Is there an end to grief? Or do we just learn to conceal it better? Society believes that after a few months or even a year, parents who have lost their child won’t be grieving anymore. They are wrong.
When I spoke about this to a friend, who sadly lost her daughter to the same condition a few weeks before Sophie was diagnosed, she found that people shut her down. That suddenly nearly two years on from loosing her daughter, no one wanted to hear about her daughter anymore. As if it was so long ago that no one remembered it or understood her need to still talk about her daughter. Time moves on at an incredible pace but for parents who have lost a child, this pace seems almost to be approaching the speed of light. Every significant date takes them further from their child. Think about how you reminisce – is it really April? Seems like yesterday it was January doesn’t it? Scale this up and consider how difficult it must be to watch the years come rushing past each significant date and no one remember them or mention their child.
Just because time has passed and the bereaved family isn’t in floods of tears constantly, doesn’t mean they aren’t still grieving. Mention their child when you talk with them, show that you value their child’s life and memory. They may be struggling but be well practised at concealing how upset due to hearing or seeing things that cause them to relive their experiences. Your mentioning their child and telling the parents what you loved about their child, will give them courage to fight on.