Monday, August 27, 2012

He is Gone - But Certainly not forgotten....

Happy Birthday Bobby – Yes today you would have been 39!! 

What an incredible man you were my son.  Oh I’m not forgetting for a moment the difficulties and sadness of the last 20 months before you chose to leave us and that's something I promise we'll discuss when I join you, but that's a painful place that I've chosen not to dwell in..  

Instead, I try to concentrate on all that you were - your bright smile, the enormous warmth and power of your hugs, your unending zest for life and always projecting the positive attitude that the glass was half full and never half empty, all the incredible memories of a happy life and all that you’ve left behind for all of us, especially those two beautiful little boys who are growing like weeds and no doubt carry your spirit in so many ways…  Anyone who knew you can’t help but smile and agree that you crammed more life into your short 36 years than most do in a lifetime, so soar with the angels and thank you for being my son…

I want to thank Susan Beazine, for sending me this wonderful poem a few months ago.  It certainly speaks to how I want to feel about my three angel children: Bobby and my daughters Robin & Randee…Cherie Houston

~ by David Harkins

You can shed tears that he is gone
Or you can smile because he has lived

You can close your eyes and pray that he will come back
Or you can open your eyes and see all that he has left

Your heart can be empty because you can’t see him
Or you can be full of the love that you shared

You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday

You can remember him and only that he is gone
Or you can cherish his memory and let it live on

You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back

Or you can do what he would want: 
smile, open your eyes, love and go on

We love & miss you Bobby...

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

It's OK ~ You're Absolutely Normal ~You Are Grieving!

As a grieving parent, there are many days when we question our own sanity... wonder if we are normal - why aren't we getting better as so many around us seem to expect..   As we've said in previous blogs, for many around us - their ability to understand the grieving process is based on their own experiences - which most often are the normal, expected passings of aging adults - not of their precious children... So how we, as parents, grieve for our children is very different - and no matter what, others may say to you, you are sane & you are normal..  

As strange as some of these emotions and actions may seem, they are normal and healthy. Allow yourself to learn from them.  Don’t be surprised if, out of nowhere, you suddenly experience surges of grief, even at the most unexpected times – even months and years later – when you think you have “gotten better”.   These grief attacks can be frightening and leave you feeling overwhelmed. They are, however, a natural response to the death of someone we loved with all our hearts – our precious children…  And trust me, it truly helps to find someone who understands your feelings – what you are going thru, someone who will allow you to talk about your child…..  This is a true list that a grandma from one of my classes in AZ recently sent to me to share...   How true it is... Cherie Houston

But You're Absolutely Normal! ~ By Joanne Bonelli, TCF, Greater Boise Area, ID

Grief is a normal reaction to loss, and it shows up in many ways you might not expect. If you've…
• been angry with doctors or nurses for not doing enough
• been sleeping too much or not enough
• noticed a change in appetite
• felt no one understands what you're going through
• felt friends should call more or call less or leave you alone or invite you along more often
• bought things you didn't need
• considered selling everything and moving
• had headaches, upset stomachs, weakness, lethargy, more aches and pains
• been unbearable, lonely, and depressed
• been crabby
• cried for no apparent reason
• found yourself obsessed with thoughts of the deceased
• been forgetful, confused, uncharacteristically absentminded
• panicked over little things
• felt guilty about things you have or haven't done
• gone to the store every day
• forgotten why you went somewhere
• called friends and talked for a long time
• called friends and wanted to hang up after only a brief conversation
• not wanted to attend social functions you usually enjoyed
• found yourself unable to concentrate on written material
• been unable to remember what you just read

…you’re normal.

These are all common reactions to grief. They take up to two to three years (or more) to pass, but they will ease and pass. Don't worry - you will never forget your child or children.  Eventually though, in your own time and your own way, your life will become normal, but remember, it will never be exactly the same - it will be a "new normal" that is unique to you..  Until then, try to take care of yourself, be patient and know in time you will heal and find peace...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A child's death is different from any other..

~ by Cherie Houston

Why is it that so many of us who have lost children tend to focus more on our children’s deaths instead of their lives??

My beloved “Nana Mae” died 13 years ago this month at the young age of 89.  She was without doubt the most important person in my life growing up ~ my children were blessed to have her in their lives until they themselves were adults.  We all miss her greatly and I feel her with me always and believe she’s watching over all of us…  But her death and the mourning process for her was so very different than that the deaths and mourning processes for my three (3) children-which seem at times to be endless.  When my grandmother died, like with most adults who die, we all remembered how she lived and what she meant to each of us – we celebrated her life and even now when I think of her, I think of everything she was and did, and almost always concentrate on all the wonderful happy memories we created together.  It is very rare that I think about those last days and hours of her life. 

Why then is it so different for those of us who have endured the tragedy of losing a child or children – it is almost always the total opposite, especially in the first 4-5 years or more...  As parents, most of us find ourselves concentrating on our children’s deaths and not their lives..  Is it because when children die, the entire natural order of the past, present and future seem to have been turned upside down and are simply totally out of whack!!!  After all as parents, we always just assume that we will be the ones to pass away first, leaving our children to carry our names and legacies into the future…  When our children die before us, we are forced to lose this innocent sense of balance.  Yes,  accepting the death of a child is an intense, extremely challenging, agonizing task.  It takes a lot of time before we can remember our children with smiles, concentrating on the wonderful happy memories we had with them – even if those memories are simply of a short, unfinished pregnancy, or a baby born an angel, or children who receive their angel wings as young infants or those who may have grown into adulthood… 

Yes the mourning process for those of us who have lost children, is very different from that of losing any other family member or friend during our life - no matter how close we were to them it is so different… 

Maybe that is why it is so terribly difficult for those around us to understand or comprehend what we are going thru as grieving parents..  How often they seem to wonder why it's so difficult for us to simply "move forward"  But think about it, almost everyone around us when they try to relate to grieving, thru their own grieving experiences, they - like myself - only focus on wonderful shared memories of a life lost, not of a future stolen from them…

Yes in time, we too will smile again – the pain and heartache will soften – and we can only pray that a time will come when we will find peace and joy and only focus on our children's lives and wonderful memories and not their untimely deaths.  

Give yourself time – time and more time. It takes months, even years, to open your heart and mind to healing. It's important to choose to survive, give yourself time, and you will heal.. Accept the fact that finding your "new normal" takes time, lots if time, because the death of our children is different and unique from any other loss we will ever experience..…

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

My Child

~ Author  Unknown

I’ve loved my child right from the start
A feeling that’s filled my entire heart
I went through the labor and suffered the pain
For many long hours with nothing to gain

I’ve spent sleepless nights being awake
Though it’s been a while my arms they still ache
I’ve sat and I’ve wondered of how he would grow
The love of my family that he’d come to know

The sound of his voice as he learns to talk
Watching his steps as he tries to walk
I have a child that I really love so
I am his mother yet nobody knows

I spent all those months feeling him grow
I’ve lived through it all and have nothing to show
I don’t get invited to chat with young mothers
Because I don’t have a baby like all of the others

I’ve got some stretch marks that I’d like to hide
But I don’t have a pram with a baby inside
The people I’ve known for so many years
They now avoid me, which adds to my tears

I don’t know how long I’ll be feeling like this
But one thing I know my baby I miss
When Mothers Day comes it will be very hard
I won’t have any flowers – not even a card

And just because he’s not here with me
I still have a son I wish I could see
But one thing I know and this is for sure
I’ll be his mother for evermore