Sunday, May 29, 2011

Comments From Readers Part 2

This is the second in a 2-part series of comments made on some of my writings done for the Open To Hope site. To view the others I have already included from my blog, see last week’s blog below this one.

Valentine’s Day- Thank you for your words of encouragement and your ideas. This is my first Valentine’s Day without my son, Dylan. My heart is aching as I read your words and think about my son. He passed unexpectedly nine months ago, and I am still trying to accept my loss and live through one day at a time. On his birthday and Christmas I helped myself by doing something for adolescents living at a local shelter. I did not think about Valentine’s Day, but now that you have given me a heads up, I will plan something. A small gesture helps me and means something to young people who need so much. Thank you for helping those of us who have less experience in our grief journey than you do. I do not want to be here, but I am, and I need all the help I can get! Alicia

Editor’s note: Don’t wait until the next Valentine’s Day. Some of these ideas, which include charity work, making crafts, sharing treats and items young people need, can be used all year long and adjusted to any holiday. It will definitely make you feel good and that you have done something worthwhile in honor of your child.

Elizabeth Edwards- Can anyone tell me what Elizabeth Edwards said about people being scared to talk about her son in front of her? I heard a blurb of her on the news after her passing, and it touched me, as I have lost a child. Susie

Editor’s note: I don’t know her exact words, but the jest of what she has always expressed is that she (like most of us) wants people to mention her son in their conversations. He lived, he was vital, and she wants his memory to live on in others. By hearing our child’s name, we most definitely get a warm, fuzzy feeling and it puts a smile on our face and allows us to perhaps bring up other incidents related to the one mentioned. And suddenly, our child is alive again and will always be so in our hearts. People, she said, should not be afraid of mentioning Wade’s name to her. She wants to talk about him and his life.

Starting a grief group- Starting a grief group in a city that doesn’t have one is a wonderful idea to promote. I began one two years ago this month on the 4th Thursday of every month for mothers who have lost a child. I’m a psychotherapist by profession, but by definition I am a mother whose gifted child, Katie, has died. We started with a simple supper, some wine and tea and go from home to home each moth. Everyone helps so no one feels too much pressure. Our group’s name is “Mothers Finding Meaning.” Mary Jane Hurley Brant

Editor’s note: I, too, started a group for parents who have lost their only child in my area in 2007, and we continue to meet once a month, have programs and discuss various concerns.

Moving on- How do you deal with a family member who you have showed and told over and over what you need. What do you do when they say, “don’t talk to me about your pain because it makes me depressed.” This is my sister, my best friend, the one I could always talk to. She devastated me with her comment. I am so hurt and angry, but I do understand she can’t see me in pain. What am I supposed to do in regards to her. I have nothing happy to say to her so do I stop talking to her. She doesn’t even try to help me because of her pain of seeing me. Plus, she is a believer of moving on. Katrina

Editor’s note: You are not alone. This happens in many families and although this was written to me two years ago, I include it simply because it is very common. I hope everything is well now with Katrina, but for others, here are my thoughts. The sister is also in pain. This was her niece or nephew that has died, and she is not equipped to deal with the loss, so having to have to worry about two people is not in her makeup. Katrina needs to find someone else at this point to talk to: another friend, a professional counselor, or another family member. As much as it hurts her to do this, it will be best at this time and only counter productive to try to make the sister understand. After a period of time has passed, perhaps the two sisters can more easily come together, but to force it now may lead to other family complications. Later on, one thing I would suggest is to think of all the good times with the child in the family situation. Talk about those times and try to smile a little. Moving on will come as time passes and you will find that time is a great healer and very forgiving.

Thanks for these comments and feel free to always comment on any of my blogs or on my Open To Hope site writings at

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