"There is no tragedy in life like the death of a child. Things never get back to the way they were." -Dwight D. Eisenhower
Tragedies, they are a part of life. When they happen to us, we know what to do, what to feel--we mourn, get angry, etc. But when it happens to people we don't know--now what?
I am writing this post with a choking pain in my throat and sporadic tears of sorrow. In light of today's stunning and inconceivable tragedy in , like many, I reflect and momentarily step into those parents' place...tears.
I share the following with my deep respect, honor, and in the purest human instinct to somehow help.
With the desire to do something, say something to the afflicted, but unable to do so, I began to think of how I can honor them, show my respect, and get a handle on this unexplicable confusion and sadness.
How Can I Help?
- I can soften my heart.
- I can seek comfort in God. (Your choice of 'spirituality')
- I can be more patient with others; not just my family.
- I can take a moment to wave goodbye at the window.
- I can express my gratitude more often to my sons for their calls.
- I can get up and greet my loved ones at the door when they return home.
- I can send my sons an email or text just to say hello.
- I can thank my daughters in-law more often for being so kind to my sons.
- I can put a card in the mail to my mom and dad that says, "thank you".
- I can smile at other people's children.
- I can express understanding to the parent of a screaming child.
- I can treat teens cordially and respectfully; how else will they learn?
For parents of precious little ones:
- don't rush them to grow up.
- do whatever you have to do to extend their innocence.
- show them patience.
- find joy in their interests.
- always remember that they cannot keep up with you.
- your texts and emails will be there later, they won't.
- stick to your rules; they are confused when you don't.
- hold them, hug them, tickle them, and listen to them.
For parents of impetuous and oh-so remarkable teens:
- remember how you felt and thought when you were their age.
- learn about their interests.
- listen more--talk less.
- don't correct them in public.
- don't correct them, offer options.
- be flexible about the neatness of their room.
- ...and the stinky tennis shoes in the hall way.
- set boundaries; how else will they know that you care.
- accept the fact they aren't supposed to always like you.
- keep their matters private; this builds trust.
- don't ever, ever compare them to anyone else--ever!
- your texts and emails will be there later, they won't. (yes, repeated)
- hug them--even if they don't hug back or they complain about it.
- go to their games, recitals, etc. stand back maybe, but be there.
- don't make them think like you; just tell them why you do.
_______With deepest sympathy and in memory of all the children.
Rosalinda Randall of Your Relationship Edge.