Different

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Let me tell you why losing a child IS different than other kinds of losses.  Though I really cannot imagine that you wouldn't just know this in your heart.

You love your child more than you love anyone else.  You just do.  No matter how much you love your parents or your spouse or your pets or your friends.  You love your child more.  It's unconditional in every sense.  And, the greatest pleasure in your life is watching that child develop - a personality, a sense of humor, new skills, their own identity, their own ideas....  It is better than anything in this world.

You EXPECT to your child to outlive you.  You don't know if you will outlive your spouse, you know you will probably outlive your pet, you try to prepare yourself for the day you will lose your parents (though I suspect there is no amount of preparation that is enough - no amount of time that is enough - that the hurt will knock you off your feet no matter how prepared you think you might be).....but you still expect to outlive them.  You do.

And because your whole life happiness depends, in part, on theirs.  My dad always says that you can only be as happy as your most unhappy child.  Even if you are having the time of your life, if your child is unhappy or sick, your mind will be preoccupied with that.  It is biological.  I am guessing that my parents at times feel a little torn when they are truly enjoying themselves, knowing how unhappy I am.  It is built in to care for your children more than you care for yourself.  At least, that is how Ted and I feel.  Maxie and Mo are the most important things in our lives.  Nothing compares.

And so when your child dies - not only is there the missing, and the grief....there is also disbelief - because it wasn't supposed to be this way.  And, if you are only as happy as your most unhappy child - how can you be happy when that child is dead?  Honestly - that is the heart of the matter.  How can I be happy when he can't even experience happiness?  It's not right.

When Max was born, I remember feeling this sense of foreverness.  We would be together, in some sense, for the rest of my life.  It was a sense of forever that is not entirely unlike a marriage except for with a whole lot more certainty.  That it ended so quickly, that my love for him only happens now in my heart, that I cannot hug him and kiss him and watch him grow.  It is devastating.  ALL OF THE TIME.  And, whenever I feel like I've made just a little bit of peace with the situation, I realize that there is no peace.  It is just emptiness.  Forever.  I guess I can at least count on that.

I am aching for this little monkey.  More than words can ever express.






10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I totally agree. Loss of child is the worst loss. I am aching for my Sophie every minute, and there is no way out, no fix, no better tomorrow. It's just so ultimate.

Tara Prince said...

Yes. No other loss comes close. Those who have not experienced it can't even imagine. I thought I could imagine it before it happened to me and it was terrifying. It was also not even close to how it feels when it actually happens. Not even close. A few years ago I saw my youngest sitting and reading a train book on the couch with my father (he's almost 70). I took a picture of them because I was thinking, someday grandpa won't be here and I want Jake to remember this. I ran across that picture after Jake and Griffin were killed and it broke my heart to pieces. Grandpa should not have had to live to see his grandsons buried.

Laura555 said...

I'm with you, also -- wish I weren't. I lost my mom way too young -- when she was 55 and I, 33, but that does not come close to the devastation from losing my 17-year old son this summer. It's a grief that is different and foreign from any other. It kills me now when I see FB posts about people losing dogs. I've lost dogs and it is very, very sad, but seeing those posts now is like a slap in the face -- especially from people aware of my loss. So, know you are not alone and I hope that those lucky others out there who have not had to go through this, will read your post and have a better understanding of the pain that comes from losing a child.

Laura

Anonymous said...

I did some research and calculation. The percentage of loss of a child is about 1 out of 250 kids ( from age 0 to 19), over the 20 years time span. Because the pain from loss of a child is long term, so even it's happened 10 or 20 years ago, it still hurts and counts. This percentage is pretty high, I think. That doesn't even include the loss of adult child. There are a lot of people in this world suffering this same kind of pain, which I didn't realize before I was on this journey myself.

Abby Leviss said...

Oh my! This is a much higher statistic than I would have thought. Thank you for sharing.

Abby Leviss said...

I am so sorry she's not here.

Abby Leviss said...

It's so awful! I'm so sorry you lost your two boys.

Abby Leviss said...

People who e barely mentioned Maxie's passing seem incredibly distraught over the loss of a pet. It's mind boggling.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the statistic is pretty high, and it is for the US. I think it is even higher numbers for the whole world.

Jayden's Mommy said...

It's just not fair. It's so empty so cold. I'm so sorry.

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