(-- "Did Your Child Come Out to You?"... CONTINUED
This stage lasted for several months. We walked around, each
self-absorbed in sorrow about something we couldn't understand,
trying to decide if he was just confused or, if this was real.
Patti and I would pass each other, make eye contact and just shake
our heads and sigh. Sometimes, I would go into her office just
to feel connected to her, close the door so no one could overhear
our dreaded discussion, and then become more despondent because
I couldn't think of anything meaningful to say.
Really, there were no words to say. This cloud of disbelief,
that this could be happening to our family, would not go away.
After several counselors and therapists, we could no longer hold
up our wall of denial. We finally had to face reality: our treasured
child, our first born who carried all of our hopes and dreams,
Once we came to terms with this inescapable certainty, our road
from depression became easier. We had a choice: Get on with living,
or get on with dying. Looking back, I can't believe how far we've
come. I now look forward to a new life for Adam.
This road is difficult and I don't envy you for having to travel
it. However, it is as necessary to the healing process as anything
that you will do. Take heart, for this will give you strength
and confidence for the later stages. Stay on the path and seek
God's help. God is present in the darkness, in the uncertainty.
If you feel as though a death has occurred in your family, it
has. You must come to terms with the fact that the life that you
had envisioned for your son or daughter will never take place.
This depression that you feel is real and you must not deny it.
Let your child know that you are going through the grieving process
of a death. This is part of the natural process. You must not
try to hide it from them.
They must give you room to experience and express your true feelings
if the both of you are going to survive this ordeal. You will
survive, but honest communication is what will get you through
it. The ability to talk openly about painful subjects will become
one of your many blessings.
--- Jeff Ellis
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