No words for some­one who has lost a child

Antelope Valley Press - - VALLEY LIFE - An­nie Lane

Dear An­nie: Read­ing your col­umn on griev­ing, I was re­minded of a quote I read re­gard­ing a par­ent’s grief upon los­ing a child. Per­haps this would be help­ful.

“A wife who loses a hus­band is called a widow. A hus­band who loses a wife is called a wid­ower. A child who loses their par­ents is called an or­phan. There is no word for a par­ent who loses a child. That’s how aw­ful the loss is.”

This is to re­mind those who ad­mon­ish, “Get over it, al­ready.” They are not at all help­ful!

— A Griev­ing Reader

in NY Dear Griev­ing Reader in NY: Thank you for shar­ing this beau­ti­ful quote. May it bring some com­fort to oth­ers who have lost a child.

Dear An­nie: I was touched by the wis­dom in your re­sponse to “Bit­ter.” Con­fes­sion is good for the soul. My first im­pres­sion was that the woman is so self-ab­sorbed that she is dan­ger­ous to her fam­ily’s on­go­ing dy­nam­ics. But your an­swer rec­og­nized and ac­knowl­edged her per­sonal hurt and ad­dressed it grace­fully so a pos­i­tive re­di­rect­ion could be in­tro­duced.

I am writ­ing this to ap­plaud the wis­dom demon­strated in your thought­ful and thought-pro­vok­ing col­umn and very kind re­sponse to her. It was a bless­ing to read it.

— Happy Reader Dear Happy Reader: Thank you for your in­cred­i­bly kind words. I am print­ing your let­ter to high­light the im­por­tance of try­ing to give peo­ple the ben­e­fit of the doubt — and of­fer­ing love and ac­cep­tance in­stead of judg­ment.

Dear An­nie: Re­cently, you re­sponded to a ques­tion re­gard­ing whether to go to a res­cue or­ga­ni­za­tion or a breeder for a husky puppy. Your re­sponse in­cluded a ref­er­ence to Petfinder. An­other good re­source for res­cued an­i­mals is the Res­cue Me Pet Foun­da­tion. They have a wide va­ri­ety of an­i­mal types and of breeds of each an­i­mal type. If one or­ga­ni­za­tion can’t help, per­haps the other can. I ap­plaud you for en­cour­ag­ing the adop­tion of res­cued pets.

— Rex Res­cuer Dear Res­cuer: Thank you for your sug­ges­tions.

Dear An­nie: The end of 1998 was hor­ri­ble for me. I lost my fa­ther in Novem­ber to cancer, and in De­cem­ber, I lost my 50-year-old hus­band to heart is­sues.

What has got­ten me through all these years has been to think pos­i­tively and to sur­round my­self with every­thing pos­i­tive: my fa­vorite mu­sic, my fa­vorite colors in cloth­ing, my most pos­i­tive friends and, es­pe­cially, my fam­ily.

I have also gone back to church and am very in­volved in many dif­fer­ent projects.

— Tips to Cope Dear Tips to Cope: Thank you for shar­ing what has sup­ported you through your grief.

Dear An­nie: Your re­sponse to “Use­less in CT” was spot on. Many years ago, my 16-year-old daugh­ter asked that I not in­ter­vene with a high school teacher so that she could han­dle the sit­u­a­tion her­self. She was, and is, the type of per­son who could com­mu­ni­cate ra­tio­nally without be­com­ing rat­tled. I find this ap­proach dif­fi­cult, so I pre­fer the writ­ten word.

If the grand­daugh­ter is eas­ily in­tim­i­dated by bul­lies, she might con­sider writ­ing a clearly worded let­ter to her grand­mother. With help from her mother, the let­ter could out­line her feel­ings and offer an ex­pla­na­tion as to why she will be no longer be a par­tic­i­pant in the gift ex­change. This would en­able her to put forth her side without risk­ing ver­bal in­ter­rup­tions and ex­cuses that may be of­fered by the grand­mother. It may even help grandma see the re­sult of her be­hav­ior and work to re­pair their re­la­tion­ship.

— South­ern Girl Dear South­ern Girl: Thank you for of­fer­ing an­other op­tion for shar­ing our thoughts and emo­tions — the writ­ten word. Writ­ing let­ters can be a beau­ti­ful and lib­er­at­ing way to ex­press our emo­tions. Some­times, we don’t even need to send the let­ters to ex­pe­ri­ence the cathar­sis.

Send your ques­tions for An­nie Lane to dear­an­[email protected] cre­

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