The death of your child twists your body, soul, life into an impossible shape and posture. People who have suffered the loss of a child can try to describe this pain to you. If you haven’t experienced the loss of someone dear then your typical responses are “I can’t imagine what you’re going through” or “I wouldn’t be able to make it, you are so strong”. (Those responses were ones I felt and uttered out loud.) The truth is until you lose someone you love there is no way to understand how contorted your life becomes and just how much pain you can bear.
As impossible as it seems, there you are forced into pain, twisted into a body and mind-numbing position that you feel will last forever. Every time you try to untwist yourself it doesn’t work. All the sighing, the praying, the unconscious shaking of your head to clear your mind so you can figure out, “ How did I get to such an awful place, I’m in a nightmare? “ or “How could my child be gone?” No matter how hard you try, the questions of how and why don’t have acceptable answers.
The next step is to find a way to fix the situation. There has to be a way to relieve the pain. A way to get your life back the way it was before you felt shackled and twisted by pain and grief. You try, but nothing works. Busying yourself, pretending things are as they were doesn’t work. No mystical or magical tactics come to your aid that will unlock the secret to releasing the pain. Denial fails every time. Avoidance of your new reality only leaves you at the end of the day with a racing mind and a heart so heavy that the ache threatens to push you over. “How did this happen?” “How can I get out of this awful position, this painful pose?”
Repeatedly you retrace, and don’t give up. You still keep trying because there has to be a way to undo what’s been done; even as a part of you whispers “there’s no going backwards” and further tries to reveal the energy you’re wasting on the impossible. You are stubborn and resolute. Going backwards has to be possible! Backwards is where the life you cherished is,and where all of your children lived safely. All you have to do is figure out how to turn back time and carefully free yourself of what has happened. That can’t be impossible. It has to be possible because you want things the way they were before your child’s death forced you into this awful, ugly, painful pose. You will figure it out. You have to make things right again.
Then, one day it happens; weariness sets in and you run out of ways of figuring out how to unclench, untangle, undo what has happened. There is the moment you realize that all the things you’ve tried don’t work because you’re trying to retrace your steps, go backward and somehow in reverse undo the torture that has contorted your life, your family, and your soul. A new strategy reveals itself. There is a way out of the pain and the numbness, but it means moving differently. It means believing that to untangle is not a backwards movement of retracing, but a forward movement of assuming a new design, a new normal. It is accepting that some parts will always feel a little twisted, will hurt and never be the same. Acknowledging that help will be needed to untwist and unclench what the contortion of death has imposed. As you slowly unclench and breathe, you recognize that this path is the way the pain will lessen.
You will always look back, but you begin to understand you can’t go back. All those days, months and yes sometimes years of being contorted have taken a toll. All the time spent trying to recapture and redo the past has changed you. Little by little the pain starts to subside. Almost against your will you unfold, stretch. You feel the laying on of hands that helps ease you out of your painful pose. You realize you’re still here and you have to say goodbye- As many times as you need to. You believe in the word eternal and you call out to your loved one everyday. I love you Jordan. You will always be my boy. I miss you. I love you.