Forever changed
by Angela Westermann

You tell me to move on

You tell me not to cry

You tell me I have got to get a grip

Get out you say

Enjoy the sunshine

Feel life again

They look at me funny

Like I have grown two heads

Like I am so very different

I make them uncomfortable

Andrew you make them uncomfortable

Tell me why?

Why is it so difficult?

To see my broken heart

To see my wounded soul

A part of me was amputated

It is gone

Tiptoe around you

Let’s make this easy for you

You’re uncomfortable for 10 minutes

I live this everyday, every moment

Tell me my friend

What is it you want from me?

You want me to smile?

When I smile do you think I


When I laugh do you think I


You don’t know what to say?

I don’t know what to say?

Just please, please be patient with me

Take my hand

Hold my hand

Don’t say a word

Just let me know

You are here

We shall sit

Maybe we will talk

Just listen

Don’t judge

Let me talk about my baby

Let me say it a million times

Over and over

Just listen

Let me cry if I need the tears

Don’t say you understand

Because you don’t

Just quietly be my friend

Editor's Note:
Angela is a bereaved parent who sent me email one day and then was kind enough to share this poem with me. I felt the need to give it space and voice here because the message of this poem is one that every family member, friend, and co-worker to a bereaved parent should heed. You don't have to fix anything for us. You just have to be there and allow the bereaved parent to *fully* feel whatever they feel. Don't correct them or rush them. Don't pathologize whatever they feel or do. Just be there. And if you can't do that, then don't put yourself in the position where you should be offering that! Be human, not instructive, please!

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