Monday, February 18, 2019

When Your Child Dies

When your child, and mine, dies, it wipes out everything.  It wipes out the ability to focus, think, relate to people, including family and friends.  When anyone is so profoundly impacted by an event it is not likely that anyone will be in the same place at the same time. Ultimately this death redesigns your core self.  Nothing is so internally life altering as the death of your child. 

In many ways the death of your child creates an invisible prison because no one can see the overwhelming pain or internal distortion.  For me, the first year at least, was simply trying to not hurt so much.  I had the continual sensation of having a hole in my middle.  Not anything visible so people thought me a bit strange. I feel I have become a bit strange as no one can really share that experience, grief is truly a walk alone.

The rebuilding of self and life is slow and arduous, there are no guidelines, you have to make them up as you go.  On the other side of healing is a wholly different person with different priorities, different foci, different needs and a very different philosophy.   

The ripping apart inside is so painful, persistent and complete that it is a wonder that any of us come back at all.  The saddest and most difficult result is that no one can truly be there and very little helps for a very long time. 

Forty + years after her death I am still strange and different from others because the theme is still the same.  “You should be over IT by now”. “Time to move on.”  Etc., etc. in tiresome consistency.  I actually have gotten on with my life, a wonderful, marriage a satisfying career, another child and now our children’s marriages and now grand-children.  It has been a good life, and still, and still I am different and apart from others because… when my child died that wiped out everything.

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