Updated for my Son’s 15th Birthday
It’s hard to tell the truth about grieving for your child, especially as the years pile up.
The people around you love you and they want you to feel better – after a while, particularly those who have never experienced anything similar, start expecting you to feel better. The vast majority of us have lost Grandparents and other older relatives, we know there is grief but that, after time, the pain lessens. We move on, that is the cycle of life.
However, when your child dies there is no moving on. Of course you do feel better in yourself as the years go by, but time is not the great healer it is promised to be.
Time becomes part of the grief itself as you count the birthdays and missed milestones.
My son, Louis, would be 15 years old tomorrow. I have spent all these years silently counting the years – I know the year he would have started primary school, secondary school, I have wondered what kind of birthday parties he would have enjoyed. I look to place him in our world, picturing him on our holidays, at our dinner table, in our house.
Losing a child is about so much more than that one terrible moment. You simply lose it all. Over and over again through the years.
The truth about grieving for your child is that your grief will run concurrent to everything else, forever.
The years pass and you become happy again, you love, you smile, you have a family and achievements but the grief is there, you are never done. It simply lives alongside you, marking all the moments you have lost.
The truth about grieving for your child is an uncomfortable one and not something that sits well in society, where we like to get through and overcome things. Grieving for a child means carrying the pain with you and finding a way to be happy despite the burden.
You grieve for your child, but you grieve for yourself too because you lost so much more than you can explain that day