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Blindsided by Grief on What Would've Been My Son's 40th Birthday

Some folks believe a grieving parent should “move on” after a certain amount of time. How long that period of time should be, is left to the observer. But burying a child simply doesn’t work that way.

I know the grief of losing a spouse, a parent, a sibling is very painful for many. I in no way wish to diminish such a loss in its intensity, for I have also lost both parents, my only sister, a step-brother and a spouse (through divorce). The grief involved in all of those situations has varied.

A few months ago, I read an article written by another bereaved mom who eloquently explained how the loss of her child is in a class all its own. She was spot-on. Shortly after reading her article, I went to a site which was requesting parents to mention their child if they had a birthday or anniversary in December. As soon as I saw it, I immediately went to type my son’s name. That’s when I was blindsided.

As I typed in my son’s name and that he would be turning 40, the pain that gripped my soul took my breath away. I had to get offline… fast! I had not anticipated nor expected this.

Forty, for many, is a milestone. It’s a step into middle-age. But for me, my son is forever 20.

What would he look like now? What would he be doing? Would he have a loving wife? Beautiful children?

OMG! The pain is horrendous. My insides feel as if they have just been run through a shredder. There is no “getting over” such a priceless loss as one’s child. Yes, with time, we do learn to carry this load with our head held high. We move forward with “life” in general. We make whatever adjustments necessary to function in a place we sometimes no longer want to be in. We are forever torn in two with part of us wanting to continue our time here as “normal” people do; while another part of us longs to be with our child. The dichotomy of such desires presents an ongoing challenge; it’s a never ending internal conflict.

I know my God will set me upright again. He always has, so I know He will be faithful to do so again. But, for the moment in the grief that has left me blindsided, I will allow myself to cry and scream if I need to do so.

Have you ever felt blindsided by grief? Tell us in the comments.

Jude’s book, “Gifts from the Ashes,” is available here.

Follow this journey on Jude’s website

Author’s Note: I am the author of this piece and using it without my written permission is against copyright law. Registration# TX 8-383-134.


Photo credit: KatarzynaBialasiewicz/Getty Images

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