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Forever I Will See your Smile

The Pain of Finding Peace

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The Pain of Finding Peace
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WHEN YOU WISH UPON A STAR

  

Every time I am in a group of bereaved parents, I hear people say things like, "I wish my child hadn't died" or "I wish I had him back." Those wishes, unfortunately, can never come true. Another wish I hear is "I wish my friends (or church, or neighbors, or relatives) understood what I am going through and were  more supportive." This is a wish that has some possibility of coming true if we are able to be honest and assertive with the people around us. What do we wish others understood about the loss of our child?  Here is a partial list of such wishes:

 

1. 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.

 2. 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 my tears. You have allowed me to cry and thank you. Crying and emotional outbursts are healing.

 

3. I wish you wouldn't "kill" my child again by removing from your home his pictures, artwork, or other remembrances.

 

4. 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.

 

5. 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.

 

6. Being a bereaved parent is not contagious, so I wish you wouldn't shy away from me.

 

7. I wish you knew 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.

 

8. 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".

 

9. 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.

 

10. Our child's birthday, the anniversary of his death, and holidays are terrible times for us. I wish you would tell us that you are thinking about our child on these days, and if we get quiet and withdrawn, just know that we are thinking about our child and don't try to coerce us into being cheerful.

 

11. 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.

 

12. 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.

 

13. 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 still like me..

 

Instead of sitting around and waiting for our wishes to come true, we have a obligation to teach 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 , or we can sit and wait, I believe our children would want us to help the world understand.

 

Elaine Grier, TCF Atlanta, Ga

WHAT NOT TO SAY WHEN ONE IS GRIEVING:

 "You'll get over it in time"
 "At least your child is not suffering anymore"

 "God doesn't make mistakes"

 "God doesn't give you any more than you can bear"

 "It’s God’s will that this happened"

 "You can always have another child"

Don't quote scripture to them if they are fresh in grief. Just say I will pray for you. Statements such as these don't help and may really increase their pain & anger.

A key concept in helping someone going through grief is to be patient with him or her. They may show feelings of rage, anger, frustration and guilt. Knowing that they need to work through their feelings can help you in helping them. Do not tell them their feelings are wrong because an individual’s feelings are their own and neither right nor wrong.

Recognize that grieving can take anywhere from a year to several years. There is really no timetable on when it is over; it all depends on the individual. Even then they probably never will be the same person they were before their loved one’s death. Someone has said that when you lose your parents, you lose your past and if you lose your sibling or husband you lose your present.  When you lose your child, you lose your future. There is no way your life will ever go back to what it once was because as parents, we all live and work to give our children a future. For parents who lose their children, that future is no longer there.


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I Cannot Get Over
---Losing You

My heart is bleeding again,
Of that I have no control,
Just thinking of you
is such a strain,
I will never get out of this hole.
It seems I am good
for quite awhile,
Living out my days in course,
Then the loss of you
hits my smile,
And I lose all of my force.
To carry on as though
you were still,
A very living being,
When I know deep
in my heart,
YOU ARE GONE.....
Never more to be seeing.
I know it is like this for all,
Who have lost love
at deaths door,
I know that I am not alone,
I just wish my heart
was not so sore.
I will never get over losing you,
I can only hope
and pray each day.
If ever there is
a true loving God,
I will meet you again some day!

by Joyce McClelland

Ashes of Grief

By Lana Golembeski -

 

In the early morning fog of a spring day

The sunlight drifts slowly across the lake

Lifting the dark shadows of night.

The honking geese frolic in the early morning rays of sunshine

While the birds sing of promises yet to come.

 

Through the dark clouds of grief,

Slivers of sunlight filter down.

The pain and fear residing in my heart

Is starting to give way

To the hope of finding joy once again in my life.

 

The warmth of the sun flows through my body

And I now feel and see flickers of that joy.

It is but a fleeting moment in my thoughts.

But it fills me with the hope of perhaps

Finding peace once again.

 

The forever tears cleanse my heart and my pain.

They pave the way for love and laughter once again in my life.

My heart will forever be empty from the loss of my precious child.

But the sparkling sunlight spreads light around that hole in my heart.

Gentle healing is beginning; springing anew from the ashes of grief

 

 

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DUSTIN'S LIFE AND DEATH HOW I FEEL AS HIS MOM BY Carol A. Ranney

pdrawls1956@consolidated.net
In my heart you live on
Always there never gone
Precious child, you left too soon
Tho' it may be true that we're apart
You will live forever... in my heart

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