Friday, March 21, 2008

"It Won't Get Any Better"

Getting ready to go to this afternoon's viewing for Reece Wood, I was looking for something to give to her parents and found the following passage that, in an odd way perhaps, may be meaningful and helpful to them.

“I try to imagine the future. Will we ‘get over it’ and be cured of mourning? Will we forget and find comfort in forgetting? Will we remain in the unreal reality, dreaming through life, hoping we will wake up and it will all be untrue? Then I shop in a store in our small town and the owner, who I have in my grief forgotten has lost a son, shocks me by saying, ‘It won’t get any better, Don.’

“I step back as if he hit me. He watches me but refuses to apologize or attempt to gentle his brutal counsel, but strangely, as I leave, I find myself taking comfort from that statement. Lee’s death will be part of us forever. It will mark us forever. There will be healing as there is when a leg is amputated. We will become who we are: ‘the Murrays, who lost a daughter, you know.’ And as we live this life, we will always feel the leg that others cannot see, the invisible leg I have heard amputees talk about that feels cold, pain, itches, lives on in memory.

“It will not get any better, and I feel a strange comfort in that. I will have to live this changed life as well as I can. There will be no healing, but I will become familiar with this new life, always having at my side the daughter no one else can see. I might even find it a comfort to know she will always be near.”

- Donald M. Murray
In The Lively Shadow: Living with the Death of a Child

Tomorrow, I'll probably try to go to Reece's funeral in the morning and then drive to Larue, Ohio, for the funeral of Lois Parish, my good friend Jeff's mother. Two extremely different types of death there, I suppose, with one being a toddler and the other a woman with many years behind her. It will be interesting to experience both in such close proximity to each other. If I do attend both, I'll have gone to more funerals since November than I have in the last decade and a half.

Let me close with another good quote from Don Murray:

"We don't get over the death of those we love. Don't tell those who have suffered such a loss to get over it. Think how terrible it would be if we could forget."

1 comment:

Diane said...

Palmer -- "Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep" is a blogsite for people whose babies/children have died. I have read a goodly number of them and what you have written is reiterated over and over.