One of the things I've had to try to figure out since December 18, 2010, is how do you move on from your life being shattered into a million pieces. 9 months later the answer to that question is more elusive to me than that very first night. That night, I only knew in my soul, my core that it would be okay and I/we would survive.
Now how to survive is much more complicated than I could have ever imagined. Even with faith and love in my heart my sorrow and pain are so predominant that even breathing hurts sometimes. Ever aspects of my life and all I know, have known and have learned and believed to be true has been challenged. Everyday is a struggle to get by and survive. I had always wondered why obituaries read, "Mrs. Jones was survived by..." Now I know. We, the living, are challenged to survive our lose, our grief and our sorrow. Mourning is hard work and a task no one voluntarily takes on. We do not choose the death of our loved ones, we simply are left to accept it. And it is the accepting it that is hard. But, even with it being hard, the accepting is not the challenge. The challenge is living with the change. The change of the knowledge we are mortal, we are susceptible and we have no control. All the cliches are sweet: she is in a better place; she is not there, only her body; she's happy; she's the lucky one; and on and on, are the pathetic things we say to help ourselves feel better when trying to help someone else. When the truth is there is nothing to be said and nothing will make it better.
I want people to know, when you are talking to a bereaved parent, shut up, listen, ask questions and then respond. We do not want to hear your thoughts or opinions. We only want to hear acceptance from you. We want you to accept our lives have changed, that we are difference and that we may never be the same again, and that it is okay. Don't try to fix us, "help" us or make it better. It won't be ever for us and that doesn't make us broken or wrong. It means we evolved and transformed into what and who we don't know. All we know is we must now learn how to be comfortable in this new skin we are forced to live in. We are still your children, nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles, sisters and brothers and friends. We just have experienced a trauma we hope you will never know. We may be the same at times, and may be different, at times you may not even recognize us by our actions. But for me all I ask is you love me through the pain, the tears, the laughter and the time left to figure out who I am now and how do I go on.