Excerpt from Jack Bolton’s
“My Son, Too”
As I try to write about the pain we suffered following Mitch’s death,
I can’t help but recall
the private hurt that I experienced
during some of the visits
by friends and neighbors.
While trying to do everything in their power toward helping me get through this tragedy, many could not imagine
how to deal with me or
what to say then and during
the weeks that followed.
So many came to the house,
met me in the street or saw me at work
and did not know how to say to me
that they knew I WAS SUFFERING.
All too often I heard them say …
“Good to see you Jack, how is Iris doing?”
I guess I wanted to yell “Iris?
ask about her – what about me?
How are YOU doing Jack?”
What GOD Hath Promised
God hath not promised skies always blue
Flower-strewn pathways, all our lives through
God hath not promised sun without rain,
Joy without sorrow, Peace without pain.
God hath not promised we shall not know
Toil and temptation, trouble and woe
He hath not told us we shall not bear
Many a burden, many a care
God hath not promised smooth roads and wide,
Swift, easy travel, needing no guide
Never a mountain, rocky and steep
Never a river turbid and deep
But God hath promised strength for the day
Rest for the labor, light for the way
Grace for the trials, help from above
Unfailing sympathy, undying love.
~ Annie Johnson Flint ~
Excerpt from Katherine Fair Donnelly's
"Recovering from the Loss of a Child "
The bereaved father suffers severely
in the lonely pew of suppressed grief.
He endures not only the psychological impact of losing his child,
but the fear of losing his masculine identity
by publicly displaying his distress.
In building an image to fit what our society expects,
a man who openly reveals his emotions during a time of tragedy
feels he is looked down upon in most quarters. We are taught
to expect a “real” man to be strong under fire.
But what society does not fathom is that
the loss of a child doesn’t rank with other stress emotions;
it transcends the barrier of do’s and don’ts for emotional behavior.
The honest gut emotion of cleansing the soul with tears of grief
is akin to lancing a wound to drain the infection.
A man or woman is entitled to the right of expiating sorrow.
Men should be made aware that it is natural for them
to experience the same emotional upheaval
in grieving the death of a child that women do.
In suffering a loss of such magnitude, it is natural and
NOT un-masculine – for a man to find himself dealing
with periods of anger, guilt, moroseness, anxiety,
frustration, and other real and gnawing thoughts.
Grief is a period of adjustment – for men, as well as women.