I realize people mean well when they say this and I truly believe most people would help if you called them In reality, I’m not going to call you and ask for help. There are days I can barely get through the basic life tasks and thinking of who offered to help at some point is way more than my brain could handle. Making basic decisions feels impossible when you are experiencing such a terrible loss. In my case, I have a 3 year old that I still have to parent, and that is a challenge in itself, because he is also grieving and I have no clue how to maneuver that either. If you truly want to help someone in early loss, offer something tangible like grocery shopping, bringing a prepared meal, offer them a gift card, fold their laundry for them, walk their dog. Being able to anticipate someone’s needs goes a long way when you can barely put one foot in front of the other. Most of us know what it takes to run a household on a good day, so you can imagine how impossible that feels when you are in complete agony.
One of the best gifts you can offer a person who is grieving such a horrendous loss is to continue to help them over time. Being inundated with support, in the beginning, was vital for our survival. We could not have gotten through without the support of our friends and community. For me, once the numbness started to lessen slightly, I needed just as much help, but people’s lives were moving on. We were so fortunate to have ongoing support, but I know this is not the case for a lot of people.
I understand this reality, but it doesn’t change mine whatsoever. It goes against everything in my body to move forward without my darling child, but life does not stop when you lose a child, and that is one of the top 10 most painful aspects of this. You don’t want to move forward because it feels wrong but reality slowly starts to sink in that you will not be seeing your child walk down the hall and say, “good morning, mommy” ever again.