Stories About The Loss Of A Child
The loss of a child is a pain that no one person can accurately describe. It’s a loss that even with time a parent cannot with stand. Someone put it this way, you can find a man, a companion at the corner of any street but you can never replace a child. The sorrow of loss can eat away at you and eventually leaving an acid whole that leaks all the way to your personality. When the loss happens within a marriage, the couple can comfort each other and eventually acidity might dissolve. However, when the death of a child comes to a single parent, there are at times no comfort no solace. Here are some shared experiences that might bring comfort to someone going through grief.
We sat across the bench exchanging general conversation. The make up of our family members and the cultural of our hometown. Work was mentioned, school, and future aspirations then suddenly the conversation changed and sadness engulfed us as she began to tell about a tragic death.
She was a baby girl 3 years old, when she died unexpectedly. No tear rolled down her checks but her sorrow surrounded her the same way the thick fog surrounded the dawn of day. Apparently her little girl got ill and to no fault of anyone died. There was a reflective moment of when she found out about the pregnancy. The unborn life became her motivation. She made many changes to prepare for the baby and their lives just sowed. Consequently, when her daughter died she died as well. The mother of the diseased went through the motions of life but internally the core of her being was buried with her daughter. She lost interest in life, nothing appealed to her, nothing. In many ways she developed a disconnected approach to life. And as you listen to her, at any point in time, you cannot help but think something was missing, that something was her daughter.
Her child died at infancy. The topic of conversation began with a third party who knew the single mother well. The conversation began and ended within a shell shock disposition. This type of loss, new to mother, her family and friends, traumatized them all. The doctors said it was SIDS, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome otherwise known as crib death. Her loss was unexpected and the guilt of not knowing what she could have done differently lingered. The burial process was not as taxing because she was living at home with her parents and they helped with all the arrangements. For over two years she refused to attend any baby showers, her friends were supportive about her decision not to attend. She had this beautiful baby girl and a room filled with baby decoration, clothes, and infant related furniture. Those items remained in the room for a while and as they remain she existed as if there was no great loss. But when you have a conversation with her the loss peaked out below the surface of her talks and brought a level of sadness to the atmosphere. The years passed, three or more, but the loss, the sadness remained, still ever so present.
Did you ever attend a funeral for a child?
Her loss occurred awhile back and when she spoke of it, usually on rare occasions, the bitterness poured out of her. It was a teen drowning that she felt could have been prevented. She never articulates this assertion but as she recalls the dreadful day the blame flows and her child’s death a great calamity. She never talked about coping with the loss instead she talked at length about the tragic event and the fact that she had to adjust quickly because she still had to parent her youngest son. There was no need to talk about the mourning, the heartache or the disappointments, they stood out like the sun on a cloudy day. The conversation ended, we walked away, and at times her grief manifest in how she relates to others. At times she was frequently grumpy and bitterly filled with dissatisfaction.
Her loss occurred in the apartment complex swimming pool. This drowning showed up in the news and as personal information resurfaced more details came out. The entire family were enjoying a bright summer weekend and they all stepped away from the pool secured that her toddler was with them as they walk to the apartment. Instead the 3 year old lay face down in the pool. When they became aware of her location it brought a series of panic attempts of revival, 911 calls and sobs. The recounting of the event comes from a second voice, she refuses to talk about the accidental drowning. The anger, despair and guilt kept her mouth closed.
It is unfortunate but life contains so many of these tragic events that rip at the heart and beat at the human spirit. Many can relate or know of someone who experienced the above instances and at the risk of sounding trite, there is comfort in numbers. So as we go through our loss remember that others are experiencing the same and that we are not alone in our suffering.