Cherished memories

photo by Kelly Lincoln

by Greg Lincoln

Our backyard has been full of our little wild Alaskan songbirds visiting our birdfeeders. Their sweet singing, chirping, and occasional squabbles make us smile. So far we’ve been visited by black-capped chickadees, pine siskins, white-crowned sparrows, and lots of redpolls. There are also the robins and swallows. A family of swallows has chosen to make their nest in our birdhouse. To us, that is an honor.
This summer we’ve done a lot of birdwatching, much more than we have in previous summers. I think it is the most we’ve ever done. We are thankful to be able to enjoy this simple pastime. It helps, it’s a distraction, and it’s a nice way to rediscover life’s amazingness.
But there are still those who fall into a category that no one should be in.
It has been said that the people who are suffering from Complicated Grief the most are the parents who have lost a child. These writings about grief are for you who are friends or who have loved ones who are experiencing this type of bereavement.
Each day there are pangs of sadness where we are plunged into the depths of despair. Despair and sadness that is so deep because of the fact that we will not see her again in this present existence, this life. How can one recover from that kind of a loss?
You don’t. You don’t recover, you just cope with the new reality and keep going forward. Is that a kind of recovery? It is a step in the right direction.
So what do we do when these pangs hit us? The only thing to do is to ride it out, pray, and even if you are left with that tired weak feeling, you made it through.
A friend of ours once told us that it never gets easier, but it does get less hard. With time, the intense grief, this very unpleasant sadness should begin to ebb. Can you measure how you are feeling through this journey of grief? I think we can.
Deeply bereaved people sometimes don’t like to talk about it. It is too painful to bring up, hopefully they will let you know. Their therapy will not be the same as yours or our therapy. We are all different in our ways and how we chose to deal with, live through, fight, struggle, with our grief.
How can we help them? Be their friend, and always follow through. Humans are born with the innate wish to seek and form close relationships with others.
Our beautiful daughter loved those little birds, just like Kelly. She would sit and watch them with her brother and sister as they would come and eat and they would giggle and laugh at their cuteness and silly antics. They even had names for all of them. I can see them like it was just yesterday, and their laughter rings through me.
To you, our friends, quyana for helping us out during our times of difficulty and struggle. Let us not forget the others who are grieving. A kind word or deed goes a long way.