Losing a Child Is A Lifelong Grief Journey
There is no more devastating loss than the death of a child. As a fellow parent said about the loss of her son in the same month as the loss as mine, ” It is HIDEOUS!
Losing a child is a lifelong grief journey but even more than that it is a stark contradiction to everything that is known to be true in life. Losing a child disrupts the natural law and order of life. It is a heartbreak like no other. Parental grief is different from other losses—it is intense, painful, tiring, hard to endure and seems to have no end.
“Children are not supposed to die…Parents expect to see their children grow and mature.Ultimately, parents expect to die and leave their children behind . . .This is the natural course of life events, the life cycle continuing as it should.
After our child’s death,we embark on a long, sad journey that can be very dark and extremely lonely—a journey that never really ends. The hope and desire that healing will come eventually is an intense and persistent one for grieving parents.
We never chose this. No one asked. How could we have to give up our precious child. It’s so hard to understand and accept. Yet, as parents, we strive tokeep our child’s memory alive. WE seek to find ways to continue to love, honor, and value the lives of our children, and to make their presence known and felt in the lives of family and friends. All the while the grief journey continues.
We are parents who are traveling this unwanted path of grieving the loss of our children. None of us want to be here. Whether your child was with you for fifteen minutes or 50 years, the end result is the same. Your beloved child is gone, and now you are left to pick up the pieces and go on.
I lost my own son four years ago on as I write this. The pain is still there. The love I felt for him was enormous, just as yours was – so the pain is going to be equally enormous.
I decided to start a chapter for Compassionate Friends a year and a half after the death of my son. My hope was to help other parents with the loss of their own child. Knowing that other parents would know all too well just how I felt and we could be there for each other in our darkest moments as we try to put the pieces of our fractured life back together again.
What has happened to me is that I have encountered amazing parents whose loss is monumental. My eyes are now open to all the ways that parents lose a child. Children die, from accidents, illnesses, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, Miscarriage, Homicide, vicims of terrible crimes, addictions and overdoses, suicide, child abuse and neglect, diseases, sports, and each one of these brings its own added pain for us as parents.
Losing a child is a lifelong grief journey because you have to keep living life without a future lived and shared with your child as you continue to create memories together. There is no present and no future time together with your child. Yes, we have our past memories and that is important but they too carry the sadness that we can’t create more.