Awkwardness surrounding loss and grief (Archives)

Awkwardness surrounding loss and grief

Notes for the support team - Nobody is born knowing how to deal with grief. We are all just figuring it out along the way.

Nobody is born knowing how to deal with grief

Before Adrian died, I had very little sense of the impact of death. It was an abstract concept to me. I had known people who had died, but nobody close enough to trigger intense grief. And so, when someone in my circle lost a child, I misunderstood.

Notes for the Support Team -  It's hard to feel sad and helpless when someone you love is struggling after loss. It's hard to sit there in the darkness and support them when they are most in pain. But if you can do that—your support means everything. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

Accept that you feel helpless and you will be so much more helpful

It’s hard to feel sad and helpless when someone you love is struggling after loss. It’s hard to sit there in the darkness and support them when they are most in pain. It’s hard, but if you can do it anyway; if you can accept your helplessless and move forward, you will be more helpful than you know.

Notes for the Support Team -  It's easy to disappear in times of tragedy. It's hard to live with yourself afterwards. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

It’s Both Easy & Hard to Disappear After Loss

Sometimes you don’t understand the impact of your actions, or your failure to act, until the same situation happens to you. And when some of my own friends disappeared like I disappeared on my cousin, I understood how much it was hurtful. And I was filled with regret.

Notes for the Support Team -  You aren't going to be perfect. Show up anyway. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

You aren’t going to be perfect. Show Up Anyway.

Your words may be awkward. You may stumble. You may stick in your foot in your mouth entirely. It’s still okay. What’s important is that you acknowledge the loss. That you embrace the awkwardness. That you show up anyway.

Even as a bereaved parent, I still don't always know the right words to say. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

The Bereaved Don’t Always Have Words Either

Almost 4 years in this community, and I can identify most of the wrong things to say. I write scripts and stories. I try to make things better for other people. And sometimes, still, when it comes to those I care about, words fail me.

What's with this expectation that grief should be "reasonable"?  Death certainly isn't reasonable. Grieve however you need.  -Miranda Hernandez Adrian's Mother

Neither Death nor Grief are “Reasonable”

I’ve seen so many people begin a post about grief with phrases like, “This may sound odd,” or “Sorry if this is weird.” I’ve decided I’m going to stop doing that. Grief doesn’t have to be reasonable. Death certainly isn’t.

"Dead" is not a dirty word. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

“Dead” is not a dirty word (B/W)

There is a tendency in our culture to avoid talking about “negative” things like loss and death. We often use euphemisms or try to cast things in a better light. I choose not to do this. Death is not a dirty word; it simply IS.

View from the top of Waimea Canyon, mountains covered in fog, Kaua'i, Hawai'i (Luna Kai Photography)

What Would You Rather Not Know? (Quora)

I realize, when I look back at these moments with pain, that the thing I wanted least to know, was the true value behind the relationships that seemed valuable to me. Because it wasn’t what I thought it to be. And that kind of knowledge is quite hard. The death of my son taught me who people in my life really were, and that is knowledge I would rather not know.

My feelings are authentic and I own them completely. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

My feelings are authentic and I own them completely

I’ve been running into a trend recently when I talk about Adrian’s death, especially when I share more “uncomfortable” feelings such as anger or regret. People seem to feel like they need to urge me to find peace or to otherwise feel differently. I wish more people understood the power in authenticity; in feeling whatever and however one needs.

You may find it "triggering" to hear about the death of my child. Imagine how much harder it is to live with it. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

Trigger Warning

Please think, before you request a trigger warning, if the unpleasant sensation is worse for you than it is for the person speaking.⁠ You may find it “triggering” to hear about the death of my child. Imagine how much harder it is to live with it.

Miranda standing in front of Adrian's casket at his funeral. She is wearing black and facing away from the camera. The casket is white, with a spray of white daisies and bluebonnets on top. Miranda's hand is reaching into the casket to touch her son. (Modern Lux Photography)

Adrian’s Funeral

Adrian was cremated, but it was important to me that he also have a funeral. I wanted to honor him and his short but powerful life.

Draft email (Miranda Hernandez)

Two Birthdays

Almost three years ago, we both were pregnant. I didn’t realize at the time how closely we aligned. I think I thought about saying something then, but I didn’t. No excuses this time. And then your son was born, and my son died. 

Peanut's feet with Adrian's Elephant (Miranda Hernandez)


People sometimes ask me if my daughter is my first child. I needed a simple way to tell them I had a child before her, but he died. When people ask me now, I have a simple response.

Sunset on the California coast (Miranda Hernandez)

2 Jun 2018 – Peace

This year has been hard for me, but it’s been a clean kind of hard. Most people understand grief is a thing. Most people understand pain surrounding death. I don’t think most people understand what happens afterwards.

Pinecrest Lake 1 - Feature

26 Feb 2018 – The Nuclear Bomb

I’ve often said that those of us who have experienced tragedy live in a new layer of existence. It’s the thing that defines us now, that marks this transition to this separate world. And I almost said “different” there instead of “separate,” but this is another defining characteristic; because the only thing that is different is each of us. Because we are a world inside of a world, and we are the only ones who know.

Cherry blossoms in Victoria, British Columbia (Miranda Hernandez)

Dear Pregnant Woman in My Office

Dear pregnant woman in my office – people are starting to get excited. They threw you a baby shower, and things are starting to feel very familiar. I wish I could explain why I’ve started to dislike you. I wish there were some logic beyond jealously and pain. 

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