“Wanna see a picture of my baby that died?” she said.

Life had different plans

The day before yesterday (Thursday, May 1, 2014), I had plans to hit the month running, or at least walking. Post the first entry in the new series I’ve been working on. And then meditate—for at least ten minutes (a day)—a personal goal I’ve set for this May. Neither happened though. This day, life had different plans in store.

Continue reading ““Wanna see a picture of my baby that died?” she said.”

shadows beside me

Boys at sunset, Naples '04
Naples beach, 2004, watching the sun set

While we (bereaved parents) are readjusting to our perception of what grief is, and who we are as we grieve, and how our relationship with our deceased child will be, grief changes and evolves, subsides and resurfaces. 

Right after our child’s death, we see only devastation. Grief is all-consuming and suspends us in time. There is no future. We become grief. As more time passes, and our grief is affected by the inward (example: solitary) and outward (example: social) steps we take, we begin to fantasize:

What if…he were here, alive, today…in high school now…driving… What would he look like? How tall would he be? Would he wear his hair short? Or long and shaggy? How funny he would be…if…and what would his laugh sound like now?

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finding new meaning

Why should I live a happy life if my child is not here to enjoy it?

How do we go on in the aftermath of pain and traumatic loss?

The answer offered by well-known author and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl is consistent with positive psychology, definitions of post-traumatic growth and the nature of the human spirit to hope.

He suggests we find new meaning in life, something that he recognizes as difficult when facing the tragic aspects of life — pain, guilt and death.

Frankl suggests that it’s not a search for happiness, but for a reason to be happy despite suffering.

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