Rituals and traditions play an important part in our lives. Whether we identify as religious, spiritual or neither, rituals and traditions are forms of structure that help life flow more easily.
As bereaved parents, the importance of tradition is particularly felt around the holiday season and Christmas, when having traditions, or creating new traditions can help us get through potentially challenging times.
Trusting our instincts, or listening to our intuition, is something we women are supposedly good at. But, it can take life experience and practice to really learn what that really means. Learning to trust our instincts can take time.
It’s Okay to be you.
I know, this seems pretty obvious! But we can all do with a reminder from time to time. It’s safe to be yourself, and you are needed. You are a role model.
‘You are so brave!’
This has been said to me many times in my life. Each time though, I did not feel brave. Bravery and being brave were often the last things on my mind.
Rather, I was simply doing what I felt I had to do at that time, in that moment.
It’s Okay to want to honour your child
When we experience the loss of a much longed for baby, the way we each cope with the loss is different. And the way we wish to honour those children is as unique as we are; there are similarities, but we are all different. Even within the one household, partners can have very different wishes regarding how they want to honour their child.
But what about the ways we are the same?
Loss – a definition
- Failure to keep or to continue to have something
- The experience of having something taken from you or destroyed
Despite the pretty clear similarities in the first and second definitions above (loss; not having something), apparently we can have different definitions of loss, and different interpretations of what that means.
So much of our identity is linked to titles, jobs and labels. But what happens when a longed for label doesn’t arrive in the way we wanted? What impact does that have on our identity?
It’s Okay to want to leave a legacy.
We talk about the idea of legacy; leaving a legacy, living a legacy.
The way we wish to leave or live a legacy can be different for every individual.
Parents, grandparents, siblings, friends and relatives are all impacted by the loss of a child. It’s Okay for any individual to want to honour the memory of your child.
It’s Okay for anyone to want to leave a legacy.
There are times in our life when it would be rather nice to be able to press pause for a moment, just to catch our breath. To take a second to reflect, consider and just be still.
When we are enjoying ourselves, super busy, feeling overwhelmed or experiencing significant change such as the loss of our child, we can wish for a pause button.
As adults, we know that there will be days when things go wrong. The bus is late, the kids are naughty, you spill your coffee, the dog vomits on the carpet and so on. Knowing this and accepting that these days (or nights) will occur is part of life.
But we can protect ourselves from further challenges by being prepared. Not prepared to fail, but prepared to be successful even when things are not going so well.
And the key? Being organised.