Patrick and I have an adorable little nephew who is getting ready to turn 1 at the end of this month. Which of course means that there are fun birthday presents to buy. Patrick and I made the attempt to go into Toys R Us the other day to look around for the perfect gift. Patrick thought all would be fine, but I was a little hesitant at first. Once inside I felt okay. I thought I could do this.
I got excited looking around at all of the fun little things that I could picture Mason playing with. I was doing a good job of pushing aside the thought that Josh would never get the chance to play with any of these things. I was focused solely on Mason. I was on a mission.
Then it happened.
I was looking at the the cute little cups that have kid’s names on them, trying to find one that said Mason, when instead I found one that said Joshua. I picked it up and immediately started bawling. I would never need to buy the cute little red cup with a straw that had his name written all over it.
We walked over to the books and I immediately see two of the books from our registry, both by Nancy Tillman: Wherever You Are: My Love Will Find You and On the Night You Were Born. I’m compelled to read them both, and again I’m crying. Silent tears run down my cheeks as I pray that Josh can hear me reading them to him now.
“. . . I wanted you more than you’ll ever know,
so I sent love to follow wherever you go. . . .”
Eventually, after a good long hug from Patrick I am able to focus on why we are there and pull it together enough to find a fun gift for our sweet nephew.
These days are so much harder than I had planned. Every little thing we do is a reminder. Each moment we share is one we have without our son. Everywhere we go is some place that we won’t get to take him too.
I feel crazy most days. Those who don’t understand seem to just stare at me like I’m the crazy woman that cries in the middle of a toy store or stares far too long at the tiny brown haired little boy in their arms. Those who do understand share their stories and helps to make me feel less crazy, less alone. I have heard stories of loss from so many in the past 6 weeks. Each time my heart breaks for them and I add them to my ever growing list of prayers. If you don’t understand the pain, I pray that you never do. This is not something that I would ever want anyone else to feel.
“Understanding how the grief from child loss affects us can help us on those days when we feel like we’ve slipped over the edge — the days when we think we’ve possibly gone “crazy” — a term others like to use when talking about the bereaved. Grieving “hard” is what you’re going to do when a child dies for a long, long time. You will be half-okay for a while, then something triggers your emotions out of the blue, and you’ll find yourself possibly angry with the world, angry with life, angry with any one and everyone you see that day! Or, you might feel like crawling into a cave and never coming out, while crying until you can’t catch your breath. I pose the question: What is crazy about any of that? Nothing. When a child dies, you’ve lost “life” — part of your being, and there will be days when it feels like your heart is going to EXPLODE. Unless we feel the pain, we suppress the pain and that’s when things like chronic depression can invade our lives and bring about all sorts of other problems. It’s not just “okay” to grieve the loss of your child. It’s something every parent and family must do. And, yes, there will be days when your grief takes you off the charts. Cry. Scream. Get angry. Let it out. Tomorrow is a different day, and you will learn, in time, what grieving is all about. God bless all who are grieving the loss of their child today!” – www.facebook.com/SilentGriefSupport