There are no words
There are no words that describe how it feels to lose a child. There literally are no words, someone who loses a spouse is a widow or widower, someone who loses a parent is an orphan, but there is not a term for a parent who loses a child. Losing a child goes against everything we have been taught to believe, so we cannot comprehend it. It goes against the idea that a parent should out live their child. A parent should be able to enjoy watching their children grow up and share in the joys of holidays, graduations, weddings, etc., but in the blink of an eye all of that is gone. The life we had imagined for ourselves is shattered. What do we do now? How do we go on? Once the shock wears off and the reality sets in we are left with two choices: 1) We begin to look for ways to begin to pick up the pieces and begin to find our new path in life while remaining connected to the love we have for our child, which does not die with them., or 2) We remain stuck in our grief and live the rest of our lives in misery.
I know first hand how difficult it is to try and make it through the day without your child, especially in the early stages of grief. The physical and emotional toll that it takes on you is tremendous, but we have to find a way to get through it the best we can. In my mind the second choice dishonors the memory of our children. Living in misery the rest of your life will not bring your child back, and robs you of any chance of trying to reconnect with them in any way. If roles were reversed and you were gone and your child was left here, Imagine looking down on them and seeing them living out the rest of their lives in misery and despair. It would break your heart. Now think of them doing things in your memory. Enjoying new life experiences and sharing them with you as you look on. Imagine how that would make you feel. Isn't that how you would want them to feel.
The point of saying all of this is do what you need to do to work through your grief instead of remaining stuck in it. Go to counseling, take medicine if you need it, go to support groups, seek out support from your religious community. Whatever it takes!! I don't think that this grief will ever totally go away, but you will discover ways to work through it as you travel along your grief journey. Eventually, you will laugh again and you will have the joy of knowing that your child is laughing with you.
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