Words from COPE President and Founder Lilly Julien
“What will I do with my love for you?” a grieving mother calls out in desperation.
“Just love me,” she hears her son say.
“But where are you?” She asks.
“I’m here,” he answers with frustration. And then he is gone.
In a recent NY Times article Nora Wong, poignantly describes the feeling she experienced of her son speaking to her months after he died.
As I related to her struggle to find comfort in his message, I began to relive my desperate quest to find a new relationship with my daughter. I have continued to find new ways to love her, pledging to love and carry her inside of me for the rest of my life.
January marks a milestone of the years since she’s lived. It’s far more difficult during holidays and these times, as it was in my early grief, to find ways to love her in her absence and to feel her presence.
She lives within me forever young, forever 20, now 25 years later.
Others will carry her as they move forward with their lives, in their own way. Some will be able to speak of her. Some cannot. I look for her in others, in her friends, my children, my grandchildren, in my niece and grandchild who look like her, and I love her through them.
As we carry the love for our loved ones into another year without them, I ask:
How can we take the pain of our loss and transform it into the beauty of their lives?
How do we find a new way to love them and carry them with us throughout our lives when all we have left is our love for them?
Some of the ways I and others in COPE have done this has been:
- Helping others
- Making new creations through art, music, dance, a garden…
- A project in their name
- Taking on a quality of theirs and making it our own
- Exploring that quality, in their name
- Places to travel
- Something to tend
- Something to nurture
- Something to cultivate
- Some dream or mountain to climb
Perhaps we can share new outlets for our love in the coming new year and the different ways we will continue to love them!
Love is powerful!
Wishing you new ways in 2017 to fill your heart with peace and comfort.
COPE President and Founder