New Year’s Day 2021 (unexpected teen death/no surviving child)

by Kay Bevington
Rhonda’s Mom

Rhonda Bevington
1962 – 1980

As I sit in my office today, I am reminded of how our grief resembles the ice-filled trees, the snowy ice crystals on the lawn, and the slick streets just beyond our office window.

NW Ohio is currently encountering an ice storm. We encountered the worst “storm” imaginable when our children died which changed the landscape of our lives.

The trees are currently frozen with limbs drooping of crystals. As parents, we too were frozen when our children died, the tears fell from our eyes like the crystals dripping from the trees suspended in cold air. Our limbs felt like frozen stumps and we could not move.

The snowy covered lawn covers the once beautiful green lawn, and it is treacherous beneath anyone’s feet. The death of our children covered everything previously beautiful in our lives and it was perilous for us to navigate through life.

The slick ice-covered streets cause people and vehicles to slip and slide as they try to navigate a straight path. We often slid and fell down as we tried to navigate life in those early days of grief.

I know that as the temperatures warm, in another day, the trees will once again be free of the ice that causes them to droop, although some branches may break away from the tree, the snow and ice will melt from the lawn and the streets will clear so vehicles and pedestrians will be able to navigate safely.

Similarly, as we gain support from old & new friends/neighbors and family and we begin to shed fewer tears. Parts of our lives are cut off permanently from what we previously knew just as some trees lose their branches. The landscape of our lives will never be the same but our grief will not completely cover all aspects of our lives just as the snow and ice clear from the lawns.

We ever so gradually learn to navigate the treacherous “slick streets of our lives” by journaling, reading everything we can locate about grief, share in our support groups, tell our stories, honor our children in many ways and learn to reinvest in life once again.

We will never be the same just as the trees who lost their branches. We learn to create a new landscape of our lives, different, not as joyous but honoring our children and helping us to find purpose once again.

We wish you a year of peace, continuous healing, pleasant memories of your children, hope, finding a purpose, and may you learn to navigate the storms of your life.

About the Author: Kay and her husband, Rodney, founded Alive Alone in 1988 just eight years after their only child, Rhonda, died just prior to her sixteenth birthday on July 24, 1980. Rhonda died unexpectedly after the biopsy of a capillary collapse due to the anesthetic. A malignant tumor was found that was prohibiting oxygen to flow to the left lung properly and she also had lymphoma. This diagnosis had never been discussed as a possibility with her parents.

Alive Alone publishes a brochure which will be sent free to anyone who wishes a copy. We also mail a packet of information free when parents sign up through our website on the subscription page.  After receiving that packet they have the opportunity to decide if they wish to become an Alive Aline member to receive our services.  Care notes are personally written to parents near the birth and death dates of their children.  We provide networking according to the age and cause of death of children.  Hug notes and letters are written to parents.  A newsletter is published five times each year.  We now have a few zoom support groups for our members only.

Read another article by Kay Bevington: Death of an Only Child/All Children

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