I went to a new group tonight a group that circles the world called The Compassionate Friends; it is for parents, grandparents and siblings of children who have died. I hesitated only because I have buried two children and was not sure if I would scare them, knowing we are not safe having lost a child that we can lose again, but was accepted and I think I even may have contributed some to the meeting.
One lady was new and while I will respect their privacy and not share information I can say I saw the sorrow dripping off of her as she walked in the room. I knew it had not been a long time since she had buried her child. There was a mix of stillborn, babies, and young adults, cancer, car crashes and murder. As the meeting started these warriors of pain each introduced their child's name, birth date and what they call angel date around the circle, lighting candles in remembrance. I was the only one with two names to offer remembering each as I spoke them out loud, Todd Matthew and Joseph Christopher....
The one item we kept repeating was how people are so afraid to talk to us anymore, to bring up our children's names, to talk with us about the one thing in the world we must talk about for fear they will be forgotten. We talked about our culture in America that has no name for bereaved parents, no time to take off to heal, nobody who understands our pain except other parents who have lost children.
We talked about the guilt of still being alive, afraid to laugh, to joke, to live because somehow it just isn't fair to our children that we, their parents, grandparents, siblings still breathe, still have time to share life with others.
We talked about how others people’s problems seem so small to us now, like complaining about three soccer games this week, really, at least your child is still living is what we want to say but can’t, don’t, would never say those words out loud…but we think it.
It is almost like people are afraid what happened to us may somehow rub off on them, like we mentally see them sticking their fingers in their ears going lalalalala as not to hear us.
WE will not rub off on you, jinx you, we are mourning our children and need desperately to talk about them, to tell their story, to remember the last words they said to us, the last thing they did, the fun times that we want so badly to hold onto.
All we ask, parents, grandparents and siblings alike, is to be given the opportunity to speak freely about those we love who are no longer walking the earth, those who we hold tightly in our hearts to keep them alive within. We may cry but that is okay too, we miss them, we love them, but we also may smile remembering something you share with us that brings them back to life for a short time.
We won’t fall apart, we won’t hate you for bringing them up, we only need to remember and your help in speaking their names out loud.
Is that really too much to ask?
The Traveler shared a web site for children who have lost parents I would love to share a link to
Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.
~From a headstone in Ireland