It’s never an easy day, that Friday when my seventeen-year-old son died in a car accident in Grand Island, New York. Daniel’s death took me away from my normal life for over two years, then I was able to slowly enter the real world again. But there was still a long journey before I’d be able to speak about his life and not break down sobbing. It’s never alright for parents to lose a child; given the choice, we always want it to be us. However, that is rarely a choice we are given, so when my son died, a difficult journey into reality ensued and I began a climb up a mountain I would wish for no one, not even my worst enemy.
My thoughts were focused on getting up every morning and wondering when I’d stop having my Daniel on my mind. Eventually, given time, family and friends support you make it over the mountains; the family you left emotionally for awhile begins to come into focus. My daughter who was so good to me was there as much as she could be, returning to her five children to care for and yet always trying to be there for me.
I was not there for Sherry or anyone. I can’t even remember what I did at work for at least for two years. I went to my office and the rest is a blank. They tell me I cried every day and I’m so appreciative to everyone who helped me through those times. If you know someone who lost a child, the best thing you can do for them is let them cry and let them talk about the child they lost. It’s never easy and there isn’t a darn thing you can say to them. Just listen and let them take the lead as to what they need to heal. Sometimes it’s to watch them cry, others talk about the things they remember best, and others may ask you to just be with them in silence. Each of us has a different way of showing our grief.
Most importantly, if you’re able, be there. I am so thankful for the friends and family who stood by my side each and every day I needed them and this year a very difficult time. Daniel has been gone seventeen years, the same amount of time he lived. My precious son has been away from me as long as I was able to be a part of his wonderful life. And so I ask you to remember I had this wonderful blessing of a son. To know his father, his sister, and my family and friends loved and miss this blessing of a child. And during this month, I will think of what he lived and wonder what he would have accomplished had he lived. Daniel died October 4, 1991 and I will never be the same.
Thank you for thinking of my son, Daniel.
Dorothy from Grammology