This is a difficult topic to capture in a photo…hopefully my words can express this.
1. “I understand”—unless you have been in my shoes, you DONT understand. I’m sure you can imagine how I feel or possibly you’ve experienced your own situation of loss and/or life’s daily struggles, but you still don’t understand my pain. It is a pain unique to bereaved parents.
2. “Don’t worry, you’ll have more children”— of course we will try to have more children, but the thought of having another child to “replace” Jane or to have another child to fill the gaping hole in my heart is not possible! The last thing we ever want is to replace Jane or forget her. She will always be our first child. We will always count her as part of our family. I recently read in Colossians where Paul tells the people of Colosse to “remember his chains”. I dont believe Paul tells his fellow readers to remember his chains to feel sorry for him, but to remember God in his chains. To remember God’s grace and to be partakers in the confirmation of the gospel (Philippians). Jane was our gift from God. She was a gift that changed me and Daniel as people and parents forever. Forgetting her or replacing her is the worst thing that could happen, it would be as if her life were in vain.
3. The Silent Treatment—acting as if she were never around or keeping quiet that Jane was never part of our lives is beyond painful. Its unfortunate that I dont get to say her name or talk of her more often like other parents do with their children. The way that I heal, the way that I remember her joy is by talking about her and sharing her story.
Yes, there are many other things people should avoid saying. I also know that most people are not educated on this matter so I have made an effort to let things roll off my shoulder and know that people mostly mean well. Just like anything else in life, when we need to know how to do something we pick up a book, google it, find the recipe…whatever it is and we learn how to do it. Why wouldnt we do the same thing when learning how to support people in life’s tough circumstances.