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What I've Learned Since My Son Passed Away

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Unfortunately, it seems most people are completely oblivious to the profound grief that follows the death of a child. They could never possibly understand nor comprehend such a loss. Only those who have endured the same fate can. Find those people because, rest assured, they’re looking for you, too.

Sadly, contrary to what we’ve been made to believe, time does not heal all wounds. At least not this one.

It’s OK to shut the world out and fall apart. Some days we’re just barely hanging on, and it takes every ounce of strength we have to put one foot in front of the other. So be proud of yourself at the end of every day, even if you did nothing else. You managed to survive another day without your child and that’s everything.

When you lose a child, it’s difficult to agree with others that their death was part of some grand plan. Just be mindful to the fact that they mean well, and honestly, they just don’t know what to say.

Guilt and regret are a normal part of the grieving process, but we tend to live in our heads and sometimes allow the “could’ve, should’ve, would’ve” to entirely consume us. Just be careful, it can swallow you whole. 

All those people who are constantly telling you how incredibly strong you are and how they can’t even begin to imagine what you must be going through, believe them. They’re not lying. You’re the warrior of all warriors! And let’s be honest, they really don’t know how you do it. I mean, we don’t even know how we do it.

Everyone has their own cross to bear. This is ours, and sadly, it is a heavy one to carry. 

Your grief journey is like your fingerprint. It’s different, it’s unique and it’s your very own. You should never apologize for the way you choose to weather the storm.

Grief is one of those things in life that you can’t go over it, under it or around it. You must go through it and come out on the other side. If you try to run from it, you will only die feeling tired. 

Stop blaming yourself for their death. There’s absolutely nothing you could have done differently to save your child’s life. Instead, try spending less time apologizing to them because you feel like a failure and more time focusing on ways to save yourself from feeling this way. 

Regardless of our religious beliefs, we as humans question the “afterlife.” We all wonder at some point if there truly is some other dimension out there that awaits our arrival, a beautiful place where the souls of our children are waiting for us. When we expire here, will we really spend eternity with them there? We cling to the hope that life after death does, in fact, exist. Don’t feel ashamed for doing so. I believe God understands. 

Last but not least, moving forward with your life doesn’t mean you’re leaving your child behind. It simply means that although their physical body has perished, you understand that their soul never dies. They will always live within you.

Originally published: April 5, 2023
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