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Does the Pain Ever Lessen? Questions for a Grieving Parent-Part 1

About a month ago, I invited readers of my blog to submit questions they had for a grieving parent.  I wondered if there were questions that people had always wanted to ask but never quite had the courage to verbalize.  I received some intriguing suggestions. In forthcoming blog posts, I am going to attempt to answer each question. It seemed most appropriate to begin this post on Charlotte's 7th birthday. 

The pain associated with grief takes many forms.  As I mentioned recently, I often feel the pain ebb and flow like waves on a beach.  There are times in my life, such as near holidays or anniversaries, where the waves seem tsunami sized.  The pain is sharper. I am more sensitive to some of the things that "trigger" my sadness. I'm probably more grumpy and easier to anger as well (apologies to anyone that gets caught in the wake). Sometimes I feel like I might drown. 

Once the tsunami subsides, though, life resumes to this place that I call normal. Two and a half years after Charlotte's death, there are moments when I find myself truly and genuinely happy. I cherish those moments and savor them. I can float on the water or tread along the waves without much incident.  I can even swim to a new point near the shore.  Every once in a while, though, an errant wave will slap me in the face.  The salty spray will bring me back to reality. That is how the pain feels from day-to-day. The grief is there but it surprises me at the strangest times.  

I miss Charlotte every day.  I feel the pain of her loss in some form almost every minute of every day; yet, as tragic as that may sound, I am now able to look at life with a new pair of eyes.  As with the pain of childbirth, time and distance have a way of playing tricks on your memory of that pain- softening the sting and rounding off the edges.  If that were not true, there would be many more only children in the world.

Today, I spend just a little more time focused on my grief. I am going to try to ride the wave and see just how close I can get to the shore before I swallow some seawater.

Remembering Charlotte Jennie on what would have been her 7th birthday. We miss you oodles and bunches. 

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