The following was sent to me by a fellow grieving dad. I really like this posting because it is an example of someone that is showing signs of healing, but stills carries the pain of losing a child. He is transforming from the deep darkness where many of us have been and where some still live.
“Reflect on the Love”
In less than a month it will be 5 years since my son Kieran died. I never thought I could survive to this point, but I have. I still experience the acute pain that comes with having a child die but I can also allow myself to remember the happiness he brought to me and our family. The happiness is what brings on the flood of tears, not the pain I live with. I am glad that his smile and the things that made him special to me allows me to cry through the pain of not having him here. I know the tears and the release they bring are tears of love and joy.
As a strong minded and independent 17 year old boy he never had a problem with giving me a hug and saying I love you. As a dad you hope that you can teach your children how to be a good person, but sometimes your child without trying makes you a better person. I feel like Kieran did that for me. It’s taken some time since his death for me to realize the influence he had on me, because I have been so busy grieving. I know I will never stop grieving but I hope I can balance the grief with joy of having Kieran as my son.
5 years is a “milestone”, but then I think every day is a milestone. Another day I have survived without him here with me. Another day I can reflect on the love we have for each other.
When I was a boy I would look forward to my dad coming home. No matter how tired he was from work he would always muster the energy to play catch during baseball season or throw the football around in football season. Those are great memories that I carry with me to this day. I had the opportunity to be the head coach of a football team in our local league. As the coach Kieran was assigned to my team. I always made sure we got to the field a little early so we could throw the ball around before the rest of the team arrived. I felt this would give him memories that he would someday pass on to his son. Little did I know that I was the one who would have these memories from my son, that he would never live long enough to have his own son to play catch with.
It still doesn’t seem real to me that he died, but the reality is he did and I will try to live the rest of my life making him proud of me.