Sometimes we pick or choose something to represent a day that seemed so perfect so we will always remember how we felt. At the time it seemed like something so small. 7 years later that stone bought with I Love you written will be a constant reminder and treasure that day existed. I’m so greatful my son embraced all those moments in his life. He took a simple day and attached something special to everything he did.
One think I have learned…….Surround yourself always with the people who show up for you. The rest dont worry about.
The most important thing I’ve learned since losing my son is to be the light for others. He was my light every day.
Photo by Billy Dehmer at Westbury Gardens of his daughter
It’s funny how when our life is aligned we go through each month without much thought to it. We know when it is over, it will come around again. When we lose a child each season is magnified by looking back to every event that took place. It’s how we stay alive in the past and never let go.
For all that feel too much, internalize everything, expect the same in return, who are easily disappointed, worry what people think, a people pleaser and run out to get that little gift for someone just to see them smile…….never stop being who you are. It will be the thing people will always remember most about you when you are gone.
Picture by Moondragon (artist)
We are no longer the people we once were when we survive such a great loss, especially that of a child. The complexity of multiple layers of grief are so hard to define. Only those that have experienced it will actually ever be the ones that will understand. I am no longer who I was. I’ve become a master of replicating the person that once existed in order to fit back into life.
This was Jones Beach with Billy. We were waiting for Maggie to be born June 2011. We were so happy this night. Probably one of the best nights of my life. We had front stage tickets to see dave Matthew’s. I’ve never seen my son so happy.
Quoted from Still Standing
This crappy club called child loss is a club I never wanted to join, and one I can never leave, yet is filled with some of the best people I’ve ever known.
And yet we all wish we could jump ship– that we could have met another way– any other way but this.
Alas, these shining souls are the most beautiful, compassionate, grounded, loving, movers, shakers and healers I have ever had the honor of knowing.
They are life-changers, game-changers, relentless survivors, and thrivers — warrior moms and dads who redefine the word brave.
Every day loss parents move mountains in honor of their children gone too soon. They start movements, change laws, spearhead crusades of tireless activism.
One day I made a friend of my sons who gave me hope for loss. To find purpose and build muscle around the pain to help others. 6 months later he is gone through yet another tragedy. Life keeps reminding me that everything can change in a heartbeat.
If we are fortunate, we are given a warning.
If not, there is only the sudden horror,
the wrench of being torn apart;
of being reminded
that nothing is permanent,
not even the ones we love,
the ones our lives revolve around.
Life is a fragile affair.
We are all dancing
on the edge of a precipice,
a dizzying cliff so high
we can’t see the bottom.
One by one,
we lose those we love most
into the dark ravine.
So we must cherish them
We will lose them
or they will lose us
This is certain.
There is no time for bickering.
And their loss
will leave a great pit in our hearts;
a pit we struggle to avoid
during the day
and fall into at night.
unable to accept this loss,
unable to determine
the worth of life without them,
jump into that black pit
spiritually or physically,
hoping to find them there.
And some survive
the barren, empty aching,
the unanswered prayers,
the sleepless nights
when their breath is crushed
under the weight of silence
and all that it means.
Somehow, some survive all that and,
like a flower opening after a storm,
they slowly begin to remember
the one they lost
in a different way…
the irrepressible spirit,
the generous heart,
the way their smile made them feel,
the encouragement they gave
even as their own dreams were dying.
And in time, they fill the pit
with other memories
the only memories that really matter.
We will still cry.
We will always cry.
But with loving reflection
more than hopeless longing.
And that is how we survive.
That is how the story should end.
That is how they would want it to be.
Written by Mark Rickerby