My Message to New Loss Parents

What new loss parents really need to know...

One day you will laugh. It will be the first time since the loss. It's going to feel foreign to you as it escapes your lips. You will most likely feel a blow caused by guilt afterwards. Guilt over the simplicity of laughter. There may also be a sliver sized part of you feeling relief - you are still physically able to laugh. It's ok.

After seemingly endless days of tears, there will be a day that passes by and you will realize you did not cry. You will feel many emotions over this. Guilt once again will make its way to your heart. The chances are good you will now cry because you didn't cry. It's ok.

You’ll think the first year will be the hardest. Learning a new normal without them will be the worst part. The first birthday without them. The first angel anniversary. Yes. The first year is horrific. It will be a blur. You will grasp tightly to the false promise next year will be easier. It isn't. The second year the haze you've lived in since their death has lifted. The reality settles in. Everyone's lives around you continued to go on while your world came to a screeching stop. Your second year may very likely be harder in its own way than the first. It's ok.

New people will enter your life. They will give you something you need now, something you have never needed before. Some old people may exit your life. What they provided you with in the past is no longer what is best for you. It's ok.

You will never be the person you once were. A new version of yourself will emerge. The new you is not strong like everyone tells you, but you already know that. It isn't strength you have gained - it is wisdom, unwanted and unwarranted. It is the wisdom of living 100 lifetimes in the span of one, seeing and feeling the best and the worst. You are changed because you are viewing the world through a different lens now. It will take time for you to get to know the new you. Be patient, you'll get there. It's ok.

You will never get used to your child being dead. No matter how much time passes. This is not something the heart was built to endure nor does it have the capacity to accept it. You will grieve for the rest of your life despite opinions on when your grief should expire. It's ok.

Years will pass by and you'll find yourself crying alone in your car just because you're missing them a little extra. No, you never really get over it. But you will find balance. With the balance you will discover a different way to dance. You'll continue to fall and get dirty time after time. With each fall you will crawl, fight and pick yourself back up again. You will see the beauty through the pain. You will feel the joy through the sorrow. You will laugh without guilt and remember them with a smile. And it’s ok.