Last Saturday Jerry and I went to visit a sick friend who was in the hospital. As we exited our car in the parking lot, we could not help but overhear the cries of agony coming from a couple who had just learned that their son had passed. They must have just learned this because their cries were laden with that sense of disbelief that I felt when we first discovered Danny. On the one hand I could see he was gone, on the other hand I refused to believe it. It was an excruciating moment, and hearing the cries of this mother and father brought that painful moment of realization back to me….and my heart cried for them and my heart cried for Danny.
I’ve come to accept that I have a sore spot now where my heart is broken. It can flare up at anytime, unexpectedly, like it did in the hospital parking lot on Saturday. But I am glad that in my case, what accompanies that sore spot is a growing compassion for all the other mothers and fathers who must learn to accept life without their child.
In my work with bereavement I see that for some people, the only way to cope is to pull in all their feelings and steer clear of things that will bring up an emotional response. They shut their hearts down in a sense. I believe that they suffer more.
It is my belief, that no matter how painful the feelings are it is best to feel them and not to try to hold them at bay. ”The sky would never hold back its storms. It has better sense and so should you” Seth. In my experience whenever I have tried to hold my feelings back it felt more or less like a humid day with no break in the weather…like a dull dreary ache with no way around it. I prefer the torrential rain that sometimes comes without warning and washes through all my senses until I can, at least temporarily empty some of those feelings out. It allows me to keep my heart open.
In conclusion I want to ask all of you to share something with me about how you cope and what helps you. I really look forward to hearing from you.
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