Sunday, July 26, 2015

The bereaved parents club.

a cup cake holder with no cakes.

Today, a young mother joined our club.

In the synopsis of my book, Diary of a Bereaved Mother. I wrote "For we belong to the club of bereaved parents. Membership is not by choice but by force." Nothing can change the fact that our deceased child is a part of the family forever, and the void in the family constellation created by the child's death also remains forever.

While we celebrate our living children's birthdays with the usual shebang of activities, how do bereaved parents celebrate our departed children's birthdays? For me, I celebrate Andrew's birthdays and anniversary in my heart. This is because my husband has other ideas. However, on the eve of these two days, I mention it during dinner. This is more to tell the family that tomorrow, I might feel moody.

When I was a newbie at a S.A.N.D.S support group, the leader was a bereaved mum of 17 years. She celebrates her late son's birthday the same way as she would anyone's birthday in her family. She engaged her living children to help bake the cake and sing happy birthday.

There are special things like holding memorials, releasing balloons, planting flowers,
giving money to her church and charity in his memory. It could be a charity that helps children or babies it seems fitting. I was involved with a lot of charities including one involved spearheading a drive to raise funds to give life to a pair of Siamese twins. My motivation was I couldn't do anything for Andrew, here was an opportunity to help another mum.

Of late cup cakes have become popular. What if you are a teacher, and your student brought a cup cake to you telling you that it is his late sibling's birthday cake? Or a friend who gets such a cake, how would you react? I would like to hear from you.

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