What do you say to a parent who has just lost their child?

What do you say to a parent who has just lost their child?

What words can possibly have any effect?  What can break through layer upon layer of grief and sadness and desperation and fear and senseless guilt and anger and bereftness?

What prayers can you offer them?

I would not be able to breathe.  I would very likely lose my will to live another instant, knowing that Son was not here.    I don’t have any other children, so there would be no need to be strong for the others…

I wouldn’t want to talk to anyone, be comforted by anyone.

There is no comfort when you lose a child.

My heart is breaking for my old, dear friend.  To lose a child so senselessly.  So suddenly.

Being so far away there really is nothing I can do, except grieve along with her.  Leave a message telling her that I’m so very sorry, and that I’m thinking of her.  Lose sleep myself, and check on Son ten times a night.

And hug him tight.  Tight.

I pray she can find a way to breathe.  I pray that she and her husband and her other two  sons can allow themselves to be and do and feel whatever they need to be and do and feel to get through today.

And I pray for the  same thing tomorrow.

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