This is the third musing that I will talk about a letter that was written by a bereaved Mom. There are seven points that the Mom wants people to know; the first five I talked about over the last two weeks are:
- That love never dies
- That bereaved parents share an unspeakable bond
- That bereaved parents grieve for al lifetime
- That being a bereaved parent is a club that you can never leave, but it is filled with the most shining souls you will ever know
- That the empty chair/room/space never becomes less empty
The final two points are:
- No matter how long it has been, holidays never get easier: this is a thought that the Mom says that you can’t even begin to understand. She says that it would be much easier to lose an arm or a leg than to live without your child, your flesh and blood, the beat of your heart. She goes on to say however, that you don’t have to understand to be a supportive presence.
- The final point that the Mom shares is that because of her loss, when she does experience joy, it is much more intense than it was before her loss. As she says “In grief there are gifts, sometimes many. These gifts don’t in any way make it all “worth” it, but I am grateful beyond words for each and every gift that comes my way. I bow my head to each one and say thank you. Because there is nothing – and I mean absolutely nothing I take for granted”.
Bereaved parents don’t want their children to be forgotten. They want to speak about their deceased children just the same as you want to speak about your living children. So say their children’s names out loud and share your memories. It is more uncomfortable to a bereaved parent when you don’t talk about their children than when you do. If bereaved parents repeat stories, then just maybe those stories are important enough to be repeated, so just listen.
Holidays are some of the most difficult times for bereaved parents. As the Christmas season fast approaches, consider supporting and loving some bereaved parents…it will be the best gift you can give them.
Just remember…compassion and love, not advice.