I’m not brave by nature.
If I have a choice, I will run every time. But there are just some things worth fighting for.
My family is one of them.
I will not let the enemy have them.
I will not allow despair to overtake us, fear to bind us, hopelessness to sap our strength.
I will not let death win.
Read the rest here: I Will Not Be Moved
I have learned so much since that day when Dominic left us suddenly for Heaven.
Some of the things I know now are things I wish I didn’t know at all.
Many serve me well-not only in how I respond to my own pain and loss-but also how I respond to the pain and loss in the lives of those I love.
Read the rest here: So What SHOULD I Say or Do For My Grieving Friends or Family?
I remember when my wish list could be filled from the Sears Roebuck Toy Catalog.
Sure I couldn’t have EVERYTHING but I was pretty well guaranteed to find at least one or two of my coveted items in our living room or under the tree on Christmas morning.
Now the things I wish for are not so easy to come by.
This list is adapted from a friend’s Facebook post (with permission) and a list published by Children’s Hospital of Colorado.
BEREAVED PARENT’S WISH LIST:
1. I wish my child hadn’t died. I wish I had my child back.
Read the rest here: Bereaved Parent’s Wish List
I wrote this six years ago when I realized how hard it was for wounded hearts to tell friends and family what they needed around the holidays.
It’s been shared more than 145,000 times which might reflect that it hits the mark for at least a few folks. My prayer is it makes a difficult season a little less so.
If it speaks for you, feel free to share and let the ones you love know how they can make a hard season slightly easier on your heart.
“I know it is hard. I know you don’t truly understand how I feel. You can’t. It wasn’t your child.
I know I may look and act like I’m “better”. I know that you would love for things to be like they were: BEFORE. But they aren’t.
I know my grief interferes with your plans. I know it is uncomfortable to make changes in traditions we have observed for years. But I can’t help it. I didn’t ask for this to be my life.”
Read the rest here: Grief and Holidays:What the Bereaved Need From Friends and Family
At first everyone talked about him.
It’s what people do just after a person leaves this world and leaves behind only memories.
It comes natural before the unnatural fact of child loss settles in and begins to make everyone uncomfortable.
But at some point after the funeral and way before the tears dried up, people stopped feeling easy mentioning his name.
Read the rest here: Help! My Family Won’t Talk About My Missing Child.
If your family is like mine, once school starts (even if we no longer have anyone IN school) and Labor Day rolls around they begin to ask that dreaded question: “What do you want to do for Thanksgiving and Christmas?”
It used to be a relatively simple matter of sorting people’s work schedules, ability to travel and possible weather related issues into a workable solution for gathering all of us in one spot to celebrate the holiday and each other.
Now I have to overcome the twin hurdles of reluctance and procrastination to do the work necessary to set the dates and times in stone on the calendar. It’s not that I don’t WANT to get together, it’s just that it’s nearly impossible to gauge this far out how my heart may feel come November or December.
But one thing I’ve learned in the nearly nine years since Dom left us-it does not good to stick my head in the sand and hope the season passes unnoticed.
So here are some things I’ve found helpful. Hope they are helpful for you too.
We’ve reached the peak of Hallowthankmas in the stores.
I‘ve never liked smashing one holiday on top of another which seems, in my mind, to rob each of their respective unique characteristics.
I’m also particularly frustrated that Halloween-a “holiday” mocking death and focused on fear (for many)-occupies way more space in mass retailers’ aisles than Thanksgiving.
But I can no more hold back the onslaught of merchandising than I can the days marching resolutely toward end of year holidays even if I choose not to join the commercial bandwagon.
So here we are.
Only a short time left to figure out how to honor the missing and love the living through some of the most difficult days of the year for bereaved hearts.
Read the rest here: Holidays are Coming, Ready or Not!
Part of the reason I share my story is to provide insight for people who haven’t lost a child into the hearts and lives of those who have.
But mainly it is to be a voice for and to encourage other parents walking this valley by letting them know they aren’t alone, their feelings and experiences are perfectly normal and that just as welcoming a child into your family is a life-altering event, saying good-bye to a child is a life-altering event.
We do not expect a mom to “get over” the changes having a baby brings to her everyday experience, and we should not expect a bereaved mom to “get over” the changes burying one brings either.
Want to help? Read: Loving the Grieving Heart
When days become months and months become years it’s hard to explain to others how grief is both always present but not always in focus.
I’ve struggled to help those outside the loss community understand that the absolute weight of the burden is precisely the same as when it fell on me without warning that dark morning.
Dominic’s absence, if anything, has seeped into more places, changed more relationships and influences more choices than it did seven years ago when I was only just beginning to comprehend what a world without him would look like.
Read the rest here: Life Grows Around Grief
This came up in a bereaved parents’ support group and I thought it was a great question: “When you meet someone for the first time, do you tell them about your missing child?”
It’s one of those practical life skills bereaved parents have to figure out.
I remember when it dawned on me a few months after Dominic left us that I would meet people who wouldn’t know he was part of my story unless I told them.
It was a devastating thought.
Read the rest here: It’s Been YEARS, When Should I Mention My Missing Child?
I know most folks are doing the best they can to come up with something to say when both they and I know there’s nothing to be said.
So sometimes they fall into the trap of pointing out what I still have as if it makes up for what I’ve lost.
But there really, truly is no “at least” in child loss.
None. At. All.❤
“At least you had him for 23 years.”
Yes, but I thought I’d have him for my whole life!
“At least you still have three other children.”
Yes, but which one of yours would you choose to do without?
Read the rest here: At Least?