I know for certain that we never lose the people we love, even to death. They continue to participate in every act, thought and decision we make. Their love leaves an indelible imprint in our memories. We find comfort in knowing that our lives have been enriched by having shared their love. — Leo Buscaglia
I happened to see this quote in an issue of the online Compassionate Friends Newsletter. How true it is! I think of how I can apply this quote to everything I have done since my daughter died.
Every time I have to make a decision about something, whether it be to participate in an event, give to a charity or even just where to travel, I always think of how my daughter, Marcy, would have responded. “Mom,” she would say, “Go for it! You’re good at organizing events. You’re a Virgo and Virgos are perfectionists.”
I smile. That I am, just as she was a stubborn Leo. I have taken on national bereavement conferences and am happy to help others. I have walked for charities or just donated when receiving information on that charity, if I believe it is worthwhile. And traveling, my passion and hers also: I am always so sad that she is not able to see all the places I know she would have liked. When I am at a destination, I turn to my husband and always say, “Marcy would have loved this city… these mountains… this exhibit.”
We never forget our children, no matter how long it has been since they died. A piece of our heart has died with them, yet we go on. Then something always triggers a remembrance, and that is okay. Whether it makes you smile or cry, either one is a healthy reaction. You don’t have to be ashamed or embarrassed around others, because your feelings for your child will always be within you, no matter what.
So many good memories. Why not write them down, put them away and treasure them always? If you are having a bad day, take one out and remember, smile or even laugh.
The parents of 9-year-old Christina Green from Tucson, who was born on a tragic day 9/11/2001 and died in a tragic shooting last year, will always think of her when thinking of politics, how enthusiastic she was about serving her country and wanting to get to know her congresswoman from Tucson, Gabrielle Giffords. It would not surprise me if her parents or sibling, years from now, honor her memory by doing something along political lines, whether as a volunteer or as an advocate.
This is how we share our love for our children when they are no longer with us physically but always in our hearts and minds. We try to do good; we try to help others as our children would have done; we try to find a cause that will bring a smile to our child’s face, wherever they are. Our lives have been enriched for having them, and we become better people for it.
Sandy Fox 2011
Sandy Fox is an award-winning authors of two books on surviving grief: “Creating a New Normal…After the Death of a Child” and “I Have No Intention of Saying Good-bye”