Unpackaging the Princes' Top 10 TRUTHS about Child-Loss Grief
#7d) Child-Loss Grief is Pervasive throughout...our Heart
Losing a child is like a broken down car. To go in reverse brings painful memories. To go forward is too scary without your child. So we sit in neutral with our hands clutched to the emergency brake, hoping someday to find a way to run again....
"And can it be that in a world so full and busy the loss of one creature makes a void so wide and deep that nothing but the width and depth of eternity can fill it up?"
~quotes from my facebook friend Bonni
Our hearts of course are massively affected by the loss of our child. And then we find we are surrounded with other losses that seem to come alongside our greatest loss so that we have a whole basketful of losses:
- The Loss of Our Child
- The Loss of Ourselves (as we once knew ourselves)
- The Loss of Our Family (who we once thought they were in the pre-grief days as opposed to who they become when you think you need them more than ever)
- The Loss of Our Friends (who can't seem to love us as-we-are amidst our grief process, but are ever demanding that we "move on" whether directly spoken or not)
- The Loss of Our Careers (at least, as we once knew them...)
- The Loss of the Mother or Father we once were to our children
Here are some of the other changes we have found in our hearts amidst this painful grief process. (We would love to hear some of the changes you have experienced as well!)
- It seems our Sensitivity Meter in regard to our emotions has drastically changed, in that we are more sensitive than ever to the pain of other people.
- We cannot seem to go around family, even for major events such as weddings or funerals. The petty unresolved conflicts, the untreated and unresolved toxins, and the unnecessary power-struggles penetrate our thin walls into our heart and add to our already overburdened heart.
- The Grief's pervasiveness is such that whatever used to be second nature to us now takes a much greater effort (going to the store, running errands, seeing clients, etc.). It is almost like everything must take a backseat to our broken heart's need to grieve.
- Our emotions sometimes terrorize because we do not know when we will be triggered nor by what we may be triggered (by a song, a person, an event, a triggered memory, something said by someone, etc.).
- We can be brought to our knees emotionally over something like a song that seems to bypass the cerebral mind to go straight into the core of our heart.
- Like the first quote at the top of the post, there seems to be an emotional paralysis like we are standing in wait for something...but what? Our child to come back and our world return to normal? (It defies logic.)
- Our hearts are always heavy with only reprieves of pleasure, laughter, intellectual absorption, etc.
- We don't know how to manage our lives because we do not know exactly how much our emotional stamina can bear on any given day.
- It feels like our hearts never fully will recover this side of Heaven.
Sometimes a poem can capture the complex emotional state of a griever the best. Here is a description of a mother dealing with her broken heart:
Living with Grief
She can feel it pressing against her
Squeezing the happiness from her mind
She's drowning in the confusion
Gasping on each reminder and choice
She still grieves for what was lost
The tears still glide down her skin
As she sets the candle alight
She prays they are now at peace
She whispers her love to the scented air
And mumbles something about regret
The flame hicupps softly
While she let's out a sob
It seems nothing lasts forever
Even though we believe it should
Her heart crumbles apart again
She feels it breaking inside her chest
The room becomes suffocating
The candle becomes too much
They can't be brought back with a wish
No matter how hard she tries
She collapses to the floor
As despair takes control
When will it become easier to bear
When will this day no longer hurt
She pulls her knees up to her chest
And cries out all the hurt
The candle has burnt out
Before she once again becomes numb
~added to Grieving Mothers' archive of grief poetry by Marisa Somerville on Facebook