Our meeting was attended by 14 bereaved parents this month and helped as always by our brilliant facilitator who help set up the room, make the tea’s and open the meeting.
We welcomed back some old faces who have not been to a meeting for many months as well as parents who are facing anniversaries of their children’s death or birthday in the next few weeks who just want that support and confirm that they will get through the day.
We opened our meeting with the poem The Promise by written by Genesse Gentry on Saturday, November 15, 2008
Your birth brought me star shine, the moon and the sun;
my wishes, dreams, gathered round my little one.
My life became sacred, full of promise and light
wrapped up in the child who brought love at first sight.
The years of your living filled with laughter and tears,
excitement, adventure, some boredom, some fears,
but ended too quickly, ahead of its time
the loss so horrendous, such heartbreak was mine.
But from the beginning, one thought rose so clear:
never would your death erase the years that you were here.
I would not be defeated or diminished by your death;
I would hang on, learn to conquer, if it took my every breath.
For if your death destroyed my life, made both our lives a waste,
It would deny your life’s meaning and all the love you gave.
I vowed that years of sadness would change, with work and grace,
to years of happiness, even joy, in which you’d have a place.
Memories of you, like shining stars in the patterns of my soul,
are beacons flashing light and love, and with them I am whole.
In your honor, I live my life, now living it for two;
Through all my life, you too will live – you lived, you live, you do.
— Genesse Bourdeau Gentry
Genesse Bourdeau Gentry is author of Stars in the Deepest Night – After the Death of a Child, and Catching the Light: Coming Back to Life after the Death of a Child, available at www.afterthedeathofachild.com
We talked about Christmas on the horizon, our fears about how we may cope, shared stories of our children and small coping routines many of us have developed over the years to help those facing their first Christmas.
Fuelled by plenty of tea and biscuits the conversation moved to how we think we have changed since suffering our bereavement. The poem spoke about how the author tried to live her life well and with strong purpose in memory of their child.
Some of the group spoke about how they have lost confidence in talking to people, even if they have known them for years and generally in themselves to function. The lengths we go to too avoid that casual chat around the village, or in the local pub, how we often have days where we don’t want to talk to anyone and will not answer our phones or the door. The need to shut ourselves away some days and just let the grief wash over us.
Others spoke about how they do things differently now, how they answer the questions like “how many children do you have? “or “what fun have you planned for Christmas? “Everyone had different ways of dealing with these and we shared our responses and thoughts.
The group finished with invites to visit Woburn Abbey Gardens on Sunday 4th December and decorate a tree in their children’s memory. (See information in earlier blog)
Our next meeting will be on Thursday 21st December @ 7.00pm – all welcome.