The Mighty Logo

When People Can’t See the Depth of My Pain After Losing My Son

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

Two months ago, Logan, my 19-year-old medically fragile son, died after complications from the flu. I was his primary caregiver, administering complex infusions, managing multiple specialists and in-home nursing and making sure he lived an amazing life. He was my world.

If Logan were actually a part of me and was tragically and painfully ripped from my body, there would be a physical reminder for everyone to see what was lost. My limitations would be understood and supported. No one would tell me that “time will heal it.” One would only have to look at me to know that I am forever changed.

But you just can’t just look at me and know I have suffered a great loss. I show up every day and try to contribute, but the things that used to be easy are now difficult. I have to figure out new ways to do old things. I have to learn to breathe and live life with a feeling of emptiness instead of having Logan next to me.

Tears run down my face at the oddest times. People look away embarrassed. I’m discovering one can easily fall into the swirling, black, bottomless pit of loss that now dwells inside. I have to be careful not to walk too close to the edge. And sometimes, I fall in anyway and have to figure a way out before I drown.

We have all experienced loss. Most of the time, you can’t tell the depth of their pain by looking at someone. If you could see their loss, would you so harshly judge the woman who was angry in the grocery line or the man who seems distant and cold? Let’s live gently with everyone. Like me, the person next to you may need your understanding.

Originally published: August 18, 2016
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home