books to help cope with loss/change…both for parents and children
So today I was planning to share my bedrest survival tips post but that seems completely out of place since all of my thoughts surround the fact that it’s been exactly two years since we lost our baby boy Kush. And in those two years, there’s been much sadness, hopeless grieving, waterfalls of tears but with that a renewed hope also formed with endless smiles and new, necessary beginnings.
My cousin Kamal (who whether she knows it or not was key in helping me process my grief) said during those harder days in the hospital, at Kush’s funeral and with perfect timing reminded me just now, that “out of that darkness and unbearable grief comes a light and joy”. And those words, I truly believe in because I have lived and continue to experience both sides firsthand. But when you’re challenged with a loss, you can’t even begin to process or swallow the fact that there will be a day when you can breathe again and see that hope, actually grab a hold of it and without ever forgetting what’s happened…move forward for yourself, for your family, for those who depend on you, for the one you lost.
With yesterday being World Prematurity Awareness Day, with Kush especially on my mind today and with this coming Thursday being Children’s Grief Awareness Day, I wanted to revisit two books I’ve already posted on that helped me channel my grief and move forward in life while still holding onto the sweet memories of my little guy Kush.
The first is, When Bad Things Happen to Good People by Rabbi Harold Kushner. I have read this book over and over again. And I’ve recommended it to so many – just last week in fact – who have suffered a loss, especially parents who have had to face the hardest pain saying goodbye to their child.
The second is a book by author Susan Bernardo who I’m proud to call a friend now. It’s called Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs and I plan to start reading it to my son Jai (Kush’s twin brother) more and more now that he’s two and understands so much more these days. I want him and his little brother Shailen to know about Kush. This book in such a whimsical, soulful way will help show them how we can remember their precious brother through beautiful, simple symbols we find in nature. This book I would recommend to all parents whose child is going through a hard transition..the loss of a sibling, grandparent, divorce. I find this book to be therapeutic for myself.
I know today will be harder than normal…maybe even this entire week or longer. It’s a reminder of what we don’t have and I’ll be honest, I’m still not sure why it had to happen and I’m still angry that it did. I’ll allow myself to feel what I need to. But with all of that, I know we have all healed in a lot of ways I never expected to in those darkest hours and I know we have a lot to be thankful for, so much to be grateful for. I’m still trying to balance all of this in my head. And I know that as more days go by, there will be even more peace and healing.
And so finally I end today’s post with an inspirational quote by one of my favorites. It has stayed with me these two years and will continue to forever.
Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are those with scars. – Khalil Gibran