I co-lead a support group this past week at the hospital where Kathleen was born still 25-years ago. It's amazing how that pit in the stomach still recurs when I drive up to that building.
Being in a room with newly bereaved parents for a couple of hours is always bittersweet. I feel like I can give them hope just by being present so many years after our loss and showing them that life does go on and, while the emptiness never goes away, it does become more tolerable.
But, my heart breaks when I see couples questioning their relationship because of the differences they're experiencing as they move through their intense grief ... wondering if they should have another child, wondering whether their spouse is really hurting or simply moving on, trying to find the words to help begin the sometimes slow and painful process of learning to communicate and share their sadness rather than trying to make it disappear. I want so badly to just give them a road map that they can follow to get through this period intact. Knowing that they have to discover that on their own is a hard pill to swallow for someone like myself who just wants to take control and make it better.
If you read this, and are at a point similar to these newly bereaved parents, I hope you will bring yourself to share some of your hopes and fears on this site. I have little doubt that by being there for one another, your relationships can not only survive -- but actually thrive.
It may require stepping outside of your comfort zone -- but you must ask yourself whether one loss really needs to result in more losses. I say it doesn't.