It has been almost 5 years since I lost my son. To this day, my son is not laid at his final resting place. He is with us in an urn close by. This brings me comfort. I do not believe I could bear to see his name on a tombstone, not just yet. I think this would finalize things too much for me.
Each person deals with death differently. I do not judge. You do whatever you need to do. What works best and feels right is right for you. That is what I believe. Although time has passed, my grief remains unchanged. I think of my son every second of every day and I wish I would wake from this nightmare. The world continues moving forward, my world has forever stopped.
I still battle the “if I would have… I could have… and I should have…” each day. As parents we take care of our children and fix things, but cancer is something we as parents cannot fix. And now I am left to go on in a world without him, always wondering if there was more that could have been done. This is something I am sure will never go away. I am also sure there is many others out there like me that deal with this.
Each day is a struggle to push through. I look for the positive to focus on and this tremendously helps. Grief is not something that passes, that ends, or for that matter even changes. It is always there, lurking below the surface in varying degrees. There are people who say “time will heal”; they do not realize our time forever stands still. Every event, holiday, vacation always brings us back to that moment we lost our child. Thus these are both wonderful and tragic at the same time. We smile and fight through the tears. I am always happy to be part of the occasion but heartbroken knowing that Ian isn’t here to be a part of it. There are also those who say “things happen for a reason”. To them I say, what is the reason my child had cancer and what is the reason my child died? When I hear those words from someone, I am always respectful of their feelings and mind my tongue, but inside I am thinking a hug and their silence would have been much more appreciated.
These moments will never change, they are part of my journey; the cards I have been dealt. I am fortunate though, because I have so many wonderful people in my life that truly understand and stick by me. It is from my son’s life and these people that I draw strength to continue on.
Each day I strive to make my grief a positive. It is not always easy. None the less I forge on. For those of you that battle as I do, here is how I break down grief so that I can make it through each day without my son.
G – Give to others who need help
R – Reflect on all your cherished memories
I – Inspire others through your actions
E – Express your emotions
F – Focus on all that is good in your life
I know this idea may be hard and there will be days when you can’t do it. That is okay. Just continue to try. This is all we can ask of ourselves.