Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Grief of Others

It has now been almost three weeks since Emily's death. In that time I have gone through a lot of emotions. This morning, for the first time I did not really feel like getting out of bed. If I could have, I would have rolled over and went back to sleep and maybe slept for most of the day. But then Maddie woke up and I HAD to get out of bed. Once I got up and took a shower I felt much better and am functioning rather well this morning. I am sure there will be more days like this morning, but I know that I can get through them as long as I just take it slowly.

The above is just an update on how I am doing, but the purpose of this post is much different. I think that when one has a tragic event occur, such as a loss of a child they become very "self-absorbed." I don't say this as a negative thing, just a statement of fact. I personally have been very focused on my needs and that of Ron and Maddie and have not thought much about how the loss of Emily has affected anyone else. I think this is completely normal and how could anyone expect someone to think about others after something so tragic had occurred.

Recently though, I have had several conversations with people and have begun to see that Emily's death has affected them and many other people as well. Initially I was thinking how could her death really affect them; I mean they did not carry her inside their body, they did not hear her beating heart, they did not see her in the ultrasound, they did not see her in the NICU and they did not hold her. How then, could they really be affected by her death, other than being sad that they never met her or sad for our family because we are going through this awful pain?

Then I realized that just because they did not have any actual contact with Emily does not mean that her death does not have an impact on their life and that they need to grieve in their own way.
For my immediate family, they already loved Emily even though they had not met her. They were looking forward to having another little girl in the family and getting to love her as much as they do Maddie.
For friends of mine the loss of Emily affect them in many different ways. Some of them realized how precious life is and not to take the moments they have with their children for granted. For others it brought up memories of their child(ren) that are in heaven and caused them to have to deal with renewed grief. Even perfect strangers, people who we have never met were affected by Emily's death and are grieving in their own way.
I am sorry to everyone that I discounted your grief. This realization has given me a new understanding of how grief is different for everyone and that each person needs to have the freedom to experience that grief in a way that is right for them. It amazes me on a daily basis that Emily's life and death has already touched so many lives.

I want to share a verse with you that I found this morning.
2 Corinthians 1:3-5 "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows."
I pray that through my grief, as well as yours, that we can be comforted so that when others need comfort when they are suffering that we can offer the comfort we received to others.


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