Stumbling Toward the Light

"We are closest to God in the darkness, stumbling along blindly" -- Madeleine L'Engle

A collection of thoughts and messages I wrote after my daughter died May 17, 2000. Primarily this blog is concerned with grief, bereavement, the death of a child, hope, courage and a tough faith journey.

Location: Kansas, United States

Husband, father of four, friend, dog owner, owned by a cat, Episcopalian, last liberal Republican left in the U.S.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

My Real Life "Role Playing" Limits

I spent about four months recently in an online role playing game at an Internet "hospital" in a combat area. It was fun and challenging. One thing I quickly learned was how to set role play limits... what I would and would not be willing to do or have done to me. It made me think about real life and how it would be cool as a bereaved parent to set "bereaved person limits" that others could easily read. Here's what my personal list would look like:

--Don't worry about avoiding "sensitive" topics like cancer, death and sick kids. Been there, done that, have the scars to prove it.

--Don't close me out of your life. I still laugh, tell bad jokes and enjoy the company of friends. Yeah, I’ve changed. But maybe you might like this new me even more. Give me a chance to show you.

--Let me tell my child's life stories. Her death was one event and there is so much more to share about her amazing life. Enjoy the wonder of who she was with me.

--In those hard times let me tell my child's death story. I know it's uncomfortable but all you have to do is listen. Sometimes I have to go back to that place and revisit it. Be my silent but supportive companion.

--Allow my tears. They rarely come ten years later but now and then something might trigger them. Stand by without judgment or impatience. My tears tell a story of great love. Honor them.

--Understand that I may get sad or grumpy around Christmas or my daughter’s birthday or death anniversary. If you want to, send me an email saying that you remember her and want me to know that. You have no idea what a gift this would be for me.

--Do share you own sorrows and trials with me. I will be there for you as you have been there for me. I will not compare my loss to yours but I may have a better grasp of your own pain because of it.

Those are my personal bereaved person real life role playing limits.”