By Kayla Schisler
Losing a child is undoubtedly the toughest thing a parent has to go through. There is no word to explain the pain you go through while grieving for your child/children. Your life is forever changed. I lost my twin boys, Gavin and Parker, on April 4th 2009 at 22 weeks. They lived about thirty minutes, but were too young to survive. It was devastating. I always felt like I was put on this earth to be a mother. At the age of twenty, I never thought I would have to endure that much pain and grief.
Life has changed in many ways for me. I became a bereaved parent. My job now is to make sure Gavin and Parker’s memory lives on. We make sure they are still included in our family. We celebrate their short life on their birthday. They have stockings and ornaments at Christmas. My fiancé and I write letters to them, and we decorate their resting place. Every day we work to make sure nobody forgets they came into this world.
I grew stronger as a person, and my relationship with my fiancé grew more resilient. We learned how to communicate and grieve together. Yes we had differences in our grieving, but learned how to be there for each other. During the grieving process some relationships were lost, while others were gained. Some friends and family just could not understand the level of pain and grief I was enduring, and I do not blame them. You cannot understand unless you have walked down this path. So I sought out others who knew my pain. I went to many support groups, and talk to a lot of different people. They became great friends and my second family. Some of us have connected on personal levels, and even after two years we still relay on one another. The strangers I met sitting around a table, are now the people I cannot imagine my life without. I know my boys sent these people into my life, and I hope to one day be the one to help another grieving family just starting on this long journey.
These are just a few changes that have occurred in my life since my boys went up to Heaven. I’m sure there will be more things I notice as the years go by. Even though I am a bereaved parent, I am still a PARENT. Your are still a mother, father, sister, brother, grandparent, ect. That is the one thing you cannot forget through this journey. Your life may have changed in good or bad ways, but your child left their footprints in your heart. That is the greatest gift, and they will forever be with you.