During the time when a parent has lost a child, it’s awkward for people to be around you. Our society doesn’t like grieving people. We don’t know what to say. We don’t have any good rituals or social norms- especially for the loss of a child. There are no words. There just aren’t. People have actually avoided coming over or calling because they don’t know what to say.
When you do see us please do not act as if our child did not exist. We love talking about them. It keeps them alive for us. Good friends who have known us and Shayna for years have asked if it’s OK to bring her up. Yes, please. Let’s go back down memory lane. Tell me your favorite Shayna story. I’ll try not to bore you with too many of mine. I might break into tears. I probably will. Don’t worry. It’s not because you made me sad. That sadness is right there always just below the surface. It’s just a release which I have to do periodically. If I weren’t crying now, I would be in a few minutes or hours anyway.
I could talk about Shayna all day, every day for the rest of my life. If she comes up in conversation, don’t dance around it, say her name.