For those who we just met

andrew 1For those who I have just met…

For those we, the grieving parents, have just met….

Although it has been a while, I am meeting new people now.  I am seeing friends again, and meeting their friends.  I am meeting new clients, and vendors, and seeing new faces at the clients I have had for years.  I am seeing new people for the first time since my life changed.

Although it has been a while, we are meeting new people now.  We are seeing our friends again, and meeting their friends  We are meeting new clients, customers, patients, vendors, suppliers, and seeing new faces at their offices, and meeting new people at ours.  We are seeing new people for the first time since our lives have changed.

It is sometimes hard to meet new people.  They want to get to know you.  What do you do? Where do you live? Is that your wife?  and inevitably, no matter how much I try to avoid it, no matter how much I pray it does not come up…..Do you have children?  The one question that just by thinking about it makes me tear.  The one question that the answer is sure to not only ruin my day, but also those who ask it.  You ask it innocently enough, you have the best of intentions of learning more about me, but you have no idea.  The can of feelings, the jar of emotions, the Pandora’s box of hurt that you just opened.  Opened so innocently.

It is sometimes hard for us to meet new people.  They want to get to know us.  What do you do? Where do you live?  Is that your husband or wife?  and inevitably, no matter how much we try to avoid it, no matter how much we pray it does not come up….Do you have children?  The one question that just by thinking about it makes us tear.  The one question that the answer is sure to not only ruin our day, but also those who ask it.  You ask it innocently enough, you have the best of intentions of learning more about us, but you have no idea.  The can of feelings, the jar of emotions, the Pandora’s box of hurt that you just opened.  Opened so innocently.

But it is okay.  I need to deal with it, and I need to meet new people and function.  Please ask about my daughter, and my son.  Please ask about Nicole, as well as Andrew.  I may tear up, I may cry, I might even make you feel uncomfortable.  But this is who I am now.  I want you to be a part of my life, I want you to be a colleague, I want you to be a friend.  And if I cry it is not because you said something, or asked me something – it is because I miss my son so much.  Don’t be afraid to talk to me and mention him for fear that you will remind me of my loss and that will upset me.  You can never remind me of something that is constantly and continuously on my mind.   I also cry when I talk about my daughter, for I love her so much, she means so much to me; and I am so proud of her that I tear up over her as well.  That is who I am now.

But it is okay.  We need to deal with it, and we need to meet new people and function.  Please ask about our children, the one’s who are still with us, as well as the one’s we have lost.  Please ask about them, we love to and need to talk about them.  We may tear up, we may cry, we might even make you feel uncomfortable.  But this is who we are now.  We want you to be a part of our lives, we want you to be a colleague, we want you to be a friend.  And if we cry it is not because you said something, or asked us something – it is because we miss our lost children so much.  Don’t be afraid to talk to us and mention our sons and daughters for fear that you will remind us of our loss and that will upset us.  You can never remind us of something that is constantly and continuously on our minds.   We not only cry for our lost children, but we also cry when we talk about the children who are still in our arms, for we love them so much, they mean so much to us; and we are so proud of them, that we tear up over them as well.  That is who we are now.  

Please, be my friend.  Yes, I am a grieving parent, and at times I show it. Most times I am able to control my emotions and function well.  It has been only a short time and as time goes on, I am learning to interact with others better, and to meet new people and talk without long breaks to compose myself.  If I walk out of the room, it is not you, but it is I that just needs to get a breath of fresh air, I need to look up at the sky, I need to be alone with Andrew for a moment.  When I return and you feel like hugging and reassuring me, that is fine.  It happened to me just this morning, and it felt truly fulfilling and genuine.

Please, be our friend.  Yes, we are grieving parents, and at times we show it. Most times we am able to control our emotions and function well.  It has been only a short time for some of us, and others have had years to grieve, and as time goes on, we are learning to interact with others better, and to meet new people and talk without taking long breaks to get our composure back.  If we walk out of the room, it is not you, but we just need to get a breath of fresh air, we need to look up at the sky, we need to be alone with our children for a moment.  When we return and you feel like hugging and reassuring us that is fine, and it is really appreciated.  It happened to us all the time, and it feels truly fulfilling and genuine.  

It will probably be one of the harder things you can do in your life, but it will also be one of the most rewarding.

It will probably be one of the harder things you can do in your life, but it will also be one of the most rewarding.

 

15 thoughts on “For those who we just met

  1. jeffrey swartz

    You will be my friends for life, though we don’t talk much, i have fond memories of times past and hope to make more, will be in touch, maybe we can meet in nyack for dinner?

    Reply
  2. Peter Heymann

    Perry…lovely, meaningful post. The grieving never really stops, not really. My brother passed away almost 37 years ago at the age of 30. My parents never really stopped grieving, in their own ways. And me and my younger brother Don have also never really stopped grieving. I think of my brother Rick almost every day…and often several times a day. It’s a warm feeling when I think of him. Thoughts and memories keep him alive. He is always with us…even as we grieve his loss. Thanks for posting and sharing. I’m sure it helps you. It also helps others like me who have experienced loss. Peace+Love, Peter

    Reply
  3. Mary Jo

    My heart aches for you, Dorothy and Nicole every time I read your posts. You write honestly and share your pain so openly that it brings a tear to my eyes. Sending good thoughts to all of you.

    Reply
  4. Amy

    It was so great to see you and Dorothy. I can honestly say I was nervous to say the wrong thing. I never would want to cause you more pain. It just makes me realize that we need to take the time to call or see the ones we love more often. Thinking of you always.

    Reply
  5. Kathy

    Your posts are very helpful and very moving Perry , my heart breaks for Dorothy and you,you are an excellent writer, hope your pain eases up some but I know it never goes away .

    Reply
  6. Michelle

    Perry, you are so generous to share these emotions and experiences with others. You are also so forgiving of us well meaning friends, who probably don’t always say the right thing. Love you all.

    Reply
  7. Rhonda

    Perry your post regarding your family are always so moving I can see how each and everyone is loved and cherished your memories of Andrew have given me some insight into who he was as a young boy all the way to the man he was becoming I feel that your heeling process has helped many in different ways. I personally have had some healing to do as well and your post puts things in a different perspective and helps me to move forward each day. I have enjoyed our conversations and you have certainly helped my family and I respect and appreciate that each day. So god bless to you and your family

    Reply
  8. Peter

    Perry thanks for sharing and being so open. The grieving never really stops. It helps to remember, reflect and share. Everyone with loss in their lives relates and feels with you. Peace.

    Reply
  9. Janine

    Perry, I didn’t know about your son. It must be heartbreaking for you and your family. Thank you for sharing your post. It enlightens us who don’t know what you are experiencing.

    Reply
  10. Margie

    “You can never remind me of something that is continuously and constantly on my mind”. Brilliant!

    Reply
  11. Nadine Mayo

    Beautifully written as it expresses exactly how we that have lost children feel. I too realize it is a part of everyday conversations that people ask us if we have children and now 17 1/2 years on this journey, I know it is coming and am not as panicked as I once was. When I lost my son, he was my only child so that was harder and newer pain. Now I am no longer freeze framed when asked and speak from my heart when replying that I have a son who passed at age 14 1/2, and a daughter who is now 13. I know I can “clear” a room when stating it, but I realize its not my job to make others feel comfortable with the uncomfortable truth. Thank you as I look forward to reading your blogs and the insight you have shown shines through! Peace, softness and love I send you!

    Reply

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