Shortly after Rip died, one of my mom's friends who also lost a child mentioned that I was now a part of "The Suckiest Club in the World".
I wish that there were no members of this club, and at the very least I wish that there were no new members, but I will say the women I've met this last year who have also lost a child have given me some of the greatest gifts...they have helped me get through each minute, hour, day and week.
I say all of the time that I am so thankful most people don't know what it is like to lose a child, and I am beyond lucky to have the caring, supportive group of family and friends that I do. But there are times when I feel very alone.
There are times when I don't feel like talking about Rip to my family and friends is the right thing to do on that day or in that moment. You know that person that you feel like running from every time you see them coming, or their number pops up on your phone, just because you know it is going to be a gloom and doom conversation...I don't want to be that girl.
But there is no getting over the death of a child, only through it, and anyone who has lost a child knows that you are always going through it.
That's where I have received so much comfort from the other members of this sucky club. On the days where I feel completely lost, without faith or hope, I've been able to read words that were written by others that could be taken from my own head. Whether from a blog or a personal letter or email...I can look at these words and know that I am not alone, that some things get better and some things don't and both are okay. I've learned from these women that there is no emotion off-limits, no timeline and no list I need to be checking off. On days when I have needed it most I have learned that there is also happiness in life after loss, that wonderful and surprising things are still happening in this world.
So I want to thank them, the other members of this club, for understanding. Thank you for being weak and strong and brave and broken. Thank you for being some of the best parents I know.