Bereaved Parents Awareness Month

Every year the month of July is designated as Bereaved Parents Awareness Month. There was a time in my life when I never knew such a thing existed. However, now, as a parent who has a child who ran ahead to heaven, I’m all too painfully aware. At first, I wondered why we needed a designated month since there is never a time when we don’t miss our children, and there is never a moment when we forget we are bereaved parents.

I’ve come to realize that this month is really dedicated to creating awareness about parents’ grief after the unfortunate loss of a child. It’s about the support parents need in order to live with such unimaginable loss. Parents should never outlive their children. The pain is beyond measure, and parents will carry this grief with them for the rest of their lives.

If you have lost a child and are struggling, please reach out to your family, friends, and communities that support the grief journey. Don’t hesitate to seek out a professional counselor so you can take good care of your mental health. Talking about loss and death can be challenging, but it’s an important first step toward healing.

Even though we all grieve differently, lean into your family members for support as they are probably going through many of the same emotions and struggles you are. Although grief can create feelings of loneliness, you are not alone.

For many, it can be tough to talk about their grief. Some feel it’s too personal, and even though talking about it can help a heart heal, some may hesitate. What about the times we have begun to speak about the death of our child only to be met with a look of discomfort and then a hasty goodbye? This experience alone can bring about a pause to not want to venture down that road again. But don’t give up. We all need one another.

Some thoughts if you are a friend or family member of a parent who is grieving:
· Most times, there are simply no words. Don’t look for the perfect or “right” thing to say. There isn’t anything you can say that can take away the pain of losing a child. Just lend an ear and simply listen. Be there and witness their grief. Let them talk, cry, share stories, or just be.
· Offer to do errands, clean their home, and bring food. These are everyday necessities, but often someone walking through their child’s death doesn’t have the energy, desire, or thought to physically do some of the day-to-day chores.
· Be the friend you would like to have if this was you and your child died.

I came across this poem a couple of years ago, and as I read each line, I could see myself in so many of the words. As we begin Bereaved Parents Awareness Month, I’d like to share it with you again as I have done in previous years.

When they leave for Heaven you’ll miss them a little everyday
But some days you’ll miss them a little more
You’ll think of them sometimes once, sometimes more times than you can count
You’ll be reminded of their laugh
You’ll try to remember what it felt like driving to their house knowing they would be there
You’ll wonder what it would be like if they were there on the other end of the phone for no reason other than a “Hey, how’s your day?”
You’ll think of them and try to remember all the good days, but something will always lead you to that last day with, that last hug, that last I love you and that final goodbye
When they leave for Heaven you’ll miss them a little everyday
But somedays you’ll miss them a little more
You’ll cry on the days you miss them a little more
You’ll look for them a little harder
You’ll try that old phone number hoping it might just be one big mistake and they somehow answer
You’ll look over at the empty seat hoping that if you stare at it enough they’ll be there
You’ll drive to the places that you visited with them
You’ll say a few extra prayers and hope they hear them
You’ll talk to them and sit in silence hoping for a response back
You’ll wear their favorite shirt and listen to their favorite band
You’ll pray so hard that you could have them back just long enough to hug them so tight and say “I miss you so much today and everyday”
Because when they leave for Heaven you’ll miss them a little everyday
But somedays you’ll miss them a little more
Author Unknown

Published by pat

Mom. Wife. Honey. Jesus-Girl. Love to travel, cook, make beautiful things grow and spend time with family & friends.

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