There is a Horrific Fear of Experiencing Joy After the Death of a Child

The first time it happened I was only fifteen.  My sister,  Carmella, died at the young age of thirteen.  I went into a state of shock followed by deep, unrelenting grief.  Back then people didn’t openly talk about grief so I was scared out of my mind.  I didn’t know what I was feeling, much less what I was experiencing.  My mother and father were struggling daily with their own grief.  I didn’t know what to do, who to talk to, or when this terrible fear and heaviness would leave.

That’s when I began the cycle of self-punishment.  

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