Thursday, April 14, 2011

We are the walking wounded

Some people don’t like it when I talk about Lauren. Guess what? I don’t care. People talk about their children easily, so why shouldn’t I? It makes no difference to me that she is not physically here anymore. That almost seven years ago she went home to be with the Lord. It doesn’t matter to me. I had her for 18 wonderful years here and will spend the rest of eternity with her one day. This is only a temporary separation.

On May 9, 2004, I joined the club that nobody wants to belong to. The club of parents who have lost children through no fault of their own. I clarify that, because there are evil people out there who have lost children through their own fault or wrongdoing. They do not belong in our club. They are not welcome.

There are all kinds of people in this club - it knows no color, no income level, no gender, no religion. John Travolta and Eric Clapton are in this club. Lou Costello was in this club. Millions of famous and non-famous people have been and are in this club. I would not wish it on my worst enemy if I had one. It is a horrible place to be. I really feel sorry for the ones who have no faith, no hope. The ones who don’t know what I know - This is only a temporary separation.

For those of you who are NOT in this club - there are a few things you need to know. The grieving parent’s worst nightmare is that their child will be forgotten. That no one will remember his or her name, their talents, their accomplishments, their personalities, their being. So when we talk about our children, it is because it is important to us.

I understand why it makes you nervous. It makes you think about your worst fear- that you could be the next member of this club. You worry about your own child. That is a valid fear for any parent. I understand how you feel. It is an awful place to be - a nightmare that never goes away.

I have said that the stigma of losing a child is like having a ball and chain around your ankle all the time - some days it is pretty light and easy to carry, and other days it is so heavy you have to drag it along... But it is ALWAYS there. It never goes away. We are the “Walking Wounded” and we drag our ball and chain everywhere we go.

Don’t ignore us when we try to talk about our child- listen to us and respect that we need to share. Remember that child is as real to us as your child who lives at home with you, or who comes home from college, or who is married and bringing you grandchildren.

We are sorry that you lost your 98-year old grandmother- we sympathize. But it is not the same thing. Not at all.

Why did He take her? I don’t know. How did it happen? I am not sure. When I do know the answers to those questions - I will be with her, and I will not care.

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