A Place to Start
No parent is prepared for the death of their child
It’s virtually impossible to conceive of and even harder to talk about. More than likely, it never crossed your mind and you never saw it coming.
We prepare for the lives of our children from before their births until we send them out into the world. Resources abound on everything from birthing choices to selecting the right college when the time comes. Understandably, fewer resources exist for dealing with the death of your child. This is not something we talk about casually.
In fact, most parents assume it’s something they will never have to face, and thankfully, most parents won’t have to. Parents die before their children. Usually. But some of us will face this devastation, and when we do, we may find ourselves untethered from all we thought we knew. How do we live with such a loss? How do we even get through the day?
If you have suffered the loss of a child, please read on
This site was written as a response to my experiences after the loss of my son. My hope is that it will provide grieving parents with immediate comfort, insight and guidance and encourage you to give voice to your journey, keep your heart open and stay in touch with your emotions.
The Grieving Path explores many of the issues that surround loss and grieving, not with the intention to direct your healing, but rather to provide a framework upon which you can build your own personal recovery. It is a long and arduous journey, and my goal is to support you as you try to put your life back together in a world that no longer includes the presence of your child.
When all is said and done, I hope to leave you with hope.
Hope for eventual healing,
Hope for the ability to step back into your life with renewed purpose and joy, and
Hope for staying connected to your child in a real and loving way.
If successful, we will have given you tools you can use as you take this journey on the grieving path, the hardest journey a parent can take.
Grief is not unlike a teacher you may have had who was especially hard on you; one who wouldn’t let up until you learned what it was you needed to know. You will learn from grief, and one day you may even be wiser, but the lessons learned and the wisdom gained are hard won and costly beyond words.
Let your family and friends carry some of the weight of your loss. Eventually, you will regain the ability to appreciate the love that still exists in your life, which includes the love you will always have for the child you have lost, alongside the love of the family and friends who stand next to you.
If you’re a relative or friend of someone who has suffered the loss of a child, the greatest service you can do is to listen. Don’t judge, don’t edit and don’t try to fix things. You can’t. You can, however, let them know they are being heard.
I still walk the grieving path
Maybe slightly ahead of you or slightly behind, even so I can’t say that I know how you feel. Every experience is as unique as the life that was lost and the family left behind to mourn. If you are willing to walk through your grief, one day you will walk beyond it.
The loss of your child will remain at the core of your being, ever present, ever felt, ever known, ever more. But in time, as your perspective evolves, you can begin to embrace the memories of your child’s life with less grief and more love.
Getting there takes time, but I can offer you hope. One day you will awaken to see that the veil of grief has parted, ever so slightly, and reveals just a hint of desire to more fully inhabit the life you now own. Just keep breathing and keep walking.
Take a step, then take another and another…
My resolve is to take a leap of faith, believing without benefit of proof and learning to see with my soul and listen with my heart. So, I talk to my son and he hears, I smile at him and he sees, I believe in him and he knows. He’s always been gifted.