If you’re like me, one of the most difficult things for me to hear is how quickly life has gone on for others following the loss of my son. I want to know others are feeling some of my loss. I need to know that others still remember my son. I want so desperately to know that others still think of him.
And, yet the fact is that life has gone on very quickly for most.
It hasn’t been quite one year since my son died, and I’ve noticed more and more that when I mention his name people are starting to shut me down. I think it makes it uncomfortable for them to hear me talking about him. Some people have said that they are afraid I might be stuck in too much pain. Others just get a pained look on their face as if to say, “Why are you bringing up this sadness again? Can’t we just focus on only the happy things in life?”
The truth is it comforts me to talk about Mike. I want to say his name. He is one of my children and his life was intertwined with us as a family for forty-two years. How can I talk of anything without mentioning him?
His memories dance within my head day and night.
Just before Easter my daughter-in-law said to me that one of the last pictures she took of Mike was with bed-head. She said he was standing in the kitchen making coffee and looking over at the kids when she snapped the picture.
I cried. I cried a lot when I heard of this last picture.
I cried because I know how much they miss him. I cried because I pictured him standing there barefoot as he always did getting his cup of coffee in the morning. A simple ritual, but one of so much meaning. He was ready to begin his day — watching his children, and planning on enjoying some quiet time with his wife at the beginning of a new day.
Yes, I cried. But, I need to hear things like this. I want to hear stories about my son. I want to hear the everyday things about his life.
I need to know that he is remembered and missed! I need to know that he is still loved!
I wish that people understood how important the little conversations such as this are to parents who have lost a child. I wish others understood how much we long to hear stories about the little things that our child did — the things that we didn’t always get to see or hear about.
I wish that life didn’t go on so fast for others.
When Mike died, I began journaling my thoughts. I live alone — the rest of the children are adults and I’m left with memories. Precious, beautiful memories.
And, some very sad memories, too.
With the help of my youngest daughter, I have written a book about this journey of child loss. It’s not just my journey. It’s the journey that each of us who has lost a child, a grandchild, or a sibling is taking. This is not an easy journey. It’s hard. It’s difficult. And, yes, it’s often very sad.
We are left with the job of figuring out how to rebuild our lives while living in our brokenness.
I hope you’ll read the book. I think it will help you. I think it will help you a lot. My life hasn’t gone on too fast. I’m still here, and I want to share my son with you as we travel this journey of child loss together. Child Loss — The Heartbreak and the Hope is a book that will help you understand more about this journey of grief we’re taking. Will you get the book and walk hand-in-hand with me through this pain?
I promise you that I will be here to listen. I will be here to care. I will treasure hearing stories about your child, and I thank you for letting me share stories about mine.
You can order your book here.
Love and prayers always,