Everyone grieves in their own way. Some cry, some are quiet, some are angry. No one can tell you how to grieve or whether or not you are doing it “right”. Friends, family, onlookers have their opinions. Over the years I have been guilty of having my own opinions about the actions of those who have found themselves in an immediate place of loss.
Since we have lost our son I have come to realize many things. One being that I have a different outlook or sense of protection toward all my children even the one we have lost. My perspective is almost obsessive to protect them fearing that I might lose another or their memory might be tarnished or disrespected. My focus has turned to them and their father in a way that I am guarded almost too fault. I know this is part of the grieving process and that someday I will be able to relax and feel comfortable again.
I’ve learned to respect the actions of those which I do not understand. It isn’t mine to understand. It is my mine to respect them, support them. Let them cry and hold them up when they cannot stand on their own. It is mine to have their back even when I don’t agree with them, after all it is their immediate loss and only they have the right to make the decisions that need to be made and no one outside of that immediate loss has a right to judge them.
I’ve learned how important a phone call can be. How a text can brighten the day. How knowing that you are being cared for means everything. In a time of loss the last thing a grieving person needs is conflict, judgment, or being made to feel guilty for some reason or another. Those actions will damage a relationship very quickly and most likely damage beyond repair. The thought that hurts the most is that if I can’t trust someone in my most vulnerable grieving state then I could never really trust them again. Maybe there wasn’t any trust to be had in the first place.
I’ve learned that the loss of a child affects many people. But it affects no one to the depth of pain and loss felt by a parent and the siblings left behind. The siblings are the ones who get forgotten. They are the ones who have most likely never experienced a loss so close. They have lost their partner in crime, their confidant, the person they have looked up to for so long. They now have to watch their parents and other family members cry and hurt so badly and they can’t do anything about it. They are helpless, they are hurting, and they are pushed aside without consideration of how things in the world around them are falling apart. It’s pitiful really. The ones who should be held tight are getting pushed away and forgotten because others doesn’t understand and think they have the right.
I’ve learned that patience and unconditional love is not felt by everyone. It is often replaced by self-serving justifications. I’ve learned that going forward and working through our loss I am finding a peace, an understanding of putting myself and my own selfish agendas behind me. It isn’t about me. It isn’t about what I think. It’s about taking care of others fully and unconditionally. It’s about love, a kind of love that many aren’t capable of. A kind of love that I and my family have experienced from so many friends and family. The kind of love that is shown and protected and placed on a pedestal. The kind of love that is selfless.
Be kind to each other. Love each other. Never let a day go by when you had the chance to make things right but were to spiteful and selfish to correct it. Don’t allow your legacy to be one of hatred and greed. There will come a day when you will regret it. Only you can make a difference to those around you. Only you can be the one who truly loves.
©2015 Brave Choices/Beth Bullock