I know when you lose a child it can be hard to even fathom the purpose and the why of the reason. Even if you believe this like I do- that things are not in my control, and that Aria’s time on earth was up, and there is nothing I can do to change that- doesn’t mean that I don’t wonder and question why it has to be that way. Why my child? Why was her life cut so short? Why this pain and suffering? How can this be? What’s the purpose in that?
With Mother’s Day coming up, there can be a lot of anxiety and dread to this day. I’ve been thinking about Mother’s Day and what it means to me. I’ve heard many mothers ask- am I still a Mother? Can I still be called a Mother, even if I don’t have a living child. Yes- you are a mother. When we become a mother, we are always a mother no matter what happens.
I’ve thought back many times to the experience of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in it’s strongest form for me. I feel like I cannot fully explain the depth and terrifying experience that it is. I want to try to explain how PTSD felt like for me. Remember, this can be different for everyone, so just because you don’t think or do the same exact things I did, doesn’t mean you don’t have some form of PTSD.
The shock and pain that comes with losing a child is indescribable. Your whole world has been turned upside down, and the foundation that your life is on, all your beliefs about life and yourself is shattered. Slowly, you have to rebuild that foundation, and it’s possible to build it stronger and better than before, but it takes time, moment by moment.
I try to believe that people mean the best. That when they say something, are really just trying to show their love and support. Sometimes it just comes out so wrong, and it leaves the grieving person feel stunned, shocked, hurt, and lost. I want to talk a little about grief, and loss, and what you can say and do to support the one you love who is grieving.
Empathy comes from experiencing something, and being able to connect on a deep level with that person. It can also come, from taking a moment to try to look through someone else’s lenses and meet them where they are at. Empathy is not being uncomfortable of someone else’s pain, and allowing room for them to express whatever they are feeling, with a knowing that you understand.