It takes unfathomable strength to be a parent of child loss. We balance our lives between heaven and earth, trying to parent our living children while our heart aches for those we no longer can hold.
There are days we want to curl up in a ball and close ourselves off to the world. But on those days of deep grief, we put on a brave face because we have children who need us to be present. As the years pass by, people tell us we should “get over” our loss, that life goes on. But any parent who has lost a child knows that’s not true. The world around us continues, but our lives are forever changed.
It takes immense strength to be a parent of child loss. As we watch our living child grow up, we forever wonder what life would be like if that child had their siblings to hug and to play with. And on those days when we fear grief may be too much, we have to think about our living child.
We have to remind ourselves that they deserve a life of happiness and they shouldn’t miss out because of our heartache.
Even if that means taking your child to Kindergarten “meet the teacher” night on the anniversary of your son’s death. It’s a dilemma I wrestled with for days. The last thing I wanted to do on my son’s anniversary was to be surrounded by hundreds of enthusiastic children and their families.
But, this inner battle I face each and every day shouldn’t impact my daughter. It’s not her fault her brother and sister are no longer here. She doesn’t deserve to miss out on life.
So as a parent of child loss, I put on a brave face. I walked down the halls of my child’s soon-to-be school and I watched my daughter full of excitement. While my heart was aching, I was still beaming with pride. My daughter is ready for this new chapter in life, and truth be told, so am I.
Grief may creep up at random times, but I vow to not let it consume me. As I watch my living child, I remind myself that we have to make sure to live in the present. We cannot dwell on the past. Sure, we grieve and we will always have a missing piece of our heart, but we have to find a way to live after loss.
It takes unimaginable strength to be a parent of child loss. Sometimes that strength means doing something we dread and sometimes it means facing our fears. But, somehow we learn how to balance the grief, using our strength to get us through the difficult days when we miss our children the most.