Shop the fall collection ➔

This is a bereaved parent’s battle cry.

I’m tired . . . tired of having to hide how I am truly feeling from the rest of the world.

Tired of having to put on a fake smile every time I go to work or a social event, so people around me will think I’m doing better.

Tired of wanting to post something about MY CHILD—yet I don’t because people are “tired of seeing that.”

So I hide.

I hide and post in one of my bereaved parent groups because that is the only place “I feel safe enough to show my real feelings and won’t be judged.”

Why the hell should I have to hide my feelings about my child?!

Do others have to hide their feelings about their children?

Do other parents have to watch “how many times” they post about their son or their daughter’s soccer games or recitals or first steps or proms or births—or anything they rejoice in?

No. You know why?

Because other people will rejoice with them!

They are not looking for pats on the back because they are that child’s parent. They are proud of their children. PERIOD!

So why . . . WHY IS IT DIFFERENT FOR BEREAVED PARENTS?

We don’t have future proms . . . 
Or recitals . . . 
Or births . . .
Or first steps.

We have memories.

That. Is. It.

We post about our children because we are proud of them just like any other parent.

RELATED: To the Moms and Dads Who Suffer Loss: You Are Not Alone

We want people to support our memories with the same encouragement with which they used to support our accomplishments and milestones when our children still lived.

Say our child’s name!
Share a memory to our page of that child!
Rejoice with us!

Please don’t forget about my child.

And on those hard days when we post that we miss our child, and we say we can’t go on, whether it is two months or 10 years later, please understand, we are not looking for a pat on the back or sympathy.

We want you to remember that child with us!

Please . . . 

Memories are all we have left.

This post originally appeared on the author’s Facebook page

You may also like:

This is Grief

I’m Like You, but Different—I’m a Bereaved Mother

To the Moms and Dads Who Suffer Loss: You Are Not Alone

Anna Nalepka

Born Anna Calderon in Queens, New York City, Anna Nalepka is an award winning actress of Puerto Rican and Irish descent. She started her acting career later in life after raising a family . Beginning with community theater then appearing in student films, commercials and public service announcements. She later landed supporting roles on shows such as "FBI Criminal Pursuit," "I dated a Psycho" and most recently , "Alaska: Ice Cold Killers. "She also has appeared in Iron Man 3 , Main Street with Orlando Bloom and the Michael Howard film "Where we're Meant to be. ." In 2016 tragedy struck her family as her only daughter, Stephanie Digeno, passed away from Breast Cancer at the age of 31. Anna retreated from the public eye for a few years to deal with her grief. She has re-emerged with a new passion for helping other bereaved parents by directing the documentary " Broken... But still here a Journey through Child Loss and Beyond" In 2018 she has slowly started to try and rebuild her acting career with small roles in films and modeling.

Grief Is Persistent But God Is Faithful

In: Faith, Grief, Loss
Woman praying by ocean

The loss of a parent doesn’t just sting, it leaves you with an irreplaceable hole in your heart. It’s been two years since my loving daddy went home to be with Jesus, and the loss I feel is still unimaginable.  I know in my heart he’s in a better place that is absent of pain and distress. However, his physical presence and wisdom are so dearly missed here on this earth.  He left behind an army of a family who adored him and looked to him for solid guidance. No matter how hard I try to look to the bright...

Keep Reading

l Will Never Stop Missing My Sister

In: Cancer, Grief, Loss
Woman in red shirt

It might be 16 years too late to properly depict the depressive senses that engulfed my whole being when I lost my only sister Aurora to colon cancer in 2006. Painful flashbacks continue to fill my everyday life at the most inopportune moments that  writing about it might somehow alleviate my grief. I remember getting that random phone call from her one sunny day in September 2006 and how guilt automatically hit me. It had been a while since I last saw her. “It’s positive,” she said. Backed with years of joking around and playing tricks on her since childhood,...

Keep Reading

My Parents Are Both Gone Now, and I’m Struggling

In: Grief
Man holding smiling infant, color photo

I lost my dad at the beginning of the summer. The last time I saw him, my daughter and I picked him up from the hospital after his bout of pneumonia. She talked to him about her last day of kindergarten and how she would now be a first-grader. He sat cupping his warm mug of coffee in his favorite chair while his favorite blanket covered his legs. He smiled and giggled about the kindergarten stories. He and my daughter share the same birthday so he always had that Pop-Pop proud look on his face toward her. He was tired...

Keep Reading

Having Cancer at 34 Taught Me How to Live

In: Cancer
Husband and wife on boat, color photo

This picture came up in my Facebook memories today. It took my breath away for a moment, just like it has for nine years now. It was the last picture taken of me before my midwife found the lump and my life changed forever.  The first time I saw that photo, I realized I didn’t know that woman anymore. She was naive. Laying there in the sun without any inkling that a cancer was growing inside her. Look at her—unafraid and without anxiety. Less than 48 hours later, she would be gone, replaced by someone who was afraid of each...

Keep Reading

My Hands Are Full, but They Should Be Fuller

In: Grief, Loss
Family walking on beach

When they are gay, the waves echo their gaiety; but when they are sad, then every breaker, as it rolls, seems to bring additional sadness, and to speak to us of hopelessness and of the pettiness of all our joys. -Baroness Orczy I sat in the sand at the edge of the shore, looked out at the vast Atlantic Ocean, and watched the waves change the landscape with each crash. I absentmindedly dug a hole in the sand next to me, but then a wave came. The hole filled first with water. Then, wet sand caved in. The surface of...

Keep Reading

To My Sons in Heaven: Your Short Lives Changed Mine Forever

In: Grief
Woman at sunse

Dear Noah, Caleb, and Micah: I can’t believe it’s been nine years since I held you in my arms. My sweet sons, losing you broke me in a way that I never thought was possible. I have loved you every second of every day since we first heard of your pending arrival. RELATED: A Letter to my Daughter in Heaven With each day that you have spent in eternity, my love for you has grown exponentially. I have a vision of the day we will hug once more. I imagine that by then, my heart will have expanded so much...

Keep Reading

What If I Could Meet My Mom Now?

In: Grief, Grown Children
Retro photo of woman in sunglasses

I attempt to swallow. My heart is in my throat. I hold back tears. The woman who stands before me is 36 and looks a lot like me, but is not me. I squeeze my arms, pinch my thigh to make sure. I don’t wake up. “Hello.” Her voice is soprano and nasally like mine. Her black, Farrah Fawcett hair frames her round face. We are the same height. We share the same eyes. The same smile. The same white teeth. The same nose. The same long legs. She wears a baggy t-shirt with white-washed jeans, the kind that are...

Keep Reading

317 Days of Love

In: Grief, Motherhood
Smiling baby girl

She couldn’t speak, yet her life spoke to so many. 317 days she was on this earth. She couldn’t speak . . . only one word she said before she passed. One precious word: “Mama.” I can still hear it clear as day. I remember the moment she was born. I looked at her daddy with tear-streaked cheeks, shaking as I heard her cry. The nurse said, “You have a baby girl!” and I was in such awe. I looked at her daddy whispering, “We have a baby girl.” I was in complete adoration. From her dainty little fingers to...

Keep Reading

The Woman He Married Is Long Gone

In: Grief, Kids, Marriage
Young couple smiling

My husband has been married to at least five different women—and they’re all versions of me. His first wife was the 21-year-old version of me, who was a fit and focused college athlete. She was a driven, perfectionist dream-chaser. She was ready to push and sacrifice to chase the dream. No challenge was too hard—but then again, the hardest thing in her life was her organic chemistry final. She had the eternal optimism that comes with naivety and innocence. She loved him with eagerness and couldn’t wait to build a life with him. He often still daydreams of this first...

Keep Reading

Not Having My Mom Here Never Stops Hurting

In: Grief
Sad woman

Each phase of life since my mom died has brought different struggles, triumphs, and varieties of emotion. I always knew that grief was lifelong and complicated, however, I definitely underestimated the ways in which it changes as time goes on. I remember the beginning years as survival mode. I wasn’t sure how I was going to get through each day until that day had passed and I was on to the next one. It was figuring out who I was and what my life was going to become during this awful new normal. Some days were harder than others and...

Keep Reading