Grieving a child changes each parent who experiences it. It takes hold of the parent, shakes him until he can no longer tell which way is up then sets him down in completely unfamiliar territory. It’s obvious from the start that nothing will ever be the same. There is no way back to that familiar place where you once dwelled with your child. Over time it becomes more and more apparent that this new life you inhabit has forever changed the essence of your core.
As time goes on your expectations of yourself must be adjusted. The things that once worked so well for you in your former life no longer have any effect in this new life. What you once seemed to breeze by emotionally, physically and mentally now trap you. It is a challenge to find ways to escape the traps. The freedom from these traps only arises when you come to terms with the fact that you cannot do the same things you once did to get by them. You no longer have the same outlook, tolerance, patience and priorities.
Coming to terms with these changes often means coming to terms with the realization that your child is no longer living. Each time a bereaved parent is faced with a change, faced with a challenge, faced with a milestone his child would have been reaching, there is a process. As one would expect, it includes a time of sadness. It also includes yet another time that the parent must admit to himself that his child is no longer with him on Earth. It would seem as though each day would be a reminder of this, and it is, but it truly becomes real when these emotional times arise.
It’s difficult to be aware of and admit that you are a different person. It is necessary for healing, however. The change in who the bereaved parent has morphed into encompasses positive and negative changes. It’s easy to lose sight of that. Focusing on the positive changes promotes healing and helps us to grow. The difficult times in our lives are learning experiences. Not one grieving parent has asked for this learning experience but there is nothing we can do to change it. Recognize the change in yourself and use it to make you stronger. Love to heaven…
I am Sean’s Nanny, Debbie. Yesterday Carolyn shared ChristiansRedBalloon.com with me on Christian’s Angelversay. We have always kept Christian’s memory alive in the Carsley family. I will never forget how you held Sean in your arms asking him to always share his life experiences with Christian as he grows up. I can’t even begin to tell you how many places and things Christian and Sean have shared. Every time we find a penny we know Christian is with us. He even got to see Pope Francis with me in Central Park! As soon as I passed through all the security the first thing I saw was a penny at my foot. I picked it up, looked up to Heaven and said “ Come on Christian, we are going to see the Pope together!” I won 2 tickets after I prayed to my brother Frank up in Heaven and no one wanted to go with me until I saw Christian’s penny from Heaven!
Just yesterday Sean held his Spider-Man and made him swirl through the air. I know he was playing with Christian-I saw it in his eyes.
You are touching so many people by sharing your personal thoughts to carry on. You are helping my sister and niece carry on through their medical illnesses and losing their house after Hurricane Sandy at Breezy Point. Your angel now drops pennies at the beach and is helping my sister carry on.
Always in my thoughts and prayers. Love you!
Thank you so much for this beautiful note. It brought me to tears. As you know he loved Sean. He loved all of you. There is not a doubt in my mind that he is with you all. Christian and Sean had such a special friendship. I am so happy he got to go with you to see the Pope and even happier to hear about your sister and niece. Sending you so many hugs and so much love!!!!