Difficult Questions..

     

Is Summer your only one?
Do you have any other kids?
How many children do you have?
 
These are the kind of questions that we ask daily, often with no thought. It’s a simple conversation starter, especially when you see my toddler in tow. But, for parents, it’s complicated and for so many years, I have struggled with the answer to these questions.
 
Weeks after Jacks death, an older lady asked me if I had any children. It was the first time that I had been asked that question and, in that moment, I really didn’t know what to say. I didn’t know the best way to say that my son had died without upsetting the lady, so I decided the easiest answer was no.
 
Within seconds, I realised that no was the easiest answer for her, not for me. I instantly regretted that answer and it has haunted me ever since. I felt that I had denied my own sons existence to save someone else feeling uncomfortable and from that day forward, I have always answered that question differently. In many ways, I needed that scenario to happen so that I could figure out in my own head how I would approach that situation again in the future.
 
This weekend I was twice asked, by two different people, do you have any other children? My reply as always was yes, I have a 14-year-old stepdaughter and my son would also be 14 but he died. Both women were so lovely, they didn’t appear uncomfortable and they went onto ask about Jack and spoke of times when their children had been seriously unwell. Nearly 9 years later, I still have a knot in my stomach as I hear that question being asked. This weekend, I realised that question can actually bring both comfort and conversation.
 
For many years, I assumed that me telling strangers that my son had died would make them feel uncomfortable or awkward, but it often does the opposite. It often starts a conversation about Jack or about children they know that have died and it just makes talking about grief and death NORMAL.
 
Death and grief are part of our everyday life, talking about it helps to make it NORMAL.
 
Share your grief ...
Share how you deal with these situations xx
 
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