National Donut Day, National Pizza Day, every day, every month is commemorative of something. Today, I find out that July is “Bereaved Parents Month”. I find this description “Bereaved Parents Awareness Month. Often we don’t know what to say or do for grieving parents, so we do nothing. However, the month of July is designated as Bereaved Parents Awareness Month, a time for supporting our friends and loved ones who’ve experienced the loss of a child.”
I want to express gratitude to whoever thought enough of this challenging subject to remind the rest of the world that bereaved parents want to be heard and seen. I’m not sure we need a month though. And, does this mean we only support bereaved parents during July? How do we support bereaved parents especially in July?
Tywana and I were fortunate enough to have discovered Helping Parents Heal shortly after Shayna’s transition. Even when our families aren’t there to support us in the ways we might like, we have a network of friends we can call on any time of day, any day of the week, and any month of the year. Even better, we have neighbors and friends who don’t wait until July to ask how we’re doing. They know the especially critical days like birthdays, would-have-been graduation, anniversaries, and they step up without having to have been prompted in any way. And, for that, I am eternally grateful.
Helping Parents Heal has coined the term Shining Light Parents, which we are trying to introduce into everyone’s lexicon. Generally, when a person leaves the planet early, like our children, they are an advanced soul, an exceptionally bright light. So, we immediately become the parent of a Shining Light. As we go through this process, if we do it right, we become Shining Lights for others. The term has a double meaning. Even while we are in the earliest painful throes of grief, we are Shining Light parents.