I mean this in the most sincere of ways. Until a parent loses a child, you don’t realize the emotional and physical toll it takes on you. Just physically getting out of bed every day is a challenge in and of itself. Making yourself get up and go to work just so you have income coming in to be able to pay your bills that you no longer care if they get paid or not.
I mean no disrespect to my husband but at the time of our son’s death I was the sole income to our family because he had just moved to New Orleans and was waiting to hear from his union on work. Blessing or curse, you can look at it from both sides, at least I was forced to get up every morning and go to work. My husband had to set at our apartment and stare at the boots, hard hat, belt and gloves my son was wearing when he was killed. Day after day, he would see this tribute we have set in our living room because I won’t let him take it down (which I don’t think he wants to anyway). So at least I could look at my work as a blessing that I could get out of the house and didn’t have to stare at that 100% of the time.
Within all of this, I still had a ton of thank you notes to write. Those for beautiful flowers sent, homes opened for us to stay in, food brought, flights bought for the band of brothers who would not have been able to make it without the help, flights bought for my husband and I, the use of vehicles when my husband and I didn’t have a car to use, the many donations to the Wounded Warrior Project and many other things that had to be thanked for. The extension of family we found in the most desperate of times was amazing. From those that were just there to hold us, to the ones who came from all over the country to carry our son to his final resting place was truly a testimony to Big Bubby and what an impact he had on so many people in the short life he lived.
It has taken months (We are at the 5 month mark) for me to write most of the notes that needed to be written. I read somewhere you should get them out as soon as after the funeral as possible. My belief is that its on your own time, a loss such as mine isn’t normal and to try and properly thank everyone for specific things can’t be done in a day, week or even a month when you are still trying to come to terms with the loss of your child. I hand wrote them all. In my personal opinion in our case, the only appropriate way to thank those that helped was to hand write out each of the thank you notes. I typed them on Microsoft Word first so that I could make sure that I wasn’t rambling then would transfer to a card via hand written notes. In the world today, we have become so impersonal that this was one way I could make sure that those who were there for us in our darkest hour knew they were greatly appreciated both then and now.