Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Snap Out of It? I Don't Think So...
When you lose your child...
-by Marsha Abbott
When life is unalterably changed and you are struck down so severely that getting up requires a monumental hand-over-hand effort to pull yourself out of a mine shaft, the journey is not one that most folks can relate to. In our 'fix-it fast' culture, observers often determine whether you are progressing at the rate that is comfortable for them. It is not unusual for people to subconsciously determine a ‘grieving timeline’ for you and ultimately avoid you if you don’t appear to fit it.
Bereaved parents do not "get over" the death of our children nor "snap out of it" as the outside world seems to think we can and should. The death of our children is not an illness or a disease from which we recover. It is a life altering change with which we must learn to live. It is often said, this is the most intense grief known.
People breathe a sigh of relief when this happens to others, and not themselves. They don’t want to think about it. It defies our planned pattern and progression of life. Our children should not die before we do. For me, such an upheaval in my world hurled me into a spiritual and psychic quest. I’ve always been a believer, but I’ve also dabbled in information about the ‘beyond’. From an early age I was interested in Edgar Cayce and read books about his life. Now I’m a sponge for that sort of information. It ties directly to my belief in God and has required such an awakening; an awakening I’m not sure would have happened if I hadn’t experienced losing my 19 year old daughter.
The physical realm can certainly provide us with the experience of joy and peace, yet without warning it can expose us to pain and suffering, a condition I know well. While this is so difficult to experience (and I’m doing it at the best rate I can), it might uniquely bring about some sort of growth. My sense of loss often leads to excruciating pain, causing me to break down. But those tears have gotten me acquainted with my deepest self. Day by day I have been guided, altered, surprised by those who want to help, and taught. I think about how much I miss Molly and how I have been torn up by the realization that the dreams I held for her life will never materialize. For our family, she is irreplaceable, but I am willing to open my heart and let something good plant itself where her life left off.
One of Marsha's two daughters daughters (19 years old) was killed in a gun accident in Sept ‘09. She maintains a facebook page titled A New Journey, dedicated to helping grieving parents. She lives with her husband in the Pacific Northwest.