To parents who’ve never lost a child:
We don’t blame you for not understanding, but please try to put yourself in a grieving parent’s mind. Remember, we all used to be one of you. We’ve lost other family members and grieved deeply, but there is no loss like when our child dies; this kind of grief begs to destroy our souls, and very well can without the right support.
Why don’t we “just heal?” That’s like telling someone in the wild whose limbs have been torn to shreds by an animal to get up and walk to safety. Impossible.
Try to imagine your child being ripped from your arms and thrown over a cliff. How could you possibly think of anything else at that moment but to save them. That’s the battle we fight each and every day. Losing a child is a physical and mental battle of torment of trying to accept that our child has disappeared off the face of this earth and there is nothing we can do about it. If they were murdered, killed in a careless way or driven to their death by abuse or some other form, that’s an even deeper layer of pain.
What is child loss like? One: Every waking moment we desperately need to know that our child is okay. We constantly wonder where they are, if they are they safe. We’d give our lives for just a few moments to see and touch their faces, to hold them in our arms one more time and know they truly are safe.
For those whose child died tragically. Do we ever accept the reality that we’ll never see our child again? Never…. They’re gone and all the longer they’re gone all the more frantic we become to see them again. (most days our turmoil won’t allow us to grasp that there is a heaven; if so, how could we be allowed this kind of torment? And still, we pray and live for those moments of relief: God, you are there and I beg that you help us to trust your purpose.
Those who’ve never lost a child, try to volunteer when you see your child hurdled over that cliff, maybe beaten and tossed over. You’ll run screaming to save them. That’s our daily battle.
You may feel exasperated that we aren’t moving on, tired of our grief, but know we are worn to the bone. Still, we keep trying, we have no other choice. Please help by understanding that we aren’t feeling sorry for ourselves, we aren’t wanting pity, we’re just trying to get up on these torn limbs enough to face the day.
Please, allow us to talk it out by supporting the process. If we make it 5 – 10 – 15 years and on, even then, a flashback can bring the tears pouring from our eyes and our souls trembling in the reality that our child is gone. That’s the cost of child loss.
Just because you see us smile, or even laugh, if you could see beneath into our souls you would hear the screaming and the begging for our child to return to us. That’s the cost of child loss. We are the bravest, most carrying people on earth because we know the ultimate pain. Try to understand how difficult this is and all we need is the right kind of support to make it a bit easier.
Help us by listening, be patient because it could be you who walks this road one day.
Parents who have lost a child, feel free to comment on your own pain so that “maybe” some will listen and help. Even if it’s only one or two, maybe a handful, even then the time it takes to read and support will have been worth the time it takes.
Pat has such interesting real life stories to tell.
The year was 1950. The place was Maspeth, New York. We lived in the house on 73rd. St. There were four of us. Myself, almost 7, my two older sisters, 8 and 10, and my brother, 5. It was summer, and in those days the only recreation we had was summer school. The local elementary school was open to all children. They offered arts and crafts. Knock hockey. Checker Tournaments. Basket Ball, Potsy or if you prefer it was also called Hop Scotch, and every day they would put the showers on and everyone was allowed to cool off running through the delightfully cool water. This was all supervised by teachers that worked through the summer to make extra cash.
We (my siblings and I) were allowed to attend summer school with the consent of our parents. Every morning my mother would pack each of us a lunch and a…
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After reading Marala Scott’s stunning book In Our House it’s inspiring to see how her faith and trust in God continues to lead her life. She says regarding her surgery: “You can bring about life saving discovery if you pay attention to what your body is telling you so pay attention.” Reading this during a life-changing time in my life is surreal.
Every day I find ways to celebrate life but today I celebrate life for it is the anniversary of yet another amazing gift God graciously handed me! I celebrate with a passion that I hadn’t fully discovered prior to two years ago, today. I was happy but hadn’t considered how limited my time here is and like most, I don’t know when it will end.
At the point I had the most peace in my life, I found out that I had a brain aneurysm and with more tests my neurosurgeon found yet another. (You can bring about life saving discovery if you pay attention to what your body is telling you so pay attention.) I was afraid to go through with the brain surgery because of the risk and location of the aneurysms and I wasn’t ready to leave the people I love although I knew the choice wasn’t…
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A few weeks ago I was trying to comment on a wonderful blog, and I needed to sign up first before it would post. This is how I ended up with this account. I’m not computer savvy, so let me just invite you to my website which will soon have a place for authors to promote their works: kathleenjanzanderson.com