When "The Black Dogs Got After Me" . . .
In talking with another child-loss parent who has lost his young-adult son as well as his young-adult brother and sister-in-law, Tommy heard a new phrase this week that captures the emotional darkness that comes upon us seemingly from out of nowhere. It was a very succinct way of capturing this phenomenon, and as soon as his friend said it, Tommy knew what he was talking about - he didn't even have to explain it. His friend was saying,
"I started to call you last week because I got to thinking about my little brother, and 'The Black Dogs Got After Me,' but I didn't want to bother you."
After Tommy thought about this for a minute, he told him,
"Oh that would have been a few days before my birthday ~ that wouldn't have been good timing ~ because, now that you mention it, I believe 'the Black Dogs were after me' too."
We grievers have to come up with a whole new language to capture the aspects of trauma that we find we must contend with when we are rendered to our most vulnerable levels of existence in this new world without our beloved children or siblings taken-too-soon. Thank goodness for camaraderie from those who understand and can be so honest with this brutal reality we must somehow try to accommodate in our lives. We don't feel so crazy in this crazy-making world. We have our own tribal language that speaks to the horrors no one else seems to understand (nor would they want to).
But for those of us who must live it, new words to label our horror can touch that lonely, starving place inside our hearts that longs to be understood.