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

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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.