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
It’s so easy to focus on the miles left to travel and forget how far I’ve come.
Life has a habit of reminding me that there are hills yet to climb, emotional hurdles still to come and (the ever looming threat) gray hair, wrinkles and an aging body with which to tackle them.
But every now and then I remember to take stock of just how many miles I’ve already traveled.
Read the rest here: Take A Minute To Remember How Far You’ve Come
I’m ending Bereaved Parents Month by sharing this post because I still have moments when I marvel that I’ve survived.❤
It was the question I asked the bereaved mother that came to my son’s funeral.
It was the question a mother asked me as we stood by her granddaughter’s casket, surrounded by family and flowers.
And it is the right question.
Because when the breath leaves the body of your child, and you look down at the shell that used to be the home of a vibrant, living soul, you simply can. not. breathe.
Read the rest here: How Do You Breathe?
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
Sometimes I’m envious of folks hobbling along in those plastic boots designed to support an injured leg or ankle and aid healing.
Not because of the injury–I’m thankful I’ve never broken a bone-but because it’s an outward warning to anyone who might otherwise be impatient or insensitive that they just can’t go any faster.
I think there ought to be a t-shirt, pin or banner that gives the same kind of warning for those of us walking around with broken hearts and broken lives.
But there isn’t.
Read the rest here: Broken Legs, Broken Hearts, Broken Lives
My son’s death is a moment in time, a date on the calendar, a thing of the past for other people.
I understand that.
But for me, it’s an ongoing event.
Every time Dominic SHOULD be here but isn’t I lose him again.
Every milestone he should be marking but doesn’t I lose him again.
Read the rest here: “I Lost My Child Today” by Netta Wilson
My hardest grief season begins in November and runs to the end of May. Thanksgiving through Dominic’s birthday on (or near) Memorial Day are days full of triggers, memories and stark reminders that one of us is missing.
If I could fall asleep November first and wake up in June I’d do it.
But I can’t so I have to employ all the tricks I’ve learned in the over eight years since Dominic ran ahead to heaven to survive those particularly challenging months.
Here are ten ways I survive hard grief days:
Read the rest here: Taking Care: Ten Ways to Survive Hard Grief Days
I’ve done it myself.
Jumped right in with all kinds of suggestions designed to “fix” someone else’s problem.
Or worse, heaped my own experience with something more or less (often less) similar onto an already overburdened heart.
Read the rest here: Hardly The Time For Being Taught
Another bereaved mom wrote that she was better able to cope now than she had been a year ago.
And thanks to Facebook memories she had proof.
Several comments down a second mom wrote something that got me thinking-when, exactly, did Dominic’s loss move from the forefront to the background?
I’m not sure I can pinpoint a day or moment when I realized that sorrow was no longer ALL I feel and Dominic’s absence no longer ALL I see.
Read the rest here: Background Music
The first time I shared this I was trying to distill years of walking the broken road of child loss into a relatively few, easy to think about, “lessons”.
Since then I could add a dozen more but today I’ll only add one: Being a bereaved parent is not my IDENTITY but it impacts who I am in ways I’m still figuring out.
Just as being married or being female or being from the southern United States informs how I walk in the world and interact with others so, too, does having buried a child.
There’s a lot of pressure to pretend that’s not true.
But I won’t do that. ❤
I’ve had awhile to think about this. Eight years is a long time to live with loss, to live without the child I carried, raised and sent off in the world.
So I’ve considered carefully what my “top ten” might be.
Here’s MY list (yours might be very different):
Read the rest here: Ten Things I’ve Learned About Child Loss