Losing a child and the journey to survival
Losing a child is something no parent ever wants to live through. They aren’t supposed to go first. You think of the child’s life, and lost future. All that potential is forever gone. What would they have done with their lives? What could they have changed about life as we know it? What would they have looked like as an adult? What would their children have done with significance?
Wikipedia says the five stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. But it isn’t necessarily in that order. Grieving is a personal emotion and unique to each of us. It’s our body’s way of protecting us or we’d go crazy or crazier.
After such a loss and especially during that first year, at least, your brain isn’t up to par so please steer clear of making any life decisions such as selling the house or for goodness sakes, initiating divorce. Hopefully you’ll have different opinions with time.
Stay close to your friends and family. They might be uncomfortable and not know exactly what to say but they are closer to you and can offer comfort when you need it most. Remember hugs and kisses release endorphins for happiness and we can all use a hug.
Here is a short story about unacceptable loss and the journey to survival.
Message in a Bottle
I was the only one walking along the beach one cool and crisp morning when I noticed something sticking out of the sand. As I got closer, I realized it was a bottle with a message in it. I walk here every day and never noticed this before; it must have just come in with the morning tide.
My life was in such a shambles, I honestly almost walked right on past. I dropped down in the sand and looked at the bottle. Minutes later I realized that here I was, still staring at it with tears silently rolling down my face. I knew I just couldn’t go back home.
What was there for me? This can’t be my life; it must be a dream, one big nightmare. I wish I could just wake up and have everything go back to normal. I picked up the bottle. No biggie, it looked just like the plastic water bottles in my own refrigerator.
I wish God would just turn back the clock. I’d do anything, anything for it to be just a couple months ago. I wiped at some tears that were dripping off my nose. I suddenly felt filled with anger. I screamed and threw the bottle down the beach as hard as I could. It was too light to go far and with the slight breeze, it almost came back to me. I screamed loud and long in my frustration to nobody and everybody. My throat hurt. It just wasn’t fair.
I realized the paper in the bottle kind of looked like our apple shaped post— its from my kitchen.
With a loud sniff, I wiped the tears from my face onto my upper arm and got up to go look at the bottle again. I was so exhausted I stumbled to my knees into the sand to crawl the rest of the way. That darn post-it only reminded me of Kevin again. He used to leave me cute little notes everywhere. At first in scribbles and when he learned to write it was, I love you Mom. I cherished them. I cherished him. Why didn’t I keep more of the notes? How was I going to live without him?
I can’t go on … I should just throw this bottle and myself into the waves. Mindless. I could do it. Relax and give in.
I unscrewed the top and shook out the note.
“Christine,” Oh my god. I could hardly read through the tears when I saw my own name. I sniffed and wiped the endless tears once again.
“I know we haven’t been able to talk to each other since we lost Kevin. I love you honey, more each day. I don’t want to lose you too. You don’t even see me anymore. Come home and I’ll hold you as long as you need me. Please don’t let us go. We need each other now more than ever. Every day you walk on the beach, I am so afraid that one day you’ll just keep walking. Please honey, I am waiting for you. Come home.
I love you, Mike”
(All photos provided by Terri Underwood)
Terri Underwood has always written women’s fiction because she finds it so much fun. Love, sex and relationships all have their ups and downs but without the downs, there would be no ups. She likes to look for the good moments in life and she learned that from her huge loving family who get together often for some of the most hilarious times. Terri is a professional who enjoys hiking, fishing and even camping. She’s a California girl who lived in Arizona for six years before running back to California. She didn’t come away empty-handed though, she learned to look at the sky in Arizona. The billions and billions of stars against a deep black sky, the clouds, beautiful sunsets and thunderstorms, isn’t that what romance is all about?