The Change Within

Do you remember how it was those first weeks and months after your loved one died? The first time you went to the grocery store? The first time you changed the furnace filter? The first time you went to the movies? Nothing was too insignificant to note. And, of course, the milestones like birthdays and Christmas shouted their warning weeks a head of time.

And then, perhaps after months, perhaps after years, you feel like a whole person again. The hurt is still there, but it has become part of your inner self. You no longer feel as though part of your own being has been torn away and that everything bumps against that open wound.

I knew a significant change had occurred for me when, upon being
asked, “How many children do you have?” I said, “I have three sons,” and didn’t need to add, “I had a daughter who died.” That was still integral to me, but I didn’t need to say it every time.

I will trust this process to unfold in its own time.

~from Healing After Loss

~~written by Martha Whitmore Hickman~~


2 thoughts on “The Change Within

  1. I barely remember the first Christmas without Doug, except that I had included him on my gift list without realizing what I’d done. The act of crossing out his name felt so final.

    The worst was having to tell people that I had one brother, instead of two. That’s gotten better. Now, I say I have one. Or, I’ll refer to Doug as my late brother.

  2. I haven’t been faced with that question/problem yet. I have given it some thought though because I know it will happen eventually. I can’t imagine saying that I only have one son, because to me I don’t. I have two and the fact that one of them has passed away doesn’t make him less of a son.

    I think I’ll always have to say I have two, but when the person asks how old they are (which is normally the next question to be asked), I’ll say, “Daniel is 21 (or whatever age he might be at the time) and Barry is forever 18”, and leave it at that. I imagine that most people will feel uncomfortable and won’t want me to elaborate on that, unless they don’t understand what I mean.

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