We made a decision when we lost our son to not be bitter. That would have been the easy way out. He was only 26 years old. Bitterness would have kept us in one spot without movement upwards. Bitterness would have sent us downwards. Bitterness would have kept us from knowing who we are and what we can rise from.
We did not want to feel anger about the car accident. That would have been the easy way out.
We did not want to be resentful towards the person who lost control and crossed over into another lane of traffic. That would have been the easy way out.
We did not want to be sad. Little did we know that sadness is a new segment of life to someone who has lost a child. The sadness does not occur every day or even every week. Sadness just happens. Sometimes it happens in the most joyous of times. Sometimes it happens when we would just like to our son to share a moment with us.
From a personal perspective…at our daughter and son-in-law’s wedding, I could see Justin perhaps standing with the other groomsmen. I could see Justin dancing with his much loved younger sister at the reception. I could see Justin laughing and talking with friends and relatives. And yet…the vision was perhaps only in my mind.
We did not let any sadness take away from our joy. That would have been the easy way out.
And yet again…we do believe that he was there with us. We do believe that he is happy and smiling and filled with joy. We do believe that he is with us whenever we are sad and whenever we are happy and whenever we realize the wonders of our life.
We did not stop believing in the wonders of life. That would have certainly been the easy way out.
My feelings about losing our son came about because a family friend once told me…
“Don’t ever, ever think about
Should have, Could have, Would have
when you recall moments with Justin.”
“Think about what you can possibly do and what you can possibly accomplish to honor his memory. Think about what you can do to make your part of the world a little better.”
These words kept the bitterness from entering our lives.
“Should have, Could have, Would have”
Words from a family friend who had lost her own son years ago. Words that I share with you today in hopes they will also bring you peace in whatever situation you may find yourself.
***Thank you to my mother’s friend, Zelda Johnston for giving us words that have made such a difference in our lives.***