Dear Mom & Dad – A Note from Your Surviving Child

Dear Mom & Dad,

There may be moments when you wonder about me.  How I am doing since our precious family member was stolen from us.  A few things I wish you would know:

  • I am hurting so much, but afraid to share with you just how much, lest I add to the tremendous pain I see you are suffering
  • I don’t know what to say to you sometimes.  I’m afraid of saying the wrong thing.  I’m afraid of saying the right thing
  • I know you knew my sibling from the day they were born, but I knew them my entire life.  We were so close in years and they were older than me and so there is not a day of my life that they did not exist.  You have years of memories before they were here. My life without them started the day they died
  • I feel unloved sometimes as I watch you fuss over them instead of me who is still here.  I understand why and don’t begrudge you – but some days it stings
  • I feel guilty for not protecting them and don’t understand the lion that roars inside of me from all this hurt
  • I’ve become fiercely protective of my other siblings and you.  Don’t mistake that façade of strength to mean I’m okay
  • I don’t understand this grief and that makes me question how I could possibly know how to help you and our family with their grief.  But somehow feel responsible to do so
  • I worry as I watch you fade and diminish from your grief
  • I wish you could kiss this and make it all better, like you did when I was little and scraped myself.  I know you can’t but I still look up to you and the little child in me still wants it with all my heart.
  • I don’t blame you for their death
  • I know I may be hard to handle: angry, sullen, distant.  Please know that is just the hurt coming from my deep pain that I sometimes direct at you because I can’t get to the one that is responsible
  • Under all the ugliness, I still love you very much


Julie Brown

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Comments (3)

  • My son will soon be gone for 10 years. I do hear what you are saying and understand your grief. I lost my brother also about 4 years after my son. Both were twins, my son to his brother, Mike. My brother to his twin sister, Linda.

    My daughter often says that I never let her grieve the loss of Matt, her brother. I am not sure why this is. My husband was still living and I leaned on him for great strength. Still she lashes out at me for her not being able to proceed with her grief.

    You cannot be responsible for your parents healing. It comes from within. The experience from losing a child cannot be described. It definitely not a club to be part of. There are support groups, friends, and church to help them get through this process.

    I so love my daughter. She is my life although sometimes we both wonder (lol). I often think how my surviving son can be surviving this loss especially on their birthday.

    There are so many stages of grief. You think one day ‘okay I can move on.’ Then suddenly another emotion slips in. I think we need to embrace that time and process it. No one can tell you how much, how long or how to grieve. It is a personal experience. If it becomes all time consuming, interfering with everyday activities, then you need to reach out to someone, be it an understanding family member, friend, counselor, church or your faith.

    I often hear from other children of families that have lost a son or daughter that the surviving children are left out. I am not sure why that feeling comes across so loud. I can talk to my surviving children and tell them how proud of them of their accomplishments in life. I can enjoy their grandchildren. So many things I can be thankful for. Except for some reason there always seems to be a ‘but’ that comes across.

    I pray that someday you will be able to relax around your parents. Share with them your thoughts. Try not to do it when the feelings are very strong but in a spirit of love and concern. This emotion is like so many others. Until you experience it yourself, the empathy for others is hard to understand.

    Granted, the way the sister died is beyond what I can even imagine. My son had been in ill health for 9 years. Many surgeries cancelled. Many infections. Failure to comply with doctors orders. The thought of Matt not surviving these situations was always in the back of my mind. But to have someone come to your door and tell you your child has been a victim of a homicide……. Just not what a parent can fathom happening.

    Please continue to communicate with someone about your feelings. I find as I get older, many people have similar situations in their life. No one talks about it. We are to be tough, suck it up. For some peace of mind, we need to find others to share our stories with.

    God Bless You in this journey.

  • It reminds me of my youngest son who did not speak for a year after we lost his older brother, he has his own children. We talked for a yr and now after losing our 2nd born of 3 sons he s not been in contact for 8 weeks. We have messaged him about seeing him and his family. His dad and I have not seen our grandchildren but not much response from him . We just don t know how to deal with it. We feel really hurt and upset. His dad has been in hospital but he did not visit.

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