Life After Losing a Child
I remember it like it was yesterday, the elephant standing on my chest. It was so hard to breathe, the weight hurt so bad. I never knew I could feel such pain or immense sadness like I did in the days, months after my daughter died. I’m not sure that there are words in the English language that accurately describe the feeling that I felt. It was kind of like having tunnel vision, being able to see around me but not actually registering what was going on. The lump in my throat was ALWAYS there, like a golf ball choking me every minute of every day. Sometimes I would just lay in bed and cry. Sometimes I would go next door and sit on her bedroom floor, bewildered as to how this was my life now. People would call, message, or stop by…but I couldn’t tell you who, or what they said.
There’s this thing, its called trauma induced memory loss. I remember trying to drive to the gas station a mile away and getting lost….not knowing where I was. I don’t remember her funeral at all, or who was there. I don’t remember the weeks or months afterwards, or what happened, or who I talked to. I just remember that I didn’t understand why my Juliet, my bright and shining star was gone. I didn’t understand how people outside could mow their lawns, or laugh with their friends- while my whole world had stopped. I was frozen in time and everyone else was moving forward.
Now I am part of an elite club with dues so high that no one can afford to pay. Its the child loss club, and I wouldn’t invite my worst enemy. The members of the club share such a strong bond. Instantly our souls connect knowing that we have each felt a pain so deep that no one but us has ever felt.
There’s a saying that when you lose a parent you lose your past, but when you lose your child you lose your future….I lost a part of my future that day, when my child died out of turn. I will always notice the empty chair, the one less voice, the empty space in the picture, the empty bedroom. Twice a year I grieve the most. Her birthday….I grieve for years unlived, the smiles unshared, the jokes untold, the weekends home from college, the son in law I’ll never meet, the grandchild I will never hold.
I will also grieve her death date. Just like you celebrate and count the days from birth- I count the days from death. Its the day my life changed forever.
The world gets uncomfortable when people talk about child loss. I have actually lost a job over talking about Juliet because it made the client uncomfortable. If someone can’t handle me talking about her when they ask me about my children then maybe they shouldn’t be asking so many questions. If someone will fire me over it, then they are not a person that I want to be working for.
I wouldn’t shut up about Juliet when she was alive so why start now? I have such an opportunity to help people by sharing her story that there is no way that I’m not going to do it just because it makes one person feel uncomfortable. SHE is the reason that I became a make up artist, SHE is the reason that I became an interior designer, and SHE is the reason that I am writing this blog. If you see me, please say her name, and I will too, because she was here. She existed, and she changed so many lives, and still is. Tell me a story about her. Tell your friends, and their friends too. share this blog, share her picture, share her story. Tell the world about her, and maybe, just maybe, you will save someone from doing what she did.