This week Extreme Home Makeover show featured a family that suffered the loss of not one but two of their children. One to domestic violence and one to a drunk driver. All needless deaths. Now my daughter didn’t die from the hand of another, but a disease that was just as violent – Epilepsy.
But what I found most healing is that the message that was there for all of America to see – you never – ever – get over the loss of a child. 1 year, 5 years, 10 years – never. You can get through it, but never over it. You could see from the grief that remains on the faces when they speak of their children. In fact, the father stated that they are affected everyday by their absence. Not just holidays, or birthdays etc. But everyday.
I hope that those of you who haven’t lost a child took away the message that the consistent love and support is what helps families get “through” their loss. After reading so many books on grief and loss it still strikes me as odd that people still believe you can get over it. Yes, you can move forward, press on hopefully making something positive in your life that speaks to the kind of child you had. But you don’t really move on, moving on means picking up where you left off with your life – that you cannot do. Moving forward is taking a new path, one that is without your child. That my friends is the hardest step to make. I believe it is the place where people who are grieving the loss of their child get stuck. Where they need the help the most, and sadly where most people around them have “moved on”.
I would encourage anyone dealing with loss to look into what it means to move forward. And encourage those who know someone is suffering a loss and maybe stuck – to help me see the difference between “moving on and moving forward”.
Until next time,