I went to see Les Mis Thursday night. Alone. Well, kinda alone. I drove by myself.
I wanted to go see it after seeing the cast perform at the ARD Memorial Arts Benefit. They were amazing that night! I heard at least three others say they came last night because of the ARDMAB performance.
However, I did not want to go because of so many memories. Andrew played Thenardier at the same community theater when he was 16. It was his first big lead role. He loved that show! He was amazing! I knew it would be hard to see the show performed without my son.
A friend encouraged me to go and even reserved my ticket for me. She sat by me and held my hand through a couple of the songs. It was a good show. I’m glad I went.
I cried. Not right away. “Bring Him Home” did it. And the tears flowed the rest of the night. Thank you cast and crew for your hard work and for sharing your talents with our community. And thank you for helping me heal, though many of you do not even know me.
Here’s a message I so would like to share with the world:
My son lived! He was real and he was loved.
My son still lives. He is still real and he is still loved.
These statements are true for my friend Shauna whose preborn baby died last week as well. It is true for all my While We’re Waiting friends.
You see, grief is painful, takes time, and involves hard work. Recovery from grief takes doing the next right thing over and over. The next right thing for you. This is true whether your child was preborn and you don’t know the cause of death; was five and died from cancer; was twenty and died in a car wreck; or was 48 and shot herself.
If you know someone who experienced the death of a child and you have not, please don’t judge, offer platitudes, or give advice. Simply listen and love.
If you need help learning what that looks like, ask someone who is further down that road or search the web for articles on helping grieving parents. Click on the tab above for posts about helping those who are grieving.
If you don’t want to be around grief, don’t be. If you don’t want to read posts about it, don’t read them, hide them or unfriend those people on FB. Please do not tell them they are too …whatever. Don’t tell them to get get over it already. If you need help on what to say and what not to say to a grieving mom or dad, Google it! If in doubt about whether to say something, keep your mouth shut and fingers away from the keyboard.
If you have experienced the death of a child may I introduce you to While We’re Waiting? They are a faith-based ministry to bereaved parents. You can find them on Facebook and at www.whilewerewaiting.org