Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Dear Parents of the Chattanooga Bus Crash

I read the article and watched the story of the fatal bus crash and my heart broke for you. I turned to the loss forum I am on and posted that I was in tears and how I fully expected to see the parents of these children start to filter into our group, they always do. Each time a new member joins our heart break a little more but we all know the group is needed. Each time the world hears of a tragedy the parents of that tragedy find their way to our forum. 

I know your pain this morning following the death of your child. I know that you will be sitting in a funeral home in shock. You will look around taking in all the decorations within the facility and wonder what comes next. You will wonder how your brain will be strong enough to function to make the decisions to lay your child to rest. You will wonder if cremation or burial is best and then wonder why you even have to think about such a thing. As the funeral director speaks your try to understand everything he is asking you so you can make the best decision possible, but you realize you keep drifting off due to exhaustion. You may wonder why you are not crying and realize you are just sitting in some awful haze, like the surrounding world is not real. Trust me that the tears will come in time. We found some sort of strength in the immediate days that followed Jude's death and quickly planned everything we needed for his funeral. I can share the things that helped our family and maybe it will help you. 

We made sure we requested private time with our son so we could have time with him before family and friends showed up. We did this before and after his services. So whether you have a viewing or not you can spend some quiet time together. There are no rules when it comes to the loss of a child. If you need to break down, break down. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Many people are wanting to help you right now so let them make plans, provide you food, and help with your house. If you want private time ask them to leave and they will kindly oblige. I slept in Jude's bed after he passed just to be close to him. My husband and I then took off to Santa Fe because I couldn't stand the stillness of the house. Do what's best for you right now because the days ahead are long and hard. Your grief will never go away and I have been told the second year is actually worse than the first. Know there are many of us like you out here and when you are ready we can hear your story. 

Our hearts ache for you! We know your longing, we know the void, we know your anger, we know your tears, but we don't know you yet. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.  

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