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October 26, 2010

Dear Mom...

Dear Mom,

I know this is a rough time for you. So I will be as gentle as I can be.
First of all, thank you for so many tears, particularly those shared with another that you love. They are a gift to me, a precious tribute to your investment in me. As you do your mourning, do it at your pace only.
Don't let anybody suggest that you do your grief work on their timetable. Do whatever it takes to face directly the reality of what has happened, even though you may need to pause frequently & yearn for my return. Do this with courage & my blessings.
Know that sometimes inertia is the only movement possible. Give your best to keeping a balance between remembering me & renewing your commitments to life. It's okay with me if you go through minutes, hours & even days not thinking about me. I know that you'll never forget. Loosening me & grabbing hold of a new meaning is a delicate art. I'm not sure if one comes before the other or not, maybe it's a combination.
Be with people who accept you as you are.
Mention my name out loud, & if they don't make a hasty retreat, they're probably excellent candidates for friendship. If, by a remote possibility, you think that there is anything that you could have done for me & didn't, I forgive you, as my Lord does.
Resentment does not abide here, only love. You know how people sometimes ask you how many children you have? Well, I'm still yours & you are still my Mom.
Always acknowledge that with tenderness, unless to do so would fall on insensitive ears or would be painful to you. I know how you feel inside. To be included as your child honors me. Read, even though your tears anoint the page.
There is an immense library here & I have a card. In Henri Nowens' (sic) "Out of Solitude" he writes, "The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair & confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief & bereavement, who can tolerate not healing, & face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares."
Mom, I don't know where you are spiritually now, but rest assured that our God is not gone. The still small voice you hear in your heart is His voice. The warmth that sometimes enfolds you is Him. The tears that tremble just beneath your heartbeat is Him. He is in you, as I am. I want you to know that I am okay.
I have sent you messages to ease your pain, they come in the form of flowers that bloom out of season, birds singing, voices & visions & sometimes through your friends & even strangers who volunteer as angels.
Stay open but don't expect the overly dramatic :) You will get what you need & it may be simply an internal peace. You are not crazy, you have been comforted.
Please seek out people bereaved longer than you. They are tellers of truth, & if they have done their work, are an inspiration & a beacon of hope whose pain lessened dramatically & one more wisdom before I close. There are still funny happenings in our world. It delights me to no end when I hear your spontaneous, uncontrolled laughter. That, too, will come in due time. Today, I light a candle for you. Joined with your candle, let their light shine above the darkness.
Your Loving Angel child.
Greggy Jr xoxo

October 25, 2010

A Bereaved Parent’s Wish List

I wish my child hadn’t died. I wish I had him back...

I wish you wouldn’t be afraid to speak my child’s name. My child lived and was very important to me. I need to hear that he was important to you as well.

If I cry and get emotional when you talk about my child, I wish you knew that it isn’t because you have hurt me. My child’s death is the cause of my tears. You have talked about my child, and you have allowed me to share my grief. I thank you for both.

I wish you wouldn’t “kill” my child again by removing his pictures, artwork, or other remembrances from your home.

Being a bereaved parent is not contagious, so I wish you wouldn’t shy away from me. I need you more than ever.

I need diversions, so I do want to hear about you; but I also want you to hear about me. I might be said and I might cry, but I wish you would let me talk about my child, my favorite topic of the day.

I know that you think of and pray for me often. I also know that my child’s death pains you, too. I wish you would let me know things through a phone call, a card or a note, or a real big hug.

I wish you wouldn’t expect my grief to be over in six months. These first months are traumatic for me, but I wish you could understand that my grief will never be over. I will suffer the death of my child until the day I die.

I am working very hard in my recovery, but I wish you could understand that I will never fully recover. I will always miss my child, and I will always grieve that he is dead.

I wish you wouldn’t expect me “not to think about it” or to “be happy”. Neither will happen for a very long time so don’t frustrate yourself.

I don’t want to have a “pity party,” but I do wish you would let me grieve. I must hurt before I can heal.

I wish you understood how my life has shattered. I know it is miserable for you to be around me when I’m feeling miserable. Please be as patient with me as I am with you.

When I say, “I’m doing okay,” I wish you could understand that I don’t feel okay and that I struggle daily.

I wish you knew that all of the grief reactions I’m having are very normal. Depression, anger, hopelessness and overwhelming sadness are all to be expected. So please excuse me when I’m quiet and withdrawn or irritable and cranky.

Your advice to “take one day at a time” is excellent. I wish you could understand that I’m doing good to handle him at an hour at a time.

I wish you understood that grief changes people. When my child died, a big part of me died with him. I am not the same person I was before my child died, and I will never be that person again.

I wish very much that you could understand – understand my loss and my grief, my silence and my tears, my void and my pain. But I pray daily that you will never understand.

Today marks 26 weeks or 6 months... since Greggy has been gone... Does anyone have a clue?

October 10, 2010

Please do not avoid me...

Please do not avoid me,
Even if you don’t know what to say.
If you have not lost a child,
I know you cannot imagine my pain.
The thought of it terrifies you...

Please say William's name.
If you speak of him,
You will most likely see a smile rather than a tear.
Do not say I am strong, that you could not bear the loss.
Believe me, you have no idea how this would affect you.

If I cry, it does not mean I am weak.
If I smile, it does not mean I am strong.
It just means I am human.
Please support my journey of grief.
It may never end.
The journey may start with lost dreams,
Sadness and despair.
We will also find William's essence,
Hope, happiness,
And love of life.

Vance Robinson, 10/10/10

{Ditto for me, just replace William with Greggy Jr.}