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January 2016

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Leesburg Chapter

January 2016

Just for Today for Bereaved Parents

Just for today I will try to live through the next 24 hours and not expect to get over my child’s death, but instead learn to live with it just one day at a time.
Just for today I will remember my child’s life, not his death, and bask in the comfort of all those treasured days and moments we shared.
Just for today I will forgive all the family and friends who didn’t help or comfort me the way I needed them to. They truly did not know how.
Just for today I will smile no matter how much I hurt on the inside, so that maybe my heart will soften and I will begin to heal.
Just for today I will reach out to comfort a relative or friend of my child, for they are hurting, too, and perhaps we can comfort each other.
Just for today I will free myself from my self-inflicted burden of guilt, for deep in my heart I know if there was anything in this world I could have done to save my child from death, I would have done it.
Just for today I will honor my child’s memory by doing something with another child because I know that would have made my own child proud.
Just for today I will offer my hand in friendship to another bereaved parent, for I do know how they feel.
Just for today when my heart feels like breaking, I will stop and remember that grief is the price we pay for loving, and the only reason I hurt is because I had the privilege of loving so much.
Just for today I will not compare myself with others. I am fortunate to be who I am and have had my child for as long as I did.
Just for today I will allow myself to be happy, for I know that I am not deserting my child by living on.
Just for today I will accept that I did not die when my child did, my life did go on, and I am the only one who can make that life worthwhile once more.

~Vickie Tushingham, TCF, Tyler, TX

A New Year

The year is coming to an end
Please lend an ear to my thoughts, my friend
May I really tell you how I feel
About another year with which I’ll deal.
I won’t always ask that you understand
And when you don’t, just hold my hand
If I look ahead with a sense of dread,
Help me look again with hope instead.
If on New Year’s I shed a tear
For that precious child no longer near,
Just know I need a little time
To blink back the tears, then I’ll be fine
This hurt will last my whole life through
But I can manage with God and you.
And know again my child will shine
Because he’s in your heart and he’s in mine

~Nan Gurski, TCF, Houston, TX

An Image of Grief

I am a tree, standing alone in the winter. I feel cold, empty, gray and ugly.
The winds of grief have ripped away a branch and left me unbalanced - with a great gaping hole.
The sap of my inner-most being rushes to the hole to provide a balm for the pain of the open wound.
The icy cold rain of my weeping falls through the shaking of my boughs.
I continue to sway in the harsh gales of reality, and the keening of the winds are the voice of my heartache.

But under the ground there is life. Each root of love, friendship, care, family and faith is feeding into the
trunk, and I know for a certainty that surely spring will come again.
The bark of time will cover the rending wound. The scar will always be there, but the drain on my heart will be over.
The leaves will burst forth and gently surround the wound with breezes of living memories and promises of life to come.
My boughs will be heavy with the wonder of living.
Nestled near the scarred trunk secure in the knowledge that God is my refuge and strength, the sweet bird of happiness will sing again.

~Anita King, TCF, Hagerstown, MD