothered.

Sorry for the rant, I had an email this morning from someone who thinks I want to hear that she is going to the baby garden I can't go to on my daughters birthday and telling me about her plans when she never even met her and fell out with me because she wasn't invited to her funeral (it was a very small funeral).

I can't make out if she is trying to be nice or just gaining attention by grieving for a child she never knew.

She has done most of the above, and it really grates on me that she is going to my place to remember my children when I can't.

I've encountered so many shitty attitudes over the years you would think I would be used to it, but this has really hit me today sad

Sorry for the ramble, having a tough day today.

MaryPoppinsPenguins Tue 26-Jan-16 11:56:34

I didn't want your post to go unanswered, even though I'm sure I have nothing of great value to say...

I'm so so sorry this happened to you. That sounds horrendous. One of my close friends lost her son when he was 6 months old and I think she heard all kinds of things, simply because most people can't even imagine how she feels and just don't know what to say.

Hopefully someone more helpful will be along!


DangerMouth Tue 26-Jan-16 11:59:33

Because some people are stupid and/or unable to think of others.

I'm so sorry for your loss flowers

DreamingOfThruxtons Tue 26-Jan-16 12:03:12

Breathtaking ignorance.

I am so sorry for what you've had to deal with. flowers wine chocolate

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 26-Jan-16 12:08:02

Don't apologise for anything you put here. [fliwers] I don't know what your friend's motivation was for sending that email but I am sorry that she's wound you up.
Keep posting if it helps.

LadyLuck81 Tue 26-Jan-16 12:15:28

People open their mouths and keyboards and out spews crap. Only you can know if her intentions were good but misplaced but what she's said to you show a massive lack of empathy.

I hope she was just acknowledging she hadn't forgotten, albeit ridiculously clumsily.

Much love to you. I can't imagine how hard this is for you. Keep posting.

Lottapianos Tue 26-Jan-16 12:19:54

'Because some people are stupid and/or unable to think of others'

I agree. And many people can't really listen or create space for anyone else. Many people have no empathy. Many people can't handle pain, least of all someone else's, so they want to fix it with 'well at least......' type comments.

I'm so very sorry for your loss. I haven't been through anything like what you are going through, but I've had my own experience of grief and pain and in my experience, very few people are able to respond in anything like a helpful and sensitive way.

Greydog Tue 26-Jan-16 12:23:24

I just wanted to say how very sorry I am for you

Wishful80sMontage Tue 26-Jan-16 12:26:32

I'm so sorry OP for your loss.
You don't need to deal with this person's message today or ever I'm fact- be kind to yourself.

recall Tue 26-Jan-16 12:28:21

People come out with stupid stuff at times like this. I lost my baby at 23 weeks pregnant ( not saying its the same ) and I had

"Its for the best"
"try not to dwell on it"
"our Denise had a miscarriage - she got over it really quick"
"was it because you are overweight?"

I'd rather people said " I don't know what to say" than come out with insensitive selfish comments.

She ought to keep away from your place angry

CocktailQueen Tue 26-Jan-16 12:30:14

It beggars belief that people can be so thoughtless.

So sorry for your loss. It must be horrendous. flowers

ElsaAintAsColdAsMe Tue 26-Jan-16 12:30:55

Thank you all.

I don't even think I'm going to reply to her.

We were friends a long time ago when my son died, we drifted apart after that really because of a lot of the above reasons, didn't hear from her for years until she found out my daughter was ill, then told me how nice it would be for herto be at my daughters funeral since she was at my sons also 'like completing the circle' she said confused

I declined her weird offer and have barely heard from her since. Now she has heard I'm no longer in the area and won't be coming back and probably thinks she is being comforting, all it is doing is hurting me sad

MummyBex1985 Tue 26-Jan-16 13:49:01

Just to offer some sympathy and complete agreement. It actually makes me rage when people say things like "oh my DC had that illness but thankfully they survived". Not helpful for a parent that lost a child due to that illness and I feel like slapping the morons who post such tripe.

I can't offer any helpful words apart from to say I'm sorry for your huge loss.

cedricsneer Tue 26-Jan-16 13:53:45

"Completing the circle"?!? Fucking hell shock. I am so so sorry for what you have been through and can't believe that someone could be so breathtakingly thoughtless.

If it is any comfort, she does not sound normal.

cedricsneer Tue 26-Jan-16 13:56:46

Also, I have always thought how crazy, smug and stupid it sounds to say that you will "hug your kids a little tighter tonight" to someone who has undergone such tragedy. And how unimaginably lonely it would make me feel if someone said this to me in this situation.

I am gobsmacked that people think it appropriate to say such crap and I'm so sorry you have had to hear it sad.

Xmasbaby11 Tue 26-Jan-16 13:57:54

I'm sorry for your loss. I'm angry that people are adding to your pain by being insensitive.

I don't know whether they were intentionally upsetting you. It is very hard to know what to say.

Funinthesun15 Tue 26-Jan-16 14:00:10

It is because people don't engage brain before opening mouths.

At least you have your other children/can have more' - I could have a million more children, it still wouldn't replace my son and daughter.

^ this is the one that used to get to me the most, especially as they used to change it to "at least you have your DSC"

The amount of times I used to feel like yelling back no I can't have more and I love my DSC but it isn't the same.

flowers for you OP

blaeberry Tue 26-Jan-16 14:12:16

I think a lot of people just feel awkward and don't know what to say so open their mouth and say the first thing that comes to mind.

Having said that, I had a stillbirth and two days after it I was unsurprisingly upset and in tears. What did MIL say? "SIL was just like this after her baby, that's hormones for you!" You mean my grief is like the baby blues SIL had after her perfectly healthy baby? I don't think so! angry. Her actions at that time damaged what had until then been a good relationship and ten years later it has not recovered.

I am so sorry to hear you lost a son and a daughter.

StrawberryLeaf Tue 26-Jan-16 14:18:39

Oh OP I'm so sorry for the loss of your children.

I've been there too with the stupid fucking comments and being ignored. It's amazing to me that not only did my daughter die but I lost friends due to their complete inability to handle their feelings. Six years on and the anger hasn't gone away regarding that.

Thing is, in this dat and age it takes literally 1 minute to google "what to say to someone whose child has died" for ideas. If not a simple "I'm so sorry" works.

I'd also be raging over the ex friend visiting the garden, if she wants to pay respects fine but emailing you stinks of attention seeking, "look how thoughtful I am".

Hardest thing in the world, life forever changed. thanks

StrawberryLeaf Tue 26-Jan-16 14:19:47

Blaeberry that's awful, how could anyone compare that?

KittyandTeal Tue 26-Jan-16 14:41:09

I'm sorry your having such a rough time today.

I found a really interesting article about things to say to bereaved parents. Basically I'm sorry, I'm thinking of you or I don't know what to say are the acceptable responses. Unless you have direct experience and then share your own but not in a 'you must be feeling like this' more a 'I felt xyz'

cocochanel21 Tue 26-Jan-16 17:41:27

Sorry for your loss. I know exactly how you feel. My dd died nearly 4mths ago I was pregnant at the time. I found most people don't mention dd anymore and think I should be over it as I have a new baby. Probably the worst comment actually came from a family member which totally devastating me. I also find the one's who cross the road and avoid you really hurtful. Hope your ok take care.

ElsaAintAsColdAsMe Tue 26-Jan-16 17:56:23

Thank you all, was having a rough day (17 and 9 years on and I still have rough days) and then got that email.

I'm so sorry that so many of you are also walking this shitty path with me and even more sorry that you have had also had to encounter such thoughtless people too flowers

This many years in I think I could write a book with all the comments I've encountered, and then someone else springs up with something I've never heard (it's even happened on MN a few times lately too)

Is it really so difficult to just think before you speak or type?

Msrichardofyork Wed 27-Jan-16 21:57:09

Oh I agree. When I lost my daughter just before she was born I heard variations of these.

'People have been through worse...' (May be so but what a thing to say)
'I couldn't go on'
'I don't know how you've survived'
'I look at my child who is her age and I just can't imagine'
'If you have another girl will you call her the same name?'
'It was God's plan'
'Hurry up and have another'
'You won't get over this till you're pregnant again'

I know how painful and isolating it feels. I'm sorry.

ElsaAintAsColdAsMe Wed 27-Jan-16 22:00:37

Oh yes I forgot 'it was Gods plan' and also 'They are in a better place now' angry

Sometimes it really is better to say nothing.

So sorry Msrichard flowers

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