I am a bereaved parent, and Yes, I miss my son EVERY single day. Not a day has gone by since that dreadful day, August 19, 1991 that I don’t think about him, especially most recently when I have wondered what he would be doing now. Would he have graduated from The University of Oklahoma as Eric did? (his twin brother) or would he have attended Oklahoma State
University like his sister? Would he have applied to medical school as Eric did? Would Eric have applied to medical school had Clifton not died? Would he have moved to China with me? Would I have moved to China had he not died? Probably not, but these questions can never be answered.
Grief has a funny way of playing with your emotions. It is so much like riding on a roller coaster, up and down and up and down. Though I think my grief analogy was more like drowning. It would seem as though I would kick and paddle to get to the top so I could breathe, then before I had time to take in enough air, I would sink right back to the bottom again. Other times it seemed as though the walls in the bedroom were just collapsing in around me and I felt I needed to get out quick or I would be smothered beneath them. Grief comes in many stages including shock, denial, and disbelief, all of which cushion the heart, body and soul for the remaining, most devastating stages inclusive of anger, loneliness, despair, and sadness and can be most overwhelming.
Today my grief is not as crippling as it was immediately after my son died and the many years that followed, and I pray that this statement gives some newly bereaved parent the hope that someday…..someday….your heart will mend a bit too, not heal, but slowly, piece by piece, be put back together, although there will always be a big hole right in the middle.
Children are not supposed to die. I was not supposed to find a tiny little casket for my son, purchase a burial plot, and pretend to be normal so that I could get on with my day. My kids are supposed to do that for me, right? Parents are supposed to die. Not kids.
I have moments still today where grief just sneaks right up and smacks me right in the face again, and I cry. But I find it
easier to get on with my day now as opposed to several years ago, especially when I wake up on the morning of the anniversary of my son’s death (seems odd to call it an anniversary, because I always thought anniversaries were for celebrating) and see
how many wonderful friends and family have visited my son’s grave and placed flowers on his tiny little headstone during my absence. I must say that was one of my biggest concerns about moving to China: Who would place flowers on my son’s grave? Now, I know.
And I thank you.