Dear J and J,
I saw a post today on Facebook that said your precious little boy N passed away today. The word “sorry” doesn’t seem enough. It seems empty and stupid. Me saying “I’m sorry” won’t bring him back. Nothing will. But I am sorry. I am so sorry that N had to go. I know that because they love N and you, people will say dumb things like, “He’s in a better place,” or “My dog died so I know how you feel,” or even “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle.” I am sorry that you have to hear these things. These people mean well – they just don’t know what it is that you need. It’s okay to tell them, and it’s okay to just walk away. There are no rules. If I were with you right now, I wouldn’t say anything. I would just sit and cry with you. I’d hug you both tight.
I don’t even know you, but I understand how everybody grieves differently. You have every right to do whatever you want to do to remember your son. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. Their intentions are good, but they’re not you. They weren’t N’s mom or dad. Time does not heal all wounds. Some days you’ll wake up, and for a few precious moments, you’ll forget he’s gone, and then your grief will be there, so heavy it’s almost solid. And it will crush you. When this happens, I hope you will cry out to the One who understands and loves you the most. Because even though He took N away from you much too soon, you were so blessed to be N’s mother and father. If you let Him, God will get you through this.
I’m a childhood cancer survivor. My parents almost lost me multiple times during the course of my childhood. And yet, I am still here by His grace alone, thirty plus years later. I want you to know that I am fighting for more awareness, more funding, and ultimately the cures. I want you to know that because there are good people in this world, people willing to do whatever it takes to help, despite there being such awful things as cancer.
Please try, really try, to live the kind of life you would have wanted N to have. He’s with you always, and if you look for them, there are signs. It is his way of telling you he loves you.
I am praying for you.
Love and tears,