Knowing how losing a child can put your life on hold for a very long time if not forever, I was struck by a recent TV interview. Syndicated columnist, New York Times best-selling author and physician, Charles Krauthammer, is quadraplegic (paralyzed from the neck down) from a tragic diving accident while in medical school. Questioned about the accident which changed his life, Dr. Krauthammer revealed his personal philosophy on meeting his life adversity.
"You must decide whether you want a good life or a miserable life," Krauthammer advised. He went on to say if you want a good life then you have to take steps to ensure it.
You and I have sustained probably the worst blow one can receive in losing a child. What more could happen? Why did it happen? Why me or you? Unfortunately, there are no good or comforting answers to these questions. I always tell myself bad things happen as part of the human condition on earth. I believe you and I are not guaranteed perfection in this life on earth. Perfection is for everlasting life.
The key seems to be how you and I handle the loss of our children which determines our life track. You and I can become frozen in time with grief and depression, become bitter or angry, become physically ill, or accept the death of our children, our fate.
Dr. Krauthammer explained he knew immediately what had happened. He realized he had severed his spinal cord. Yet, he vowed on his first day in the hospital not to let his circumstance alter the course of his life. One word, acceptance.
I think working through the grief in losing a child, takes a longer time. However at some low point you and I are faced with a decision of where to go in our lives. And realize, to not look at this and not decide is a decision to stay put. The question before you and me always remains. How do I move my life beyond the loss of my child? Only you and I can decide this individually. Possibilities are as a vehicle for self-actualization, a means to help or educate others, or a way to commemorate our children's lives.
The answer will come to you when the time is right--- maybe in the silence of the night, or the dawn of a new day or while meditating. Remain open to the possibility of having a good life again. This will help you in moving on and in accepting your child's death. It will never be the life you had before, but it can be a productive life with many positive elements. There may always be dark days, but they can become far fewer.