On grieving

Here are some funny things about grief. There’s nothing “normal” about it. It’s frequently ugly, and never is it tied up with a pretty bow. No matter how badly you want it to be. That’s hard on both the one suffering from a loss as well as those who interact with that person because the ones interacting are frequently – though not always – made very uncomfortable by the grief-stricken person.

Grieving people do so differently. You probably won’t grieve the same way I do and vice versa. And, guess what? That’s okay, too. I’ll let you in on a little secret here and it’s that you only think you know how you’d grieve in another’s circumstance.

The death of a child catapults a parent or parents into a totally different world. Everything is the same, yet different.

As long as you’re not harming yourself or others, there’s no wrong way to grieve. None.

Happy sixth birthday, Elias

Elias - Dec 2011

 

To my son, on what should have been your sixth birthday,

Elias, I miss you so much, more than I can ever convey in words. We still have no idea why you left us so soon. I feel as though we’ve failed you by being unable to afford the tests for the old house. Unfortunately, $10,000 is a lot to come by.

I also feel like we’ve failed you by not having the stone put in place on your grave. It took so long to finally get it together, I realize. It’s just so hard and so final when you actually have to sign off on the paper that approves a grave marker. I had no idea how difficult such a thing could even be. By the time we finally got it together and signed that paper, we were in for such a rough winter that there was no way it could have been put in. For that I am sorry.

In just a few hours we’ll be going out to the cemetery to celebrate your short life and release balloons in your favorite colors and ponder what might have been. It’s just not right to have to have your birthday at a cemetery.

I wish we had never heard of Walker Farms. I wish we’d never moved to Whitestown. Maybe you’d still be alive and we’d be having birthday cake with you tonight.

Bow, we all love and miss you so much it hurts.

The moment that I knew…

I read this and liked it. No idea who wrote it. Feel free to credit the original author if you know.

The moment that I knew you had died,
My heart split in two,
The one side filled with memories,
The other died with you.

I often lay awake at night,
When the world is fast asleep,
And take a walk down memory lane,
With tears upon my cheek.
Remembering you is easy,
I do it every day,
But missing you is a heartache,
That never goes away.
I hold you tightly within my heart,
And there you will remain,
Life has gone on without you,
But it never will be the same.
For those who still have their children,
Treat them with tender care,
You will never know the emptiness,
As when you turn and they are not there.
Don’t tell me that you understand,
don’t tell me that you know.
Don’t tell me that I will survive,
How I will surely grow.
Don’t tell me this is just a test,
That I am truly blessed.
That I am chosen for the task,
Apart from all the rest.
Don’t come at me with answers
That can only come from me,
Don’t tell me how my grief will pass,
That I will soon be free.
Don’t stand in pious judgment
Of the bonds I must untie,
Don’t tell me how to grieve,
Don’t tell me when to cry.
Accept me in my ups and downs,
I need someone to share,
Just hold my hand and let me cry,
And say, “My friend, I care.”