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When a Child Dies. What to Say and What to Do for Those Who Grieve

Updated on March 1, 2019
vocalcoach profile image

Audrey's desire to help others to respect and understand themselves led her to the study of psychology at UCLA.

My Son Todd Edward Hunt 1963-2006

Todd loved the ocean
Todd loved the ocean | Source

Grieving The Loss Of A Child

Grief over the loss of a child, regardless of the age of that child, is devastating and unimaginable. When you lose a child you lose part of yourself. I know because I lost my adult son.

Grief continues throughout the life of a parent or guardian. The moment of a child's death is frozen in time. There is no closure. Time does not heal all wounds. The mourning process is a personal rite of passage. Life is no longer the same.

Grief can take on different forms or a combination of all the following:

  • Anger
  • Guilt
  • Depression
  • Workaholic
  • Denial
  • Crying
  • Headaches
  • Loss of weight
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Isolation
  • Feelings of suicide

Grief is a normal reaction to loss and is very real. Those of us that grieve are simply responding to an abnormal event.

I Write to Avoid Heartache

In writing about my son Todd, I am able to keep him closer to me. I like talking about him. I don't feel the need to speak about him every day. In fact weeks can go by and sometimes even a month or more before certain memories begin to tug at my heart.

It's when the pain of missing him becomes almost unbearable that I begin jotting down my thoughts.

And this is one of those times.

To Todd...

I cannot feel the truth of love

When you’re not here with me

I cannot hear the music

That shrouds a symphony

The stars no longer twinkle

In dark black skies above

The emptiness inside me

Is cold and void of love

I should have been there with you

When you took your final breath

To comfort and to hold you

As you walked the path of death

For it was me that gave you

Your very life that day

I had no way of knowing

You’d one day slip away

You were so strong and active

The picture of perfect health

You loved to ski and hike and surf

Your children were your wealth

The courage of a lion

The gentleness of a lamb

You loved The Lord and kept his word

And prayed to the great “I Am “

Your name soft whispers in my ear

Connecting to my heart

The vision of your angel face

Stings gently like a dart

Thoughts of you play hide-and-seek

Echoes in my mind

Fog lifts quietly, there you are

Another place and time

I’d ask you to come back again

Your children need you so

Each one is so much like you

They have their fathers’ glow

I miss them too so far away

My heart cries that much more

They use to come a-running

Right through my old front door

Rest well my son and thank you

You could have chose another

But it was me and I'm so blessed

You chose me for your mother

Losing a Child Leaves a Hole in the Heart

Allow the grieving person the freedom to deal with their loss.
Allow the grieving person the freedom to deal with their loss. | Source

Helping Those Who Grieve

People often assume that when the child who died was an adult, the parents’ pain is less than if the child was young. Unfortunately, parents whose adult child has died often find their grief discounted or disallowed. I was blessed with many family and friends to offer compassion and support.

I don't wish to offend anyone, only to enlighten. And often the words of comfort that are offered to a person who has just lost someone dear to them are of little help. Look at the list below:

  • Phrases such as " I know how you feel " may only increase any anger that is already brewing because of the loss itself. The truth is - no one...absolutely no one knows how that person feels.
  • And here is one other famous phrase for condolence that needs to stop. " Just give it some time. In time you will feel better." This is not necessarily true. And anyone who has suffered the loss of a child knows that this is unfortunately not so. Whoever penned the famous quote, " Time heals all wounds " obviously never lost a child.
  • " It's probably for the best " is often said when someone dies after struggling with cancer. Well, I'm here to tell's never for the best for the mother who is left with a huge hole in her heart.

It's never the best for the child or children who grow up without their father. And it's never best for the siblings who are left with just memories. And when a spouse is involved, it certainly isn't best for them.

  • A good way to help those that grieve is to feel compassion and allow them to vent or cry or scream. Don't judge or blame. Be merciful.
  • Listen! I can't say it enough. Just listen. Then reflect and acknowledge their feelings. They have a right to them. They are in shock. Some go into denial. And others reveal no emotion at all. It's devastating. It's surreal. It is unbelievable. Just a nightmare.
  • Be patient and accept their feelings.
  • Don't try to provide answers to their unanswerable questions.
  • Do not compare their grief to yours even if it was related to suicide.
  • Reassure affected children that they are not responsible.

So what do we say to a person who is grief-stricken? Sometimes, " I'm praying for you or I'm so sorry " is all that is needed. And sometimes the best thing to do is not say anything...let your arms do the talking and give them a nice sincere hug.

Condolence Suggestions For The Death Of An Adult Child

Losing a child, young or an adult, is the most difficult loss of all. What do you say to those who have suffered a loss of this magnitude?

It takes a while before the parent and family will overcome a shock like this. Keep your message short and simple. The following suggestions may be helpful:

  • I'm so sorry for your loss.
  • Let me know if I can do anything.
  • It was such a blessing to know (child's name.)
  • I'm here when you need me.
  • Just give a hug - no words are needed.
  • Send flowers.
  • Send a card.
  • Have a tree planted in the child's name.
  • Send a book of inspiration or about the grieving process.
  • Place flowers on the grave site.

A Word to The Survivor

There is a tendency for survivors to withdraw from others in shame because of fears of blame and stigma. I felt empty with mounds of guilt. "I should have been there. Maybe I could have saved him."...played repeatedly in my mind.

Survivors might also feel trauma-related reactions, especially for someone who discovers the body. Even thoughts of suicidal thoughts can develop in the grief.

For those who are grieving:

  • Don't blame others, especially yourself.
  • Take care of yourself physically by maintaining a good diet, rest and exercise.
  • Reach out for support from those you trust.
  • Engage in healthy activites that provide distractions.
  • Be patient in your healing process.

To Those Who Are Grieving

These are my own suggestions based on my own experience. And just so you know, it's been 10 years since Cancer took my son's life. I still can't look at his photos. The pain is still raw and the tears have their way with me.

I hope these suggestions help:you at this terrible time:

  • Allow yourself to grieve.
  • Take some time to yourself.
  • Go outside, among nature.
  • Let the tears come.
  • Don't try to be strong.
  • Youve lost a part of your heart. Treat it gently.

In Closing

As we try to comfort a grieving heart it's important to respect boundaries. There is no appropriate time to "get on with life" or "get over it". Be compassionate. The only thing you can really give is love.

Visits and phone calls should be limited or even avoided during the first few weeks. This is a private time for families and this privacy should be respected. Send cards of sympathy, flowers or even bake cookies and leave them at the door.

Remember to be brief when you do call or visit. Avoid being dramatic. Allow the grieving process to take place. It may take months or years to make sense of the death of a child, young or adult.

As for me... I will always grieve for my son.

Writing is a tremendous vehicle for self-expression. It provides therapy for those who grieve because it lifts the spirit and promises hope in the midst of tragedy.

Thank you for allowing me to touch upon my own personal heartbreak in the hope of helping others.

Resources And Help

© 2011 Audrey Hunt


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    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      2 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.


      Thank you so much for being here. I appreciate your very kind comments.



    • SistersInChrist profile image


      2 years ago

      Deepest Sympathy & Prayers

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      3 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.


      I'm so very sorry for the loss you've experienced. I can't thank you enough for your beautiful comments. Losing your life's partner is devastating. And on top of that you've lost your dear son-in-law.

      Please accept my long distant hugs. I'm available to talk if you ever feel the need.


    • neversaydie profile image

      Christine Baughen 

      3 years ago from UK

      I haven't lost a child. I have lost my husband who had become a part of me. My daughter has also lost her husband and so I have lost the young man I looked upon as a son. You are right - people don't know what to say to you but I have found it important to remember that they are only trying to help - something I had forgotten myself until writing this reply. I so pray that you have found comfort or at least a way to live with such a terrible loss because if you can then so can I. Thank you for your article.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      4 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.


      I'm familiar with smudging the room with white sage. But this is the first I've heard about creating a crystal grid. I'll look into this and I do appreciate your sharing this with me.

      Thank you for being here and for your comments.


    • newbizmau profile image

      Maurice Glaude 

      4 years ago from Mobile, AL

      So Beautiful. I choose to create crystal grids for my loss loved ones. Creating a Crystal grid for a lost loved one I've found is one of the most comforting and healing things I've ever done for myself. It opens and allows a safe space for your thoughts and feelings. There is a big difference in creating a grid like this than those times when you are creating them for other intentions because usually when dealing with a loss we are very emotionally charged. The purpose of creating this type of grid is suppose to be healing, clearing and freeing so first clearing the energy in the room can be a good start. You can do this quickly by smudging the room with white sage or incense.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      wildove5 - What a beautiful writer and person you are. I wish we were closer and could hold one another with the release of emotion that often comes with a warm and loving hug. Words are not necessary. There doesn't seem to be any that help us anyhow. As you've said, the only thing we want is to have our mom and son back.

      Thank you wildove5 for your understanding and compassion. It really does help to feel the support coming from someone else who has been through this unimaginable experience. Warm Hugs ~ Audrey

    • wildove5 profile image


      7 years ago from Cumberland, R.I.

      I'm so sorry! I cannot imagine the pain you have had to endure! I recently lost my mother and have never experienced a pain so deep. I remember several occasions soon after her passing where well intentioned friends comments and actions hurt rather than helped. All I wanted was for the pain to go away, to scream, cry, and memorialize my mother. I didn't want to hear condolences or apologies. The only thing I wanted, I knew no one could give me. I wanted my mother back. Since loosing my mom I am more aware of the feelings of someone in morning and have followed your advice and just listened! You just can't go wrong with a hug and a shoulder to cry on. Beautiful article and poem!

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      8 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Oh, Martie my friend ~ You remember! I am really touched. When we first met I was in the depths of despair. I truly thought my life was meaningless. I missed Todd so much. And I missed the close connection to my grandchildren.

      But then something life-changing happened. I was writing for another website when someone told me about hubpages. I reluctantly hopped on board, found YOU along with a few other people who were willing to reach out and give me support and encouragement.

      Through writing, I found myself and my passion for expressing and sharing what little I know about life. Education is important to me - I'm a "sponge for knowledge." And I've learned more from the hubs shared here then I ever learned in school.

      Oh, dear - I'm falling into the "it's all about me" syndrom which I hate. So I shall stop here. Thank you Martie - you are so easy to love!

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      8 years ago from South Africa

      My dear Audrey, I had to come to this one to tell you how much I admire you. I remember when we met almost 3 years ago - you were paralyzed with grief. I have watched you crawl out of the deepest well of sorrow, slowly but certainly, and today I can tell you that you were such a beautiful role model. If ever I find myself in this horrible state of mourning the death of one of my beloved children or grandchildren, I will remember you and I will follow your example. Today I see you as a sparkling woman, hiding your longing for Todd while supporting everybody but yourself.

      Lots of hugs from me to you :)

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      8 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      By Lori - Thank you for your most beautiful comments. When we lose a loved one, we also lose a piece of ourself. I am sorry for your losses.

      Thank you kindly for your compassion and your sweet reminder that my son and I will be together again one day.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      8 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Vinaya, my dear friend - Please accept my apology for the very late response to your comments. I don't know how I missed this. I am so deeply sorry about the terrible loss for your aunts child. I hope in some small way, my poem and what I have written will bring some small measure of comfort. Sending you a great big warm hug!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Tonight I am trying to find words, poem to put in a card for a new love in my life who has just now lost her healthly adult daughter half a world away. Your poem to the son you lost touched me so I would like to share this (slightly modified) so my new love can come to terms with here loss. I cannot express enough how you words louched are very plessed to have that passion.....

    • By Lori profile image

      By Lori 

      8 years ago from USA

      I am very sorry you lost your son and I can't imagine what his beautiful children are going through except one thing I do know, they are lucky to have you. I am sure you already know this but , anytime you speak to your son he'll here you. He's there with you and his kids. He's never far away.

      I lost a 19 year old brother when I was 12 years old, and then many other relatives as the years went by. But I've not lost a child and I just want to tell you I wish you well and "hang in there". One day you will all be together but remember in the meantime he is around.

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 

      8 years ago from Nepal

      Couple of days ago my aunt lost her grown up child. I could not look into her eyes. This poem reminded me the tragic events.

      Reading this was like catharsis.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      8 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      leanne2800 - Losing a child is unnatural. It carries with it a change for the Mother. A grief that is always hidden beneath the surface. Writing helps some. I am so very sorry for your loss. Grief takes on different forms. It can even be confusing. Please contact me if you need to talk.

      Thank you leanne and I'm sending you hugs.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      This is beautiful but sad. I have also lost a child but younger and I am not really sure how to grieve sometimes. Reading and writing helps. It does seem to personal to talk about. Thanks for sharing

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      8 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      cynamans - Your beautiful remarks have touched my heart. Here we are, perfect strangers, brought together by hubpages and I feel like I know you.

      I offer my sympathy to you for the loss of your dear mother. I thank you so much for saying all the right things. Your blessings for me and my granchildren mean everything to me. Sending you a rainbow along with a hug!

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      8 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Victoria Lynn - Your comments touched me so, I had to come back and read them again. You just say all the right things. It will soon be another year approaching that I lost my son and re-reading comments posted earlier helps me feel better.

      I appreciate your common sense along with your compassion. I know that you lost your nephew and I send you love.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      8 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Chatkath - I miss you! I hope all is well and that your life is filled with joy. You so deserve it. As the anniversary of my son's death approaches, I had to return to read your beautiful, heart-felt comments once again.

      You are filled with compassion and kindness. I noticed this the very first time you left a comment on my hub so long ago. Your capacity for caring about others is evident in each comment you leave. What a wonderful thing! I'm so glad you are a greeter. You're just what new hubbers need and at the same time - you're just what we old hubbers need too. Hugs!

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      8 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Fennelseed - my dear friend. It's getting close to another anniversary of my son's death and I think of you and how you are doing. You have experienced the same loss with your own dear, sweet son. As I grow older with each passing year I know that I am getting closer to the time when I will be with Todd once again. Without that knowledge, I don't know what I would do.

      Your comments are very special to me. I thank you and wish you peace and love!

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      8 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      cjv123 - Ive returned to read your lovely comment again. I gain strength from the comments my hubpage friends take time to leave. Thank you so much my dear friend!

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      8 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Judge Deborah - Thank you for reading about my loss and commenting. I so appreciate everything you have said. You are considerate and kind to remember my grandchildren and to mention the sweetness of my son. He was, as you have said a very handsome man. I long to hear his voice and look into his precious face. Bless you!

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      8 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      fpherj48 - I can't begin to thank you for your loving and compassionate words. Somehow, as I read them, I began to feel at peace and comforted. You are so sweet. It's comforting to know that beautiful, caring people like you are right here on hubpages.

      Next month (June 25th ) will be another year since my son, Todd passed. It never gets easier. With you, as my hub sister, I will get through this too.

      Thank you for sending me peace and love - the best of all gifts.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      8 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      cbpoet - Thank you for reading this. It helps to share with loving people like you!

    • profile image


      8 years ago


      I'm so sorry for your loss. My mom passed away last year. It's a terrible feeling to lose someone so close to you. May God bless you, your beautiful son and his children. I really enjoyed reading your poem. It bought tears to my eyes. Very beautifully written. Voted up and awesome.

      Best Cynthia

    • Judge Deborah profile image


      8 years ago from Fort Myers, Florida

      Vocalcoach, reading your poem broke my heart. I am so sorry for your loss and truly, we say things to others when we ought to keep quiet. By so doing we show our inexperience and rashness, I have learned to listen quietly and console with my action rather than words because words do fail me. Thank you for sharing something that so deeply hurts and touches you. I wish you and your grandchildren God's peace and guidance as you take this journey. Your son, was a very kind looking and handsome man.

    • fpherj48 profile image


      9 years ago from Carson City tears will not stop flowing. There is so much I feel the need to share with you, dear woman. Yet, at this moment, my heart is so heavy, I can say only this....You have my deepest compassion and understanding, my hand to hold in friendship and the spirit of my thoughts & prayers... I give lovingly and freely.

      Your words have touched the depths of my soul in ways that need not be described. I am honored and blessed to have met you. We are sisters in the sorrows we carry through this life. Peace & Love

    • cbpoet profile image


      9 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      What a wonderful tribute to a beautiful and loving son

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Dear Red - You are so kind. Your comments have touched my heart. Writing is such good therapy in so many ways.

      I am glad you are on Hubpages. Thank you.

    • Ann Marie Dwyer profile image

      Red Dwyer 

      9 years ago from Crandall, TX

      Another kindred spirit. May you continue to find joy in the memories of your son that they may bind the pain.

      Keeping writing, as it is so very healing.


    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      tammy- I still grieve for my son...he was my firstborn. I never thought this could happen to me. I still think that maybe this is a bad dream and I will wake up

      and be so relieved. Thank you for your kindness.

    • tammyswallow profile image


      9 years ago from North Carolina

      You have lived my worst nightmare.. I just can't imagine. This is a touching tribute. It is an honor that you let us get to know him a bit. Bless you!

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Oh Shelia dear - You have my deepest sympathy for the loss of your sweet mother. I wish I could just take you in my arms and hold you and comfort you. You are courageous and brave and writing is, as you say, therapeutic. Please contact me if you want to talk, vent, scream or cry. All emotions are allowed. Thank you for being here and I will think of you and understand as only we can who have lost someone so dear. Its like having your heart emptied and left with only a hole in it. Big, big, hugs to you Shelia.

    • SheliaKay profile image


      9 years ago from Marietta, Ohio..... but born and raised in Northern Ohio on Lake Erie

      This is a beautiful poem. I just lost my Mother to cancer earlier this year (she died 6 weeks after her diagnoses), and writing has become my therapy during my grief. I especially liked the part about a hug. Sometimes that is all that is needed.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Sunnie - After reading your beautiful comments, I can see that maybe my hub can help others. This hadn't really occurred to me. And I feel good about that. Thank you for your kind heart. I will always remember your comments. vc

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Hyphenbird - Forgive me for the delay in getting back to you. Your friend is very blessed to have someone like you with such a big and good heart. The best thing you can do for her is to be with her. You are giving of your time as well as yourself. How marvelous you are, my dear hubpage friend. Thank you for sharing this with me. I will pray for her, as well.

    • Fennelseed profile image

      Annie Fenn 

      9 years ago from Australia

      A beautiful poem matched with very wise words on showing compassion for those grieving the loss of a loved one. I relate very well to the "emptiness inside", "cold and void of love", reading your words is inspiring however because you speak of your beautiful son with such deep love that will always be there between you, always.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Pollyannaiana - Your sweet comments have given me comfort. I am so sorry to hear that your mother passed. It sounds like you were very close and that is a beautiful thing. As you mentioned - hubpages is a marvelous way to share your feelings. Our hub family is so caring and kind. There is no better support anywhere!

      Sening you a big hug! Thank you.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Eiddwen - Hello, my dear and sweet friend. I was hoping to hear from you as you are one of the few who really understand how I feel. I think of your "Erin" often and still love to imagine Erin and Todd going on about their mothers...and how they met on Hubpages. I am getting stronger each day and love Hubpages for keeping me so busy:) Hugs to you!

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      DimitriLive - Very nice to see you here and thank you for the follow! Looking forward to getting acquainted with you and reading your hubs, which I will do very soon. :)

    • DimitriLive profile image


      9 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      So Lovely!

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      jami - You have left me a kind and empathetic comment and I do appreciate it so very much. I am looking forward to reading your hubs which I am about to do right now. Thank you and best wishes.

    • Eiddwen profile image


      9 years ago from Wales

      What a beautiful hub straight from your warm heart. We never 'get over it' do we. We learn to adjust slowly but surely.

      Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful poem.

      Lots of hugs to you Audrey.

      Carry on publishing you beautiful hubs.

      Take care


    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      9 years ago from London, UK

      It must be an awful heartbreak and only when you experience it you know it. The worst thing is that everybody feels for you but there is nothing to say or do which could take this hurt away.

    • Pollyannalana profile image


      9 years ago from US

      I understand completely how writing heals. I had not written anything but a children's book until I came here raging and then it finally went to poetry and it was so amazing. This poem speaks of how I felt the day my mother died and I was not with her, the one she called for continually. I have lost everything but a child now and I hope that day never comes if it is worse than losing my mom, who had became my child. Writing is an amazing help, I would recommend it to anyone whether they have written before or not. Great hub. I want to give you comfort, and I know I can't.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 

      9 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Beautiful poem, awesome advice. Another thing NOT to say is that it was "God's will." Someone said that to me after my nephew died a couple of years ago. Not appropriate. I agree with you in that what people can do is just be there, listen, or just give a hug. Just saying, "I'm here" speaks volumes. Other things that meant a lot of me were cards and notes. It's hard to know what to say after somebody dies, but it seems that less is better. I plan to read more of your stuff. Maybe it will help me, too. If you think it would help, I've written a couple of poem/articles about moving on after death, as well. Sometimes it helps--for me, at least--to know how others feel who have lost loved ones. I'm sorry for your loss. Your hub is just beautiful - and very helpful.

    • profile image

      Sunnie Day 

      9 years ago

      Such a lovely poem and one that brought tears to my eyes. I am so sorry for your loss but I can only imagine that as you have shared this hub with many that you are comforting them too..Thank you for sharing a part of your life. My prayers and thoughts go with you.



    • profile image

      jami l. pereira 

      9 years ago

      Im so sorry for yours and your grandchildrens sad and tragic loss , Your writing is therapuetic and will help you so much , i voted this up , awesome and beautiful and interesting , thanks for the lovely ,sad read , have a blessed day all day!

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      b Malin - I am so behind in my acknowledges and I apologize for the delay. I am working hard to complete the hub challenge, 30 hubs in 30 days. But I want you to know that your first comment was so touching and lovely. I could feel your caring and sympathy. It meant everything to me.

      When I read your second comment, I felt that I owe you an apology for the delay. I am so sorry. And I can see how by not commenting you could interpret that as anger on my part. Dear friend, that could never happen. I treasure your friendship too much.

      We have both suffered losses and share the pain that comes with missing a loved one. Thank you for caring enough to send me a second comment. Hugs.

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 

      9 years ago

      Vocalcoach, I noticed that you didn't acknowledge my Condolences to you that I wrote above...I hope you are not angry with me...Your friendship means a lot, and I hoped what I wrote wasn't taken wrong...It too came from my Heart to yours...LOL. I had cried when I read your Poem and Hub, and in my way was trying to make sense of our Losses...which sometimes... there is none.

    • Chatkath profile image


      9 years ago from California

      Audrey, thank you for sharing your most intimate grief, and your most joyous embrace - allowing others to understand the sorrow of your loss and the depth of your pain but also, to feel the warmth of your hugs and the kindness in your words. Most can empathize with the horror of losing a child but no one can know how it feels, unless they too have lost a child. You are amazing Audrey, strong and vulnerable, constantly striving to understand why, because life has so many surprises that are unfair. Sending you all that is right and good because that is what you are.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      mary - I want to thank you for your kind comments. I also want you to know how sorry I am that your daughter has passed on. I know she is with you and loves you so much. Very glad to see you Mary. I, too am sending you as many hugs as you can hold. Take care.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      You have written a Beautiful Hub and the Poem is wonderful!! I lost my daughter of 15yrs. in 1982 so I Know the despair and grief but, I also Know the wonderful memories and still 'feel' my daughter sooo close sometimes! People never mean to hurt or hover --- they just Love and want to help. Thank you for your insight and I send you Huggs!

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      drbj - Your comments touched me so. We share the most difficult of all trials. My heart goes out to you too. I am learning that people do their best when offering sympathy. They are in an uncomfortable position. Thank you for liking my poem. I know it must have brought up so many feelings for you. I am sending you a hug too. Thank you, dear one.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Green Lotus - By writing this hub, I have learned ( as you have said ) that people want to sincerely offer condolences but just don't know how. I am greatful to have learned that lesson. Thank you, precious friend for your un-ending support. Hugs!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      9 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Thank you for sharing your story with us. You are in my thoughts. God's blessing...

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Denise - Thank you, my friend for your thoughts and for your love. Hugs back!

      breakfastpop - Your support is so appreciated. We do what we have to do. When we don't understand "why" our faith kicks in to high gear. Hugs.

      vladimir - You are so kind. Your compassion is a beautiful thing. Thank you so much.

      Beata - Thank you. And you are completely right. " The struggle does make us stronger."

    • Beata Stasak profile image

      Beata Stasak 

      9 years ago from Western Australia

      Feeling with you and repeating in myself and for you: 'The struggle will make us stronger.."

    • Vladimir Uhri profile image

      Vladimir Uhri 

      9 years ago from HubPages, FB

      vocalcoach, I understand your pain and grief and I weep.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      annmackiemiller - Oh, thank you so very much. I appreciate your stopping by to read this. I know how precious your time is with the hub challenge. You have added to my joy.

      writer 20 - I knew I would find you here :) Your support is steady and consistent. And it means the world to me.

      Thank you - VC

      sofs - I love the hugs. Feels so warm and safe. Thanks my friend.

      Will - Your heart felt comments mean alot my friend. I am so very blessed to have found you here on hubpages!

    • cjv123 profile image


      9 years ago from Michigan

      Absolutely beautiful. Heartbreakingly beautiful.

      Matthew 5:4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted."

      You've graced us all and blessed us richly by sharing your heart about something unspeakable and inexplicable. May you find some measure of comfort in the arms of the Lord.

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 

      9 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      I just talked to a friend. Today is the anniversary of her son's death. She is all alone so I am going to go get her tomorrow and spend time with her. It brought to mind your lovely poem.

    • WillStarr profile image


      9 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      My heart goes out to you. I have two sons, and I can't imagine the depth of your grief.

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 

      9 years ago

      What a Beautiful and Soul Searching Hub as well as Poignant Poem...That only a Mother who has outlived her Son could write. My eyes are filled with Tears and your words are oh so true...Just Listen...Listening is so Important. Having been there for my Sister after her Daughter committed Suicide...she had the Illness called, Bi-Polar...and it destroyed her. My sister would just need to talk, and I was there to Listen. Vocalcoach,Thank you for sharing your Wonderful and Heartfelt advice.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Mentalist, my friend - Oh, thank you!

    • Mentalist acer profile image

      Mentalist acer 

      9 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

      A beautiful memory.;)

    • Green Lotus profile image


      9 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      You have given us another beautiful Hub filled with wisdom and poignancy. I admire your courage, talent and unflinching good cheer through thick and thin. I know it can hurt the hurt when people say the wrong thing in response to your loss, but they just don't have the right words at their command. In any case, thanks for this little treasure of a tribute to Todd. I'm so glad you have shared with us his photos, family and accomplishments. xxx

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Movie Master -

      I really think, like you, that people mean well when trying to comfort someone. But, the person who is grieving just can't be comforted. Comfort comes in small stages and at different time periods. And still, there are times when the person is completely unconsolable.

      Hugs are a simple but yet effective way to let the other person know that you care. Thank you, dear Movie Master.

    • Petra Vlah profile image

      Petra Vlah 

      9 years ago from Los Angeles

      Thank you so much Audrey for commenting on my hub about my own loss.

      Loosing my husband 7 months ago was devastating and the pain is still there, but it will never compare with the loss of a child; the terrible experience you went through is more than I can ever imagine. God must have given you a lot of strength and you are an exceptionally courageous lady whom I admire enormously.

    • breakfastpop profile image


      9 years ago

      You are very wise and very loving. For me a simple hug does wonders. Up beautiful and awesome.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Charlotte, you sweet person - I am feeling your hug, even across the miles that separate us. Thank you for being such a strong support to me.

      When you grow up, as you say, you will become a greater YOU. And all of the wonderful qualities you now have will only be magnified. What you see in me, is just a reflection of what you see in yourself. You have so many beautiful qualities and your heart is full of love and compassion. Thank you, dear Charlotte for sharing those qualities with me.

    • sofs profile image


      9 years ago

      A beautiful tribute.... and so much wisdom in your words. Love and (((hugs))) to you!!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      9 years ago from south Florida

      There is no greater loss for a parent than to lose a child - at any age - and my heart breaks for every person like you and me who have suffered this indescribable loss. Your heartfelt, precious poem, Audrey, a beautiful tribute to your son, brought tears to my eyes.

      When I hear folks using those inane phrases you mentioned to try to offer comfort, I realize they may be uncomfortable and embarrassed about offering support. The best way is to show you are listening, indicate you are there for them, and give them a REAL hug. Stay strong, my dear.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Petra Viah - I am sorry to hear that you are having pain and will pray that it is soon gone. Pain can be debilitating. I am also sorry to hear that your mother-in-law lost her only child. She is blessed to have your love and support.

      I am not only accepting your hand of friendship, I am reveling in it and the hug is something I always welcome.

      Thank you dear friend!

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Nell - You have added another good way to comfort a grieving person. Confirming that you are " there for them" by giving them permission to call upon you " is both helpful and comforting. Thank you, Nell, for sharing this with us.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      happyboomernurse - It's such a helpless feeling when trying to bring comfort to a grieving person. We want so much to comfort them with words. Thank you, my faithful follower and friend for being here. Your name!

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 

      9 years ago from United Kingdom

      Dearest Audrey, I know some people feel awkward and try to say the right things, they would be better to say nothing.

      Something that was said to me so many times was "you are coping so well" like Hyphenbird I wanted to respond by slapping them!

      The best help I agree, for someone grieving is to 'listen'

      A beautiful poem and tribute, I send you my best wishes and hugs as always x

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      Thinking of you and sending much love. Hugs.

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 

      9 years ago from Southern Nevada

      Beautiful poem and a trbute to him. You made him sound wonderful, I so sorry his children isn't close to you.

    • annmackiemiller profile image


      9 years ago from Bingley Yorkshire England

      my dear - this is a beautiful poem and a wonderful tribute. my heart goes out to you.

    • Charlotte B Plum profile image

      Charlotte B Plum 

      9 years ago

      Dearest Vocalcoach, this is a big warm hug just for you, I can't begin to understand how it must feel, and I am really at a loss of words too. May God send you little reminders of His love, as He is the great Comforter. You are such a strong and special person, with such a beautiful heart. I hope when I grow up I'll be like you. Hugs and Blessings!

    • Petra Vlah profile image

      Petra Vlah 

      9 years ago from Los Angeles

      I can’t even imagine a bigger tragedy than loosing a child and my heart goes out to you, dear friend. With all the pain I am going through right now, my greatest concern is for my mother-in-law who lost her only child and she is the only person I find some comfort in talking to.

      And you are so right; well-meaning people are saying such banalities (“he is in a better place”, or “life goes on”) just to name a few, adding (without knowing) more pain and anger to the grieving person – a hug will be more than enough. I do believe those people are at a loss for words and feel a little embarrassed to show too much emotion, even if it is sincere and heartfelt.

      Please accept my hand of friendship and my hug as I can only imagine what you have been through.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Hyphenbird - I'm so glad to see you here. I always look for your comments when I post a new hub :) And if I were there when that woman told you that " you have the best of your daughter left " I would have reached out and slapped her myself!

      Your kindness and compassion knows no bounds. Hubpages is indeed blessed to have you here, both for your outstanding hubs and for the support you go out of your way to lend to others.

      How can we help, but love you? A so greatful vocalcoach.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      9 years ago from England

      Hi, this was such a lovely poem, and as you say, words cannot express how you feel at that time, the best saying I think is, if you want anything just call, anytime. it doesn't say they understand you, but it proves that they are there for you, take care

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 

      9 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      Oh what a lovely poem you have written. Your love and sorrow both break my heart and cause me to weep for you. Indeed this stands strong as the Biblical woman Rizpah did when grieving the deaths of her sons.You really are kind (as HBM said) to inform people what not to say. I remember a woman once told me (referring to my grandson) that I have the best of my daughter left. I was too stunned to slap her like I later wanted to. Thank you for sharing your love and for helping us all with your compassion.

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 

      9 years ago from South Carolina

      Thanks for teaching us in such a kind way, things to do and/or say and not do and/or say to a parent who is grieving the loss of a child, no matter how long ago that child may have died.

      Your poem was deeply moving and the ending really choked me up.

      I'm sending hugs across the miles. I hear the eternal loss of your fine son Todd, your ache for your grandchildren and the depth of your motherly love for Todd and I also thank you for helping so many others here on Hub Pages.


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