Saturday, December 17, 2016

"Let me know if you need anything"

In the minutes, hours, and days after Brayer passed away, Kyle and I have received messages, phone calls, and hugs from too many people to count. Many have said they don't want to bother us, but they just had to reach out. PSA: You are not bothering us! We love feeling supported and thought of by so many. It helps the days go by smoother. Kyle and I have been talking since last week how we will approach people who are suffering from a loss in the future. I will preface the rest of this post with this: No one who has said the following things meant any harm to us nor did they cause any harm. We know the true meaning behind each statement and we know that people often just say things in the moment. Use this list as a guide for future interactions with someone in grief rather than tracing your steps in moments past.

Things to not say:

1) "You'll have another one"
Umm, I'm pretty sure it doesn't work like that. Yes, we will have more children. Yes, our house will be filled with love and happiness again one day. But saying "you'll have another one" brings no comfort to us. Another baby is not going to be our Brayer. Another baby is not going to fill the huge holes in our heart left by our sweet baby. Sure, part of the grief is no longer having a baby in general. Our house is full of baby things that are no longer being used. However, if someone were to drop a baby off at our house for us to keep, that would not make our grief any less painful. 

2) "Maybe the next time you'll have twins".
This one can just piggyback off the previous statement. Again, the best of intentions I'm sure. 

3) "God needed another angel"
Ok, but why did he need my baby to be an angel? In the days after Brayer passed, I would look up grief quotes on Pinterest (if you follow me on Pinterest, sorry for all the depressing pins). But one that hit me the hardest is the one below. I know people lose children all the time. And the thought of my baby being in Heaven is comforting. But telling me God needed him more is really hard for me to wrap my mind around. The fact that I can't catch my breath sometimes is a huge sign that I needed my baby too. 

4) "Let me know if you need anything"
I will say that I know every single person who has said this truly meant it. I have a list of people that if I called them with the slightest need or want, they would fulfill it. But, neither Kyle or I are the type to ask people to do things for us. If I finally drag myself out of bed, go to the fridge, and realize I am out of diet coke, I feel ridiculous asking someone to go grab some for us. Going to the store is a huge stress to me because I feel surrounded by mothers with their babies (I think they all decide to go as soon as I leave my house). But, I would rather put myself through that then text someone and feel like a burden. And yes, I understand that we are not a burden and people want to help us. However, reaching out for help just feels like we are making people go out of their way for us. The moral of the story is: if you want to do something for someone who has lost a loved one, just do it. Make plans. If you want to bring us food, pick a day and tell us you're coming. If you want to want to check in on us, tell us you're coming on Tuesday and we will make sure we are home on Tuesday. 

Things to say:

1) "I just don't know what to say"
Guess what. We don't either. And it is ok to admit that. If someone I knew had a baby who passed away, I have no clue what I would say. But as someone who is living that nightmare, just be honest and say you are at a loss for words. I promise you that we are too.

2) "I/We love you"
Sometimes that's all you need to say. I got a few of those simple words after Brayer passed and to me, that said plenty. It seems so obvious and probably not sufficient at a time like that. But sometimes less is more.

3) Ask us about him
This one is probably a case by case basis. Even we have admitted that we probably wouldn't ask someone about the child they lost. However, the few people who have asked us probably got an ear full. We love talking about our sweet boy and most of the time, we don't mind talking about what happened to him. Not talking about it does not make it any less real. There have been moments where the grief is so strong that I feel like I am sitting in a hole that I will never dig out of. But the one thing that helps me feels somewhat better is talking about my sweet Brayer. Like I said, this probably is not a universal feeling. Everyone handles these situations differently. But just know that if you feel the urge to ask us, we will not be offended or burst into tears. You'll probably regret asking about 30 minutes after because we'll still be going on about him. I mean look at that sweet face, who wouldn't want to talk about him?


  1. Mary Michael, I love this and love reading about sweet Brayer! So glad you are doing this! Love you!

  2. Hey sweets, I enjoyed reading this blog immensely. Writing is in your blood. Your Daddy penned beautifully as a student in college. The feelings you express are tangible and speak volumes to me as a family member. The picture Kyle used is my favorite. He was a beautiful son with an incredible aura that captivated all those around him. Writing makes me feel better, and music. Remember the music.

  3. Your blog is about the best thing every. Love to hear about Brayer and it takes a person who has gone through such a loss to really understand what you and your family is going through. So for us who have not, your words helps me understand and not be one of those individuals who say the wrong thing. I truly enjoy reading your post...

  4. Oh my sweet girl, I completely get what you're saying. I remember when my baby brother died, my mama being so upset when somebody said, "God needed another angel." She too said, I don't believe God works that way, but anyway, I think I needed Him more." Writing is good. Expressing your grief is good. Thanks for sharing and please tell me all about Brayer. I never got to me him.:(...

  5. After reading your blog I believe you are much further in this process than I can comprehend. You and all of your family are in our prayers. My heart aches for you!