Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Grieving Mother's Club

I have found there is an exclusive club for mothers. It's certainly not a club anyone would ever wish to join because it changes you totally and forever as it breaks and widens your heart. The "club" to which I am referring, is the "Mother's who have Lost a Child" club. Apparently, once you have membership, it never lapses. In addition, living life afterward is an awful lot like cutting in a new road in a place that looked just fine before.
Before Daniel died, I did not personally know anyone who had lost a child. I did know patient families who had, but this was within the course of my work and somehow understood that there would be a few of these. After Daniel's passing, lots of people with whom I am acquainted, told me they had lost a child. There was a woman at the grocery store whose child was murdered. Our builder and his wife lost a daughter to leukemia. One woman lost a toddler to an infection following a shunt insertion for new hydrocephalus. Another new acquaintance lost a healthy child to the flu. An old friend recently lost a grandchild to a freak ATV accident. It seems now that wherever we look, there are people finishing their lives, raising their children, who have one foot in Heaven, with one of their children. From my perspective just now, it seems a virtual epidemic. Certainly it isn't. it's just that my world has been compressed and distorted as I try to redefine, and move forward. Part of me wants to take my remaining kids and tie them with silk ribbons into protective cotton boxes. Another part of me knows that live or die, we must all live a life, because this is what we are here to do.
You might think that there is comfort in numbers, but there isn't. It actually hurts me to think that other people have endured the massive loss our family has, and may not always have had the support we have known.
Daniel, if you keep up with this blog, I miss you deeper and wider than the seas, and I love you more than I thought possible.


  1. i have never met anyone who has lost a child. and it is with great sadness, but also with a sense of a deep friendship, that i am honoured to call you the first person.

    your friend,

  2. Thank you Kymber. A hundred years ago the loss of a child was not rare at all. Now, we are fortunate that it does not happen as often. I still think about the women who lost multiple children.

  3. Jane - as awful as it really is - it was quite common back in the day, and back throughout the ages of antiquity. but that doesn't make it any easier on any single woman. yourself included.

    i think of the pain that all of those women, yourself included, have suffered...and i wish to be able to take that pain away somehow and provide comfort. if you ever come to visit, i can't promise that i can take the pain away, but i will listen. and make you some tea. and hold you. and grieve with you. and try to provide some form of comfort, whether it works or not.

    i promise.


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