The death of a child has been described as the most devastating event that can happen in a woman’s life, affecting how she responds to the world as an individual, how she responds to her partner, and how she responds to her surviving children as a parent.
Many women state that they learned to love by loving their child. Caring for children, watching and helping them grow, worrying over their problems, and celebrating in their successes is a central part of a mother’s daily experience. Mothers see the future, themselves, and eternity in their children.
“My child has died. It must be my fault. Clearly, all the things that are wrong with me are the reason. I deserved this to happen. I can say ‘no! I did not deserve to have this happen’. I can say it over and over. But still the same voice way deep inside of me says ‘yes, I did, because…’ Fighting that voice takes a lot of energy—something most of us don’t have an oversupply of when we face the death of our child. Yet I believe that this fight is essential. None of us deserved to have this happen to us. No one deserves to lose a child.” Quoted from The Bereaved Parents Survival Guide, J. Rothman
When your child has died, you may feel an oppressive sense of failure, a loss of power and ability, and a deep sense of being violated; you may be overwhelmed with grief, anger, and guilt. Your body may feel like a stranger to you; it may look different and act differently. You may forget simple things; you may be unable to think abstractly.
Perhaps you feel overwhelmed; you've tried to understand what and why this has happened. Maybe the loss of control has left you feeling terrified. Perhaps you wonder if you are going crazy.
Impossible as it may seem, from this intense pain positive responses can emerge. As your grief is processed, a heightened sense of spirituality, increased sensitivity to others, closer relationships, and a commitment to living life can be experienced.
This was written by “ ♥ Project Joy and Hope in Texas for their annual retreat in 2009 “TAPESTRY: A MOTHER’S RETREAT” email: firstname.lastname@example.org.