I sit outside in Andrew’s garden as the flowers are all dying. I remember planting them just a few short months ago, and watching them grow and flourish, just as I did with my son. I watered them, took care of them, protected them from the elements, and they flourished, just as I did with Andrew. They were beautiful and full for so long, as was he. They gave other peace and comfort when they sat here amongst their beauty.
Now, they are gone. Nothing I could do, nothing I could do to protect them, nothing I could have done to save them. They, like my son are now gone. The flowers, like all grieving parents children, are gone. We took care of them, we nourished them, we guided them to grow, but now they are gone, and we grieve.
We must now face winter. It is cold, dark and barren. As many of our hearts are. Nothing grows, the days are short, the nights are long, almost unbearable. For we must now face the winter of our lives without our children. And just like winter, we have no idea how cold it will be, or how long it will last.
For us, all of us, this winter will be cold and long. And like grief, we can’t get around it, we can’t climb over it or go under it – we have to face it and deal with it. We will each deal with winter in a different way, as we do with our grief. Some of us hide and cry, and keep interactions to a minimum – we feel we must grieve alone. For others, we reach out, we ask why, we go to support groups. We need to hear from others that we will be okay one day. Some of us start foundations. We need to feel we can prevent other parents from suffering the loss we have suffered. We will all do something – and if we even do nothing, that is still our way of doing something.
We all deal with our own winters in our own way. That is what we need to do. But, we will all make it through winter, as we will make it through our grief. One day we will smile again. One day we will plant again and see flowers. One day we will see spring and we will know we made it through this winter, we know we will survive our grief. How long or how cold will winter be? How dark and how long will the nights be? We don’t know, no one knows. But we will make it through, we will see spring one day.