Donna shares, “With no apparent symptoms at the tender age of three and a half months our son, Justin, died. It happened in the evening just after my husband had left for a meeting.  I rushed my baby to the hospital, but the doctors could not revive him.

Many people avoided talking about Justin. It seemed that they were trying to avoid keeping his memory alive.  I wanted more than anything to talk about him.  It is healing, not hurtful, to hear his name and recall his happy character as well as instances from his life.

Some individuals told me that they understood my pain.  Even if someone has gone through a similar experience, it is not the same as my experience.  Although the words “I understand” may sound comforting, they are not.  Please respect the fact that my experience is totally unique.”

Also refrain from saying, “I understand,” because it stops the conversation.  If I am the one grieving, I need to share my thoughts and feelings, but when you say, “I understand,” it stops my sharing.  Why should I share?  Why should I try to describe my situation . . . . you think you already understand everything about my crisis.

To download a free e-book on simple ways to care for the people in your life go to our post  titled 122+ Ways to Care Well.

Photo credit: Martin (

Karen Mulder

Karen Mulder

Karen Mulder is the founder of the Wisdom of the Wounded ministry. She lives in Holland, Michigan with her husband Larry.


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