Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Grieving for a Special Needs Child

There are times in our lives when we ask ourselves "how did I get here?" or wonder "I never thought I would be in this situation."

If you have a child that others describe as having "special needs" you know exactly what I am referring to. I can almost guarantee that like myself, you never imagined yourself the parent of a "special needs" child. I know I certainly never did, not in a million years. Having a child with uniquely beautiful blessings was one of those things I always thought happened to other people.

But here I am, immensely blessed with my amazing little Jillian.

Realizing, accepting, and embracing your special child is a process though. Most of us don't come by it naturally and must go through an emotional roller coaster much like the process of grieving. I must admit that I suspect I am early in my grieving process. During the day I happily embrace Jillian for all that she offers our family. But at night when I am alone, sometimes I cry. I cry because it is overwhelming, I cry for my worries, I cry for a whole host of other reasons. I need that release, that emotional opening of the pent up worries from the day. I know there will be more crying, more worrying, and more questions as we walk down this road with our beautiful Jillian. After all, we don't even have a diagnosis yet.

January 29th is the day. I know I will be a mess. . .I'll keep it together during the marathon appointment but eventually I will have to cave and cry and cry and cry some more. Then I will be ready to continue advocating for Jillian like I have from the very beginning.

Jillian is a huge blessing and an overwhelming joy to our family. We wouldn't be complete without her. But until you are the parent of a beautifully blessed child you won't fully grasp what that means. Just like you don't know unconditional love until you are a parent. Likewise, you don't know how joyful a child with unique needs is until they are your own flesh and blood. From the outside these children may look like a stress and a burden. But please, I implore you, do not ever think that when you see a unique needs child. They are a joy! A pure, innocent, beautiful blessing to their family and everyone that comes to love them.


  1. What a wonderful post! I'm blessed with 2 special needs....sort of special needs. Our 9 year old has Down syndrome....but far more "typical" than not. Our 18 year old has cognitive delays and is far from living independently at this point, but has never been officially diagnosed with anything (she has symptoms of Aspergers). Both bring unique things to the family. If you think about it....each child brings their own uniqueness anyway, their's just have labels. I can't imagine life without them. I don't mourn their lack of certain abilities....but I do mourn the fact that my oldest at home isn't mentally the oldest to be in the position to be more....oh I don't know, like a right hand helper. I'm sure you understand what I'm trying to say.

    May God continue to bless you and your family. Embrace Jillian's uniqueness....she's a special gift.

    1. Vickie, I completely understand what you mean, I am in a similar situation with my oldest. And I like how you phrased the fact that every child brings unique aspects to a family, some just have labels, such true words. Jillian is absolutely a precious gift, as are all of my children. My little miracles will always hold a special spot though because they both nearly went to heaven during those first few months. And thank you for continuing to stay updated on our journey. . .