What About Mala?

I love my daughter very much and we are very close.  I am proud of what she has accomplished and the caring woman she has become.  She is everything to me.

So, why do I write about the boys all the time?  Why don’t I write about Mala?  People often ask me this.  They worry that I am so focused on Neal and Devon and Ian, that I ignore my surviving child standing right beside me.  Not true.

I write about the boys because they are still a part of my life, and I love and miss them.    I feel that it is important, not just for myself, but for the sake of all bereaved parents, to use this platform to help others to understand this.  We will always love our children.  We will always grieve for the things we cannot share with them, and yearn to have just one more moment.  Talking about them doesn’t mean that we aren’t in a healthy place.  Do you talk about your children?  Same thing.  Same love.  Often we have to turn to grief groups or write what we are feeling, because others are uncomfortable, and try to make us feel that we are in the wrong.  It’s not wrong to love and miss someone who is gone.  It’s healthy and helpful to talk about them.

The greatest gift you can give to a bereaved parent is to let them know that you still remember their child, too.  It can feel very lonely.  Sometimes you feel as though no one else ever thinks about the life that is lost.  That’s kind of a second bereavement.

The worst thing you can do is tell someone to move on or let go.  That’s very unkind, and you aren’t helping them.  You are pushing them away and devaluing what they have lost.  They will feel like they can no longer count on you to be part of their support system.  They withdraw.  I read a post at a grief site this week in which a mother cried, “Why won’t anyone say her name?  Laura, Laura, Laura.  I just want to hear someone say her name!”

There is another very good reason why I write about the boys, but don’t write about Mala – she doesn’t like it.  It embarrasses her.  She has asked me not to do it, and so I don’t.  I can say anything I like about Neal or Devon or Ian, and they never raise any objections.  Monkey!

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