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How Life Will Never Be the Same After Losing a Child

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I lay in bed and hear the giggles of my daughter outside. I yearn to get out of bed, but the tears fall like a waterfall. I miss the outside world, having friends and actually smiling.

Depression makes getting out of bed in the morning the hardest part of my day. I want to lay around and miss my son all day. He left me way too soon; he was only 10 months old. I have now spent the same amount of time away from him that I spent with him.

Depression stemming from grief is not something many understand. It is over a life that you thought would last a lifetime. You imagined all of his firsts and being there for them. My son was so medically complex we didn’t get to see many milestones parents get excited for. We will miss a lifetime of firsts, and it’s heart-wrenching.

Being in a social world is hard. I hear people’s problems and wish they were mine. I imagine how I would be able to get out of bed, join in on the laughter and run up and down the street after the ball with my daughter.

My depression from losing my son makes me so dysfunctional I can’t ride in the car without crying. I can’t make it through a week of work without retreating to the bathroom in a tearful moment. I utter the words “I’m fine” more than anyone I know.

There is a lot that goes on behind closed doors for a mom who loses her child. We sit holding his clothes and blankets; we pray we will make it through. We see kids running at the park and can’t fathom why our child isn’t doing the same. We struggle with parents who complain about lack of sleep or an overactive toddler, because they don’t know how lucky they are. My son isn’t here to make me tired. I would give anything to be tired because it would mean I got to spend time with him.

We have shrines of our child in our home because we are terrified someone will forget them. We say their name and their story as many times as possible in a day, so people know they existed. When we meet new people we want to blurt out what happened to our child who they can’t see. It’s such a part of who we are, and we just want their story heard.

This has completely changed our being. We will forever be without one child in the physical world. The more new people we meet, the less his story is heard. The race to have them hear our story is to ensure our child isn’t forgotten.

We miss them in our soul. Life continues, but we will never be the same. Our family will never be the same. We only have a picture to hold.

Show kindness to grieving mothers as this is a lifelong heartache and they need allies on this journey. Help grieving mothers talk about their child and don’t be afraid to say their name. Say it and embrace their story. Most of all, let grieving mothers know they are loved.

Photo courtesy of the author

Originally published: November 6, 2019
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