"I don't think of him every day ~ I think of him: every hour of every day."
Sunday, September 30, 2012
The Presence of An Absence
I have found in the years that have passed that I am most vulnerable at times of remembrance. The word "anniversary" no longer holds a promise of celebration. Instead, holidays and birthdays, family gatherings, and otherwise joyous occasions contain an undertow of sorrow. If I get caught up in it, I quickly get pulled under and wind up gasping for breath. It is ironic that the presence of an absence can be so emotionally devastating.
This quote seems so very true for those of us who are bereaved parents, siblings, and grandparents. Do you find yourself particularly connected with the final sentence?
~The Compassionate Friends/USA
~Photo, thanks to "Grieving Mothers," B. J. Karrer
We feel like screaming,
pulling our hair out,
punching our pillow, or
throwing dishes against the wall.
Sometimes we're too weak to cry,
so we make muffled sounds that don't even seem human.
Other times we walk around like a zombie that hasn't slept for weeks on end.
No, we're not crazy.
We are a parent whose child has died,
and we have lost all sense of purpose
and no longer do we know how to live life.
Don't pull away from us like we're a freak in a circus.
Please stand by our side and simply be there.
God knows, we just need somebody to stick by our side through this horrible thing called child loss.
~via Grieving Mother, Jill Compton
~Photo, by My Special Angel
Do you see me?
Hello, do you see me?
When you look at me,
what do you see?
Do you only see the strong confident woman that I have always presented?
Does anyone see my grief?
Can anyone see how I am barely coping?
How can you not see the pain in my face?
Have you missed the tears in my eyes?
Do you only see the smile facade and fail to see that it is superficial?
Did you realize how hard it was for me to reach out and ask for help?
When you did follow through and help,
Can you not see that I don't have the strength to ask again?
Is anyone aware of how hard it is to go on and actually "live" life?
Do you know what a struggle it has been to accept that life goes on?
Do you know how it hurts to see his friends move on,
get new jobs,
Do you know how hard it was to go vacation without him?
Did you think I would post anything but the so called "happy" pictures on Facebook?
I am grieving,
I AM ALSO STRONG.
I WILL SURVIVE.
Do you see me?
~By Mardi Slagle Peaster
via Grieving Mother, Jill Compton
~Photo via Wings of Hope~Living Forward
WHAT WE WISH OTHERS UNDERSTOOD ABOUT THE LOSS OF OUR CHILD
~By: Betty Baggott, Alabama Baptist BOD
· I wish you would not be afraid to speak my child’s name. My child lived and was important, and I need to hear his name.
· If I cry or get emotional if we talk about my child, I wish you knew that it isn’t because you have hurt me; the fact that my child died has caused me tears. You have allowed me to cry, and I thank you. Crying and emotional outbursts are healing.
· I wish you wouldn’t “kill” my child again by removing from your home his pictures, artwork, or other remembrances.
· I will have emotional highs and lows, ups and downs. I wish you wouldn’t think that if I have a good day my grief is all over, or that if I have a bad day I need psychiatric counseling.
· I wish you knew that the death of a child is different from other losses and must be viewed separately. It is the ultimate tragedy, and I wish you wouldn’t compare it to your loss of a parent, a spouse, or a pet.
· Being a bereaved parent is not contagious, so I wish you wouldn’t shy away from me.
· I wish you knew that all of the “crazy” grief reactions that I am having are in fact very normal. Depression, anger, frustration, hopelessness, and the questioning of values and beliefs are to be expected following the death of a child.
· I wish you wouldn’t expect my grief to be over in six months. The first few years are going to be exceedingly traumatic for us. As with alcoholics, I will never be “cured” or a “former bereaved parent,” but will forevermore be a “recovering bereaved parent.”
· I wish you understood the physical reactions to grief. I may gain weight or lose weight, sleep all the time or not at all, develop a host of illnesses, and be accident prone – all of which may be related to my grief.
· Our child’s birthday, the anniversary of his death, and holidays are terrible times for us. I wish you could tell us that you are thinking about our child on these days, and if we get quiet and withdraw, just know that we are thinking about our child and don’t try to coerce us into being cheerful.
· It is normal and good that most of us re-examine our faith, values, and beliefs after losing a child. We will question things we have been taught all our lives and hopefully come to some new understanding with our God. I wish you would let me tangle with my religion without making me feel guilty.
· I wish you wouldn’t offer me drinks or drugs. These are just temporary crutches and the only way I can get through this grief is to experience it. I have to hurt before I can heal.
· I wish you understood that grief changes people. I am not the same person I was before my child died, and I never will be that person again. If you keep waiting for me to “get back to my old self,” you will stay frustrated. I am a new creature with new thoughts, dreams, aspirations, values, and beliefs. Please try to get to know the new me – maybe you’ll like me still.
I believe that instead of sitting around and waiting for our wishes to come true, we have an obligation to tell people some of the things we have learned about our grief. We can teach these lessons with great kindness, believing that people have good intentions and want to do what is right, but just don’t know what to do with us.
~via Wings of Hope-Living Forward
Be Kind To Yourself;
"Healing Is Baby Steps"
~Photo, thanks to "Grief The Unspoken"
Any parent who has been tossed onto the rough road of child loss is a hero simply for opening your eyes in the morning. Beyond that, all else you do is miraculous. When a large chunk of your heart has been suddenly yanked from your body, it's a daily struggle to walk, talk, think, focus, and do even the simplest of tasks. Yet, you're doing it! God bless every parent of child loss!
~Silent Grief, Child-Loss Support
~The Compassionate Friends
Many years after his son died, the great actor Gregory Peck responded perfectly in an interview when asked if he thinks of his son every day.
~Gregory Peck (in an interview many years after his son's death)
I've lived through things I would never
have thought I was capable of,
and I'm much less afraid than I used to be.
The process of wounding awakens us to our strength. . .
It shuffles our values, and the top priority
is never what you thought it would be.
It's never about perfection or power.
It always turns out to be about LOVE.
Knowing ourselves to be vulnerable
and our time here to be limited, we're
freed to live more passionately and fully…
than we have before, to discover
what's worth fighting for and who
we are… real strength lies buried at the
depths of any wound we have SURVIVED.
~via Acts of Simple Kindness, Inc.
"Remember that grief is as personal
as a fingerprint. Don't tell me how I
should or shouldn't be doing it or
that I should or shouldn't feel better
by now. Don't tell me what's right or
wrong. I'm doing it my way, in my
time. If I am to survive this, I must
do what is best for me."
~From the blog of Dr. Joanne Cacciatore
~via Grieving Mothers
I close my eyes, I see your face,
when I open them there's no trace
I realize that you're not around,
emptiness, loneliness, just no sound...
I miss you so, I wish you were here,
my life is so sad and full of fear.
I'm so alone I need you so, why did you die?
why did you have to go?
Forever in my heart you will always be,
I will always love you to eternity.
~via Death of a Loved One Quotes
~via Grieving Mothers