If you see a picture of my son and want to know anything about him, please know you can ask. I love talking about him. He is a huge part, the biggest part, of my life.
I had a situation today where someone saw a picture of Chad on my computer and asked about him, not knowing the story. When he learned the story, he apologized profusely for asking. I kept reassuring him it was ok, that I don't ever mind talking about him. I don't think he believed me, but I tried to tell him anyway.
Something I hope people learn or know about talking to a parent that has lost a child is that we want to talk about our babies. We love them and we miss them terribly, but you mentioning them or asking about them doesn't make us more sad or miss them more, it's quite honestly the opposite.
Chad was such a huge part of me that I feel odd when I don't talk about him. If you know me, you probably know Chad. You also know that the one thing I have loved to talk about the most, is him.
He may not be on this earth any longer, but he is still very much a part of me and who I am. I identify myself as Chad's mom to most people. Never speaking about him to others does not make it hurt less, it actually makes my heart more sad. He was here and he was very important. Not speaking about him doesn't make that just go away.
You can be assured of this, with me anyway... If you want to talk to me about Chad or ask me anything about him, I will be happy to talk to you about him. I love to talk about my son and I'm so proud of him. Never feel bad for asking me about him if you see a picture or hear anything about him. It will never upset me to answer questions about him or talk about him.
There are no perfect words to tell a parent who has lost a child so don't try. I speak for myself, but I don't expect you to have the perfect words. There are none. I just expect you to be you and if you have a question or want to share something with me, I welcome that.
Please do not feel sorry for me. I had more than a lot of people have. I had a son that was a hero and who made me proud and I had the privilege of watching him get married and be in love. I had him for 22 years and that is more than some parents get. So please, do not feel sorry for me.
There are parents out there watching their children struggle and suffer from things they have experienced in combat and come home to continue fighting a war that no one else understands and there is nothing they can do to help their child. I can't imagine the agony they must feel watching this and not knowing what they can do to help and honestly, they can't help and that has to be a horrible way to live.
I know where my son is. I know he is guarding the gates of heaven and I will see him again one day... For that, I am grateful.
So if you know someone that has lost a child, know that speaking of that child doesn't not cause them more pain, it most likely is a healing to talk about him/her.