Some Gentle Thoughts
by Sandy Colby
Date: Thu, 14 Jan 1999
My heart hit the floor as I read your post! You dear, precious family!!! Your grief is _so_ new!! My heart goes out to you!! Helpless, though I am, in word or deed, I come. One who was wounded, as now you are. One who will forever bear the scar in my heart of the day[s] my child[ren] died. One who has walked the path for 12 years, where you now start your journey. With you now, I cry! Today is just that sort of day! You are in my thoughts and prayers!!! I am _SO_ sorry for your pain and the loss of someone as precious as your dear, precious Hadrian!
Looking back, over the past 12 1/2 years since our daughter, Renae, died, may I offer some gentle thoughts on where you now find yourselves?
1. Be gentle. Be purposefully gentle with yourself, your husband, your other dear children. [Hindsight is always 20/20. I wish someone had said those words to us. Maybe I, too, would have yelled less and hugged more.]
2. Be patient. Be diligently patient with yourself, your husband, your other children. This isn't going to be easy for anybody. [In fact, at times, it may seem like you are at the doorway of hell.] Lower really high and unrealistic expectations. ("If you came over to visit me, and see how I was doing, come on in. If you came in to inspect the house, make an appointment for after the millennium. How's the 32nd of October for you?")
3. Be loving. Be quick to love and forgive a grudge! Now is the time for pulling together, not pulling apart. Be even quicker to apologize.
4. Be understanding and try to understand. A little goes an awful long way, and when you need it in return, it will be there waiting for you, I'm sure!
5. Talk when you need to. Don't talk when you don't want to. Hold hands when you need one. Punch a pillow when the anger comes, or I found that bread dough was quite satisfying to pound on. [Modeling clay was great for my son in those angry moments]
7. When folks ask what they can do for you, ask them to come back around 30 days; 60 days; 90 days; . . . .all the next few days. Ask them to not forget Hadrian and the treasure that this little dear brought to your lives. Don't forget the birthday! That little person was here and deserves to be recognized and remembered!
8. Be aware. Be aware that there are people around you all that really do love you, and are in pain alongside of you, though, unless they share the depth of your pain, they will only have a vague understanding of what it is like to be you. They're going to make some mistakes. They're going to say some pretty dumb things, and put their foot in their mouths. In fact, you may find that they open their mouths only to exchange feet and to change into different socks. Go back to the understanding thing. [Don't be afraid to tell them something like, "I'm sure that you mean well. I thank you for your thoughts. However, I really could use just a hug right now, instead of a lot of hobbley gobble words."]
Debbie, you wrote:
The biggest problem is my daughter Bryony who is 6 years old she has been taking this as hard as me any ideas I know people have told me about some books etc and we are looking into getting some professional help. When we were reading the guest book there was a boy who wrote in about loosing a baby brother he was 7 years old I may get Bryony to write to him.
Our son, Stephan, was only 3 years old when Renae died. But, he remembers. He loved her with all of his heart. It was through allowing him to talk and express his grief that he has become a precious 15 1/2 year old young man. He's still got a lot of working through a lot of "stuff", but, he's able to communicate what he feels.
You might consider talking with Bryony when she brings it up. I found that a less intrusive way to work through some of the issues of Renae's death. It was much more fruitful than dragging it out of him, or having him roll his eyeballs when I read him a story about someone dying. Bottom line is: You know your children. You know what will help, what will heal, and what is just a bunch of blather. Bryony and Frayne _will_ take it hard! They were the 'big' kids, they were the BIG sisters! Now, they're 'nobody'. Hadrian's death is just as shocking to them as it is to the rest of you. They had plans. BIG plans. Now, they are all gone, and so's their baby. It's understandable!
It's night here, and morning soon where you are. You are going to be in my thoughts and prayers as I go to sleep. As you are there, I will hold you gently in my heart with a hug! From one hurting Momma to another, pain knows no distance in time or in longitude or latitude.
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