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What a Grieving Mom Wants You to Know During Bereaved Parents Month

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July is Bereaved Parents Awareness Month.

As a mother who grieves the loss of her daughter, this month of remembrance makes me thankful there is a designated time slot for us grieving parents. But at the same time, it makes me sad to know the multitude of parents who are grieving.

Parents have been devastated by losing their children since the beginning of time. In the past two weeks, three new groups of parents have been catapulted into this realm of forlornness.

It is estimated that 73,000 children die every year in the United States, and that number only reflects the number of children under the age of 18. This does not represent the young adults and adults, who are still someone’s child, who die. We are talking hundreds of thousands of parents every year who get plunged into the world of child loss. The numbers are staggering. Yet, this large group of heartbroken parents feels at times that we are forgotten.

In our society the topic of child loss is uncomfortable. We have made it commonplace that when someone’s child dies, we hurt for the family. We can’t begin to fathom that type of pain and loss. We bring food, we help out the best we know how. After the funeral, we still don’t know how to approach the subject, so many of us don’t.

We open that book of meaningful clichés that can be hurtful to some parents; “God needed another angel, she is in a better place, be thankful for your other children.” As a parent who has lost their child, we are well aware of all of these clichés. We don’t need or want to hear them.

We want you to just call and let us know you haven’t forgotten us. Let us know you won’t forget our child, ever! As time marches on and everyone else is moving forward, remember we are trying to figure out how to live without a huge piece of our heart.

I was still in shock the first year after her death. I was still in the “this can’t be real” stage. The second year was even harder than the first. Reality had set in. My baby wasn’t coming back ever! Other than a few close friends and family, her name started fading from the conversations other people had.

I am here to ask you to mention the names of our children. We want to hear the memories you have. That is why we put quotes and pictures on social media. It isn’t for pity. It is so our children’s memories will not be forgotten.

A grieving parent goes through a myriad of emotions including sadness, anger, pain, resentment, acceptance, denial and joy, just to name a few. I am a Christian, and believing our daughter is in complete and utter glory with our Lord gives me great comfort. I know one day we will see each other again. I also believe our Lord completely understands all of my emotions and accepts them openly.

He too, knows all too well what it’s like to watch your child suffer and die.

A young girl smiling.

I believe part of my daughter’s purpose on this earth was to teach me what unconditional love was. She never spoke, but her language taught me how to listen.

She never walked, but she showed me that together, we could climb any mountain.

Her smile lit up a room. She was a beacon of love to everyone who met her.

The obstacles she faced were insurmountable, yet she always overcame. She taught me true courage and strength.

It will be three years next month since our angel was called home. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t miss her. There will never come a day that I won’t miss her. She loved life. She loved happiness and fun. She would want us to be happy and enjoy this precious journey called life.

Because of that I wake up every morning and thank God for giving me another day. I ask for his strength to help me to be strong enough to choose joy over heartache. Happiness over sadness. Blessings over burdens.

My fellow soulmates and grieving parents, I want you to know you are not alone. You always have another heart that is entwined with yours. As long as we live we will carry our children’s light and love.

May we all find strength and peace, especially during this month of July.

Photo submitted by contributor.

Originally published: July 25, 2018
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