May, 2017

May 7, 2017 | Parent Column


Tom’s Mom, Janet Shavel writes:


As all of us grieve the loss of our children, somehow for me – perhaps others, the date of my son Tom’s birth is a difficult day.


My son would have been 45 on April 21st-I buried him on my birthday, Aug 31st – It will be 7 years this August. Who said Birthdays HAVE to be happy? All the balloons, greeting cards, phone calls, and exchanges from friends and neighbors say “happy birthday” on one’s day of birth.  Yes, it was happy for my parents, but little did I know as a baby 68 years ago, that my birthday as well as other days during the year is a sad reminder that on that date I buried Tom in the boiling heat.  I can still see the coffin placed down on the terrain. I see my other 2 sons laying down their rose and saying bye Tom.  It even breaks my heart to clearly see their pain and sorrow and sometimes guilt. That goes with the death process.  I guess the answer for me was to visit him at the cemetary ON HIS BIRTHDAY. I VISIT HIM ON THE DATE OF HIS death, August 26th 2010 – 7 days after I buried my Mom suddenly as well.  I do receive a little peace and solitude inside so that I can say to him this birthday – Happy Birthday Tom​. I miss you and Love you- As the heat of the sun bakes my skin I can feel his presence around me and tears staining the skin on my face.  I look up and I see his memory as if it were yesterday.
Happy Birthday Tom​.​
Love Mom