Some things that change because of grief are obvious, things like always missing your child, holidays not feeling complete, and feeling a sadness that’s always there even through the laughter.
Things you don’t expect to change are things like feeling completely alone when surrounded by people, people disappearing from your life, being avoided by those who know but don’t know what to say, and feeling like no one else understands what you’re going through. Unless you’ve been there, it’s hard to understand how someone can feel so alone when surrounded by friends and family. While I have lots of people who offer encouragement and prayers on social media, I don’t have many who actually show up and want to be around me anymore. Invitations to events or to just hang out have pretty much gone away. Nobody really wants the people with a dead child at their party…talk about a downer. People avoid me like the plague fairly often. Very few people know what it’s like to burry a child and those who do know still don’t know what I’m going through because every situation is different. I’m starting to understand why people say the second year is the hardest. Any support that once existed goes away. You have to figure out how to keep going; it’s expected. People will let you down over and over again. It sounds great to be able to rely on others in a time of need, but just like me they’re human and they will make mistakes. We hurt those around us and say stupid things. The only one I can count on no matter what is my Creator. Satan loves it when we have all these feelings of being let down by others. He wants us to feel alone and isolated. He wants us to feel defeated and just give up on life. If there ever was a reason to give up on life, the death of your child is definitely a good one. But I don’t want to just give up. I don’t want the actions (or inactions) of others to effect who I am meant to be.
I don’t believe God took Addalyn for a reason, but I know He can use her death for a greater purpose. I have found those who have experienced the death of a child or close loved one (I don’t mean grand parents-we expect them to die before us, it’s not unnatural) are the best support and tend to stick around. I hope that one day people can say that about me. I know I’m not there yet, but I’m trying to get there. It takes more time than you could imagine to get to a point where you feel like you can actually do something to help others after the death of your child. It’s also really easy to use that pain as an excuse for not doing anything for others. One day I hope to look back and see how God was able to grow me into a better person, rather than a bitter angry person.
“He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” -2 Corinthians 1:4