Friday, July 8, 2022

HELL COMES TO BREAKFAST


Hell comes to breakfast. That is the reality for those of us who have lost children. Everyday brings the same reality. Another devastating day in hell has come because we are still without our child. This came to me when I was watching an old Clint Eastwood western, "Josey Wales." Josey had come to rescue his friends from some evil marauders. One of Josey's friends upon seeing him, remarked, "Hell has come for breakfast." They were rescued. We, unfortunately, are not. No quick fixes in real life.

I thought how appropriate was this for many of our days. Another day awakening in a hell with so many questions swirling in our heads making our pain worse. How did this happen? Why did no one save my child? Could he or she have lived if they had gotten help? Why didn't the doctors save him/her? Why didn't I know? Why didn't I protect my child. Why didn't I do more? Why didn't I know he/she was in trouble. Who would do something so evil? Why aren't the police doing something. Why wasn't I there?

Many questions swirling in our heads. Some questions will eventually be answered. Some will not. Having to live with doubts and guilt making our pain worse are very bitter pills to swallow. It is like a big black cloud hanging over us.

We cannot go back to change the time or events leading to our children's deaths. We can raise public awareness to keep something similar from happening again. We can file lawsuits on behalf of our children. We can memorialize our children in a way that recognizes his or her life so they will not be forgotten.

Coming done to the bare facts, what we must do most, is find a way of dealing with our kids' deaths so we can have some measure of strength and acceptance. So, I repeat, it is not possible to change what has happened. This means at some point we must accept what has happened.

Acceptance does not mean we must forgive the persons who may be responsible for our children's deaths. Acknowledge they did what they did. They are responsible, not us. Accept there was little if anything we could have done to prevent what happened. If we believe we could have done more, we may find it helpful to ask our child's forgiveness and God's forgiveness or speak with a spiritual counselor. We need to come face to face with the reality that we are not perfect. We live an imperfect, even evil, world. We must take only those actions that are within the law and that will help us. Understand no amount of money or publicity can bring our children back to life.

What is comes down to is a choice. It is very basic. Do I want to get through this terrible loss or let it destroy me? Do I want to go through the rest of my life as a bitter, angry person and alienate my living family and friends. Instead, is there something I can do so another parent does not suffer this same loss? Is there something else I can do to help other parents in my same circumstance. Should I get help coping with this journey called grief from a support group or counselor?

Grief, especially for a child, is a narrow, but winding road. There is no straight course or highway. There are stops. There are steps forward, but then steps backwards. Hold on tight. Faith and prayer have helped me to hold onto hope and strength. They can lead to acceptance and some measure of peace at last. It can happen.

People speak of closure. I am not sure what closure is. Perhaps psychobabble. I have not experienced it despite the losses of both parents, a husband and a son. How is it possible to close the book on any life? The loss of our children is like an unfinished book with many missing chapters. Closure does not happen.

We need to focus on God and who and what we have left in our lives. Even if we have never gone to church or never prayed, now would be a good time to start. We need to reach out to God in faith and hope to get us through our tragedies. He has our children now. We may not understand this. We may be angry at God because our children died. This is normal. Pray anyway. God hears you. God loves you. He knows your pain. God will help you to find strength, resolve, acceptance and peace at last. That has been my experience. I hope and pray it helps other parents. 

Hell can come for breakfast, but does not have to stay.  Love, Rosemarie

                               "Comfort, O comfort my people" says your God.   Isaiah 40: 1



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