And try as she may Denise also internalised much of society’s attitudes towards her (you don’t look like the mother of an addict!) succumbing to her own feelings of guilt and shame – feelings that play such a large part in preventing bereaved parents from enjoying life again.
But of course she did and falling in love again is proof. It’s a myth that bereaved parents never move on, that they never get over the death of a child. We don’t want people telling us this, not just because its rude or uncaring, but more because we don’t want to believe it ourselves. And that’s fine, life and living on after a death is largely a matter of belief systems and of the choices we make of what to believe.
Both Duffy and Denise believe in a life beyond death but they have also chosen to make a life together built on the love they have for each other right now. A love that is strengthened by the common bond they have as parents of dead children.
“That’s what our life is about now” Denise told us “real good laughs and real good tears.”
They both now work tirelessly for the Compassionate Friends, Denise being the regional coordinator for Louisiana. There is one more thing we’d like to tell about Denise and Duffy’s story but you have to watch the video clip to find out…