Nobody can really explain what the pain of losing a child is like. It’s a pain that only those experiencing can understand. Undeniably, it’s the worst pain anyone will ever go through!
Naively, I thought the pain of losing my son would feel a lot better in year two. Was I in for a heart-wrenching surprise! That second year knocked me to my knees and left me feeling so empty that I didn’t even know if I was truly alive on most days.Even when we are experiencing the grief of child loss there is a hidden misconception that all is going to eventually be well. That’s not how it works, though. Once the fog of the first year lifts, reality hits like a punch right in the center of the chest. I actually felt heart pains — so much so that several times I thought I was having a full-blown heart attack. Grief plays havoc with our emotions as well as our physical health! And, a broken heart gives off signals constantly that something is very, very wrong.
Child loss is not something that is ever expected, nor is it ever something that we welcome. Never, ever do we think it will happen to us. I guess that’s human nature. We never think the bad stuff will happen to us personally.
When my son died, I immediately went into what I would call full blown shock. I functioned in a daze for months. I was flat-line, showing little to no emotions. I cried, but I didn’t sob. I smiled, but I didn’t laugh. I felt bone tired. Exhausted all of the time. I felt sad. More sad than I had ever felt in my life.
As the months rolled on, I began “coming awake” — slowly moving from the fog into the hard reality of what had happened.
My son died. Unexpectedly. Heart failure. Young. Father. Married. No warning. Nothing. Alive and living life fully one minute. The next minute gone forever.
I cried until I screamed. Moans came from me that didn’t sound human. My thoughts ran wild. I couldn’t slow down my mind. Sleep wouldn’t come. I stuffed myself with comfort food. I was a walking mess of pain and turmoil. I couldn’t think. I couldn’t stop the tears flowing. I was in a state of deep, inconsolable grief.
And, I didn’t know what to do.
Year two is such a hard year of grief following the loss of a child because everything suddenly becomes so real. No more did I dream about the possibility of my son walking through the kitchen door. No more did I think he was going to drive his family up my driveway for Christmas. No more did I think we were going to vacation together at the beach.
No more. He was not here and that was real. It was raw. It was heartbreaking all over again, only worse because now I understood that it was for real. There was no turning back.
I am now going into year three and my grief is changing once again. It has quieted some, but the sadness is still so big and so raw. Most days I have to stop my thoughts because I’m so afraid that I will drop down into “that place of darkness” again. I feel a bit more in control of my thoughts and emotions. I can talk about Mike without tears flowing like a river down my face.
And, I know that the hole in my heart is there forever. Nobody can fill that space except my son. I will always feel the pain of his absence.
I am a mother who will forever grieve the fact that her son left this earth far, far too soon.
***If you connected with these thoughts, you will also connect with the words found in this book, Child Loss – the Heartbreak and the Hope. You can order your book from Amazon today.
If you are going through a period of feeling hopeless due to your grief, this book, Hope 365: Daily Meditations for the Grieving Heart will help you to rediscover your purpose and hope in life!