Wednesday, May 26, 2010

circle of silence

So you are a bereaved parent. You want to talk about it. You need to talk about it. But when you do people around you get uncomfortable. They don't know what to say. And the things they do say are usually not helpful. Or they change subject. And you become quiet. You don't want to make people uncomfortable or force them to talk about your child. Yet the longing continues. You are quiet but inside you are screaming. And without release the longing only grows more intense. Until the day you burst, or withdraw..

So you are a good friend or a family member. You want to talk about it. But you don't know what to say. And you are afraid that bringing up the loss will cause unnecessary pain to the bereaved parent. You don't want to cause pain or tears. And so you stay quiet.

It's the circle of silence.

Both want to talk about it but no one does. We want to avoid discomfort. But how can there not be discomfort when the death of a child is the subject? And why is that not okay? What's wrong with tears? Tears that in truth you the friend did not cause. They were already there waiting desperately to be released.

Did you know that 98% of bereaved parents wants to talk about their loss? If you assume your bereaved friend does not want to talk, then you are really betting they are a part of the 2%. Is that a bet you are willing to take? A true friend wouldn't.. But what do you say?

I am so sorry for your loss. For what you are going through.
I am here if you need someone to talk to or cry with.
I can't comprehend your pain, but it must be so hard.
I don’t know what to say...

Ask simple questions, and listen.

Break the circle of silence and listen.

Thank you Jolene for breaking the circle of silence.
It's because of you I write this blog.
Thank you Leanne, Linda, Lisa, Tami.. the list goes on.
But it could be longer.

Will you break the silence?
The circle of silence.


  1. Oh, Karin, this post is beautiful. And now I'm crying.. (which is okay).

  2. You say in your initial blog post that you are not a writer. I beg to differ. You write beautifully and with great feeling. Thank you for sharing Kathleen (and yourself) with us.