Sunday, July 19, 2009

Grief is all we have

Alright, I found another letter I need to comment about in the book, Dear Parents-Letters to Bereaved Parents. This letter is from Marion Cohen. Her daughter, Kerin, died shortly after birth in 1977. In this letter she states three pieces about grief that is important to her.

"1. Don't try to forget, don't not-dwell on it, don't deny, and don't deny your grief. Grief is what you have instead of your child and you need at least that.
2. Don't try to avoid ambivalences and contradictions, in the months to come, you will encounter many. You'll feel ashamed, you'll feel proud. You'll feel guilty; you'll feel powerless. You'll want to know your normal; yet you'll have times of wanting you and your child to be special. You'll want time to pass, yet you'll feel time taking you farther and farther away from your child. Let yourself feel what you feel, even if one feeling contradicts another.
3. Try to identify activities that feel helpful to you, that feel most right. Now is the time to be selfish. You are the most important person in the drama. Don't worry about social obligations. I warn you that nothing will be very helpful, and nothing will feel right, not really. Everything will have a nightmarish tint. But as time passes, there will be more and more things that help, fewer things that hurt." -Marion

I couldn't agree more with these three things. Right now there are so many things going on that I don't want to attend. But my family and friends don't understand. They say that I have to be there, how could I not. The real question is how could I? My baby boys should be here with me. And if they aren't going to acknowledge Parker and Gavin and my feelings, I don't need to be there. It has only been three and a half months. I want to be selfish right now, just like Marion said to be. I need people to still feel sorry for Chad and I. We can't be expected to attend weddings and birthday parties. We need to be left alone to decide what we are attending, and when we are attending. I don't like being pressured to do what you think I should do.

Like Marion said grief is all we have left. Don't rush us through it. I need and want to dwell on it. All I am asking for is time. I need my time. Sometimes I want people to be here, sometimes I want to be alone. Every day is different. Just support me in what I need at the time.


  1. Thank you for sharing this. It really describes what I am feeling right now, especially #2. I think I may need to read this book. Thinking of you Kayla and your sweet boys.

  2. Kayla,
    You are wise beyond your years. I feel bad for being selfish, but it is what we must do at this time....I agree, we need this time for ourselves. If it takes a few months or a year or beyond, then so be it! Thinking of you, Nan

  3. Kayla,

    So sorry for the loss of your two beautiful boys, Parker and Gavin.

    Thank you for sharing this information. I can really relate to what she says, especially all the contradictions.

    My thoughts are with you.

  4. Just created a blog trying to respond to let you know I successfully viewed your blog and it so touched my heart and I am so glad you invited me to read and I hope comment.

    My blog is gigi-whenigetthere.

    I know you do not want to celebrate your birthday. I did get you something that celebrates Parker and Gavin being born in April.

    Wish to see you soon, when you are ready, and hope you like what I carefully selected. I want you to feel free to tell me honestly if you wish to return and select something else meaningful for you.

    It is so difficult knowing what to say to you or Chad. Do not want to push but want you to know that no waking minute passes without feeling your pain and missing our precious boys.

    I would like to believe the pain will lessen with each day. I do not believe it will. I believe we will survive and hopefully find ways to draw closer.

    I know I can only continue to cling to my faith that Parker and Gavin will be the first two I see in heaver and we will play, dance, sing and have no more tears forever more.