What to Say to a Parent who Lost a Child


There are many things over the years that I thought I would be labeled as an “expert” in, whether it was in my career, my personal life, or just general pop culture.

But never could I have imagined that I would become an expert in losing a child and what to say to a parent who lost a child.

Of course, everything I say here should be tailored to that person’s specific personality and circumstances.

Sometimes, the moments immediately after a parent has lost a child are the hardest for those surrounding and supporting them, too.

What to Say In the Immediate Aftermath of Loss

So show up, say something, and continue to show up.

When people show up and are willing to overcome that discomfort and be there in the uncomfortable, it feels like you are not so alone.  

You say, “I am sorry, I love you,” or be honest and say you do not know what to say. 

How to Support Loss Parents a Few Months After Loss

Showing up for loss parents shouldn’t be relegated only to the moments and days after loss.

The best messages I got in those first few weeks and months were ones that said or implied that they were there, but did not need me to respond or do anything.

Continue to Carefully Choose Your Words 

You may find some intellectual comfort in statements like “at least you can get pregnant” or “at least you had a few days with her,” but loss parents do not.

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