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Keep Your Face Toward the Sunshine

I have learned many lessons after losing my child years ago. It takes being knocked down sometimes to get a different perspective on life. I could talk all day on this quote and that one, but I will not. I will only say that if you know of someone who has lost a child, no matter how long it has been, acknowledge their loss. Talk about their lost loved one. If you did not know them, ask the grieving parent about them. We (grieving parents) long for others to mention our child’s name.

As I lose more and more of my family members, I have fewer people who knew my dear son. I have to hold tight to the memories. I do this every day. Time matters not when you lose a child. It sort of stands still. One of the hardest parts of the “process” is seeing life continue for everyone else when your world has been shattered. The sun will always come up tomorrow. The birds continue to sing. Life goes on. But not for you. At least not the same life. You are forever changed.

Many of the sunsets I take from my deck take me closer to my son. I can feel his presence as I watch the sun set. Cannot really explain the feeling but it is there nonetheless. And of course the bluebirds, butterflies, so many things remind me of Dustin. I am thankful for the 16 years I had with him. It would have never been long enough, you never want to lose your child, no matter their age. Remember my words when you are having a bad day. Things can always, always be worse. I will leave you with a beautiful sunset taken from my deck. The entire sky was lit up red. It was gorgeous to watch. And I watched until the sun was completely gone. Tomorrow will be another day. Another chance for peace and hope.

…”Keep your face always toward the sunshine and your shadows will fall behind you.”     ~Walt Whitman

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Written by Carol DM

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29 Comments

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  1. Carol is the most beautiful in the same saddest text I have read here,
    I am an old man, many dear people have died, but my child does not. And so I can only assume how you felt then. I CAN NOT know exactly.
    I just hope that I know that you have to go further. How hard.

    • You are such a sweet person Robin. Your words are very special.
      I hope you never know the feeling of losing a child. Nothing compares.
      He was my only child. He was just 16. Time does stand still, even now.

      I will continue the path as I know he would want me to. He always joked
      and tried to make me smile. That is what keeps me going.

      • I know that there are no words of consolation.
        Everyone has to fight himself.
        The Muslim nation is as hard as us, but they say, “God gave the God taken”
        Maybe it’s a comfort to them. But I doubt it
        I’m sorry to remind you of those difficult moments. I’ve been sad for many times.

        • No please do not apologize. The pain never goes away, no matter how much time goes by. I appreciate you talking to me. The memories are there, both good and bad. Nothing I can do about it. I wish you many great days of happiness!

  2. I am sorry for your loss Carol. I lost my dad 6 years ago then after 3 months I lost my husband to a motorcycle wreck. Yes, it changes you forever, but I can say that i am stronger than I have ever been. Someone I love lives in a group home, and knowing her has enriched my life, and made me more compassionate than I ever was.. Hurtful changes do devastate people but learning from their life can make us stronger in ways we never dreamed of. God bless you Carol

  3. I am not sure how a parent can forget a child, or vice versa! I am, however, knowing that the pain must be excruciating for you with every memory. You’re strong, positive, and inspiring! Life goes on, but you don’t have to let go of Dustin. He is by your side: happy when you’re happy, sad when you’re sad!

  4. Having done home care and lost some dear friends to all types of illnesses, grief is something that is hard to come to terms. The older I get, the more I realise it’s good to celebrate your friends and family while you can. I guess there is no quick fix but with time it gets easier.

  5. Losing anything will make us disappointed and sad, or both. Especially if what passes are those who are very valuable in our lives, the diamonds of our lives, like Dustin and your father. But I feel that you are getting stronger and steadfast from time to time. You dare to meet the sunrise of tomorrow morning, next month or next year. You dare to enter the mystery of life. I am convinced that now you are very wise to believe that we are never alone, anywhere, anytime, in any realm. That red sky is very beautiful, is not it?

    • You are most welcome Kim. It is important for all to remember when things
      get tough, keep going, they will eventually get better. Sorry for your losses.
      I was 14 when I lost my Mom and of course lost my brother, my sister,
      and most recently my Dad. Life can be challenging.

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