Nine months into Justin’s passing, Jacob (Justin’s brother), told me that he felt forgotten. Jake is a Marine that is away from home. He and I was talking and he opened up to me. It broke my heart to hear that. I’d never want one of my children thinking they were forgotten or not thought of. I had even read about this in grieving pamphlets and tried my best not to allow this to happen. There were times that I had to remind myself I have another child. That I am NOT the only one going through this. Grief is greedy and all consuming. I write this to make everyone aware that there are other children you have to be there for. Jake, and Justin’s other siblings, are dealing with their grief in there own way. If adults have a hard time with getting some kind of understanding how can a young person?
I had to make a mental note that I have to call Jake. To inform him about what was happening in the trial of one of the assailants that took his brother’s life. With Jake being away, it was harder on him. I am so glad that Jake opened up to me about his feeling left out. I needed to hear it and I know it wasn’t easy for him or me. Jake doesn’t always open up to me and it meant a lot that he did. During this tragic journey, I have learned that you have to be open about your grief. It is so important to let others know what you’re feeling and what you’re going through. Talking about grief is taboo but it’s because we feel we have to be strong all of the time. No, you just lost someone who meant the world to you!!
What can I do to change this?
I call Jake more
I think of ways to include Jake in things at home
When we are planning events, I try to make it when Jake can make it home
Make quality time for him
Talking about Justin together isn’t easy but we are getting to where we can share about him. This will take some time and healing. Parents, spend some one and one with each child and be age appropriately open with your child. Again, I strongly suggest counseling. It has helped us so much.
What are some other ideas to share with other parents?