Losing a family member is a terrible experience but when it is a child it is more devastating. It is like a part of you has died, it leaves such hole. Let me make one point perfectly clear here. I have NEVER lost a child so I have no understanding what it is like. I have watched friends go through the experience, some marriages have survived and some haven’t.
I am like everyone else when someone close passes, you just don’t know what to say. I am sure you have all felt that really helpless feeling of what to do. or say and most say nothing. I learned that once things settle down and are quiet again the best thing to do is take the lead from the Mum and Dad. Just be there for them, you don’t have to say anything, just be there. If they need a cry, let them, they need to be angry at God, let them. the time they will need you most is when things are quiet and everyone else has gone back to their new normal lives. The couple who is experiencing the loss is having to find a way to create a new normal.
Why did I tell you all that, So I can tell you about this:
Her name is Colleen and she suffered from Cystic Fibrosis. First of all even I have to look up what that is. Cystic Fibrosis (CF) primarily affects the lungs and digestive system because of a malfunction in the exocrine system, responsible for producing saliva, sweat, tears and mucus. There is no known cure. My Sorority sister knew her and her family and they were really close. Being a member of the extended family she is having a hard time knowing what to do now. Not knowing what to do I totally get that one,been through that on more than one occasion. through life experience I have learned a few things and I did the best I could today to share my what I call “Gary guidance”
Sure, Life is not fair and someone like Colleen who had this terrible disease was taken way to soon, but I am sure that in what tie she had left that she was surrounded by love and caring and all those who were special in her life. What Now? is the basic question. How do you pick up the piece and try to move on. First of all it has to be in your time, each day you have to find that one thing that gets you through the five minutes that are completely crap. Find something that is positive about the person you have lost and hang on to that.
Gary taught me that god’s gives you what you can handle for that day. When the sun comes up the events of your day is what you are going to have, when the sun goes down that is it. You can’t change what has happened, so take care of yourself and recharge to start over the next day. Talk to Colleen about what ever it is, go to her favorite place. Have her favorite meal.
A mate of mine recently lost his daughter in a car accident. She was 21, going to Ohio State and loving life in general. We have helped him and his family celebrate her life and turn the lost in to a positive. There is now a foundation in her name to give scholarships in the same field that Maria was studying. They are also getting the word out about being a more defense driver.
I hope that you can take the loss of Colleen and turn it into a positive. Get involved with the local CF chapter in your area. Knowledge is power for those who have kids with the disease. Have an event in Colleen’s memory, to help raise awareness. These are just ideas off the top of my head, be as creative or as simple as you feel you need to be.
To Colleen’s Parents and Sister I would like to offer my deep sympathies at this time. Thank you for sharing Colleen with the world.