Oné of the worst imaginable things is to be separated from those you love. Some parents are in prison, others lose their right to see their children for years. They were not granted visitation rights by a judge. In abuse cases, one parent may ask that the abuser refrain indefinitely from seeing their child.
Clients enter family counseling, mourning this contact. Of course they miss seeing their children grow up. Still they can maintain and grow in their identity as a mother or father. A wise friend of mine, miscarried a child and never was able to have another child. But in those months of carrying a child, she became a mother. Her tenderness and her outlook towards others changed forever, even though she never had physical contact (well, contact outside) with her child. Still, she identifies as a mother.
If you are separated from your child, you can still work on yourself as an active parent. You can do many things to build your muscles in caring for the vulnerable; in sharing your talents with others. You’d be surprised how many guys are needed to coach Little League, or how many volunteers are needed in a public school near you.
If you grieve for your child and rage with feelings of impossibilities, just consider the Dalai Lama for a minute. He’s a holy man, seen as the head of Tibet. Yet he has lived in exile for 30+ years. He has no secretary of state, no army, no monastery. He has no family, yet he has an amazing life. Because of the manner he refers to the Chinese, he has disarmed his opponents, and has won many followers.
In fact, despite losing his inheritance in Tibet, the Dalai Lama has gained worldwide attention. The world listens reverently to his words because he carries much stature in how he treats the Chinese. May this attitude prevail for all who’ve lost rights to raise their children.