So after thinking for awhile I decided I wanted to post this post. I know other grieving families can relate as I know most go through this. This is a general observation I have made through the last two years from being around many infant loss couples and in many infant loss groups online. It's very upsetting, frustrating, unfair and hurtful that people fully expect us to recognize birthdays and holidays for children who are alive. Yet, at the same time, people never acknowledge Ty or Jacob. You know they both have a birthday, even though they aren't here doesn't mean those days don't mean anything to us. In fact they have more meaning because our boys are not here. The same goes for holidays. I don't think people understand that just because our boys are not here that it means those days shouldn't be recognized or that our boys are never thought of or mentioned. Countless times I have seen the bereaved come together because only then do we feel true love and true love for our children, even though they are not here.
People say time heals but it hasn't for us yet, it just seems to get harder and harder and partly due to the above. People forget, people move on but as grieving parents, we never will. We live each day for our angels in Heaven, trying to learn to navigate this thing called life. Trying to find joy and happiness where it once was and rid the sorrow and hurt. It gets lonelier as time goes on but in that time our family extends to include people who truly care about our children and show us in so many ways. Our family dynamics change, blood does not tie us together but simple love does. Love for each other and love for our angels. That's what makes us family, a family no one could ever tear apart. A family that provides love and support and care more then blood could ever do. They are the ones we come to rely on simply because they are the only ones who acknowledge our children and make our children a part of their lives. Us bereaved families are left to cling to each other because we are the only ones who seem to care, who seem to acknowledge. I'm not saying this is the case for everyone, some blood family is great but countless times in my infant loss groups this is not the case but rather our lives and family dynamics change to adapt to this new way of living. We navigate it together through thick and thin and though our lives get busy as does any family, we always, always make time to remember our children. These are the people who send messages, cards and bake cakes on birthdays and holidays. These are the people who ask twice how we are doing. The first time just to be nice, the second time because they really want to know. These are the people who send a message to see how we are doing even though they probably have heard the answer 200 times. They do not get tired of hearing about our journey or about our children because they know, they get it.
This journey is not an easy one and when family or close friends you relied on before disappear after loss, it's nice to have people who truly care, show support and love step up to fill that void. Our children may not be here but they matter just as much as any living child on their birthdays and holidays as well. Some families wonder why bereaved parents avoid holiday gatherings its because its painful, it's painful to be around people who are suppose to love and care about you yet they do not even mention the one most important thing in your life, your child. People go on as if they did not exist when we sit there thinking about our children, what would they look like, would they like the food, what would they be getting into. We sit alone in our silence and it eats away at us. If only people would open their eyes and understand that just because our angels are in Heaven DOES NOT mean they do not deserve to be thought of, to be mentioned, to be included in some way or another. Countless bereaved families struggle through this year after year, holiday after holiday, birthday after birthday. We struggle because we have loved so much and continue to love but to us it feels like others don't share that love. It's very hurtful and very upsetting to bereaved parents to go through this.
So to all my bereaved friends, know that you are now and always will be a part of the Nelles family, you and ALL your angels because we get it, we remember, we know your children at times better then we know you because they are that important. Just because others may not mention your children, as painful as that can be, we remember.