Page 15 - 2016 Autumn-Winter Issue
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looming everywhere. There was the avatar of myself going and dismissed as wishful and naive. I want to embrace

about the business of eating, sleeping, working, while an        the blessing of the time spent with my son rather than

identical human representation followed behind; a lost           bemoan the curse of his death. I want to take comfort in

soul, stranger to herself and her surroundings, clueless and the knowing that each of us has a purpose on the earth, a

confused about where she was and what she was doing.             mission to fulfill in the eternal unfolding of existence. The

I wasn’t psychotic, just in the acute phase of grieving.         worth of life cannot be measured in the amount of years an

Simmering below the predictable sadness and loneliness           individual lives. Of course, we bereaved parents would have

was guilt, rage, self-pity,                                                                           wished our children a

resentment, depression,      I have learned from his destiny, the                                     long, happy, healthy stay
and many other negative,                                                                              on this planet, lasting
self-defeating turns the immeasurable value of life that must be                                      much beyond our own

human psyche takes after     revered and respected unconditionally,                                   departure. Of course,
deep trauma and tragedy.                                                                              we will grieve for them
There are many factors and the indestructible power of love that
                             transcends even death.                                                     until we too have shed
including time, serious                                                                                 out physical container,
                                                                                                        and are no longer matter
introspection, religious                                                                                but pure energy, ready
                                                                                                      creative force that fuels
rituals, searching and                                           to join our children as part of the
discovering ways to honor the memory of the child, and           the eternal cosmos.
reaching out to other bereaved parents to help a parent

function after a child’s death. Many occasions remain            The years of David’s life were diminished, but not its worth.

painful and fraught with anxiety and melancholy—the              I want to be able to let go of the what ifs and if onlys that

empty chair at family celebrations, noting the milestones        surround his dying; to give up the fantasies of what he

of your child’s contemporaries, responding to queries            could have been, done, achieved had he been granted a

from new acquaintances about your children, growing old normal life span. I want to focus on the special joy, insight

without the company and support of a son or daughter. Still, and pleasure he brought to those who knew and loved him.

the months and then years move forward, and it sinks in          The thoughts of him and what he means to me have allowed

that you are still in the land of the living (yes, it is possible!), me to manage my mourning and go on with my life. I have

but your beloved child, ever present in your consciousness, learned from his destiny, the immeasurable value of life that

exists in some other sphere of being. Miraculously, it seems, must be revered and respected unconditionally, and the

but not until you are emotionally ready, comes acceptance. indestructible power of love that transcends even death. It

The next phase in the evolution of grieving has arrived.         was his gift to me, which I accept with gratitude, even as I

As I approach completing a decade since that sweltering          continue to mourn his loss. This, I believe, is the next stage
summer day - was I in hell?—when we buried my                    in the evolution of grief.

son, I want to explore the possibility of moving beyond          Nora Yood’s son David died at age 30 in July of 2007. He had just turned
acceptance to a higher spiritual goal: to cultivate an attitude  30 a few weeks earlier. Nora lives in New York City and the Manhattan
of gratitude. Just writing this fills me with astonishment,      Chapter of TCF has been a support and comfort for her and a “very
                                                                 significant force” in her healing and acceptance of the reality of her son’s

since I still believe there can never be anything positive       death. She can be reached at

about the untimely passing of a young person. But I am

willing to open my heart to truths I previously denigrated

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