Sunday, May 15, 2016

To Lose a Child

Do you find that others feel they know exactly what is right for you and how you should grieve and how you should feel? Sometimes it makes me angry to hear other’s opinions. If a person has never lost a child, he or she doesn’t understand one bit what it is like or how I feel. There are no words to describe the pain and the suffering I have endured, but I know in my heart that I have a right to feel whatever I am feeling about my loss, even all these years later. 

My grief will never end. I understand I must live with it always, and I can do that, but for someone to say something like, “It’s time to move on” doesn’t sit well with me. I will grieve any time I want, for any reason, and for any amount of time.

There is no right or wrong way to grieve. We are all different and the way we grieve is unique to us. As long as you are emotionally and physically stable, there is no particular way to do it. I believe whatever you decide to do, whether it is inviting your child’s friends over to celebrate the birthday or keeping the clothing in the closet or even wearing the clothes, is okay to do whatever you feel comfortable in doing.

If someone says to me, “Okay, you’ve grieved long enough,” it will anger me. Bereaved parents should understand there is no time limit to your grief. Certainly, others should also. For some parents, it may take a few months before you can move on, for others it could be a year, two or even five! Although your grief will be never-ending, hopefully, as time goes by, it will be a softer grief, one that is easier to deal with. I have found that to be true over the years.

I will never be the same person I was when my child was alive. I accept that. I have found new friends, new love, new goals and new priorities for my life. It took a long while for this to happen, but anyone who has experienced great love and then tragic loss understands that pain and peace can exist together eventually.

I want everyone to never forget my daughter. I will mention her name frequently, whether others want me to or not. She existed; she was real; she was a beautiful, gracious child who started doing wonderful things with her life before it was ended for her. She brought love and friendship to everyone who knew her. I will always carry her memory with me wherever I am or wherever I go, for she was the light of my life. “We Remember Them” from Gates of Prayer, Reform Judaism Prayer Book says it all.

In the rising of the sun and in its going down, we remember them;
In the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter, we remember them;
In the opening of buds and in the warmth of summer, we remember them;
In the rustling of leaves and the beauty of autumn, we remember them;
In the beginning of the year and when it ends, we remember them;
When we are weary and in need of strength, we remember them;
When we are lost and sick at heart, we remember them;
When we have joys we yearn to share, we remember them;

So long as we live, they too shall live, for they are now a part of us as we remember them.

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