In Memory of Jason Johnson (1980 - 2000)
Grieving is a process that is described as existing in stages. As with any process it is common and expected that the journey is not a linear one. In other words, the first stage will arrive at the onset of your loss. The second and third stages will overlap and change places while the first stage will pay visits, though more in the second stage than in the third. Now that is crystal clear, most people want to receive assistance. Many people want to help. Is it wise to listen to someone who has never suffered the loss that you have suffered? Positively not! Accept that they care very much for you and thank them. Yes, it is good when someone cares and shows you that they care. It is good when they try to understand. Let them know you care. However, find support groups or trained professionals, please. There is an old line - "Many minds make many wonders. I wonder how many minds make matters worse." I am being blunt here, deliberately so. If you are the person who has suffered the unthinkable loss, I care only for you.
One such place where I have found extensive and quality assistance with the loss of Jason has been through Compassionate Friends. They are a well established support group existing for those who have suffered the loss of a child or grandchild. Having grown into a global organization they will hopefully have a chapter near you. Help you, they will!
Sometimes people are want to understand how to treat the grieving parent. Or, if you are a grieving parent you wonder what to say to those whom you see having difficulty. Somewhere, by being with others who have lost their most precious creation, this came into my hands. Perhaps it may help.
Go ahead and mention my child
Don't worry about making me cry
I'm hurt when you just keep silent
You ask me how I'm doing
Or, perhaps you might understand a different perspective with this paraphrase of a narrative by a mother from Paris, Texas.
I am not the same person that you once knew; I will never be that person again. Don't wait for me to 'get over it', because I never will. Please don't change the subject if I mention my child; talk with me, or if you can't talk, just listen. "I'm sorry" might be something to say. Please don't tell me not to cry because there are times when I have to cry in order to stay alive. Please don't say, "You are doing so well", because I'm not. This is a mask. The death of a child is not contagious, you won't lose yours because you are around me. In time I will learn to laugh again and enjoy some things I used to enjoy doing with my child. I must work through this, face the cold hard reality. I don't know how long it will take, but I am sure you will help me in every way you can. Perhaps this will help you understand...
As one who has suffered the loss of a child you might become sensitive to other-worldly concepts. Your faith in you Higher Power or your God may be there to help you through this unbelievable pain. A poem was written by another 'unknown' and may serve to help, for surely, eternal spiritual existence does need a voice.
When Tomorrow Starts Without Me
When tomorrow starts without me,
I wish so much you wouldn't cry
I know how much you love me,
But when tomorrow starts without me,
And said my place was ready,
But as I turned to walk away,
I had so much to live for,
I thought of all the yesterdays,
If I could relive yesterday,
But then I realized,
And when I thought of worldly things,
But when I walked through Heaven's gates,
He said, "This is eternity,
I promise no tomorrow
But you have been so faithful,
But you have been forgiven
So when tomorrow starts without me,
Trusting that this has helped you if you are grieving, or helps you if you know someone who is grieving, I bid you a temporary adieu. Additions will come to this page - when they do.
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