“Death leaves a heartache no one can heal. Love leaves a memory no one can steal.”
Vice President Joe Biden quoted this message from an Irish headstone in a beautiful letter he wrote to COPE in April, 2014. That letter now hangs on a wall at our COPE house as inspiration to the many parents and siblings who come together for support.
When I heard of the tragic passing of his son, Beau Biden, I couldn’t help but wonder how challenging it must be for someone who is constantly in the public eye to mourn and grieve. I wonder if he has the freedom to receive the support from other bereaved parents who can understand the pain and anguish he is going through, like we do at COPE.
I thought how fortunate we are to connect through COPE to find the help to live with our losses.
My thoughts turned to Beau’s young wife and children. Beau Biden experienced grief as a young child when he lost both his mother and younger sister in a car accident. I wondered if his children would ever go to a Camp Erin, a place that was not available to either Beau or my own children when they were young and grieving.
I contemplated the outpouring of messages and prayers being sent to Joe Biden and his family. I recalled the overwhelming love of family and friends when I was grieving the loss of my daughter. These letters and cards which describe my child are cherished stories and memories that I have to read over and over.
Thinking of the Vice President’s loss made me appreciate even more the various ways COPE supports families who are suffering the loss of a child.
Our hearts and prayers are with Joe Biden and his family and all of you who are living with love and loss.