I had not planned on getting involved in the following discussion, however, a conversation was started online which I felt inclined to participate in, and since my initial reply was well received, I thought it would be worthwhile floating the information here as well. Some of what I have posted were extremely hard-learned lessons and I hope the information finds its way to those who seek such advice.
The following question was posted on AskReddit:
“My parents just lost their son of 27 years. I am now an only child. Will it ever get easier for them, or will this bear on their soul until the eventual day where I must say goodbye?
“I guess I’m not exactly sure what I’m asking for. Stories, anecdotes, puns, and assholes maybe. I want to be there for my mom and dad but I’m unsure of what may even help. What in this world can help someone overcome the grief of having to lose a child? My life has changed from this moment on. Everything I hope to do from now on is to try and bring my parents the happiness of two sons.”
My reply, which is by no means complete or absolute, follows:
Here is my 2 cents and please forgive me for not sugar coating my reply. When I opened up Reddit today I didn’t plan on writing this.
- Just so that you know where my reply is coming from. I have buried two brothers. One was 26 years old and the other 28. First one we lost when I was in my early 20’s and the second when I was in my mid 30’s. Both of them were completely different experiences. Both of them were devastating.
- The following is the biggest mistake you can make, “Everything I hope to do from now on is to try and bring my parents the happiness of two sons.” If you try and do this you will make everyone miserable.
- Your feelings/emotions will change with time, so embrace each stage completely. Do not try to run away from your responsibilities to your family but make sure that you also show your loved ones that you also share their pain. The worst thing you can do is to allow people to think that they are the only ones that hurt. That being said, no one will feel more pain than your parents, not even you.
- One thing I use to say to people when they asked me what it was like to lose a family member was that, “it’s an experience that you would want your closest friends to know, but you would not wish it upon your worst enemies.” And I really meant this. I have learned to appreciate every moment of life, which is something that I rarely see in others. It took me a long time to get to this state but it is there when you are ready for it.
- Life will always taste a little bitter from now on, and that’s not a bad thing. It’s just another flavour, a flavour which can make you appreciate all the beauty of life.
continued at chycho