Sunday, November 9, 2008


“If life doesn’t kill you, it will make you stronger.” I don’t know who said that, but it’s true. After your child dies, you have a choice: to continue living or to lie down and give up. I chose to live.

In order to do that, I had to have a new purpose in my life. Whether it was a cause, helping others or just finding new interests, my life took on new meaning eventually, and as I look back now, 14 years later, I know I have my daughter to thank for all that has happened to me: a book on surviving grief, writing for different publications, speaking to bereavement groups, helping to start a group for parents who have lost their only child or all their children, traveling and helping others plan trips, and just relaxing by playing bridge, socializing with friends and being able to do things with my wonderful husband. Marcy gave me the strength to continue, and I happily do it in her memory.

It didn’t happen overnight. The grief journey is a long process that is never-ending. You never “recover” from the loss of a child, and mourning is a process. You go through the stages of grief: shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, testing and acceptance. Each stage is personal and can last a long time or a short time. Once you go through one stage doesn’t necessarily mean you are done with that stage. You may need to revisit it, but that should not cause you concern. The important thing is that you are not in a static condition and getting stuck in any of these stages, therefore denying yourself the opportunity to move on.

If you feel you need professional help (not because your feelings are wrong, but because the burden of carrying them alone is too great), don’t be afraid to seek that help. We all need to feel that someone can understand our feelings and what we are going through. Don’t analyze or try to explain your feelings away, but just lead them along into the valley and out again.

I am very busy and like it that way. Even though my mind is always occupied, I always save room for Marcy thoughts, particularly if I am doing something that I am sure she would also enjoy. Do I still have my moments after so long? Of course I do. Just hearing a song she liked…tasting her favorite food...seeing a mother hug her child…a beautiful sunset…a special anniversary…there are still times I can’t believe this has happened and that Marcy is no longer here. I think of all she is missing. I think of all I am missing. I think of those who love her as much as I, and there are many. I know they, too, will never forget her, and that is so very comforting.

I understand that those not far along in their grief journey think they will never be all right again. I believe if you get involved in a grief group, read as much as possible about the grief process, attend bereavement conferences and, most importantly, meet others who have been there and can guide you down that long road, you will eventually come out on the other side of grief.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this post. It has been 5 months since Ramy was killed in a car accident at the age of 16. I never imagined in the beginning of this grief that it could get worse but as each day passes I miss her even more. I do think I will be alright as this grief proceeds but Ramy was my son's girlfriend and I am so worried about him, he won't talk and when I try to talk with him he shuts me off but I can see where he continually looks at her obituary, the crash details, the newspaper stories, where he has Googled depression, Prozac and such. He just turned 19 and I would love to get him into some kind of therapy to help him through this painful time because I know he must be hurting at least as much as myself but probably even more so, but because he won't talk to me I am not sure how to get him there. Thanks for showing me that this is an alright step to take, maybe I can leave your site up and he will read this post and know too.