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I saw this today on another forum I'm on and thought it was very appropriate. I don't know if it's been posted on here before or not. It's exactly how I feel. (sorry about the formatting)
(Author Karen Grover)
We are all members of a very exclusive club. We had been only
vaguely aware of its existence, and we thought that surely a chapter
in a city the size of ours wouldn't have many members.
We had seen a few people who belonged to the club, but we didn't
seem to have anything in common with them, so we didn't really get
to know them. Occasionally, we read stories in the newspaper about
new members being initiated into the club, but it didn't seem likely
that we would ever be eligible to join, so we paid no attention.
The price of membership is so dear that we couldn't imagine being a
part of the club. We must have realized in the backs of our minds
that people didn't choose to join and pay the dues--it was done for
them somehow. In fact, no one really has any idea of how members are
selected. There are a lot of theories; but much of the time, the
theories come from non-members who don't understand much about the
The "club" we are now in (although it is not an organized group), is
known as "bereaved parents." The cost of our membership was the life
of our children; and we, like all other members, have no idea why we
were selected for membership.
No one wants to be in this club. Even now, months afterward, inside
our hearts and minds we continue to fight membership, but there is
no resigning from it. It is an automatic lifetime membership. There
was no way to avoid it--we did the best we could to keep our
children safe, only to have them die. Though we lay awake night
after night, and think of it day after day, there is no answer as to
why we have been thrust into this select group. We hate it and we
cry out in protest, but there is no way to change it.
We have learned a lot since our membership began. We now understand
much about the other members. In fact, we seek to be with them, to
have regular get-togethers, to discuss our membership, and try to
understand its value.
Sometimes, those outside the club are afraid of us, fearing that if
they come near us or talk with us, they will be selected to become
members too! Acquaintances often try to ignore the membership,
pretending that it doesn't exist. They seem to think that will make
things easier, and then the members won't feel "different," but it
really only makes things much worse.
So many times, we have wanted someone to say hello or to tell us
they have been thinking of us or to mention something about the
absent child who still lives inside us and overshadows all our
thoughts. We have heard people say, "I don't want to upset her, or
remind her of her baby, or say something that will make her cry."
We want to tell them: "The only way you can make me feel worse than
I already do is to pretend that it doesn't exist or that it isn't as
deep and painful as you surely know it is.
Have you ever experienced the feeling of having one terrible
incident go through your mind, day after day, week after week, month
after month, wondering why it happened and how you could have
prevented it? Well, don't worry about reminding us of our children.
We are thinking about them nearly twenty-four hours a day.
"Sure, sometimes our minds are temporarily distracted--it would have
to be to function at all. But if you think there is even one day
that goes by without our childrens death tearing up our
hearts, then you have no idea what this club is all about.
"We appreciate your talking about our children, or at least letting
us talk about them. They are a very large part of our lives, and
ignoring them now will really hurt us. It makes us think that you
feel they are no longer important because they are gone. It hurts to
think that people don't want to think about them or remember good
things about them, just because they have died.
"We understand that you don't want to say anything that will make us
cry. That sounds kind, and we used to feel that way too, but now we
know better. We'd rather the tears didn't come when you talk
to us because we know they may scare you away, or at least make you
very uncomfortable. But we've learned how useful and necessary they
are. If we go too long without tears, our body builds up a terrible
pressure from the pain of the grief. If you will allow us to cry in
your presence, perhaps we won't have to cry alone, wondering if
anyone else remembers, or even cares, about our loss.
"You can't know what will make us cry--sometimes we don't know,
ourselves. Some days we stay dry-eyed through nearly everything.
Other days, the slightest thing will start the tears--things you
could not possibly imagine or anticipate. Not all the tears are
tears of sorrow. Even in the midst of our anguish, we sometimes cry
tears of joy and relief because you have reached out; because you
have confirmed that our children were special; perhaps because you
have shared with us some precious memory about them which we had not
Please don't run away from us. Don't pretend their death never
occurred, or even worse, that they never lived! We still love them,
think of them, and need to remember. Please share with us and we
will all feel better.
We are learning that God is not punishing us. He did not cause the
death of our children. But, He can help us to grow through this
experience--to become stronger and wiser and more caring, if we have
some help. Initially, when we were told that we would change and
grow stronger through this experience, we wanted to scream that if
it meant giving up our children, we didn't want to change or get
stronger. But we know we have no choice about that now--they are
gone. Now our choices are to either let God, and friends, help us to
become better; or we can choose to allow this grief to destroy us.
We have to experience the grief. We can't pretend it doesn't hurt,
or hurry it along. That's what membership in this club is teaching
us. We are choosing to allow God to take an unspeakable experience
and use it to start life again...in a new and better way.
My precious angel DS#2:
My rainbow DS#3:
My Princess #4: