Brian Lund @bclund: How do you move forward after watching your 7yr old waste away and die from cancer just 6 months after she was diagnosed?
Brian, that must have been so hard and painful. There is nothing really to say. Every day you will remember her. Every day her memory will bring you into the past. Every day you will mourn.
There are two things you can do to help ease the process and allow life to move forward.
Move the Past to the Present: She will always be 7 in your mind. And you will always look back and relive those moments you had with her. But every now and then bring it into the Present. Instead of reliving the past, ask yourself, how am I feeling right now about this horrible experience. The answer, of course, will be “very bad”. But feel it right now. That is what you are feeling this second. This brings you out of the past and allows you to acknowledge what is going on inside of you right now. Once you are in the present, once you are accepting of those feelings right now, you can also do the things you need to do today, the things you need to do right now, plan the goals you need to plan to move forward.
Give. Immense sadness and misery is unfortunately also a valuable teacher. Your sadness has given you the unfortunate gift of greater empathy than most people have towards those who are suffering. Wake up every day and say, “Whose life can I save today.” Your sadness is beyond that of mere mortals. So the unfortunate gift it has given you is also beyond that of a mere mortal. Use that gift to help people. Every day you will save life. The first thing you do in the morning say, “I will save a life today.” It might be small. Walking a blind person across a street. Helping a co-worker. Recognizing sadness in others and listening to them. But you will give and it will be returned to you. That’s the best way to accept the horrible sadness of a lost child. That’s what your child would want you to do with that sadness.
You will do it.