After a month of holidays, (Easter and Passover) with Mother’s Day approaching, I feel compelled to share what has offered me hope through the agonizing loss of my daughter. It is the realization that relationships continue beyond death. As Morrie said in the book, Tuesdays With Morrie, “Death ends a life not a relationship”.
It’s taken me many years to develop this new relationship that is very different from the one we knew when my daughter was physically present. I had to find a new relationship with myself and with my daughter, Michelle. I needed to find a way to feel Michelle present in my life in order to go on living. It was unfamiliar and challenging to grasp, but eventually became a way of life. How powerful it is to realize that the relationship with the one you love can exist beyond time and dimension.
At first, I opened myself to the possibility, and then began to believe it possible. I searched for “signs,” not only as proof that her soul existed, but for the connection I yearned to feel from the “messages”. This was the beginning of our new relationship. I did things she liked to do. I ate her favorite foods. I valued all that she taught me. I carried her inside me—in my heart, my mind, my soul—until I birthed this new relationship. And over the years, I have reinvented our relationship.
What I’ve learned from my own experience and from the experience of many other bereaved parents whom I’ve met through COPE is that it’s up to us to cultivate a new relationship with our child. After our children are no longer physically present, they still exist in our hearts, minds, and imaginations. Cultivating that relationship empowers us when we feel the most helpless and powerless. The more we can cultivate that relationship, the more present they’ll feel in our lives.
We are forever surrounded by the energy of love and that cherished connection to our child.
COPE President and Founder