On August 30, 2009, my daughter Sheri passed away while giving birth to her second child. She was thirty-three years old and left behind a loving husband and two small children. Her sudden and unexpected death brought grief to those who loved her and who still struggle to accept their loss. I have established this blog with two purposes in mind: to create a space where I can share my experiences in dealing with the death of a loved one and to provide resources for those who find themselves in a similar situation.
I am beginning this blog on Memorial Day 2010, our only national holiday for remembering those who have died. Unfortunately, in the past the real meaning of the day often got lost as we enjoyed a three-day weekend or rushed to begin summer vacation.
Charles Ives, the American composer, wrote “Decoration Day,” a work that depicts the events of his childhood: his father’s band played a mournful tune as they marched to the town cemetery where a trumpet played “Taps,” and then the band played a lively march as they returned home to normal life.
On past Memorial Days, we would fly the flag at half-mast, participate in a national “moment of remembrance,” attend a VFW flag ceremony, and then head off to the park or to the mountains. Somehow we thought we could grieve for a moment and then “get on with life.” But now we have lost our precious daughter, we find that life never returns to “normal” and our grief is always with us.