How Many Children Do You Have?
June 11, 2010 in Acceptance, Balance, Communication, Compassion, Grief, Grounding, Healing, Intuition, Knowledge, Love, Motivation, Purpose, Rainbow Bridge Coaching and Healing, Relationships, Thought, Uncategorized, Understanding, Wisdom
Soon after my son’s murdered remains were found I was filling out a form and came to the question, “How many children do you have?” I remember feeling panic at that moment at how to answer this question I had previously answered easily for over twenty years. Logic said three girls but my heart thought no, that is not right, that seems like denying my sons existence. Next I thought, I have three girls and one son, four kids, no, that isn’t right either, is it?
Losing a child was bad enough and now staring me square in the face was this awful question that I now realized I was going to have to deal with not only once but numerous times I knew for the rest of my life. So I figured I might as well find the right answer for me for all those form questions and those individuals I would surely come across who would ask me as well.
In the beginning when I needed to tell my story of my son and how he had died I spoke in detail of how he had gone missing for almost two years and how and where his remains had been found as well as how his case was being pursued by numerous private, state, and federal agencies.
As the months began to pass and I found I had told my story enough and the grieving process had begun to heal me I found I did not need to go into the details any more. My needs had changed and so I rethought my answer.
Now I answer five stepchildren, three daughters and one angel son. I consider who is asking and why and whether or not they are going to be a continuing part of my life to determine if I am going to go any further in my answer. If so I tell them more so as not to feel as if we are dancing around the fact at hand of my son’s death. I may also explain that my husband’s first born daughter also died of spinal meningitis when she was two, many years before I met my husband. Better out in the open I figure, as it than loses its ability to interfere with the relationship.
If on the other hand the individual is just a passerby in my life than I leave it at five stepchildren, three daughters and one angel son and seldom does anyone pursue it beyond that. If they do or if they have follow up questions about my children I tell them that my 20 year old son went missing for almost two years and his remains were found at that point and the authorities are all in agreement of who did it and know who did it but it is still an ongoing investigation and they are waiting to make an arrest. Then I tell them about my stepchildren and daughters who are alive and well. This way I give them a chance to either acknowledge my son’s death and continue asking questions or ask about the rest of our kids. Doing it this way usually keeps everyone, including me comfortable.
The occasional embarrassed individual I feel bad for but I see it as their problem. Everyone is different when it comes to this question and no answer is a wrong one in fact my husband who lost a daughter in his first marriage along with his stepson (my son) answers seven children. For him this is what works.
Each of us has to decide what is right for us and then simply say it. In this way we strip the question of its ability to traumatize us, we take away it’s negative power and it can no longer have a harmful affect on us.
Peace & Light,
Certified From Heartbreak to Happiness Coach
“Who then can so softly bind up the wound of another as he who has felt the same wound himself?”