Today is the Worldwide Candle Lighting services around the globe for parents who have lost a child. There will be candle lighting services taking place all around the world where the parents, grandparents, and siblings will be able to light a candle and remember their loved ones. The group responsible for this event is The Compassionate Friends a group dedicated to supporting families who have lost a child.
As I belong to that unfortunate group of parents who have lost a child, my knowledge of this event and this group I will speak on. I have, when I was living in New York attended a few of the meetings. The intention is to help parents and family members deal with and offer support to those who have lost a child.
It was bittersweet to attend those meetings because I usually was one of the very few in attendance that had no supporting family members or significant other in attendance with me. Eventually I wound up not going because it was so difficult to go and immerse in that environment and then snap back to the real world.
I accidentally ran into the press release for this year’s Candle Lighting events and with the weather deteriorating and becoming dangerous later on this evening, it is unlikely that I will attend the event that is taking place here in Charlotte.
I have not said anything to anyone about this because this too is part of the experience of the parent that has lost a child. It is not a topic that people want to TALK about. This time of year is much worse as most are engaged in activities with their families and there is no place that I have been able to find to have any kind of conversation about grieving or losing a child.
Social settings are always challenging. Ultimately, at some point someone will ask me if I have a child. I have two choices, I can say yes and count to ten before I wind up having to explain about his passing away – or I can say no I don’t.
This is the world into which I have been thrust. To acknowledge the loss or not. I have refrained from being in social situations much because of this very thing. It is hard however, to avoid in a work situation where everyone is talking about their kids etc.
The changes that have become a part of my life as a result of my son’s passing continue to present challenges that I try not to despair of and continue to try and fight through. Without support it is and has been incredibly difficult. The other day I was part of a conversation about hugs and I had to stop and think about the last time I had gotten a hug, and best as I can remember it has been months ago. IN that same thought – I contemplated what would I do (not for a Klondike bar) for a hug at that moment. I am now reminded of the young women who put an ad on craigslist to “rent” a family for the holidays.
If it were only that simple. It is far from that. I have yet to find an understanding as to why my life has descended into one where there are no hugs, and no love. Speaking as a recipient – as a giver that has not changed, but very little if any of that love given away, comes back.
I will light a candle tonight in memory of my son, Dante’ Devaughn Angerville, and for a moment remember the part of my life that is now gone…and pray that this life that I am existing in now will find some measure of comfort before my time here too is done.