Wednesday, December 12, 2012

In the Shadow of the Holidays: Helping Those Who Grieve This Season

This is the time of year when we often celebrate the abundance of our lives. We fill our homes with lights, decorations and presents. We send cards and well wishes to people that we feel lucky to know and to keep in touch with, but with whom we may not be able to have many visits or interactions with over the year. We gather for large family meals and we celebrate our religions in a way that really doesn't happen over most the year. Joy is usually the theme that permeates our airwaves, our thoughts, and our lives during this time of year, but in the shadow of all this light and happiness there are many who are grieving this year; who grieve every year. I don't know what it is about this year that has made me realize this more than any other year, but I seem particularly attuned to it everywhere I look.

You see, my life has been touched by women who have lost (or are losing) their children this year. Think about the degree of that loss. Most of us don't want to. Most of us can't. You see, the people who read this blog are all parents and we don't want to think about losing the most precious people in our lives, the very people who have redefined who we are and who gave us the title of mother or father. Yet, I look around me and I see many mothers grieving this season. Many of you might remember the blog I wrote featuring the Harper family and honoring Alicia Harper, well, I am sorry to say that the Harper family was hit by the devastating loss of their youngest member, Brayden, whose miracle life has inspired and continues to inspire so many. Likewise, you may also remember the blog I shared about another inspring mom, Melissa Bissing, who successfully turned the grief she feels after losing her son in May of 2011 into a movement, Orange for Owen that has transformed not only her community but the lives of people all over the world. Another brave mother with ties to my own hometown community is currently facing the possible loss of her beloved daughter, Kyra, to cancer this season. Even our own contributers here at the connected mom website have been bravely honest about their own pregnancy losses and as I grieve with yet another woman that I have come to care about who is currently suffering her own second trimester loss, I can't help but think about all these mothers' grief even in the midst of my joy during the Christmas season.

It is easy at this point, when you hear or read about so much loss to resolve to pray or to think of all these mothers and then use their grief as inspiration to cling that much closer and to be more appreciative of our own children, but I think that is only the first step. The most effective way we can help them in their grieving is to participate in making their loss meaningful by liking the facebook pages I have linked to above and maybe even donating or giving when we can to those who are making thier loss meaningful like those at Heaven's Angels who accept donations of yarn, other materials, and knitted goods to help grieving mothers who lose their babies in later pregnancy or The Global Hydranencephaly Foundation who works to educate and create support and full lives for families faced with the same devastating diagnosis that just cost the Harper family their son. We are all mothers together and we are all a community, whether we have ever met in person or not, and we must also grieve and act as a community as well. It may not make any mother's grief less painful, but it can make the world a little brighter for everyone if we remember to keep the candles burning for the children whose light no longer burns in this world.

Thank you for reading,


Post a Comment