They Don’t Know

How could they possibly know?

I just heard it again. Several different people who have lost a child have shared with me that a person in their lives has said to them something like “you’re still crying about that?”


This is a critical, mean and unhelpful thing to say to anyone who is grieving – especially someone who has lost a child.

Only those of us who have lost a child understand that the painful hole in our lives doesn’t go away. My son, David Glasser, was killed in the line of duty on May 18, 2016. Birthdays, holidays, and special family times touch the broken pieces of my heart every year. It doesn’t matter how many years ago it happened. It doesn’t heal. In some ways it gets harder because he is missing more and more. He was supposed to be here.

Losing a child is different from losing a grandparent or a parent. We always expected that there would be a time in our lives when our parents were going to be gone. But our children were supposed to go to our funeral, not the other way around.

When we lose a child we lose their whole future. All their goals and dreams are ripped away, leaving an emptiness that doesn’t stop aching in our souls.

How could anyone who has not lost a child know how it feels? It would be great if people would just not say anything if they didn’t have something compassionate and understanding to say. Unfortunately, our culture is breeding a large number of people who think they should say whatever they want to say, even when its inappropriate and they don’t know anything about the situation.

Can you tell that it upsets me to think of someone saying “are you still crying about that” to a parent who has lost a child? I have a direct personality and that may be the reason why none of the people who say things like this has had the guts to say it to me. They’re not sure they want to hear what I would say back to them.

Actually, my response would be, “I’m glad you don’t know what losing a child feels like. I’m glad you haven’t experienced a loss so great that you are reminded of it every day of every year for the rest of your life. I hope you never know what it’s like. But, if it ever happens to you, I will not say ‘Are you still crying about that’. Because then you will understand.”

And I will want to say, “It would be a good idea to keep your mean, critical thoughts about something you know nothing about to yourself.”

But I won’t say it.

How could they possibly know?

4 responses to “They Don’t Know”

  1. I’m shocked that anyone could EVER say a thing like this to anyone. That is rude and horribly hurtful. We never ever get over the loss of loved ones completely. We deal with it the best that we can and deserve to be respected at all stages of our grief. God Bless you always Judy and thank you for continuing your Blog. I love following your Blog and as I said before; I am so looking forward to reading your new book. Love you… Cindy Clark


    1. Thank you, Cindy. Unfortunately I’ve heard from several people that someone said this to them. No one has ever said it to me. Thanks for the encouragement! Love you💙💙


  2. Judy, I am so sorry. I have no idea how someone could think that much less say it. I can’t begin to imagine what kind of pain you are in. Know that you are loved and my thoughts and prayers are with you everyday


    1. It amazes me, too, that people say that. Thank you for your prayers.💙💙


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