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“Understanding grief under painful circumstances”

December 11, 2012

Every memory of the child who has died must be summoned up with all its feelings and reworked with the new and painful knowledge that your child is gone. This I can tell you after loosing our son was the most painful aspects of grieving. We love the dead differently from how we love the living. As we live with the reality of our loss of a son or daughter, your love must recognize the changed reality and change itself. You will never stop loving your child who has died. Remembering and bringing up feelings and memories is how I accomplished this painful task. There was no way I could have done this alone without my husband, my family and our friends.
Often you will remember your child when you choose to, spending time that is both comfort and pain, as I do often now. I love to replay the times Kevin and I shared together. Sometimes you will want to remember him/her in the privacy of your own thoughts, and sometimes you will want to share your memory of your child, especially with the persons who knew your child.
In the first year or two after your child has died, remembering them will be the center of your days and of your life. It needs to be that way. It was very helpful for myself to remember Kevin in many ways. Right after he died I began to write personal letters to Kevin. Today I have folders full of my letters to him. It helps me now to see how far I have come since 2006 when we lost him. This was not an easy task, but one that gave me a way to communicate to him after his death. In the future I may share some of my letters with you. I never truly knew what loss was, until we lost one of our own children. We were told in The Children’s Hospital in Birmingham about a group called The Compassionate Friends. We were told this before Kevin died among his close family and friends on February 10, 2006. The meetings helped my husband and I. Even in the beginning I could not say anything because my grief was so fresh. So I sat and listened, at the time my heart opened up and I knew we were not alone. Anything that is said during our meeting stays confidential. TCF are there to listen, hold your hand, pass Kleenex around the table to wipe tears. At the end of our meeting, we each share a funny story of our deceased children. This lightens the mood of our group. TCF mission is to assist families toward the positive resolution of grief following the death of a child of any age and to provide information to help others be supportive.
TCF offers friendships, understanding and hope to bereaved parents, siblings and grandparents. Thank you for your time, and remember you are not alone in your grief. If you have not lost a child but know someone who has, let them know about our Chapter here in West Point.
If you would like to ask any questions, feel free to ask me at my e-mail at I will have an article each Wednesday on different subjects concerning the grief and loss of a child.

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