Wednesday October 28, 2015

It seems that mortality and the circle of life have been very present for us lately. Maybe it's the changing seasons... Fall, more so than any other season, is about death and loss and the hope that you can weather what's ahead and come out the other side. That's kind of life, too.

Maybe it's the start of hockey season. Girl's HS hockey practice started this week. Shannon's senior year. Would she be a captain? I like to think so.

Maybe the death of Minnesota Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders got to us, too. Flip was too young - 60. Dan found himself thinking about Flip's family. How did they handle watching him fade away in those final days? Each time we hear of someone succumbing to cancer, we float back in our mind to our own journey.

I've been doing some reading lately that really brought food for thought.  I wanted to share this one with you. It comes from Still Standing Magazine, which is dedicated to surviving child loss and infertility. I couldn't have said it better myself.

Six Things I Wish People Knew About Grieving the Loss of a Child

One: Grief and Love are the same.
Please don’t think that because I am still grieving for my child even after all this time that there is something wrong me, or that I need to get over it. I grieve deeply for the loss of my child because I also love her deeply. Love never dies, therefore neither will grief.
Two: I will never get over it.
I may look like I finally got my life back together, I may have even gone on to have more children or embarked on a new career, but my child and the trauma of losing her is always one step behind. My tears may have dried, and I can probably utter my child’s name without breaking apart, but please know that I will never, ever get over the fact that she is gone.
Three: Silence is deafening.
I know it must be very difficult and confusing to know what to say to someone who has lost a child. I know how uncomfortable and unfathomable it must be to you, but please know that wrongly worded sentiments are easier to forgive than your silence. My world has forever been shattered, a simple “I’m sorry” will do.
Four: My child is irreplaceable.
It doesn’t matter when my loss may have occurred, whether it was an early miscarriage, or if I had the chance to spend a few moments with my child before she died. Babies are not interchangeable and any subsequent child born after is not replacement.
Five: I’ll always live in a parallel universe.
No matter how much time has gone by,  when an important holiday or occasion occurs, my mind is going to retreat into another universe where my child would have been present. I will calculate how old they would be and how they would look. This whole entire universe is something I hold on my own, so if you find me retreating inward during a significant day, please know that I am in that place that I share uniquely with my child and my imagination. It’s just how things are always going to be.
Six: I am forever changed.
The day my child died is the same day a big part of me died too. I won’t go back to being my usual innocent and carefree self again. It will take time for me to find myself, and return back home. But when I’ve figured out a way to put together all the broken pieces, I won’t look the same. Please understand that.