What Not To Say…Add it to the list


It’s been 2,136 days or 5 years, 10 months, and 3 days since I lost my son. By now I thought I had heard every heartfelt, but misguided thing a person could muster in an attempt to comfort me. Remember this blog post about what not to say?  Well, I was wrong in thinking I had heard it all. Let’s add 1 more to the list of what not to say.


North Conway 1997


Do NOT say to a grieving parent who is now a grandparent: “You must be all better now that you have a grandchild.”  Honestly, I am not trying to be harsh here. I understand if you have never been through the loss of a child that you can’t know how one feels, but common sense should dictate that one child could never replace another. Each child is their own unique joy. Each child has their own unique place in a parent’s/grandparent’s heart. A parent does not ever forget about the lost child by filling the void with another. When I think back on that moment, I am 100% certain I caused great discomfort to the person who was hoping I was better now. Without warning tears and quite possibly rage welled my eyes and the person made a quick exit stage right.


Thanks for letting me vent today. Now let’s just get comfortable with a steaming hot, nourishing bowl of soup. We just had our first snow, so let’s warm up with a hearty wild rice & chicken version. This recipe packs a bit of smoky spice and chocolate because after all it’s still Valentine’s week. Enjoy.

“Soup puts the heart at ease and calms

down the violence of hunger”

~ Escoffier

Image 1-21-18 at 8.02 PM

Heart Warming Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

  • Servings: 4 to 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped

1 medium orange bell pepper, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

Pinch red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Fresh ground back pepper

1 (14 oz) can petite diced tomatoes

1 (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with green chilies

4 cups chicken stock

1 cup wild rice, rinsed

4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, diced

¾ cup fresh or frozen corn kernels

Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the onion and peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, over moderately high heat until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the chili powder, cumin, cocoa, oregano, smoked paprika, red pepper, salt and a few turns of black pepper; cook 1 to 2 minutes or until fragrant. Stir in the tomatoes, tomatoes with chilies, chicken stock and wild rice; bring to boil. Add the chicken. Reduce heat and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the rice is tender and puffy, about 40 to 45 minutes. Stir in the corn. Ladle the soup into bowls.

Garnish with fresh herbs, sour cream and crispy tortilla strips, if desired.



18 thoughts on “What Not To Say…Add it to the list

  1. As you say, that person was well intentioned but the phrasing of their intended message was an epic fail. It’s unfortunate but best way to deal with it is vent and move on. Mission accomplished.

  2. UGH!! Perhaps we can just slip another child in place of one of your children? Would that work for you? I’m sorry. Just when you think you’ve heard all of the misconstrued comforting? words. But I must say, I need to try your soup recipe because the flavor profile is spectacular! LOVE the ski pics!

    • hard to imagine someone saying this but as my dad used to say truth is stranger than fiction. The soup is really a meal and will definitely satisfy a Tex-Mex craving

  3. ❤️ I’m sure being a grandma is so heartwarming but still…sometimes people don’t know what to say but I find in those moments best not to say anything at all 🙂 xoxo

    • Being a grandma is such a wonderful experience. Annabelle is such a delight and watching my daughter be such a fantastic mother tells me I did something right.

      BTW-you are very wise for one so young ❤

  4. What you say is totally true! I still have a whole my heart with the loss of my baby. I can’t imagine anything replacing that. People always tell me to get a puppy and you’ll feel better. Totally not the same! Love ya, Mama Keys!

  5. A thoughtless remark given to you regarding your deceased child. It is the worst kind of grief. The sadness and grief must be too much to bear at times. May your joyful memories give you some comfort my dear! ◔‿◔

    • Thank you for your comments today Simply Splendid Food. I really appreciate your kind words. We learn to balance our grief as time goes on but at times we can be easily thrown off balance when we least expect it.

  6. There’s a family that I’ve known since my 37 year old daughter was in the second grade. Their daughter that my daughter went to school with died in her sleep on February 8. How devastating this is for their family and all who loved her. Parents should not bury their children, but it happens more often than we know. Sending you love and hugs Lisa. You are one amazing woman! ❤

    • I am so very sorry to hear this news. I always say I would not wish the grief of losing a child (no matter the age) on my worst enemy and a sudden death like this one is hardest of all to bare. Be present for your friends as I know they will find comfort in you and your daughter. I love it most when someone shares a story about my son. Maybe you have stories to share, too.

  7. Yup, someone recently said to me, “At least you have 2 other boys.” Seriously. I just said that if I lost one of my limbs, nobody would say, “at least you have 3 others!” It’s just mindless, when people want to fill the uncomfortable silence. XOXO

    • absolutely mindless…can’t make this stuff up, Marcie.As far as the uncomfortable silence–people need to understand that their silent presence is enough ❤

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