Tuesday, June 25, 2013

More Than a Bereaved Parent

     Losing a child can have the effect of making you retreat into your loss and seeing yourself only as a person with this tremendous grief.  Recently, I realized I have been seeing myself as a bereaved parent and childless widow.  Reality check.  I am more than that.  I am still me even if I am not as I was before my losses.  I am more than the sum total of my losses as are you, Dear Readers.
     Shifting my personal thinking on this concept is like breaking out of a painful shell in which I have been cocooned for too long.  Is it fear of feeling again and risking the gut wrenching pain of another loss?  Maybe.   Yet, if I am experiencing this, perhaps others of you are also.
     I have made some temporary explorations outside this shell since the deaths of my son and husband.  I connected with old friends, made new ones, bought two cars, bought and sold a home and published the first two books of my children's series.  But, there was kind of a finality to the books because I dedicated one to my son and the other to my husband.  I fear I have retreated back into my shell...  just biding my time until I meet with Chris and Fred once more.
     I think I am in my shell for my day to day activities and even social situations.  I often feel out of place... like someone extra whose friends are kind enough to include her.  This has to change.  Yes, I have had losses which partly, but not totally, define me.  
     I am still a sister, aunt, cousin and good friend.  I am a school nurse who has recently become an author.  I am an independent, professional woman with an active social life and many caring friends and family.  For these reasons, I feel blessed and grateful.  Time to shed the shell.
     My grief, even if not acutely painful, will always be with me.  I must not let it hamper me.  So, Dear Readers, I say to you be aware of being only a bereaved parent in your mind.  It will take effort for me to re-connect with my total identity.  It is  good for me to examine this as a goal.  I will pray for help in achieving it and pray for all of you.
     If you are able to share your experience in feeling this way, too, please comment.  I would appreciate hearing from you.

Peace and love,


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