Often, when tragedy strikes, one can rebuild. There may be losses that cannot be replaced, but we still move on and make new beginnings. It’s very difficult, but nevertheless we do it. Perhaps, that is why many think that after child loss, the Bereaved Parent shall do likewise.
When tragedy strikes, there is often the initial shock and disbelief. We shed many tears and often we suffer from PTSD to one degree or another. We vacillate between depression and anxiety as we attempt to come to grips with our losses, and expense the energy needed to put things back together the best we can… to salvage what is left of our lives. We understand that our loss entails ‘things’, and perhaps some people we greatly loved. Yet, we grieve for a time and then move on. It is what is expected so we find a way to ‘adjust’. Once again, those who have not lost a child believe the Bereaved Parent shall do likewise.
Again, not so.
When a child dies, there is no avenue to rebuild; there are no ‘things’ that can be replaced; there are no second chances; there are no ‘Do-Overs’.
We have had to bury our child along with absolutely everything that our child’s life enveloped. All our hopes and dreams we have had to bury, as well. It never crossed our mind that our child would not grow up and go to college, perhaps marry and have children of their own one day. If our child was with us long enough to have those opportunities, they then leave behind their own family who mourns and whose future is forever altered. What could have been, would have been, shall never be. There is no getting back any of it; it is final. Death of a child is final.
If there are surviving children, their lives are also forever altered. They, too, must come to grips with the fact that all here is temporary; that there are no sure things in this life; that everything can change in the blink of an eye. As parents who are struggling to simply get out of bed on any given morning, we now have to find the strength to help them go forward, as well. Their perspective, our perspective, has been dramatically overhauled. Security has been rocked to its very core. The pain is visceral.
We can’t go back.
We can’t rebuild a life that no longer exists in this world.
We can’t formulate new hopes in a void.
We can’t fill that void.
We can’t replace our child.
We can’t give our life in place of our child’s.
We can’t wake up from this nightmare.
Our life is now an endless cycle of baby steps, one day at a time. We often function… barely. Not a day goes by when we don’t think about our child, that we don’t miss our child, that we don’t long for our child. We learn to often simply place ourselves on auto-pilot. There is a part of our heart that cannot be repaired. We gloss it over to the best of our ability so others won’t see the damage done.
Yet, it remains.
Never again will anything be as it was.
No matter how many smiley-faces we tape over it, the hole still exists beneath.
The same death that robbed us of our child, we now silently desire for ourselves. We want the pain to stop; we want the heartache to cease.
Yet, we must wait… however long it takes.
There is no going back, only moving forward. We patiently endure as we wait for the day on which we too shall be called Home; the day we shall be reunited with our Beloved child to never be parted again. It is that Hope of that Joy that gets us through one more day. We don’t ever move on, only forward, taking the memories of our child with us; holding our child securely in our heart where no one else can enter except our God. It has become our Holy of Holies, a place where only we and our God can abide. Time does not exist in that place; time for us stopped the moment we were told: “Your child is dead”.
Yes, there are no Do-Overs.
(((HUGS))) Jude Gibbs, Author of ‘Gifts from the Ashes’ available at:
Articles on WordPress.com: https://wordpress.com/posts/bereavedparentsblog.wordpress.com.
Also, a Contributor on ‘The Mighty’: https://themighty.com/author/jude-gibbs/
Please help spread the Word. TY! (((HUGS)))
I am the author of this piece and using it without my written permission is against copyright law. Registration# TX 8-383-134