I’ve seen you sit in the meetings with your eyes averted to the wall, as they get wet with tears
Remembering a moment when your child was alive.
I watched you as you drew in your breath
When you thought no one was watching you
I watched you push down that emotion that choked you.
I’ve heard you as you introduced yourself
And proceeded to introduce your wife
As if she had no voice of her own.
I listened as you recited the date of your child’s death, their name and how they died
Watched you still being the leader of a family who is missing one of its own
Taking at least some of the power back from Death, the cheater who stole your child’s life.
Your voice is strong when you start and ends in a whisper just before your tears start.
I’ve watched you not say a thing.
You sit there as if you’d like to be anywhere else on earth, trying not to think of the pain
But listening to your wife as she breaks down – yet again
You watch your hands folded in your lap
Trying to avoid the memories that flood your mind
But your will is strong – you are a man.
You make it through the telling – yet again.
I want to run to you
To shout that we all have that pain you are feeling.
I want you to embrace it
Let it go through you
Feel the anguish without the guilt
Let it kill you inside
And in its wake
You will be reborn for one calming moment
Until it comes again and you remember your child is dead.
But here I sit lost in my island of pain
Held back by society’s rules of conduct
I see you and recognize you.
Cry with us, your partners in grief.
We are kin – we alone truly know how you feel.
We can see the holes in your heart because we have matching ones in ours
We are the members of the same family
Struggling with the death of our children; their absence in our daily lives
On Father’s Day
On Mother’s Day
On Christmas – and on every second of every day.
For those who don’t know about Compassionate Friends, it is a national organization for parents who are grieving the loss of a children and/or children. Usually, there’s an introduction and a sharing of our child’s name and we all have our little stories – you can choose to participate or not – you can just listen. Somehow, you get the courage – and then after that is done, you have the main talk or coffee – they saved my life when no one could reach me when my son died in Sacramento, CA in a car accident. I don’t go to meetings anymore, but the parents who attend know what you are going through and there is a strength in sharing. If you need to – or know someone who could use their helping hand, look up a local chapter. It’s not for everyone, but I didn’t think it was for me either – but it was.