After the Flowers Die: A Handbook of Heartache, Hope and Healing After Losing a child by Author Melanie Delorme
"Is it possible to survive the loss of a child?
Even though you might be feeling that the answer to this question is no, never, absolutely not; be assured that not only is it possible for you to survive, but you are also strong enough to thrive after this devastating tragedy.
The loss of a child creates a gaping hole in a parent’s heart that seems unbearable and the only people who truly understand your pain are other bereaved parents. Melanie is one of those parents and, in After the Flowers Die, she offers encouragement, hope and honest suggestions for how you can once again experience joy.
This book is written in an easy to read A to Z format and covers topics that many parents may experience, such as anger, bitterness, birthdays, Christmas, hope, signs, and more. If you have lost a child and are feeling hurt and lost, this book is a great starting point for you to acknowledge your loss, celebrate your child’s life and find hope.
Are you ready to begin your journey towards healing?"
Melanie Delorme was a content English teacher, wife, mother, sister and friend when without warning she gained the title of bereaved parent when her eight-year-old son Garrett was accidentally killed in a hunting accident. Her road to healing brought her to write her first book. Melanie is involved with her local chapter of Compassionate Friends and is passionate about offering hope to other bereaved parents. She is currently living on a ranch in Southern Saskatchewan with her husband, Gerry, and their two children.
Connect with the Author here:
~ Website ~
HELLO MY NAME is Melanie. Even though we may be strangers, we now have a unique connection that most people will never understand. I know that both of us wish we did not share this experience.
The fact that you've opened this book breaks my heart. I don't have to tell you that there is nothing in the world more painful than the death of a child. I have been there, and in a lot of ways I am still there—every time I hear about another parent losing a child.
I know that the death of my son, Garrett, changed my life in unimaginable ways—it feels like yesterday and a million years ago at the same time.
I know that the death of a child creates the worst kind of emotional roller coaster, one that does not end after a final loop-de-loop.
I know that all our emotions need validation.
I know that whatever you are feeling right at this moment is normal.
If you are physically exhausted to the point that you can barely force your feet out of bed in the morning—normal.
If you are unable to control your emotions and are literally crying over the spilled milk—normal. If you just feel numb and are not able to articulate your needs—normal.
If you are so angry that you imagine harming other people—normal.
If other people annoy you to the point that you do not want to leave your house—normal. If the thought of attending any social gathering causes you anxiety—normal.
If you are worried that your pain will never lessen—normal.
I also know that you will be okay.
I know that you'll be okay because you had the strength to pick up this book, which means you have the strength to begin to heal—even if you don't believe it yet. Your healing may be gradual—one day at a time, one hour at a time, or one minute at a time—and that is to be expected.
I know that you may not feel strong, but I know you have experienced and survived other loss and heartache in your life. While this loss is of an indescribable magnitude, you are still strong enough to endure it.
I know that the child you lost is just as special as mine, which is why this book is not a biography of my Garrett's life, but rather is intended to be a companion for you as you navigate your experience with your child. I tell my story about Garrett in chapter G, but if you'd rather meet him now, feel free to skip ahead and come back.
Things That I Know
I know that you are not interested in research-based psychobabble about the stages of grief, so I'm not going to dwell on those, though we cannot ignore them completely.
I know that after your child died, you were in shock. You likely went through the motions of a memorial service feeling completely numb.
I know that you will never "get over it," even though there may be people in your life who think that you should.
I know that a few weeks after your child died, you were cleaning up dying flowers while many of your friends went back to their normal lives, and you wondered if life could ever feel normal again.
I know that the death of our children is something that we cannot change, though we are forever changed.
I know that over time my feelings of utter despair slowly shifted to feelings that let me believe future happiness was possible. This can happen for you too.
I know that you need a glimmer of hope. You need a glimmer of a tomorrow where
smiles and laughter do not create guilt and sorrow past activities can feel enjoyable once more e work and daily tasks are possible life feels worth living again
Let me help you find that glimmer, even if it is only for a few minutes at a time.
I know that grief saps our energy and steals our ability to focus on anything for long periods of time, which is why I've designed this book so you can pick it up and read a page at a time—any page. You do not have to remember where you left off; I know your attention span is limited right now.
I know that it will take courage for you to work through your feelings as you move towards a place of acceptance and peace. As you begin this book, I offer you the words of Reinhold Niebuhr, words that I turned to on a regular basis as they helped me heal:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can, And the wisdom to know the difference.
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