“Every man carries with him through life a mirror, as unique and impossible to get rid of as his shadow.”
— W.H. AUDEN
One of the hardest things about being a parent is knowing when to stop parenting. Every parent prays (each in their own way) for their children to always be happy. As those children go off to live their own adult lives, it is the rare parent who doesn’t trespass beyond the boundaries of those prayers to offer “help”, regardless of whether it is requested. For those of us who have lost an adult child, it seems almost impossible to overcome the urge to parent those that remain. Yet, profound grief irreversibly changes us. Over time, if we let it, that grief can provide a mirror in which to truly look at who we were and who we want to be. I desperately want my son to be happy, yet as I look in the mirror that grief has gifted me I see a mother who needs to stop praying and parenting, and focus on trusting and loving. My life is forever altered. May my grief let me see a better me in the mirror. May it help me to be the parent that my son deserves as he lives his wonderful adult life.