10 Things To Never Say to a Grieving Parent

Things I wish no grieving parent would have to hear.

I’ve been debating writing this for some time now.
Sometimes without realizing it, you can very much hurt a grieving parent with words. Just this month I had a someone say the words, “What do you expect from me, I cant bring back your child.”  That phrase shattered my heart, made my blood boil and shook me to my core.  I am very passionate person, and now I realize how many don’t understand what I’ve been through and don’t have the same passion I do about childhood cancer.

We are a group of fragile and broken individuals all dealing with grief in different ways. Our hearts hurt more easily and we care more deeply.

For those who understand, no explanation is needed. For those who don’t understand, no explanation is possible.

This is not meant to bash anyone, this is just a little reminder that our hearts are very fragile

1.It Happened for a Reason

No. No child should die for any reason. this is one of the most common things others say to us and this is the one that hurts the most. How can we justify our child dying? Because he was suppose to? No, he was suppose to live a long life, have a career and have a family of his own.

You would never tell someone who’s been in a car accident or hit by a drunk driver that it happened for a reason. So why would you say it to someone who lost a child?

2. God wanted him back.

Ummm if God is this cruel… I never want to meet him because I would kick his @$$ for taking my child. Plus I’m pretty sure we needed him more in our life.

3. Without him passing you wouldn’t have your other children.

I really don’t know how to answer this one. This makes me feel guilty, saddened and just pure disgusting. Of course I would never give Miller up, but I rather have Mason here with him.

4. He is no longer suffering.

Mason never suffered, he was a happy regular boy, who played, had friends and just happened to have to go to hospitals more often then most. 

5. Because of you I hug my kids harder.

I understand the thought behind this. But as a mother whose son has passed and can no longer be hugged, this should not be said to our face.  Don’t get me wrong I am so happy you hug your child harder and realize that life is so fragile, however it makes me miss me boy that much more when I hear those words.

6. Life must be getting easier now.

Grief does not just disappear, you carry it forever with you. It’s not something that goes away after a while. Life will never be normal for us. It will always be a battle with the words “What if?” and “If he was still here…”  You never stop loving your children or talking about them. So why would I stop loving him and talking about him just because he is gone. I am a proud mom and will always speak his name.

7. Maybe you should have tried this ______.

Oh this is a popular one…

We did everything we could to save Mason. I wish there was a so called magical lemon and dances that we could have been done to save him. Truth is, we did everything we possibly could. We stayed up most nights trying to find the best doctors and treatments as most parents do. We did everything we could to save him.

8. Well you let him get chemo and radiation, what do you expect?

Ahh yes this one is always a winner. We always have to take a deep breath before we answer this one. Lets just say without chemotherapy and radiation, we would not have cancer survivors.

9. Vaccines gave your child cancer / what you fed your child gave him cancer.

Vaccines saves lives (no debates please). My child was 2 when he was diagnosed, just less than a year of being fresh off the boob…  He didn’t eat red meat or pork, hated sweets, had mostly all organic and lots of veggies and fruit. His diet was better than most. For children who get diagnosed with cancer, it is not a simple blame on our environment or lifestyle. It truly is something that switches in the body on its own.

10. It happened to you because you are strong enough to handle it.

I’m flattered that you think I’m strong, but no one can handle losing a child. It’s not something you are built for, nor are you strong enough to face. We are just like you except we are living the worst nightmare you can ever imagine. When my son died, most of me died with him.

Remember, sometimes it is better to say less.  Don’t try to relate if you’ve never buried a child and just stick to the, “thinking of you”.

We have so many positive messages from so many… but of course the negative ones hurt.

We appreciate every word that is spoken to us, but sometimes a hug is what says everything you need to say.

Related Posts


It has been a while since I posted a new blog. Being vulnerable online is always scary.

This year Is a new start to dedicate more time to once again write blogs in hopes that it can help one person.

The Last Drive Home

“June 7 2016, 3 years ago today – We packed up our boy and took him for his last car ride home.”

Make a donation

The Fight Like Mason Foundation is committed to improve treatment, care, quality of life and awareness of patients diagnosed with childhood rhabdomyosarcoma and other childhood cancers. The foundation does not receive any government funding and therefore solely relies on the generosity of others. There are many ways you can give; reoccurring monthly support, sponsor an event or program or give a one-time donation. Every donation counts in our fight to Defeat the Villain for Good!