Tuesday, January 10, 2017

A Few Passages From Other Bereaved Parents

A few weeks ago, I was having a particularly hard day. One of the benefits of working in a synagogue is always having our Rabbi near to chat with. We did chat for a few minutes that day but he also gave me a book to look through. It dealt with loss and one of the chapters was on the loss of a child. The following 3 passages struck me...please keep in mind they are directly from the book therefore names of the loved ones not mine but the authors. 

We said goodbye. But to anyone who eve knew him, he is still alive. I do not mean merely that he lives in both of us or in the trees at Deerfield or in anything he touched truly, but that influence, the impact, or a heroic personality continues to exert itself long after mortal bonds are snapped. Johnny transmits permanently something of what he was, since the fabric of the universe is continuous and eternal...
by John Gunther

    I wish we had loved Johnny more when he was alive. Of course we loved Johnny very much. Johnny knew that. Everybody knew it. Loving Johnny more. What does that mean? What can that mean now?
    Parents all over the earth who lost sons in the war have felt this kind of question, and sought an answer.
    To me, it means loving life more, being more aware of life, of one's fellow human beings of the earth.
    It means obliterating, in a curious but real way, the ideas of evil and hate and the enemy, and transmuting them, with the alchemy of suffering, into ideas of clarity and charity.
    It means caring more and more about other people, at home and abroad, all over the earth. It means caring more about God.
    I hope we can love Johnny more and more till we, too, die, and leave behind us, as he did the love of love, the love of life.
by Frances Gunther

It is very sad to lose your child just when he was beginning to bind himself to you, and I don't know that it is much consolation to reflect that the longer he had wound himself up in your heartstrings, the worse the tear would have been, which seems to have been inevitable sooner or later. One does not weigh and measure these things while grief is fresh, and in my experience a deep plunge into the waters or sorrow is he hopefulest way of getting through them in one's daily road of life again. No one can help another very much in these crises of life; but love and sympathy count for something.
by Thomas Huxley

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