There is no pain comparable to the pain one feels when losing a child.  Five days passed from the time of the accident until Katelynn was buried.  These five days were the longest and hardest days of our lives.  We have all learned the value of living in a small town.  Many individuals were there in our time of need.  We would like to thank the EMTs, the Trion Police Department, the Summerville Police Department, and the Erlanger Life Force personnel who responded to the scene.  We would like to thank the doctors and nurses at TC Thompson’s in NICU; you not only showed us respect and compassion, but also gave us 110%.  We would like to thank all of you who called, sent food, came to the hospital, and most of all, thank each of you who prayed for Katelynn as she clung to life.  We would like to thank Pennville Elementary School, Ms Williams, and each student in Katelynn’s first grade class; you came to the funeral home, you sent flowers, and your drawings for Katelynn touched our hearts.  We would like to thank Girl Scout Troop 381; Katelynn was so proud to be a Brownie and we will forever remember your kindness and consideration.  We sincerely thank each church, each member, each stranger who prayed for this child and our family like it was your own…He heard.  We would like to thank our friends, our family, our community…you stood by us, you fed us, you embraced us, and you comforted us.  Our lives will be forever changed by this tragedy, but also by the love and support you all gave us.  We will be forever grateful.

The Family of Katelynn Brianna Bass

Don't ask us if we are over it yet. We'll never be over it. A part of us died with our child.
Don't tell us they are in a better place. They are not here with us where they belong.
Don't say at least they are not suffering. We haven't come to terms with why they suffered at all.
Don't tell us at least we have other children. Which of your children would you have sacrificed?
Don't ask us if we feel better. Bereavement isn't a condition that clears up.
Don't force your beliefs on us. Not all of us share the same faith/religion.
Don't tell us God never gives us more than we can bear. Right now we don't feel we can handle anything else.
Don't avoid us. We don't have a contagious disease, just unbearable pain.
Don't tell us you know how we feel unless you have lost a child. No other loss can compare to losing a child. It's not the natural order of things.
Don't take our anger personally. We do know who we are angry with! But we lash out at those closest to us.
Don't whisper behind us when we enter a room. We are in pain, not deaf.
Don't stop calling us after the initial loss. Our grief does not stop there and we need to know others are thinking of us.
Don't be offended when we don't return calls right away. We take each moment as it comes and some are worse than others are.
Don't tell us to get on with our lives. We each grieve differently and in our own time frame. Grief can not be governed by a clock or calendar.
Do say you are sorry. We're sorry, too and you saying that you share our sorrow is far better than saying any of those tired cliché's you don't really mean anyway. Just say you are sorry for your loss.
Do put your arms around us and hold us. We need your strength to get us through each day.
Do say you remember our child, if you do. Memories are all we have left and we cherish them.
Do let us talk about our child. Our child lived and still lives on in our hearts forever.
Do mention our child's name. It will not make us sad or hurt our feelings.
Do let us cry. Crying is an important part of the grief process. Cry with us if you want to
Do remember us on special dates. Our child's birth date (Jan.14th,1976) death date and holidays are a very lonely and difficult time for us without our child.
Do send us cards on those dates saying you remember our child we do.
Do show our family and your family that you care. Sometimes we forget to do that in our own pain.
Do be thankful for children. Nothing hurts us worse than seeing other people in pain.
Mary Cleckley, Atlanta, GA, wrote the original one.



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