Grief Is a Family Affair


Grief Is a Family Affair
Grief Is a Family Affair Part 2


Chapter 1

"Marilyn, call the doctor, I think Jimmy is gone." I tried to clear my sleep-blurred eyes, and shake the fuzziness from my brain. Jimmy.....gone? How could that be? After I called the doctor, I ran into Jimmy’s room and saw my husband holding the lifeless form of our seven-week-old son, our third child.
It has been thirty-six years since that fateful day, but there are many things I remember very clearly, even yet. I remember the dress I mechanically donned while we were waiting for close friends to come to our home as the news quickly spread through our little community. I was in deep grief, but my mind still thought of the things that needed to be done such as who should be called, calling someone to take care of our remaining children, Matthew, almost five, and his sister Mellyn, almost three; preparing clothes for the family to wear to the funeral, and assigning tasks to family and friends who gathered to support us.
In the weeks that followed, I continued to do everything expected of me by my family and friends, and I did my grieving in my own unique way.
While I became quite verbose in my grief, my husband Glen grieved silently. He did what was expected of the man of the house, the bread winner, but he talked of his pain and his grief very little. He immersed himself in his work and in church activities.
Our son Matthew was nearing five, but he can remember the disappointment he felt at no longer having a brother. He remembers feeling frightened when well-intentioned friends whisked him and his sister away from us so that "mom and dad can have some time alone." He remembers wondering why people were crying since "Jimmy went to heaven." He had been taught we were supposed to be happy when people went to heaven. He also remembers that no one had told him before that even little children could die and go to heaven.

Continued on Page 2

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This site was last updated 03/06/04  ęCopyright 2002 Marilyn Willett Heavilin