Posted by: jodyglynnpatrick | 08/10/2014

Our children. Our stories.

poohTonight, I’ve written directly to a few parents who have lost children and who had the strength to reach out to you to tell their story or to ask for help through the comment section. I asked them to consider sending a photograph of their child to us to post, along with any favorite words or messages or thoughts about their child. In this way, we can share their joyous memories as well as their most painful ones, and celebrate the lives that were extinguished far too soon.

Anyone who comes by this site is invited to remember a child’s life here, though the person memorialized would be a child or sibling so that parents are never ambushed with an unexpected posting of their child’s story by a friend, etc. We’re very respectful of feelings here, especially grieving parents, grandparents, siblings and other close family members for whom this site is created.

It’s easy to participate in this new memorial site — send a jpeg photo and any message you’d like posted to jgp@glynnpatrick.com with the child’s birth and death years — and age is no barrier. If the child was stillborn, of course there would be no photograph, but we would be happy to post any words or poem, etc., you’d like offered in memorial.

What you say about how they died is left to your discretion.

If you have a related blog site, you can submit a blog you’ve written to be posted on this site along with the photo, and after review, we may provide a link back to your site to refer our readers for your other, related blogs.

We have a posting up as an example of one mother’s remembrance of her daughter. I know this mom would like others posted alongside her child’s memorial, so the more the better, as we remember each precious life.

Jody

 

Hemingway won a bet that he could write a six-word story that would make anyone who read it felt like crying. This is it.

Hemingway won a bet that he could write a six-word story that would make anyone who read it felt like crying. This is it.

Step back from the act of suicide. We can help. We get it. Losing a child is far worse than even having cancer. I know, as I’ve had both a son die, and I also was treated for late-stage, aggressive cancer. Facing cancer and the possible loss of my own life came nowhere near, in terms of fear and pain, to the experience of losing my child.

When you have cancer, all of the emphasis is on living. You desperately want to live. Life becomes even more precious as you stand at the edge of darkness. Your partner is more attentive, your children kinder, your friends more “present”. Everyone around you is focused on helping you live; your team is in place, and they have little trouble finding motivational quotes or little gifts of time to throw your way.

When you lose a child, a common experience is an immediate wish for death to escape the reality of what has happened. Your life becomes less precious in your grief because part of who you were died with that child. The future means living on without that person in the world, and the world is diminished. Your pleasure in living in it is extinguished. Casual friends drift away, close friends are stymied about what to do or say. Family is dealing with their own loss; yours is just another burden.

All of those feelings are natural. But the thought of ending your life or suffering (when you are a survivor) is too often taboo to express to those who circle you during your time of grief. People want to “fix” you, to help you “over it” and they don’t want you to talk about feeling like you’d like to die. It cuts you off from your own feelings, or the expression of them, and your response is to feel insulted by their offers of support, their background chatter about “time healing all wounds”, etc.

The truth, as bereaved parents know, is that time will not heal this wound. But know that time does allow scar tissue to form under and around the pain so that life does become bearable (and even at times pleasurable again). You move automatically through enough days, and one day, you laugh again without feeling guilty. You don’t “move on”, you bring the child with you into the future in your mind and heart, and you slowly are able to accept the unacceptable.

Whether your child was stillborn, died of accident or disease when a teenager, was murdered by their hand, a stranger’s action, or was a soldier who died in the defense of their country, or died of natural causes as a mature human being, living on after their death takes fortitude at a time when you have little of it to offer.

There are many blog posts on this site to help you learn to cope with the loss of a child. Not how to “accept it”, but how to cope. I invite you to review them on your harder days, and to invite other parents from this community – those who will read your comments — to share your burden with a quick note of encouragement during your harder days. Their response, from this community of people who truly understand grief, will help. Likewise, invite your friends to review and follow this site, too, as advice for how to help you cope can also be found.

Step back from the exit. It isn’t an answer. It only extends the ripple of grief even further. We can help.

Posted by: jodyglynnpatrick | 08/09/2014

“Dancing in the Sky” — song expressing grief

I was watching Right This Minute (a TV program showing a daily compilation of quick videos) when the hosts featured a video of girl singing a song  about grief. The song was called “Dancing in the Sky,” and it was composed and performed by Vancouver twin sisters Dani and Lizzy Nelson, who have their own band (Dani & Lizzy).

The video’s success has sent the girls’ careers dancing in the sky. They have a second hit song My Life, which already has been snapped up to be featured in the Disney tv show Zapped as the opening song. The duo soon will release a new album called, Work of Heart.

Said Lizzy during the Right This Minute interview: “Unfortunately I lost a couple friends in my life and I was grieving at the time, so I ended up writing the song, Dancing in the Sky, and for me, I heard a lot of songs that were really sad about death, and I wanted to do a positive flip on that, and people really responded to that.”

Yes, people have — the twins have garnered more than 5 million hits on their song video. I thought I’d share it with you for your comments. Enjoy.

Dancing In The Sky

What does it look like in heaven? Is it peaceful? Is it free like they say?
Does the sun shine bright forever? Have your fears and your pain gone away?

‘Cause here on earth it feels like everything good is missing since you left.
And here on earth everything’s different. There’s an emptiness.

Oh-oh, I, I hope you’re dancing in the sky. And I hope you’re singing in the angels’ choir.
I hope the angels know what they have.

I bet it’s so nice up in heaven since you’ve arrived.

Now tell me, what do you do up in heaven? Are your days filled with love and light?
Is there music? Is there art and invention? Tell me are you happy? Are you more alive?

‘Cause here on earth it feels like everything good is missing since you left.
And here on earth everything’s different. There’s an emptiness.

Oh-oh, I, I hope you’re dancing in the sky. And I hope you’re singing in the angels’ choir.
And I hope the angels know what they have.
I bet it’s so nice up in heaven since you’ve arrived, since you arrived.

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