Have you been keeping yourself busy every minute of the day until you fall into bed exhausted, or are you now able to slow down, breathe, and relax without bursting into tears?
Have you been hiding away from friends, family, even strangers, in the hope that one morning you will wake up to find it all has been one long, horrible nightmare? Maybe you are starting to open the door to interactions again, learning that conversations and acknowledgement are helping you through the healing.
Have you been hounding the medical examiner/coroner, the police and hospital staff, or scouring the internet for any possible answer for how a child could die suddenly and without explanation, or have you now taken a step back, allowed the process to be taken on by the experts, and trusted in yourself to heal while cherishing the memory of your child’s beautiful life.
As the months go by, you may find yourself reacting differently to things as you travel on your grief journey. Happiness and enjoyment are important survival tools, even if it’s just a momentary smile, or a flicker of peace in between your grief. It’s okay to laugh throughout your tears or smile at happy memories you had together.
Many will tell you that as time passes, the pain will ease. This is told to be true.
Others will tell you that you might wake up one day and the first thing you do is smile instead of cry or dread another day without your child. This is told to be true.
But what is not true is the tale that one day you will no longer miss your child. That is impossible as it is when anyone who you have loved so very, very much has died. But that is okay. That “missing” of your child will soon be surrounded more by a gentle warmth than nauseating agony.
Your hope lies in the fact that the painful memories of your child’s death will subside and be replaced with beautiful memories of the time you spent together. Your photos and other mementos will solidify your child’s image in your brain because your heart never has to be reminded. You will laugh again. Joy will return, although in different ways than before. And someday, you will be able to think of your child without fearing that tears will stream down your face, or that others will be uncomfortable with your grief.
Maybe this process has already begun for you. Maybe it feels as if you will never get to this point. Know that whether it begins now or months from now, it is yours to experience. There is no timetable or schedule for your grief to follow. You can go at your own pace on the journey through bereavement. Everyone experiences grief in their own unique way, with moments of sadness and joy along the journey.
Darcie Sims, a grief expert, is quoted as saying “May love be what you remember the most.”