I know you know the conversation. It could be with a stranger or someone you have known for years.
The subject of kids comes up. They ask if you are a mom or how many kids you have. They ask how you are doing, how you are feeling, how you are coping.
You share your truth. That may be just a few details or it may be your whole story.
And they try to find the words to say that will help and show their sympathy and their love and give you just a bit of comfort.
And you can feel their discomfort and in your effort to help them (and yourself) to not feel the awkwardness, you utter two words that make up the biggest lie of all.
As soon as they leave your mouth, the weight of them hurts your heart. You had the very best of intentions. After all, you were trying to make them feel less uncomfortable. But with every fiber of your being, you want to scream NO! It’s NOT okay – nothing about this is remotely close to being okay!
Like so many things along this path of living after the loss of a child, the words are just not adequate. There are not words that describe how you are. It is not up to us to fill that awkward silence with sentiments to make the person who asked feel better about our loss. We can be honest about where we are without diminishing the loss we feel. Don’t feel like you have to be dishonest.
Saying things like “Thank you,” “I miss her,” “It’s been hard,” or “I love you for asking.” feel much more authentic and help the person who hears your story understand you and the loss mom they may encounter next just a little bit better.
Because we all know it’s not okay.