Episode 06 Show Notes or download The Cultivated Family Podcast and listen in there!
-I love analogies of grief- I heard this one soon after Aria died
-Waves of Grief- an old mans words
-How scars are a testament to life
-How I never really want the waves of grief to go away
-Grief is our love for our child
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There is nothing anyone can say or do to take away the pain you are experiencing. I know the pain deeply of losing my daughter Aria, and I’m so incredibly sorry you know the pain of losing your child. This pain is unlike anything I have ever experienced before. I was told in the beginning, that I have to walk through grief. That I cannot shove it away or hide from it, and I have found that to be so true. I wanted to go to sleep and wake up on the other side of grief, yet- I couldn’t. I knew I had to walk through grief. This is something I would offer to you. Grief does not go away even when we pretend it’s not there. Grief will wait, patiently, until either you choose to face it, or it cannot be held in anymore.
When your friend loses their child, it changes many things about them. They lose their innocence and joy of life. Child loss changes their perspective, their emotions, their outlook. It impacts their mental health. Friendships and other relationships can change drastically. The person they once were is gone, right along with their old life. Think of how you are changed and shaped by the events and things that happen in your life, and you will start to understand that your friend is deeply and profoundly changed from the loss of their child.
Analogies of grief help me see a bigger picture, and I’ve used a few along the way to help me make sense in my mind what I have been experiencing. Grief is so foreign and unknown in the beginning. I think the reason it’s gotten easier for me, is that I've become more comfortable with my grief. The feelings and emotions that come with it are more familiar. It doesn’t mean it’s so much less painful, but more that it’s become so much a part of me that it’s part of who I am.
How many kids do you have? The dreaded question after you lose a child. There are so many ways to answer this question, and so many things that can pull at your heart. I would have never thought about it before Aria died. That this question of how many kids you have is such a terrible question to answer when you lose a child. I had no idea that such an innocent question can bring up such anguish.
I have not written about the day Aria died. Many people do not even know what happened to her, or how she died. I talk a lot about grief, PTSD, and dealing with the aftermath of death. Most of the time, I don’t share much about the day she died. It’s not because I don’t want to share. I think the details and the events surrounding her death and what happened are so traumatic for me, and they might be hard for others to read.
How many times have the words “if only” echoed through your mind? Replaying events of your child’s death over and over again. Wondering all the if only’s you can. These questions and anxieties often translate into feelings of guilt, and like we didn’t do enough to save our child.
There is this little game of who has it worse that always seems to pop up in conversations. Someone says something that is difficult in their life, and another person is like, oh yeah? Wait until you hear how bad I have it. Or else they say, well that’s not so horrible, did you hear about so and so? They have it way worse than you.
Have you been asked if you are doing okay yet? Or if you are over it yet? Or when are you going to get back to your normal self?
These questions are painful, and they magnify someone’s ignorance on what it means to lose a child. If you still have living children, are you allowed to talk about them? But if you have a child who is died, you aren’t? They are still very much there in your heart and on your mind, even if their life here on earth has ended. They are almost on your mind more. It’s not that you loved them any more than your other children, but the grief and pain over losing them is so great that is takes a huge hold over your life.
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.