Are you a member of the club? The club that has a very expensive entry fee, and you can join at a moments notice? The club that NO ONE wants to join, but are FORCED to join?
Before I became a member, I knew very few people in this club. One was someone I knew from CAMPS, one was someone I had worked with, and one was the daughter of a friend of my moms. A relative on my mom’s side and one on my Husbands side
What is this club you ask? It is the “I am the parent of a child that died” club. Of the few I had known, three lost their child to SIDS, and one had a stillborn baby., and one was a terrible accident during which she also lost her husband!
Just about 6 weeks before I joined the club, my friend S. joined, when here daughter died of STUPID CANCER! The previous November, another mother from the hospital joined the club. She was the “first” of those that I had met when Alexander was going through treatment.
This club really sucks, and the worst part of it is, YOU CAN NEVER LEAVE!! You gain a lifetime membership!!! Each day is different. Sometimes it is easy to go through the day, you continue on in your life. Other days though, it is just so hard to get out of bed! You just want to stay in bed and cry the whole day. You might say “oh, you are just 2 years into the club, that is why it is so hard still”. I wish that was true, I have friends that are 5, 8, 10, 20 years as members in the club and they all say the same thing “the tears never stop!!”
I had been doing really well for a while, but then the week after Alexander’s birthday I was missing him so much! He would have been 4 this year. I often think about what he would be doing now – what kind of games he would be playing – how he would be teaching his baby sister things. Some times it is big things that make me miss him like his birthday, sometimes it is a simple as riding in the car going for ice cream.
Recently a friend, another member of the club, posted about her other son – twin to her son that had died. He was having some problems that seemed so very similar to the ones her son had before they found out he had STUPID cancer. I too have had some fears with Julia – although nothing as bad as she did on this particular occasion. It is a never ending fear really – could another child get STUPID cancer – especially since this is an identical twin? In situations like this, it brings up fears of course of the sick child, but then, all the memories of the other child come flooding back as well. The treatments, the pain, the medications. It haunts parents that had been in the ” STUPID cancer world”
So this membership into this club SUCKS – and there is NO WAY OUT OF IT! It isn’t fair, it isn’t right. Each and every day new people join this club. No matter how old your “child” was when you became a member, it is heartbreaking. If you meet a member of this club, be kind to them. If they tell you they are doing “okay”, unless you REALLY know they aren’t, then take them at their word. Don’t push them into talking if they don’t want to. I have good days and not so good days. 2 years into the club, I do have more GOOD days than bad. On those days that are bad, just say you are sorry. Maybe offer to take them out for lunch, or a drink, or ice cream and let them just TALK about their child. If they say no, don’t push them – but let them know you are there for them. Try to remember the child’s Angel Day and Birthday – send a card – a REAL card in the MAIL. Anyone can post a Facebook message, or send an e-mail – those are nice too, but it is the real cards I get in the mail that life my spirits. I have some people that do that for me and it really makes a difference.