Maybe there are times you have talked about your loved one who died and gotten the question, “Don’t you think you should have moved on from all that by now?”
The truth is, a child or a person’s death does not erase them from our family tree or our friend group.
And just because they are not with us on earth, doesn’t mean we stop loving them, thinking about them, or missing them. I buried my child not his memory or my love for him. So why do people who’ve never been through a devastating loss want to pass judgment and dictate a journey they know nothing about? And hopefully never do.
The odd thing is that my relationship with my beloved dead continues to evolve even seven years after his death. That doesn’t mean I “can’t let go.” It means I loved someone enough to keep their spirit alive in a healthy and productive way. Living with and accepting the loss doesn’t mean that I gave up and grew out of grief. It means I learned to walk beside it.
I talk to Charles and imagine him as more experienced wherever he is. I don’t see him as a lot older which is sort of ironic since I do imagine him having matured emotionally but I have frozen his appearance to age 20. I do ask for his help and his presence at times when I need it. I hear him talking to me and he still makes me laugh as I hear his responses. Had you told me I’d have a relationship with a deceased child I would have looked at you like you had four noses growing out of your arm.
If someone says something to me about it? My answer is usually, “I’ll stop talking about my deceased child when you stop talking about your living ones.” I won’t let anyone grief shame me.
I will stop loving the child I lost when my own heart stops beating.