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7 Things I’ve Learned Since The Loss of My Child

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7 Things I've Learned Since The Loss of My Child

Child loss is a loss like no other. One often misunderstood by many. If you love a bereaved parent or know someone who does, remember that even his or her “good” days are harder than you could ever imagine. Compassion and love, not advice, are what’s needed. If you’d like an inside look into why the loss of a child is a grief that lasts a lifetime, here is what I’ve learned in my seven years of trekking through the unimaginable.

1). Love never dies.

There will never come a day, hour, minute or second I stop loving or thinking about my son. Just as parents of living children unconditionally love their children always and forever, so do bereaved parents. I want to say and hear his name just the same as non-bereaved parents do. I want to speak about my deceased child as normally and naturally as you speak of your living ones.

I love my child just as much as you love yours — the only difference is mine lives in heaven and talking about him is unfortunately quite taboo in our culture. I hope to change that. Our culture isn’t so great about hearing about child loss and children gone too soon, but that doesn’t stop me from saying my son’s name and sharing his love and light everywhere I go. Just because it might make you uncomfortable, doesn’t make him matter any less. My son’s life was cut irreversibly short, but his love lives on forever. And ever.

2). Bereaved parents share an unspeakable bond.

In my seven years navigating the world as a bereaved parent, I am continually struck by the power of the bond between bereaved parents. Strangers become kindreds in mere seconds — a look, a glance, a knowing of the heart connects us, even if we’ve never met before. No matter our circumstances, who we are, or how different we are, there is no greater bond than the connection between parents who understand the agony of enduring the death of a child. It’s a pain we suffer for a lifetime, and unfortunately, only those who have walked the path of child loss understand the depth and breadth of both the pain and the love we carry.

3). I will grieve for a lifetime.

Period. The end. There is no “moving on,” or “getting over it.” There is no bow, no fix, no solution to my heartache when dealing with child loss. There is no end to the ways I will grieve and for how long I will grieve. There is no glue for my broken heart, no elixir for my pain, no going back in time. For as long as I breathe, I will grieve and ache and love my son with all my heart and soul. There will never come a time when I won’t think about who my son would be, what he would look like, and how he would be woven perfectly into the tapestry of my family. I wish people could understand that grief lasts forever because love lasts forever; that the loss of a child is not one finite event, it is a continuous loss that unfolds minute by minute over the course of a lifetime. Every missed birthday, holiday, milestone; should-be back-to-school years and graduations; weddings that will never be, grandchildren that should have been but will never be born — an entire generation of people are irrevocably altered forever.

This is why grief lasts forever. The ripple effect lasts forever. The bleeding never stops.

Read also: Siblings Reunite For The First Time After Crash Killed Their Parents And Baby Sister

4). It’s a club I can never leave but is full of the most shining souls I’ve ever known.

This crappy club called child loss is a club I never wanted to join, and one I can never leave, yet is filled with some of the best people I’ve ever known. And yet we all wish we could jump ship, that we could have met another way, any other way but this. Alas, these shining souls are the most beautiful, compassionate, grounded, loving, movers, shakers and healers I have ever had the honor of knowing. They are life-changers, game-changers, relentless survivors and thrivers. Warrior moms and dads who redefine the word brave.

Every day loss parents move mountains in honor of their children gone too soon. They start movements, change laws, spearhead crusades of tireless activism. Why? In the hope that even just one parent could be spared from joining the club. If you’ve ever wondered who some of the greatest world changers are, hang out with a few bereaved parents and watch how they live, see what they do in a day, a week, a lifetime. Watch how they alchemize their grief into a force to be reckoned with, watch how they turn tragedy into transformation, loss into legacy.

Love is the most powerful force on earth, and the love between a bereaved parent and his/her child is a life-force to behold. Get to know a bereaved parent. You’ll be thankful you did.

5). The empty chair/room/space never becomes less empty.

Empty chair, empty room, empty space in every family picture. Empty, vacant, forever gone. Empty spaces that should be full, everywhere we go. There is and will always be a missing space in our lives, our families, a forever-hole-in-our-hearts. Time does not make the space less empty. Neither do platitudes, clichés or well-wishes for us to “move on,” or “stop dwelling,” from well-intentioned friends or family. Nothing does. No matter how you look at it, empty is still empty. Missing is still missing. The problem is nothing can fill it. Minute after minute, hour after hour, day after day, month after month, year after heartbreaking year the empty space remains. No matter how much time has passed.

The empty space of our missing children lasts a lifetime. And so we rightfully miss them forever. Help us by holding the space of that truth for us.

6). No matter how long it’s been, holidays never become easier without my son.

Never, ever. Have you ever wondered why every holiday season is like torture for a bereaved parent? Even if it’s been [five], 10, or 25 years later? It’s because they really, truly are horrific. Imagine if you had to live every holiday without one or more of your precious children. Imagine how that might feel for you. It would be easier to lose an arm, a leg or two — anything — than to live without your flesh and blood, without the beat of your heart. Almost anything would be easier than living without one or more of your precious children. That is why holidays are always and forever hard for parents dealing with child loss. Don’t wonder why or even try to understand. Know you don’t have to understand in order to be a supportive presence. Consider supporting and loving some bereaved parents this holiday season. It will be the best gift you could ever give them.

7). Because I know deep sorrow, I also know unspeakable joy.

Though I will grieve the death of my son forever and then some, it does not mean my life is lacking happiness and joy. Quite the contrary, in fact. It is not either/or, it’s both/and. Grief and joy can and do coexist. My life is [richer] now. I live from a deeper place. I love deeper still. Because I grieve, I also know a joy like no other. The joy I experience now is far deeper and more intense than the joy I experienced before my loss. Such is the alchemy of grief.

Because I’ve clawed my way from the depths of unimaginable pain, suffering, and sorrow, again and again dealing with child loss — when the joy comes, however, and whenever it does — it is a joy that reverberates through every pore of my skin and every bone in my body. I feel all of it, deeply. I embrace and thank every blessed morsel of it. My life now is more rich and vibrant and full, not despite my loss, but because of it. In grief, there are gifts, sometimes many. These gifts don’t in any way make it all “worth” it, but I am grateful beyond words for each and every gift that comes my way. I bow my head to each one and say thank you, thank you, thank you. Because there is nothing — and I mean absolutely nothing — I take for granted. Living life in this way gives me greater joy than I’ve ever known possible.

I have my son to thank for that. Being his mom is the best gift I’ve ever been given. Even death can’t take that away.

 

This article originally appeared on A Bed For My Heart

About the Author: Angela Miller is an internationally known writer and speaker on grief and loss. She is the author of “You Are the Mother of All Mothers: A Message of Hope for the Grieving Heart”, and founder of the award-winning online community ABedForMyHeart.com. Her work has been featured in Forbes, Psychology Today, The Huffington Post, MPR, and BlogTalk Radio, among others. To date, Angela’s book has comforted the hearts of over 10,000 grieving moms worldwide. Join Angela’s compassionate village at A Bed For My Heart.

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Female Chief Rises To Power, Annuls 850 Child Marriages And Sends Girls Back To School

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Theresa Kachindamoto, senior chief in the Dedza District in Central Malawi, is certainly a force to reckon with. She has not only been able to establish a new law to prevent child marriage, she is also very dedicated to enforcing it!

From the moment Kachindamoto became senior chief, she immediately set about ending the practise of child marriage among her people.

Though illegal, the practice has been culturally accepted in the area. Many families, usually out of financial need, had consented to having their children married off very young.

Theresa Kachindamoto, senior chief in the Dedza District in Central Malawi

Theresa Kachindamoto, senior chief in the Dedza District in Central Malawi

According to Al Jazeera, Kachindamoto decided to take a stand and made 50 of her sub-chiefs sign an agreement to end child marriage in her area of authority. “I told them, ‘Whether you like it or not, I want these marriages to be terminated.’” She said.

But that was not all, Kachindamoto made the leaders annul any existing underage unions, and send all of the children involved back to school and swore to dismiss any chiefs that continue to allow these controversial practices. “First it was difficult, but now people are understanding,” she told Al Jazeera.

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To ensure all children have a chance to go to school, Kachindamoto operates a secret network of parents to keep an eye on others. And when parents can’t afford to pay school fees, she’ll pay them herself or find someone else who can.

“I don’t want child marriages. They must go to school. No child should be found at home or doing household chores during school time.” Chief Kachindamoto told U.N. Women.

In June alone, she annulled more than 300 child marriages, according to the organization. And over the past three years, the figure reaches close to 850.

She also abolished “kusasa fumbi”, a cleansing ritual that requires girls as young as seven to go to sexual initiation camps in order to train them to perform sex acts to please their future husbands.

Kachindamoto made the leaders annul any existing underage unions, and send all of the children involved back to school

Kachindamoto made the leaders annul any existing underage unions, and send all of the children involved back to school

Kachindamoto received death threats for her work, but simply said: “I don’t care, I don’t mind. I’ve said whatever, we can talk, but these girls will go back to school.”

Malawi has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world, with an alarming one in two girls married under age 18. Marrying underage negatively affects girls’ development, interrupting their education and putting them at higher risk of domestic violence and early pregnancy.

“I talk to the parents, I tell them: if you educate your girls you will have everything in the future.” she said to U.N. Women last year.

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16-Year-Old Hits And Kills Young Girl- Then Police Find A Note In Her Hand That Breaks My Heart

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Drunk driving needs to stop, by all means. Every day people die across the world because some people make the decision to drive while drunk, not only endangering their own lives, but also the lives of all the people on the same road as them.

This story is about a teenager who was smart and listened to her mom, but everything still went so wrong. Everybody needs to read this story.

The story is fictional, but the message behind it is something we can’t just shrug off.

16-Year-Old Hits And Kills Young Girl, Then Police Find A Note In Her Hand That Breaks My Heart

16-Year-Old Hits And Kills Young Girl, Then Police Find A Note In Her Hand That Breaks My Heart

“I went to a party, Mom,  I remembered what you said.
You told me not to drink, Mom,  so I drank soda instead.

I really felt proud inside, Mom, the way you said I would.
I didn’t drink and drive, Mom, even though the others said I should.

I know I did the right thing, Mom, I know you are always right.
Now the party is finally ending, Mom, as everyone is driving out of sight.

As I got into my car, Mom, I knew I’d get home in one piece.
Because of the way you raised me, so responsible and sweet.

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I started to drive away, Mom, but as I pulled out into the road,
the other car didn’t see me, Mom, and hit me like a load.

As I lay there on the pavement, Mom, I hear the policeman say,
the other guy is drunk, Mom, and now I’m the one who will pay.

I’m lying here dying, Mom.  I wish you’d get here soon.
How could this happen to me, Mom?  My life just burst like a balloon.

There is blood all around me, Mom, and most of it is mine.
I hear the medic say, Mom, I’ll die in a short time.

I just wanted to tell you, Mom, I swear I didn’t drink.
It was the others, Mom.  The others didn’t think.

16-Year-Old Hits And Kills Young Girl, Then Police Find A Note In Her Hand That Breaks My Heart

16-Year-Old Hits And Kills Young Girl, Then Police Find A Note In Her Hand That Breaks My Heart

He was probably at the same party as I.
The only difference is,
he drank and I will die.

Why do people drink, Mom?  It can ruin your whole life.
I’m feeling sharp pains now.  Pains just like a knife.

The guy who hit me is walking, Mom, and I don’t think it’s fair.
I’m lying here dying and all he can do is stare.

Tell my brother not to cry, Mom.  Tell Daddy to be brave.
And when I go to heaven, Mom, put “Daddy’s Girl” on my grave

16-Year-Old Hits And Kills Young Girl, Then Police Find A Note In Her Hand That Breaks My Heart

16-Year-Old Hits And Kills Young Girl, Then Police Find A Note In Her Hand That Breaks My Heart

Someone should have told him, Mom, not to drink and drive.
If only they had told him, Mom, I would still be alive.

My breath is getting shorter, Mom.  I’m becoming very scared.
Please don’t cry for me, Mom.  When I needed you, you were always there.

I have one last question, Mom, before I say good bye.
I didn’t drink and drive,  so why am I the one to die?

Please share this story with all your friends on Facebook to show that no one should have to die because someone makes an irresponsible decision to drive while drunk.

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Video Shows Woman Pushing Elderly Man Off The Bus After He Asked Her To Be Nice Causing His Death

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Video Shows Woman Pushing Elderly Man Off The Bus After He Asked Her To Be Nice Causing His Death

Las Vegas police have released a shocking security video showing a woman pushing an elderly man off a city bus after he asked her to be nice to other passengers. The video shows 74-year-old Serge Fournier landing face-first on a sidewalk east of downtown on March 21 after Cadesha Michelle Bishop is seen aggressively pushing him off the bus.

At the time of the incident, the 74 year old refused medical treatment, before pain from the injuries he sustained from the fall forced him to go to a hospital later that night. Sadly, he died April 23.

Las Vegas police have released a shocking security video showing a woman pushing an elderly man off a city bus after he asked her to be nice to other passengers.

Las Vegas police have released a shocking security video showing a woman pushing an elderly man off a city bus after he asked her to be nice to other passengers.

Fournier’s family notified Las Vegas police of his death and Cadesha Michelle Bishop, 25, was arrested May 6th. The Clark County Coroner-Medical Examiner reported that he died as a result of complications from blunt force injuries he had sustained to his torso and ruled his death a homicide.

Following her arrest Cadesha Bishop was charged with murder and is being held at the Clark County Detention on $100,000 bail pending a preliminary hearing of evidence May 21.

The police are asking anyone who witnessed the incident to come forward.

Read also: Girl, 3, Hailed A Hero For Keeping Baby Brother Alive For Days After Parents’ Murder-Suicide

According to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Homicide Section, Fournier had asked the 25 year old woman to be ‘nicer’ to fellow passengers after she’d been heard yelling and cursing at other people in the bus.

In the video, a woman can be seen talking to Fournier as he walked past carrying a walker and heading towards the bus door. As he was about to alight, Bishop appears behind him and pushes him with both hands off the bus smashing his face on the concrete ground.

Cadesha Bishop was charged with murder after pushing an elderly man off a bus and is being held at the Clark County Detention

Cadesha Bishop was charged with murder after pushing an elderly man off a bus and is being held at the Clark County Detention

Speaking to KLAS-TV, Fournier’s neighbor, Jeffrey Bingham, said, “He wasn’t able to eat. He was in a lot of pain, crushed hip. I put my hand up to his face and I said, ‘We got you covered.'”.

“And then he kinda went… he said… ‘God bless you,’ and that was the last thing he said to me.” Bingham added about his last moments with Fournier.

Please keep the families involved in your prayers and pray for this world we live in. Its so heartbreaking that this can happen to someone for asking someone to be nice and a little kinder to other people.

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