Sunday, May 22, 2011

Comments From Readers Part 1

For the next two weeks I will be printing some comments and excellent thoughts I have received from some of you. Some comments were printed after certain blogs I have written over the years and some are from comments made on Open To Hope articles I wrote (next week's blog). A few of you asked for answers, which I have tried to provide. If you have missed any of these topics, you can always read any article, which are all here for you or under my name on Open To Hope. It is always interesting to read other opinions and perspectives on any topic related to a child’s death, so here we go:

Dealing with a child's death with medicines- “We lost our 24 year old son three years ago, along with my job. My husband’s sales plummeted and we ended up moving to a new state for a fresh beginning. This did not work. I was left alone a lot as he worked overtime. He would also say that he hated it there. Now in another state with family, he still works overtime and still says he hates it here. You suggested meds as a possible solution. Don’t forget counseling. I do not know what to do with him. He wants to move back to our old hometown and not live with family members. He never went to grief counseling. He never talked to anyone. He says he is fine and we are picking on him. I am at a loss, as I don’t want to go back there. I feel he is still bitter, but just cannot see the damage he inflicts. He was a happy, outgoing, involved heavily into church person. Now, I have to drag him to church. He says he hasn’t made friends at church. But at our old church, he turned down every invitation to go out with another couple. Do you address this issue in your books?” Anonymous

Editor’s note: First, let me say I have summarized what this lady said; she does go into a little more detail, but space limits me. The two ideas that immediately come to mind that I write about in my new book deal with ‘anger’ and ‘guilt.’ Some others on ‘how men grieve,’ ‘grief in the workplace,’ and ‘how parents show their grief,’ might be of help. Not knowing the circumstances, it is hard to understand what is really bothering him. But in these coping articles and others I write about, perhaps something will click and you can go from there. Getting him to talk about his feelings or having him talk to someone else close to him may also help. I don’t pretend to know all the answers; these are just some suggestions. Time is the greatest healer and for some, it can be a very long time. Don’t give up on him. Good luck!

Saving your marriage- “Sandy, thank you so much for doing your part to dispel the awful myth that a marriage has to fail after the death of a child. It does such a disservice to grieving parents everywhere.” Mary Tousley

Laughter is the best medicine- “This is so true. I remember the summer after my son died, Wipeout aired on TV. It was the first time in 7 months that my husband and I laughed in a truly carefree way. And it’s such a strange thing to laugh at, but we were and still are very thankful for that show.” Ebe

Giving Bereaved Parents Time Off- “OMG I don’t think I could even return to work after two weeks. It’s been almost 22 months and I wouldn’t be ready now. But that’s me. I think the Family Medical Leave Act should cover this in the case of child loss. Everyone grieves differently, some parents might want to return to work right away but I wanted (still do) to hide away. I am on SSDI so I guess I have the poorly paid luxury (LOL) of doing so.” Sherry

10 Upsetting Things To Experience- “ ‘It’s nice to see you smiling’ or ‘You are such a strong woman, I can’t believe how well you are handling this!’ These things send me right back down into the pit of darkness. I strive to find moments of joy everyday but the tears are always lurking in the background just waiting for a crack in the armour. It’s been 107 days since my youngest child (16) died and the past few days the pain feels brand new again.” Janice

And another on the same topic- “I hate the phrase, ‘God wanted another angle’. Well, if he did, make another! We parents don’t understand that. At least this one doesn’t.” Sherry And still another- “When someone asks me how many children I have I say, One in Heaven (because that’s where he is), the other one here. My son died 6 months ago at the age of 18, and I can really relate to most of the list. I do not believe my son is an angel because that’s just not what the Bible says happens to us as Christians when we die.” Anonymous

More comments will appear next week

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