Sunday, November 17, 2013

Choose Your Battles Well.

     A saying on Facebook brought to mind some factors that can interfere with Taking Back Your Power and Choosing to Live Again.  It said:  "Be selective in your battles.  Sometimes peace is better than being right."
     Feeling that you did not achieve the desired outcome for a medical or surgical procedure for your child  or that you did not receive justice from the legal system can cause you as a parent heart wrenching emotions.  As a parent whose child has died you are prepared to go to the mat to fight for what you perceive your child deserves.  In doing do you may be bitterly disappointed in finding you do not have a legal proceeding or will get no more from the medical or legal systems.

     What then?  Do you go on fighting?  Do you seek additional opinions?  Do you do endless research?  How long do you go on fighting?  You may answer as long as it takes to achieve your desired outcome.

     Unfortunately, no opinion, no apology, no financial award and no criminal conviction can bring your child back.  Parents who have had success with the medical and /or legal system can attest it is a hollow victory.  You may very well be right that the medical or legal system did not do right by your child.  But again I ask, how long so you go on fighting?

     Based on my personal experience, my response is you need to stop when the battle is causing your physical, emotional or financial health to suffer or interfering with relationships or your job.  It may be time to consider if your continuing to fight is a way of holding onto your child.  You and I cannot  re-write the story to bring back my child or yours no matter how hard we fight.

     If you find yourself enmeshed it what seems to be an endless battle, perhaps it may be time to step back and re-assess what you are doing.  Ask yourself what it is costing you in your life.  What is your  goal?  Are you seeking revenge?  Does anyone else support you such as your spouse, family member or friend or a grief counselor.  If the answer is no, you may want to pause and consider the answers you were given.

     It is not my place to tell you,  "Yes, drop your battle."  I only want to point out a place from which you may find it very difficult to return and serves to complicate your  grieving process.  I had to come to this awareness about my own son's situation in relation to those involved and the legal system.

     Sadly, I had to conclude there was no way I could get him justice on my own. Not that I have given up hope.  There is always hope of new information or a a person coming forward with something additional to tell.  With the help of a grief counselor,  I was able to see it is not within my power to pull all the strings to control the systems or people involved.  You may come to the same painful, conclusion.

     Please know,  this is all right for me and for you to so.  My child and your child are at peace.  What happens now on earth cannot affect him or her.  I will quote from a very wise and dear friend,  "God sees everything," 

      There is earthly justice and everlasting justice.  I do pray for truth and justice for Chris, but I do not pursue it myself.  I may never see it in my lifetime.  I know if Chris does not get justice on earth, he will get it in eternity.  Those responsible for his death will have to face Divine Justice.  Realizing and accepting this has helped move me along in my grief.  I had to struggle with this for some time as it is a tough concept and harsh reality.  I pray you find courage and guidance if you find yourself in the same place.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Choosing to Live Again

      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.