Do you have any children?
A simple question isn’t it? It used to be. We get asked this question quite frequently when we are out and socializing with people who obviously don’t know us. It used to be a very simple answer and yet that changed about nine years ago when my only child Laura passed away.
Initially I somehow managed to avoid conversations that led anyone to ask me about children. Later when I was comfortable in talking about what happened I used to say that my daughter passed away without really answering the question. I didn’t know how to answer it. I still felt like a dad. I still felt like my daughter was around even though she physically wasn’t with me. Then I would see the reactions of people when they heard that my daughter passed away and they felt bad for asking which somehow just made it worse. That just prompted more questions about how it happened, something I was not willing to talk about initially.
It isn’t an easy answer because so much goes through my mind and all of it in split seconds.
Do you have children? Here’s my conversation with myself;
Should I say no?
Should I say yes? Well then where is she? Then what?
Am I denying her existence by saying no?
Am I not honoring her by saying that I don’t have children?
Why doesn’t someone my age not have kids? Can’t have them? Why not?
So my simple answer is no, we don’t have children. I know in my heart that I honor Laura in every way imaginable. She is a part of my life in so many ways. Not having her here is sad and as much as I miss her, I know that she has changed my life forever. Writing about her in my blog makes a difference in a small way so that everyone can know what a precious and amazing daughter my Laura is. Hopefully if there are other parents out there that have suffered through the loss of a child, perhaps they can know by reading this blog that they are not alone in how they feel.