That’s our greatest fear. That their memory will fade away. So what do you do?
Bring it up first
You’ve buried a child so don’t bury their memory.
Nothing will keep you stuck in grief like refusing to talk about your child. Let others know you want to talk by bringing up their name, posting on Facebook or asking a friend to share your wishes with others. (Don’t worry, it will travel.)
Defining the scope of what you wish they talked about or didn’t talk about, helps. For example, one family said they wanted to talk about their child as long as people didn’t ask about the method of suicide. Their friends were relieved because the family defined their boundary and welcomed them in their home while they grieved and people knew what they wished.
Your friends and family don’t know what you want. So tell them. I’ve done it and it works. Giving people permission to talk about removes the elephant from the room. And once you start talking people open up and tell you stories you have not heard.
Don’t let fear of someone’s reaction keep you from talking about your child
My husband once said that telling someone about our child’s suicide “was a conversation stopper.” I decided right then that it was a stopper only if I let it be so I decided it was up to me to have it be a conversation starter.
My fear of their shock did give me pause at first.
But once I got used to saying it, I found I got the privilege of hearing other people’s stories. I no longer felt I was hiding a horrible secret. In short, it was a relief.
You think someone might think you’re morbid or “can’t get over it?” Who cares? Who are you to worry about petty things like that after the tragedy you endured?
So I ask you. Why not talk about your child? I know you’ve not forgotten.