This is what Graham's sister posted on Instagram on Graham's birthday, January 24th:
On January 24, 1989 I became a big sister. On May 22, 2012 my only brother was ripped away from me. But just because Graham died does not mean I am no longer his sister, or that I am an only child. People think talking to a bereaved family member about their loved one is too painful. This is not the case; in fact, we want the opposite. We want you to speak their names, share your memories, and let us know they will never be forgotten. More damage is done with silence. Thank you to all who let us know that you love and remember Graham.
I dedicate this to each and every mother who lives without her precious child(ren), to every mother who has no living children, and to every woman who longs to be a mother. We see you. We remember you.
Between the time we decided to stop treatment and the time my baby son died, I felt desperately alone — pulled between my ‘cancer family’ still fighting to save their children and the bereaved families on the other side of this battle.
This past Friday night, my congregation celebrated the Graduation of our 12th graders. Religious school Graduation is always a wonderfully inspiring Shabbat evening, and this year was no different. Except that last year, Jonah was there.
In the grip of grief. These are not my boys. This is not my school, my story. Yet, once more, I am holding hurt -- my own, the hurt girls in my school feel, the hurt braided with fear that every parent feels when adolescent illusions of invincibility are dashed.
At 2:30AM on August 31, 2013, Dede Goldsmith got the phone call that every parent dreads. Her 19-year-old daughter Shelley was in the hospital. Shelley had taken some MDMA at a Dada Life show in a Washington D.C. nightclub. After dancing for hours in the hot, crowded room, she suffered a heat stroke and collapsed on her way to buy a bottle of water. She died before the Goldsmiths could get to the hospital.
The important lesson for today -- the most important lesson of my existence -- is that given time, even the most unimaginable loss can be an avenue to a new life. Six years later, I am well into the journey down that path....
"What if we never ‘get over’ certain deaths, or our childhoods? What if the idea that we should have by now, or will, is a great palace lie? What if we're not supposed to? What if it takes a life time…?
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