grieving motherHere is a list of the most unhelpful things I have heard after the loss of my son, and what people could have said instead.

10. “At least he/she wasn’t older – it would have been so much harder”

Really? How is that you would think that would be the case. I lost my hopes, dreams, and future for this child. This was my child. A living, breathing human being. Infants are not supposed to die. I was supposed to have a lifetime to make memories. I was robbed and cheated out of everything I was supposed to have with my child. This is HARD, this is a hard that people cannot even comprehend. It doesn’t matter how old he was.

Try saying this instead: “I am so sorry, no parent should ever lose their child.”

9. “You’re having a funeral/memorial/lantern release to say goodbye? Why?”

Why wouldn’t I have a funeral? Did your mother/father/husband/brother/other loved adult have one? Why doesn’t my child deserve a funeral? Because they were under a year old I should just donate them to science or something? What if I don’t want to and I want to have a nice funeral for them, because heaven knows I am not going to be planning any birthdays or any other the other million things I should have been able to do with my child. Just let me do this and say goodbye the way I need to say goodbye.

Try saying this instead: “What time is the memorial? Anything I can do to help?”

8. “This is why I co-sleep/don’t co-sleep/have an angel care monitor/nurse/don’t nurse/vaccinate/don’t vaccinate so forth and so on”

-This is not the time for parenting advice. Yes, we all know you are the World’s Best Parent doing everything correctly. Why don’t you go back to trolling forums now and brag a bit there. Have fun. I am going to go sit in the corner with my guilt and replay every moment of my child’s life and try to figure out what I did wrong, which by the way is something I do anyway every waking moment of my day.

Try saying this instead: “I am so sorry. I don’t know what to say.”

7. “I heard that (reason for babies death) is caused by (giant piece of mis-information here)

You want to find an expert on the various causes of death in infants or miscarriages or stillbirth or anything that causes young childhood death. Find a parent that is living through it, because that is what we do – we search and search and dig for answers all day, every day about what caused us to lose our child. We become the experts. We read research papers, stay on top of legislation, read article after article, check and double check facts, we will even reach out to top doctors in that particular field to find answers. It really upsets us when we hear misinformation being spread. Bonus points if you decided to argue the point with us after we correct you on the facts.

Try saying this instead: I am so sorry for your loss. I’ve heard of (reason baby died) would you be able to tell me more about it?

6. “I know how you feel, my cat passed away.”

Go away and stop talking. This was actually said to me and I know quite a lot of parents who have had their babies deaths compared to the loss of a pet. Sorry, no. Just no. I can’t say that enough and cannot believe it even needs to be said. I love animals. I have pets. I have had a cats and dogs for my entire 36 years on this planet. I adore animals and would adopt every adoptable animal if I could. I have lost pets. And I buried my child. It’s not the same. It is not even comparable. I don’t care how much you love your pet, it is nothing, NOTHING even close to losing a child. Quite honestly and bluntly, losing a child isn’t comparable to any other sort of loss, and I have had some major losses in my life, including my beloved father. Planning a funeral for my 26 day old son was a sort of pain that a human should have to go through and hearing someone compare that to the loss of a cat, is just insulting.

Try saying this instead: “I am so sorry, I have no idea what you are going through right now.”

5. “Maybe something was wrong with him, like genetically, sometimes nature knows what it’s doing”

Maybe something is wrong with you. Thanks for insulting my child in my time of grief and shock. Much appreciated. And I wouldn’t have cared if anything was “wrong” with them, anything is better than dead.

Try saying this instead “I am so sorry. You must miss him.”