I’ve heard over and over that the worst thing for a bereaved parent is thinking that their child has been forgotten. I will agree to this, but now that I’m nearly five years out from Benny’s death I’m finding not necessarily that people have forgotten, but rather that they don’t want to remember.
This story says it all. In a nutshell.
I too felt uncomfortable talking about grief, hell I still do. Me, the grief warrior that has dealt with sudden and drawn out death. Words still evade me. Probably because I know how ineffective they are. Words cannot make it better.
I have babies. I tend to compare their milestones to their siblings. My youngest Perry has the exact same temperament as her big brother Benny. She is completely unaffected by the whining and screaming of her older siblings. When she falls, she gets right back up and keeps on going. She scales chairs and tables and couches, nothing can stop this child. She is exhausting. She is fearless.
When I talk about her I often bring up how much she reminds me of Benny. People react in one of two ways, either by acknowledging Benny or looking stricken at the fact that I would mention him. I’m finding the further that I get from his death, the more uncomfortable people become when I talk about him. Maybe 5 years is the magic number when I’m supposed to suddenly ‘let it go.’ Sure.
I know remembering him is tough because it’s real. I am your worst nightmare. My life is what you cannot imagine and don’t want to fathom. You think that you wouldn’t survive the death of your child. I’ve heard it all before. And trust me, I get it. I had 2 other babies after Benny died. I don’t like the reality of it either
Just like the author of this blog states, if someone brings up my late child, please don’t ignore it. Ask me about him! I miss him with every fiber of my being and talking about him makes me feel closer to him. Let me compare him to his sister. Let me glimpse an alternate universe where the two of them would get into loads of trouble together. Just for a minute. Just let me talk about him.
3 thoughts on “Say His Name!”
Thanks for sharing this! I think you’ve written about it before, but it’s such a good reminder a few years later, and I’m sure other bereaved parents, and friends of bereaved parents, can agree. As someone who only met him once, sometimes I think I’ll sound crazy if I say something like the other day when I came over with the girls, and Perry made a face that looked so much like Benny’s face in the frame on your shelf. So I kept it to myself! I feel like I’m getting to know what Benny was like just by watching that little rascal girl play.. next time I’ll let you know 🙂
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Tara, you and your family have been such a huge part of our lives that sometimes I forget that you on my met him once! This blog was more about me noticing people feeling uncomfortable with me still mentioning him still. People that knew him and us before. It’s baffling to me.
But, it’s still a great reminder! 🙂