I just got to the Mall of America to walk aimlessly for a few hours in peace and quiet, take in captialism in its grandeur, look forward to purge more from my closet…But, I must tell you all something the guy next to me on the plane said. It will for sure go in the chapter, “What Not to Say to the Parents of a Dead Kid” or “Dumb Things People Say”…READY, HERE IT IS…

“I’m sorry. That must be so hard. But, I think the worst age would be to have a teenager die. That would be hard.”

He started off right…then he kept talking. Just don’t. Just be done with “I’m sorry.” Zip. The. Lip. You know what, losing Noah 12.5 years and months shy of being THIRTEEN wasn’t easier! Oh, yeah, I guess since I didn’t get to know him as long or as well as a mom who had a teenager! What the freak?! $%^&* Do people really think one age is easier than another?! $%^&* WOW #$%^&* WOW Okay then, if one age is easier than another tell your dying grandparent or parent or spouse or sibling or older child (OR YOUR HEART) that at least they have lived for X amount of time and see what their response will be. NO! DON’T! JUST LOVE THEM AND DON’T DO MATH!

Okay, I feel better. I’m off to find another wireless spot for lunch.


26 Responses

  1. Welcome to MN!!! First of all, I have been reading your blog shortly before Noah went to heaven and I love you and everything you are! I fell in love with Noah and with Emily…it wasn’t hard to do! I just got so excited when I realized you are in MN right now…I would love to come down to the MOA (from Brooklyn Park) and give you the biggest hug EVER! Thank you for being so real with all of us! Enjoy your stay and know that you are prayed for here.

  2. I’m sorry for his inability to be sensitive or compassionate….

    I know we all have said stupid things….I know I’ve said a lot of stupid things…..

    I am beginning to realize though that our stupid thoughtless remarks still hurt others, whether they were our intention or not.

    Sometimes silence is okay…actually silence is okay a lot of the time isn’t it?

    Hugs, enjoy your trip!!

  3. First off, that was a horrible and insensitive thing for him to say.

    Secondly, I couldn’t agree with you more. I lost my mom to ovarian cancer when I was 4 years old. I am 30 now and there are days when it is still hard. And I’ve had friends who have lost their parent(s) when they were teenagers and would say, in so many words, “I’m sure that was hard for you losing your mom at a young age….but could you imagine how hard it was for ME?!?!” No matter what age…it hurts. Just plain hurts. Don’t try to compare or “one up” the other person…just say you are sorry and leave it at that.

    Again, I couldn’t agree with you more.

  4. I have always wanted to write a book called: “Things not to say” and what prompted it was a miscarriage. Oh my word….people should just shut up, you are right. My favorite (meaning the WORST) was “Oh, well, I guess it was a good thing, because maybe something was wrong with your baby.”. HMMMMM……do you think I would have loved it less? Do you think that God wouldn’t have provided me with his most abundant grace to deal with that? People need brain editors.


  5. WOW. Amazing how dense people can be.

    WOW. You are in MN! I just mentioned you to Darin Glanzer (do you remember him?) – he is at the office today to meet with my boss. He said he will be seeing you in SF bc of a speaking engagement at a church. Good luck! Have a great time in MN and SD.


  6. Oh, that is terrible! Very insensitive.

    In the defense of people who have said some really dumb things in their lives, then spend the rest of their lifetime regretting what they said (um, that would be ME!), I would venture to guess this gentleman has never experienced a loss of someone close to him and cannot comprehend the feelings involved. Or, he could just be a completely insensitive blockhead…

  7. Oh wow! How incredibly insensitive of him…I am sure he had no clue how ugly it was that he said that but sheesh!!! What was your reply to him when he said that?? I mean could you even answer him?? I cannot imagine!!


  8. Oh my….proud of you for not punching him! I may have done that…deep breaths!

    Have a great trip…smile lots and can’t wait to hear all about it.

    Love you

  9. It is ridiculous that he implied you would have a harder time with a teenager. I would have asked him if he had kids, and if he loved the older ones the most since he knew them longer? Or maybe he loved the teenagers the most???


  10. OK… I have no comment. Other than I think I’d like to punch the guy. (Is that poor Christianity put to practice). I’ve often wondered if people think losing Ricky was “less” of a big deal because he was only home with me for 5 months of his year on earth. My question to anyone would have to be: how long was it after you met/gave birth to your child for the first time before you fell in love with them?

    I met a woman awhile back at a cookout who had two kids… she responded really sweetly when I told her a little bit about Ricky. Then, as my husband and I were leaving, she called out to us: “have fun going home and NOT having to put kids to bed”!

    Yeah… great.

    Some people are just clueless I guess.

  11. Hey Adrienne,

    Neat to hear that you’re back in town. I’m SO sorry about that guy and his remarks…garrr…that annoys me that he said that to you.

    I hope that you are able to enjoy some peace and quiet on this trip. I’m still praying for you guys.


  12. I agree with you…..people need to keep their mouths shut….my Mother always said “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” Some people do not know when to put a sock in it! Loosing a baby is so hard, because you will always wonder about how it would be now & you never had a chance for them to grow up. I’m sorry you had to listen to that. It would never be easy at any age. I think he was just not thinking! I care & just remember that so many people DO CARE about you & we loved Noah. Keep telling your story, there are so many, many people out there that do care. Love Rose in Nashville, TN

  13. ok, so what if…..what if just maybe…..what if just maybe the guy’s own teenager died…….

    Maybe, just maybe, he couldn’t deal with his loss even to speak of it.

    Maybe, just maybe, Oswald Chambers quote might be applicable here.. “there is always one more fact we don’t know.”

    Hurtful remarks are often because of ignorance. And it seems that we all must own up to our own ignorance. Jesus said, “Who among you will throw the first stone?”

    Grace is key to life!

    Can we “grace” this man? I hope so. It’s difficult, but the only way.

  14. I’m with you Adrienne. If that guy had actually lost a child as implied in the previous comment, then he would have known to SHUT IT! I am truly sorry, its never easy losing someone you love no matter what age they are. It doesn’t matter if its a baby you didn’t get a chance to meet, a small child, teenager, parent, grandparent….the hurt is there and is part of you. No one should tell you well, since you only knew him a short time that you shouldn’t hurt as much! I am so sorry Adrienne. I am not trying to slam this nameless guy but people do need to learn what not to say!

  15. My main motto is “people are stupid!”


    I ha a friend who lost her husband to aids. It was horrible and devastating… and just when you thought you heard it all, her very own pastor makes a statement that losing a child is much worse, because you just never expect to outlive your child. WTF? How do people get off saying any of that stuff??? It’s a tremendous loss no matter which what it hits.

  16. That man’s comments were totally thoughtless, but please continue to teach us how to love and minister to someone who has lost someone that they love. You commented one time that to have someone give you the opportunity to tell about Noah and his life was wonderful when so many people ignore it because they don’t want to upset you. I took that to heart and have since always made sure that I acknowledged someone’s loss and gave them a chance to speak about that person if they so desired. That was a great lesson to learn and as someone who has not experienced a huge loss in my life up to this point, I always want to make sure that I am sensitive to what other people are going through. Thank you for being a teacher on how to care for friends who have lost someone. The more you speak up, the less people we’ll have out there making stupid/thoughtless comments…hopefully!

  17. Welcome to MN Adrienne! I am sorry you had to hear such a thing from someone who hasn’t a clue…unbelievable. Madison (L.O.L. for Noah)and family wish you relaxing visit…seems so strange that you were literally just down the road from us…weird. Anyway, have a great time from all of us in MN. 🙂

  18. that was horrendous. i don’t know how you didn’t toss your peanuts in his face.

    people say the same thing about miscarriges…. “well at least it was early”.


    i guess the younger the kid is…all the way into the womb the “easier” it is to lose them. what the *(#@&@????!!!!
    and then, on the flip side.. when do you start saying … well at least they lived 44 years?


  19. I found your blog from Laura. I have read so much and I had to just comment on this! THANK YOU FOR SHARING. I continue to be amazed, shocked and hurt by the things people see to “comfort” someone durning an extremely difficult time. It a wonder there is so much in the bible about the tongue. Thanks for being so transparent.

  20. oh if i wouldve known you were in MN i wouldve said lets meet up. yes we are strangers but i wouldve loved to give you a hug and shop with you! because in fact i was at MOA on thursday!!! how crazy! i bet i may have even passed you. but thats besides the point. what a rude thing to say. some people just dont get loss and dont understand how stupid the things they say are. who knows how he was trying to comfort you, if he was at all, with that comment. i sure hope you had some retail therapy time tho. thats what i did on thursday.

  21. Just getting caught up on your blog. I think a lot of people don’t quite know what to say when they hear about a loss of a loved-one. I’m not sure they intend to say such silly things, though. I’m sure (actually I know) I’ve done the same without realizing it. I’ve just had to learn to not take things personally (which I’m finding nearly impossible these days.) Bottom line, there are a lot of unhappy people in this world who just need a lot of healing and prayers.

  22. Father God, I thank you that this man has not experienced the deep pain of losing a child. I pray that grace is extended as ignorance so often comes from plain inexperience and lack of knowledge. I thank you that you have offered all of us grace time and time again as we have so many times neglected to keep our thoughts to ourselves and caused others extreme pain. I pray that you would continue to protect him from experiencing the horrible pain that Adrienne and her family have experienced. Keep him ignorant in this subject, because full understanding would only mean he suffered the exact same pain. I thank you for your everlasting love and pray that you would continue to wrap your loving arms around Adrienne and her family. In Jesus’ Name.

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