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100: Dealing with the Loss of a Child | Liesel Mindrebo Mertes

100: Dealing with the Loss of a Child | Liesel Mindrebo Mertes

loss managing grief Mar 29, 2022

Empathy Consultant, Liesel Mindrebo Mertes, talks candidly about the process of grieving the death of a child. She also shares how we - as colleagues, friends, family members, and neighbors - can support those in our community who are suffering loss.


  • "There are moments where the awareness of a child like that is sweet and beautiful, but just acknowledge for parents that are listening. There are also moments where it's just horrible to have to walk with a young child who's trying to integrate the reality of death and loss." - Liesel Mindrebo Mertes
  • "I think you should think about the long game of how you're communicating. There's a gut level temptation to want to make promises to your children that you can't keep, to set them up because you so want to reconstruct that sense of safety that has come under assault. When someone asks, are you going to die, to say I'm not going to die. Because you're thinking I'm not planning on dying in the next five to 10 years and by then you'll be older,
    But to really address that in a way, that doesn't set themselves up for an even bigger disappointment of promising something that you can't deliver on." - Liesel Mindrebo Mertes
  • "We were in the hospital yesterday this morning, somebody sent me a Grubhub, $50 gift card, and said, 'Hey, I just want to help you with dinners, you'll be a little behind?' So offer something specific instead of saying, can I do anything to help? Is one really like actionable thing you can do." - Liesel Mindrebo Mertes
  • "I am so guilty of 'Let me know if there's anything I can do to help you.' Cause I think I'm trying to be fragile or trying not to be pushy, but I'm totally putting the onus back on them. And I'm even applying this, not just to serious difficult life events, but happy ones like the birth of a child, which are still very disruptive." - Emily Melious


  • 02:08 The loss of Mercy Joanie

  • 04:39 Unrealized Expectations

  • 05:05 How to get through difficult times

  • 07:15 The long term effects of grieving

  • 08:30 How do you answer the inevitable question, "How many kids do you have?"

  • 12:38 Advice for parents helping their kids navigate grief

  • 15:58 How should community rally behind those grieving

  • 20:32 What can we say or do for those who suffered a loss?

  • 30:12 How to work with Liesel




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