Any way you look at child loss it ends up being the same. It hurts like nothing else in the entire world. We get to the point of where we think we just cannot go on any longer because we miss our child so bad. Others try to help us. They try to do everything in their power to take away our pain, but really there’s nothing that anyone else can do to “fix” this hurt. Child loss is the “unfixable” loss. For many of us, the Easter holiday is one of celebration. It’s a time when a lot of people go to church. This is a time when families get together and enjoy traditions such as coloring eggs, enjoying egg hunts, and having a wonderful family meal together. We build so many precious memories based on these special holiday traditions throughout the years.
When a child dies, part of our heart dies, too. We’re left feeling like we’re floundering through life without any real purpose. The anticipation we had of holidays has gone. We don’t know what to do, or how to get through such times as family gatherings that used to be so much fun.
This will be my first Easter without my oldest son, and my entire family is feeling this pain. We talk daily about Mike and how much we miss him. We cry often — holding onto each other for support when we feel too weak to go on. And, my family, like yours, is left with the question of continuing the same family traditions as we had in the past or creating new ones that still involve the one we love so much but who is no longer here.
What will we do this Easter? We have decided not to have a family egg hunt this year. Instead, we will be spending our time with some friends for that part of the day. We will, however, gather back together later in the day as a family and have a meal together. We feel that’s so important to be there for each other.
Most assuredly, this first year is different in a thousand and one ways. Mike was always the life of the party. We have so many treasured memories of him. Most days we freely and openly talk about him. Some days when the pain overwhelms us, we simply hold onto each other and cry.
Soon after Mike died, I began journaling my thoughts. The grief of child loss isn’t new to me. I lost a son, Samuel, many years ago as an infant. This loss is different, though. Mike was an adult — just forty-two years old and died very unexpectedly of health issues leaving behind a wife he loved with all of his heart along with three beautiful children. With the loss of my infant, there weren’t memories — but there were treasured hopes and dreams of the future. With the loss of Mike, we lost so much of the future, but we do have the blessing of beautiful memories.
Both losses have been heart-shattering.
The journaling that I began following Mike’s death has turned into a book with the help of my youngest daughter, Alex. Together we worked countless hours getting our thoughts down on paper to share with others in hopes of helping. This book, Child Loss: The Heartbreak and the Hope , is not my personal journey of grief, but it is a book about the journey of grief we each share.
It is my prayer that you will get a copy and read the words. Meditate on the words in this book. Allow this book to help you through the very difficult, painful days that we experience when we’ve lost a child.
I’d love to hear your thoughts, too, on how you’re getting through this holiday. Do you do things differently now that your child is gone? How have you included your child into your holiday? I know my family will be telling stories — lots of funny stories of past Easter holidays with Mike. We always hid a $5 egg, and without doubt, there were always tears shed when this special egg was found because somehow Mike managed to know just where that egg was hidden!
My special love goes out to each one. We’re part of a family (I’m not so sure I like to use the word “club” as some do) — and we’re here to love and support one another.
I hope and pray that my brief words here offer some kind of help, and I pray that the words in the book Child Loss: The Heartbreak and the Hope will help you as the very words written in the book are helping me.