User Post: What do you say when a parent talks about their terminally ill child?

A friend directed me to a blog about a couple whose daughter is two and half and terminally ill with a brain tumor. I hesitated. It's so much easier to choose against learning more, not entering the lives of these people, or allowing this precious child to enter my life. I've done this before and it always leaves me with a pain in my heart, burning behind my eyes, and a lump in my throat. I hate to read these blogs, hate being reminded that life is so fleeting. I end up thinking about them for weeks, so I try to avoid them. But, against my better judgment, I clicked on the link.

I read a few beautiful posts written by the little girl's mother. I saw her smiling face and sweet curls. I started to comment on a post, because it felt like the right thing to do. It took a few tries and each time I deleted my words and started again. And then again. And again. Finally, I had to ask myself: Do they really want comments from strangers? Would telling them that I have been moved or saddened make them feel any more peace?

What would I want to hear if it were my child? Would I want to tell strangers who comment about holding their little ones tighter to shove it? I think I would. Would my grief blind my ability to see comments as supportive and instead view them as opportunities for random readers to feel better about themselves for reaching out? I don't know. Would I hate the people who had no idea what I was going through and were simply reading along on a Thursday night?

Do these women care that I read their blog? They care for their daughter, but no amount of support they receive from strangers will change what they know to be true: Their life is spiraling.

The blog community is intense and wonderful when it needs to be, but what about when it isn't? What about when you use it to update friends and family, to give yourself an outlet? You're not looking for readers or comments, you're looking for solace.

In the end I decided not to comment. Because I really just don't know what to say. Would you?

Lisa blogs at Hannemaniacs and is certainly holding her three year old and three month old boys closer.

Photo courtesy of m_bartosch /