I have read my fair share of hateful things since Sloan’s death. Everyday there’s someone new leaving a comment somewhere, deciding their opinion of me and bereaved parents like me, has any bearing on the necessity of our authenticity.
In the beginning, these words would affect me for days, weeks even. In the fog of the days and months immediately following Sloan’s death, I was fragile in my grief and pain, and an easy and effectual target for people who wanted to wound an already hurting person. There were so many kind and supportive sentiments offered up for us, far more than there were negative. But because of that, the negative words would really stick out. And sometimes, they still do.
But I have worked so hard since my son’s death, to keep going despite what is thrown at me. I have gained strength. When I chose to open up my world for the perspective of others by sharing our story, I knew it would come with criticism and judgement. But I decided that this discussion deserved a place. Bereavement, grief, child loss, these things need to be better understood, nurtured, and acknowledged.
I am proud to see other parents working to bring this subject to the forefront. And while this is not the ideal method for everyone, it is perfectly acceptable that it is for us. When we choose to keep sharing in spite of those who do not try to understand, when we choose continue to put our story to use, to give it purpose, and when we choose every day to keep going, we are not just helping others, we are honoring ourselves and our process.