Sunday, April 20, 2008

Meeting other bereaved parents

A friend called a few weeks ago, said a friend of hers had lost a son suddenly, and felt she needed to talk to someone who had gone through similar circumstances. She was worried about her. I told her I’d be happy to talk to her friend, which I did, and we set up a date this week to have breakfast and meet.

I do so enjoy meeting other bereaved parents. We hugged; we knew what each other was feeling, no matter if 1 year or 15 years. I looked at her face. She wore no makeup, and I realized it was
because she didn’t really care what others thought of her. She is her own person: independent and totally in control of her feelings and who she is. As we spoke, I also saw how eye makeup would not have done well on her. Tears formed a lot, although never overflowing.

This was not her first tragedy. Her husband was killed in a plane crash over 35 years ago at age 36, and she has never remarried. I did not question whether she had anyone special in her life now. I did learn that she travels quite a bit and is a history and geography buff, so that when I would mention a place, she could pinpoint it exactly on a map and discuss the area, whether she had been there or not. She has one daughter, who she is close to, and some grandchildren. She is lucky in that respect.

Her son fell sick one day, went to the doctor and finally the hospital. They missed the diagnosis, she told me. They should have done a blood test while in the hospital. Then they would have known it was a rare and fatal virus her son had contacted. The pain started in his neck, and he was dead in less than 24 hours. If they had done the blood test, they could have saved him. A sudden death, just like my daughter, although in a completely different way, but sudden nevertheless. Sudden death is hard to accept. You never dream it could happen to you.

She talked about meeting Elizabeth Kubler Ross and the books on grief that she wrote. We compared notes and agreed on most aspects. She talked about not wanting to go to a grief group, like myself. And about people she believes hide in their religion. She has never once asked “Why me?” What good does it do, she said. I agreed.

She seems to be on the right path. She’ll continue to have good and bad days as we all do and will, all the days of our lives. Her son will always be with her as my daughter will always be with me. Our feelings and thought are more similar than I thought they might be at first. It both surprises and pleases me.

We talked for hours, and probably could have continued, except that I had another appointment to get to. We hugged again, this time with a little more feeling of, “I’m so sorry this has happened to both of us.” We planned to meet again, soon. After all, we have one thing in common that will always bind us together…our children, who are no longer with us.

1 comment:

  1. I am so sorry for your loss.I know your pain.I too lost my beautiful daughter.Come join us at and then join our loss forum.We are sister’s and brothers in grief.
    Peace and light