“Hope” is the thing with feathers – That perches in the soul – And sings the tune without the words – And never stops – at all – And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard – And sore must be the storm – That could abash the little Bird That kept so many warm – I’ve heard it in the chillest land – And on the strangest Sea – Yet – never – in Extremity, It asked a crumb – of me.
As long as we are here
After the death of a child, grief extinguishes our hope–our hopes, our dreams, our future. With nothing to hold on to, hopelessness becomes seemingly tangible. Life becomes unreal and unsteady. But as long as we are here, hope still flutters deep inside us. Though it’s an impossible thing to see. It’s there. Perched in our souls, our sons and daughters, though gone, still live within us. And they never stop singing; so don’t ever stop listening. Even though the songs or sounds may be fleeting and without words, hope is the thing with feathers that never stops – at all.
“In prosperity our friends know us; in adversity we know our friends.”
~ John Churton Collins
If you are an underclassman (in your first few years) majoring, involuntarily, in Life after the Death of your Child, you may find yourself bewildered at the flight of your friends, at the loss of your former support system, and at the dead air you’ve heard crackling since the death of your child. The phone has stopped ringing. The emails have ended. The holiday cards are conspicuously absent. The voice messages you left (“Hey, friend’s name here, just checkin in. Hope all’s well. Talk to ya soon. Love ya.”) have yet to be returned. The summer visits are no longer anticipated. The secrets you’ve shared have gone underground. And, at this point you’ve run out of excuses for their absence. You’re angry. Hurt, abandoned—left for dead. And, if it’s even possible, you’re sadness has deepened.
Okay, so this was my experience.
If you have not experienced the disappearing act of friends since your child’s death, then you’re very lucky. For now. And you don’t have to read any further. Unless, you just want to see how this ends. Continue reading →
Happy or funny stories compel people to “Like” and “Share” them. Inspirational, uplifting and amusing stories sometimes go viral. That’s the incredible thing about the internet. It can inform, inspire, entertain, and connect us.
But, it is counterintuitive to “Like” mournful stories much less “Share” them. Isolating further the one who is sharing from the most desolate and lonely place.
“When I post about my grief, your like is a silent nod of acknowledgement. I understand that you may have no words. While a heartfelt sentiment is best (even a ❤ or typing my daughter’s name is comforting), I know that you may be pressed for time or struggling with what to say. Clicking like makes me feel less alone.
“If I say I miss my daughter, you can like that. I give you permission. I know that you don’t “like” my grief. Instead, you are letting me know that you remember her instead of just scrolling by.”
Stories of death, especially the death of a child, are dark, taboo even. And have been, since…well, always.It is the scariestnotion any parent can fathom. My child died and I am still afraid of this unfathomable idea. Afraid it could happen again. But being afraid doesn’t help, or keep us safe, does it? Continue reading →