Mothers of Angels is a safe
haven where mothers who have lost children can share their pain, be
comforted, share memories of their children with other mothers who can
relate to their loss and be assured that what gets said in the group,
stays in the group. We encourage all mothers who have lost a child to
join us whether to be comforted or to comfort others.
If you would like to be
part of Mothers of Angels.
please contact us by email.
Join us on any Tuesday at 7:00 P.M. in the fellowship hall
of Wise Drive Baptist Church in Sumter, South Carolina.
Join our Yahoo emailing listserv at:
Mothers of Angels Group E-mailing List
If you are a mother
who walks in our shoes,
or you know a mother
who has lost a child,
please, come meet with us,
or email us and a mother
who understands will get in touch.
To assist Mothers of Angels with printing and mailing expenses,
you may make donations to:
Drive Baptist Church
2751 S. Wise Drive
Sumter, SC 29150
(Write in the memo section of your check, "Mothers of
Things That We Have Learned and Experienced
- Losing a
child is "out of order."
- We will
never be the same person as before our loss.
- There are
no set-in-concrete stages or timelines in grief.
- It is typical to feel almost numb for the first
few months. When that numbness lifts, it can be very frightening.
- There is
no "normal" in grieving.
- Try to think
of the feelings as a wave and ride it out.
people will not understand your grief unless you share it.
- It helps
to find support people so that you can continue to talk about your child.
This is necessary for you to get a balance with your memories.
- It is
okay to talk about your child for as long as you want.
- It is
okay to keep their belongings for as long as you want.
- It is
okay to include remembering your lost child in celebrations and special
occasions for as long as you want.
- It is
very normal to fear that you are "going crazy."
- We may
lose or become distanced from old friends who don’t seem to understand
our pain and grief.
- We can
gain new friends and support from others who have also experienced the
death of a child and therefore understand our feelings.
- Talking to and being with other bereaved mothers is extremely
- Grief waits.
If you put it away and try to ignore it, it will simply wait until you
have no choice but to experience it.
- We grieve
as intensely as we love.
"closure" is not a requirement of healing. For parents, it is
not even an option.
parents do not ever “get over” the death of their children nor can we just
“snap out of it” as the outside world seems to think we can and should do.
- You have
a right to your emotions. Your emotions are simply yours. There is
no perfect way to grieve.
- We have
learned that we must acknowledge our anxieties. If we admit to their
presence, they will eventually leave--but only if you don't run from them.
- We must
make a conscious decision to "get better."
- We have
to discover a “new normal” for ourselves and our families in a world that
no longer includes our beloved children.
we may feel overwhelmed and out of control, we can still have the deep
inner peace that comes from God alone.
- The time
will come when we will smile and find joy again.
- Even in
death . . . love remains.
and Don'ts for Helping Someone
the Loss of Their Child
- Do let your genuine concern and care show.
- Do be available: to listen, to help with other children, or
whatever else seems needed at the time.
- Do say you are sorry about what happened to their child and
about the pain they are experiencing.
- Do allow them to express as much grief as they are feeling
at the moment and are willing to share.
- Do encourage them to be patient with themselves, not to
expect too much
of themselves, and not to impose any "SHOULDS" on themselves.
- Let survivors know that you will remain their friend and that they mean a great deal to you
- Do say, "I'm here. Call me any time of the day or night.
I'll cry with you,
I'll listen to you and I'll even laugh with you. I'll always have
- Do give special attention to the
and sisters, at the funeral and in the months to come. They too are
hurt and confused and in need of attention which their parents may not
be able to give them at the time
- Do reassure them that the medical care their child received
best possible, and/or be positive about anything else you know to be
true and positive about the care given their now-deceased child.
- Do help them to remember by saying something like, "Wasn't
it a year ago that you lost your child? How about we go for a
walk or out to lunch. I'll always remember this day next year and the
- Do support survivors
in their effort to reconstruct a life, even (or especially) if it means
a major change in their lifestyle, or work, or place of residence.
What to Say to the Grieving
people want to comfort and help the bereaved, the stress and anxiety of
the encounter sometimes makes it difficult to know what is actually
helpful. Often, the phrase that is meant to help actually produces more
pain and distress. What follows is a partial list of phrases that have
been found to be helpful in comforting the grieving person.
- I'm sorry
- I'm sad for you
- How are you doing with all this?
- I don't know why it happened
- What can I do for you?
- I'm here and I want to listen
- Please tell me what you are feeling
- This must be hard for you
- What's the hardest part for you?
- I'll call you tomorrow (and do it!)
- You must really be hurting
- It isn't fair, is it?
- You must really feel angry
- Take all the time you need
- Thank you for sharing your feelings
- Don't let your own sense of helplessness keep you from
reaching out to a bereaved parent.
- Don't avoid them because you are uncomfortable.Being avoided
adds pain to an already intolerable and painful experience.
- Don't say you know how they feel, unless you've lost a child
yourself, you don't know how they feel.
- Don't say "You ought to be feeling better by now," or
anything else that implies a judgment about their feelings.
- Don't change the subject when they mention their child.
- Don't avoid mentioning the child's name for fear of
reminding them of their pain. They haven't forgotten it for a moment.
- Don't try to find something positive about the child's death.
- Don't point out that at least they have another child or
Children are not interchangeable! They cannot replace each other.
- Don't say that they can have another child. Even if they
wanted to, another child would not replace the child they have lost.
- Don't make any comments which in any way suggest that the
care in the
home, or in the emergency room, hospital, or wherever, was
inadequate. Parents are plagued by feelings of doubt and guilt without
any help from their family or friends.
What Not to Say to the Grieving
The number one "No
No" word is the word "closure." "Closure is simply a media buzz word
with no substance." There will never be closure.
- "Your loved one is in a better place" - surviving families feel that the "better place" is home with them.
- "You need to go on with your life - let it go"
- "I know how you feel" - unless you have lost a beloved child you will never know how the surviving parent feel.
- "Things happen for a reason"
- "God needs him more than we did" - who can speak for God?
- "He will no longer be in pain" -
- "It will be all right" - how can it be all right?
- "It will get better"
- things may get easier, but it takes many months and even years - too
far in the future for families to find comfort from these words.
- "It was God's will"
- "He was in the wrong place at the wrong time" - this statement places the blame on the victim.
- "Time heals all wounds" - time doesn't heal anything - it's what you do with that time.
- "You are so strong"
- "I admire your courage"
- "Life goes on"
- "Count your blessings"
- "Only the good die young"
- "You still have your memories"
- "What doesn't kill you, helps you"
- "God didn't give you anything you cannot handle"
- "God has something better for you in store"
- "This will pass"
- "I wasn't able to come to your child's funeral. I just couldn't face it."
Grief Is Not...
Grief is not a mountain to be climbed,
with the strong reaching the summit
long before the week.
Grief is not an athletic event,
with stop watches timing our progress.
Grief is a walk through loss and pain
with no competition and no time trials.
Sumter, South Carolina