By Chandrama Anderson
UmpquaUploaded: Oct 6, 2015
My daughter died in-utero 17 years ago in the midst of five miscarriages. I have done everything I can think of to keep my son safe (and not smother him in the process). I probably sat by his bed checking his breathing a little more than usual when he was little.
And yet, truly, I cannot keep him safe.
My neighbor and friend texted me after Umpqua to ask if that's where my son is. A colleague called as well. I am thankful to say no, he's elsewhere in Oregon.
But for many parents, families, and friends, the answer is yes. The grief, the shock, the pain has only just begun for so many. My heart goes out to them all.
As I was writing about this in my journal, I recognize the part of me that wants to draw in closer, recede to a perceived "safe" place.
Simultaneously, I recognize that there isn't a "safe" place, and that the best prescription for me is to embrace life fully, to love, to create, to serve, to make love, to find beauty everywhere.
To find one's gift and bring it into the world.
I hope the family members and friends of those who died take advantage of grief services and counseling. My thoughts are with them. I've worked with enough grieving parents to know that this is a very long and painful journey. One that is integrated eventually, but never gotten over.
May we all love those dear to us; say it out loud, show it every day. We never know when it will be the last chance we get.