Thursday, January 12, 2012

Bereaved parents continue to be parents of the child who died. They will always feel the empty place in their hearts caused by the child's death; they were, and always will be, the loving father and mother of that child. Yet, these parents have to accept that they will never be able to live their lives with or share their love openly with the child. So they must find ways to hold on to the memories. Many bereaved parents come to learn that "memories are the precious gifts of the heart...[that they need] these memories and whispers, to help create a sense of inner peace, a closeness" (Wisconsin Perspectives Newsletter, Spring 1989, 1

It is frequently said that the grief of bereaved parents is the most intense grief known. When a child dies, parents feel that a part of them has died, that a vital and core part of them has been ripped away. Bereaved parents indeed do feel that the death of their child is "the ultimate deprivation". 

The grief caused by our child's death is not only painful but profoundly disorienting-children are not supposed to die. We are forced to confront an extremely painful and stressful paradox; we are faced with a situation in which we must deal both with the grief caused by our child's death and with our inherent need to continue to live our own lives as fully as possible. We must deal with the contradictory burden of wanting to be free of this overwhelming pain and yet needing it as a reminder of Joaquim.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Fly lyrics
Fly, fly little wingFly beyond imaginingThe softest cloud, the whitest doveUpon the wind of heaven's lovePast the planets and the starsLeave this lonely world of oursEscape the sorrow and the painAnd fly againFly, fly precious oneYour endless journey has begunTake your gentle happinessFar too beautiful for thisCross over to the other shoreThere is peace forevermoreBut hold this mem'ry bittersweetFly, fly do not fearDon't waste a breath, don't shed a tearYour heart is pure, your soul is freeBe on your way, don't wait for meAbove the universe you'll climbOn beyond the hands of timeThe moon will rise, the sun will setBut I won't forgetFly, fly little wingFly where only angels singFly away, the time is rightGo now, find the light

Children are not supposed to die...Parents expect to see their children grow and mature. Ultimately, parents expect to die and leave their children behind...This is the natural course of life events, the life cycle continuing as it should. The loss of a child is the loss of innocence, the death of the most vulnerable and dependent. The death of a child signifies the loss of the future, of hopes and dreams, of new strength, and of perfection. - Arnold and Gemma 1994, iv, 9, 39

When a parent dies, you lose your past; when a child dies, you lose your future. - Anonymous

This space is with me all the time it seems. Sometimes the empty space is so real I can almost touch it. I can almost see it. It gets so big sometimes that I can't see anything else. - Arnold and Gemma 1983, 56

A phoenix is a mythical bird with a colorful plumage and a tail of gold and scarlet (or purple, blue, and green according to some legends). It has a 500 to 1000 year life-cycle, near the end of which it builds itself a nest of twigs that then ignites; both nest and bird burn fiercely and are reduced to ashes, from which a new, young phoenix or phoenix egg arises, reborn anew to live again. It is said that the bird's cry is that of a beautiful song. The new phoenix is destined to live as long as its old self. 

I can only speculate that there was devine inspiration in my desire to name him Phoenix.