A friend of mine told me recently that she is moving on with her life after her only son died 2 1/2 years ago. Her voice sounded upbeat. Her spirits were soaring. Only good things are happening now, and she is enjoying what she has to look forward to: grandchildren growing up, graduating, marrying, a good relationship with her daughter-in-law who just remarried. “Now,” she says, “I want to figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life.”
When this first happened, I could not convince her she would survive the loss. She told me that she realizes now what she misses the most besides her son’s presence in her life. “I miss the conversations we had, the fighting back and forth, most times with a good ending. I miss the exchange of loving phrases. I miss the laughter.”
I tried to make a coffee date to see her and was finally successful. Her calendar was busy with whatever activities she enjoys and people she enjoys being with. She will find her way, I am confident, and I am happy she has come so far.
Sadly, her husband is not in the same place. He can not get past his son’s death, nor the way he died. He only saw a counselor for a year…not enough for him. I’m sure he feels a lot of anger and rage at what happened and probably asks himself (as most of us do) “Why me?” Hopefully, he too, can do it on his own, but he is an example of why I write articles for bereaved parents, hoping that something will click for him too.
And one day, I’m sure it will. It will just take him longer. No two people grieve alike or for the same amount of time. I’m convinced he will come out on the other side of grief as my friend has.
This couple is a good example of how men and women, husbands and wives, aren’t necessarily in the same place after the death of their child. But if they can talk about the child, remember good times and their loving relationship with the child and not concentrate on how the child died or that they couldn’t save them, in the end, their communication will hopefully help each other accept and cope with their loss.