It spoke to me on man levels. There is the obvious reason- it’s about Down Syndrome. But there is a more subtle reason- it’s about a parent wanting to speak up for his child but struggling to find the words at the right time. I feel so connected to that feeling. How often do I want to speak about Mabel, but I don’t know quite how?
The dad felt like he failed his son, so made a video about it- as a testament. I come here and I post on facebook, saying her name, posting about baby loss, writing about grief. These are my testaments.
I was reviewing her medical history and when we went over her family history, she told me that her father had died last year.
“I’m so sorry to hear that,” I replied.
She told me how his birthday just passed and the anniversary of his death was coming up. I asked if she did anything for the birthday or was planning anything for the anniversary. She peered at me with a look of surprise- like she never thought about doing something in remembrance.
“It’s just been so hard, losing my dad…” she started. She was young- younger than me by ten years at least, which meant her dad died young. She mentioned how her live-in-boyfriend didn’t quite understand, especially now that it’s been so long. She shrugged her shoulders, brushing it off a bit.
I looked at her in the eyes, trying to drum up all the compassion I could. “There is no timeline on grief,” I spoke the words I have read over and over again on blogs and articles and have tried to convince myself are true. “You will be sad forever. He was your dad. It’ll change over time, but you can always be sad. I’ve learned a lot about grief over the last year and one thing I know is that you grieve how and for as long as you need to.”
Her eyes got a little wet and she gave a small smile.
Have you been able to comfort someone in their grief?