I always used to think that there was a special kind of grief reserved just for mothers who lost their little ones in the first year of life. Whatever you thought those first 365 days would be like, you could not have imagined it ending with death. Now that I am older and way wiser, it doesn’t matter how old you or they are, there is no preparation for the loss of a child. I was invited in to a moment of a dear friend who yesterday wanted to share with me the birth of her now dead daughter who would have if she had lived would have celebrated her 58thbirthday with her mother. The day that the two of them would forever share.
Birth, anniversaries of precious events still ring true and ever present knowing no time or distance between mother and child. It occurred to me that there are other kinds of loss. Estrangements, separations, consensual or otherwise that activate the grief button. It is not depression, it’s not something you get over. There may be comfort and solace, but it is something we learn to live with as if an essential part of us, a missing limb is now gone. You live differently, you acknowledge the special place in your heart and your memory and your expectations and desires.
It also occurred to me that even if you didn’t experience such a loss, most mothers live in abject fear that once the love and connection has been made, everything at all cost must happen to prevent anything or anyone from causing or contributing to that loss. The fear of separation, actual or virtual is intolerable. So, we hover, we smother, we meddle, we neglect our own lives in avoidance of feeling even the threat of that potential separation or the belief that we or anyone in any way could cause harm to our baby.
Blessings to you, or to anyone feeling the loss and searching for a way to fill the void. Tears are sweet. Today, I learned even cows cried tears when they missed their babies.
Please tell us your story. We are listening and standing by.