When you’ve lost a child absolutely EVERYTHING is hard. 

There are days that just getting out of bed can be a chore after losing a child. 

Your will for life changes after experiencing every parent’s worst nightmare. 

Everywhere you look in your house serves as a reminder of what once was but is no longer. 

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Every momentous occasion is marked with a huge absence. And it’s not really a choice.

Even if you try not to focus on it (which is nearly impossible), the void is always there. 

Every celebration is missing an integral member of your family

Walking into a grocery store can be filled with loose boards that will unexpectedly slap you in the face if you are not prepared. You are never prepared for seeing someone at the age your child should be or seeing their favorite cereal while hearing a song filled with memoriesall in the span of two minutes. 

When I truly think about the strength it takes to get through one day of constant reminders, some of which can take you down, I marvel at the fortitude of a bereaved parent. 

Although we didn’t ask for this, the strength, courage, energy, and endurance it takes to get through one day truly deserves notice.

Everyday life is hard and full of challenges. Adding grief and loss takes it to a whole other level. Child loss is in a different stratosphere. 

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I truly believe that everyone is doing their best to get by. If you know a bereaved parent, try to realize they are also doing their best but with an added layer of sheer impossibility. Living without your child can feel impossible at times. 

If you are a bereaved parent, I see you trying to figure out how to maneuver life without your flesh and blood. 

If you know someone who is a bereaved parent, know you can’t fix them, but you can walk beside them. 

Just knowing that someone is there for you, helps you feel less alone. And feeling less alone can help you do the next right thing. 

Carrie Schmitt

Carrie Schmitt is an advocate for St. Baldricks and sibling loss. She has created a foundation called Love Like Jackson which funds art, music, and play therapy for children whose siblings have died. She is the mother of two boys, one in heaven and one on earth.