No parent ever completely recovers from the loss of a child. After all, this child was part of you and when your child dies, it forever alters the way in which you define your past, your present and your future.
Sometimes it sucks and is unfair. Sometimes awful, unthinkable things happen. We can not expect the world to think of every terrible possibility and walk on eggshells to avoid triggering our nightmares.
How do we do this every day, when there is no guarantee? No promise of a future, or of grandchildren on our laps, no cure for cancer, no special bubble wrap that can protect our children? We let them go each day, small pieces of our hearts with goals and a will all their own.
I detest the news. In fact, the news has become so frightening to me, especially now that I have a son, that I often avoid it. I know it's not the responsible, civic thing to do, but sometimes, it's the only way I stay sane.
I cannot even imagine what losing a child to drugs would be like. Lord knows I've thought about it a lot. For a while, I was terrified that it might happen to me. And I'd be lying if I said it's not something I still think about from time to time when I allow my mind to wander out of the moment.
Grief is not broken, and it doesn't need fixing. Maybe that's why people are so scared of grief, because the word "broken" is used so often. Broken is a horrible thing. Broken is something that may mend, but will never heal. Broken will always leave scars to remind us of the pain.
When someone you love loses a baby, you may feel helpless and uncertain about how to respond. And you might not get it right. If you've never experienced such a loss yourself, how can you know what your friend or family member needs at this terrible time?
I look back on that week through a haze of grief, but my sister's quote stands out in my head. "I'm afraid that people will forget her." What she doesn't seem to understand is that we can never forget little Kenzie, because we see and hear her every day in my sister.
Most of your high school friends are graduating, Luke, and it's not that I begrudge them their milestones. It's just that on top of missing you, I am missing yours. So by way of channeling my grief into something positive, I dare write a letter to your classmates finishing college.
I know for some of you Mother's Day will be difficult not just due to a death, but to other types of losses as well such as illness or divorce. For those who are feeling sad and confused I would like to share with you a few things I did that helped me through those early unhopeful Mother's Days.