Sunday, July 12, 2015

Making a Difference

Thoughts from a recent speech I wrote and gave to a bereavement group on surviving...

You all have a future after the death of your child. Because you are all doing the best you can, you are survivors, survivors from what I believe is the worst possible thing that could ever happen to you. You may question whether you are capable of being a survivor, you may not believe it yet, but in time you will.

All of us have to work it out in our own time sequence. For some it is a shorter period, for others, much longer. I don’t need to tell you what it feels like, how your life changed in a split second, how difficult it is. It is indeed the most unbearable loss of all. But I truly believe we were left here to do some good, to help others who may not know where to turn.

Time is our friend. Time does not heal us completely but it does soften our grief. Hope can be found even when all seems lost. With hope, we are on our way to the reconciliation of our grief and the reinvention of ourselves after this devastating loss. We are forever changed, and it is our choice whether this experience expands or diminishes us. It often takes years to recognize this.

The quote, “I can not choose what I feel, but I can choose what I do about it” has meant a lot to me over the years since my daughter’s death. I choose life. I choose joy again. I choose not to be a victim. Despair and lifelong agony need not be a choice. I know there will be “moments” but those can be safely put back in place. I also choose to help others in the best way I can, through my writing and through my speaking. I choose to make a difference for those who have lost a child and for those who crave to know how to act and react to others who have lost a child. I do all this not only because I want to, but also in my child’s memory. She would have wanted this from me.

Author Martha Hickman in her book, Healing After Loss, said, “We found that our circle of friends shifted. We were surprised and disappointed that people we thought were good friends became distant, uneasy and seemed unable to help us. Others, who were casual acquaintances, became suddenly close, sustainers of life for us. 

Grief changes the rules, and sometimes rearranges the combinations...”

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