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Honoring our Children February 14, 2007

Posted by makingyourdashcount in cremation, death, funeral, memorials, mourning, parenting, scholarships.
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Quarterly, a group of women I know gather for “tea” to discuss the current issue of Lilith Magazine. The coordinator emailed me to let me know that the the article entitled “How Three Grieving Mothers Became Activists,” is on the short list for discussion, asking if I would be ok with it. My response to her was something along the lines of, “I think all grieving mothers become activists of sorts; in fact I think all mothers become activists, when it comes to causes surrounding their children.”

Granted, very few of us make national news with our causes. The notoriety of Candy Lightner, who founded MADD after losing her 13 year old daughter, Cari, to a drunk driver and Cindy Sheehan, a visible anti war activist since losing her son Casey in Iraq, is the exception rather than the rule. I would venture to say, however, that these women reflect the spirit of other mothers who have lost their children, if not our specific causes.

Since Sarah died, I have searched for an appropriate cause to honor our daughter. There is no easy disease to choose; none of them are quite appropriate, since there was never a positive diagnosis. For awhile, I adopted the cause of appreciating relationships and feel I made ( and continue to make) small differences for a few people. As important as that is, there is a wanting that leaves me unfufilled.

Parents do everything we can to honor our deceased children.

  • We honor them at their funerals; we honor them through our causes. We honor them through our actions.
  • Parents honor their deceased children publicly and privately.
  • We honor them with what we wear; we honor them with what we say.

And in this honor, I have found my cause: connecting new parents on this path with the experiences of those of us who have been traveling it before and now with them. The end goal is to compile and publish our experiences to help others.

If you know someone who would like to share the things they have done to honor their deceased children, please introduce them to me through my site. I would love to hear about their children and their experiences. Whether it is a new family tradition, the color of the roses they planted or issues with their million dollar scholarships, I would love to hear their joys, challenges and tribulations.

In the end, I hope by sharing we can all honor our children that much better.

Betsey

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