A Bereaved Parent at Thanksgiving
Since our daughter died, I haven’t been able to look at that tree, let alone use it as a reminder of gratitude. I am not grateful or thankful. My daughter is gone from me forever on this earth. There is no getting her back right now. There is no seeing her sweet little hand paste leaves on the tree anymore. There aren’t any new leaves to add. There are only tears and longing and pain.
This grieving parent doesn’t want to be asked what I’m thankful for, I don’t want to say grace and thank God, I don’t want to even talk about what the holiday means nor do I care if we participate in the holiday at all. What I want is things they way they were; me, my husband and my two girls preparing food and getting together with family and friends and reading the leaves on the Thankful Tree. What I want is harmony and laughter in our home. I want to be grateful for cuddling with both my children in front of the fire. I want to be grateful for weekends and snow days. I want to be grateful for the sounds of their voices, even when they argue. I want to welcome the holidays with cheer and goodwill.
But I can’t nor do I ever believe I will again. Bereaved parents suffer a painful silence as they sit around the table, knowing their loved one is not there. We will sit quietly, mindful of others feelings, trying desperately not bring everyone down. We might ask that grace not be said as it is a stark reminder of the cruelness of it all. We might laugh a bit, but it will be momentary. We might smile a little but it will be brief. Forgive us our misery; we can’t hide it. We’ll do our best not to ruin the day.
A website has been established in our daughter's name. Please click here for more information about our mission.
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