Stories by Professionals

Letter of Sympathy

by Cynthia MacGregor

author of "Why Do People Die?

Thank you for your letter. My heart goes out to you in your ongoing grief. The loss of a child is a terrible thing to have to endure. Of course you will always have him and hold him in your heart, but how terrible not to watch him grow, not to share all those "firsts" and big steps that mark a child's passage through the time of childhood. Spencer may always be 20 months in your heart, or you may mark all the times-that-should-have-been:

"Spencer would have started Kindergarten today."
"This would have been Spencer's eighth birthday."
"This would have been Spencer's eleventh Christmas."

But whether he remains forever 20 months in your hearts or grows as time goes by, you don't get to actually see him wave goodbye as he goes off to summer camp, you don't get to read those wonderful letters home, you don't get to see his face the first time a friend comes for a sleepover, push him in swings, watch him climb a tree for the first time, celebrate birthday after birthday, dress him up for Halloween, help ease him through adolescence, and one day watch proudly as he marches down the aisle to receive his diploma, then not too long thereafter marches down a different aisle to be joined in wedlock with the woman he has chosen.

Just remember that he *will* always live in your hearts, and nobody and nothing can take that away from you, not until the day you both are gone too, gone perhaps to join him again in whatever unknown life there may be beyond the life we share on this earth.Meanwhile, treasure your other children. They cannot and will not replace the one you lost, but they are great treasures in their own right.

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