by Sandy Fox
You always think your story of your child’s death is the worst…until you read about the next child or children who died for whatever reason, whatever age. You hear about them through the Internet, through the TV and through books. Whether it is an accident, an illness or some other cause of death, there is always a story, unparalleled in its riveting emotions.
One story recently on the news shocked me. Only when I read the family name in the newspaper did I realize it was my personal friend’s family. I was shocked and saddened to learn the details, none of which are important to this blog. What is important is that any loss in a family, no matter who, how many or under what circumstances is devastating. I dedicate my column today to my friend and her husband and hope that words of comfort from other friends and relatives will aid in the healing process.
I did not know the son of my friend or his family. I only know my friend and her husband. Her loss is a powerful statement never to take for granted one minute, one hour, one day or one year of our loved ones’ lives. Her grief journey will be a lifetime one; there is no question about that, but I hope, as time passes, she will begin to remember the happy memories of a much loved family.
The community this family lived in reached out with love, kindness, prayers and a show of support when more than 500 people attended a service of grief for the family. “It was a true community effort and outpouring of grief and assisting each other at the same time,” said one friend. It was stressed this was not a funeral…that the shock of the loss was too great to yet be accepted by those gathered. Tearful hugs and moistened eyes of the mourners made the surreal very real. Many lingered to talk among themselves.
Each person was told at the end of the grief service, “And now it is time to go home and hug our children or our parents or someone we care about and/or call someone and tell someone you love them.” It becomes a powerful statement for all of us to never take for granted anyone we care deeply about.
I want my friend and her husband to know that as gut wrenching as it is now and may be for a long time, you will survive this. You will eventually move on with your life. You will never forget your beloved family members. They will always be in your hearts and in your lives. I hope you will find a way to commemorate their lives that will give you some peace, dear friends, and remember that you are surrounded by people who love and care about you.
About the Author: Sandy has written two books on surviving grief: “Creating a New Normal…After the Death of a Child” and “I Have No Intention of Saying Good-bye.” Both books give coping ideas, resources, and stories on how to move on with your life while honoring your child.