I received an email over the weekend from a fellow grieving parent that wanted to know if I would consider doing a live 30-minute interview. I went to their website to learn more about them and while I was searching through their bio, I found this quote:
“Child loss is not an event it is an indescribable journey of survival” – Author Unknown
I must say, it hit me on several levels. Of all of the grief quotes and articles I’ve read over the years, I’ve never seen this quote before and if I had, it didn’t hit me like it did today.
I think it really captures what this whole journey is about, survival. Not only are we all trying to survive, it’s an indescribable journey that cannot be conveyed in words to people that have been fortunate enough not to have to walk it.
It is not an event that happens and then you move on like nothing happened. It’s profoundness to the nth degree.
It rocks everything in your life. It goes to the core of your being. It redefines everything you thought you knew. Everything you thought you were.
It truly is an indescribable journey.
We lost our 25 year old son june 30, 2015. While i am by by no means over it, i never will be, i NEED to know how to help my husband. I know there is no time limit to grief, especially when its your child, but i need to help him. He is so bitter.
Until now, I just couldn’t find the correct words to describe the grief. It is so hard to let anyone know how you feel at any given moment. It is bad enough to lose a person you know, worse to lose a relative, and worst if you lose your own child. I wish there is an easy way, but there’s none. This day, June 1, we mark 100 days without my daughter, and counting, trying to survive the grief.
Thanks for posting this. My wife and I are fresh into this after losing our only daughter, Madelyn, in December. Trying to make a difference and make something positive out of this is a big part of the survival strategy for me. It really does feel like we’re just getting by.
Even the positive things we are doing in Maddie’s memory, like fundraisers to fund research for DIPG (the type of brain tumor that took her life) and participating in Childhood Cancer Action Days in D.C., are a reminder of the fact that we lost her. I can relate to your writings about keeping busy after you lost your first child, as if their is an instinct to try and “outrun” the grief. Of course that is impossible.
While in D.C. for the childhood cancer advocacy, I met some parents that were several years down the path of grief after losing a child. It was not uncommon for them to express surprise that I was taking part so soon after Maddie’s death. In contrast, most of the “normal” world seems to expect my wife and I to be fine already. It is hard to imagine ever being “fine” again. What a gap there is between those who have experienced this and those that have not.
Thanks for continuing to write and share your experiences. Knowing that others have been through this helps keep me going.
I agree. It is about survival and finding purpose. My purpose for surviving is my son, wife and daughter Caitrin, who died on November 13, 2013. I believe it would be disrespectful yo my daughter to give in and quit since she fought cancer till her last breath. We grieve, survive and persevere for our loved ones.
I try to live my life by appreciating every new day as an opportunity to do something with my life. I am not successful everyday, but I do try.
I have a picture of my daughter in my car and look at her smiling face. I miss her and seeing her makes me sad but also makes me think of very fond memories, of which I wish there were more. Her picture also motivates me to fight. The quote on her memorial “Caitrin’s Rock” reads “though she be but little, she is fierce.” We can all do something and gave an impact.
Turquoise is her favorite color and this ribbon was place on the rock for her birthday, April 16.
Sent from my iPhone
Its all about finding a purpose. Getting up everyday with the mindset of “doing something” positive is have the battle of getting yourself off “Rock Bottom”. Hard thing you’ll every do, but if you keep doing it, eventually you’re doing it and realize months down the road that you are not living in “that place” anymore. Not saying you wont visit it from time to time, but the constant “no light at the end of the tunnel” starts to leave.
Could not have said it better. It is good to hear. If for nothing else than it affirms my feelings and also sense of loneliness in this. Trying to get over the hurdle (coming up on 5 years) where I can start to remember all the good things – instead of being numbed by the indescribable sense of loss.
Steve – I think the quote confirms a lot about this journey. Its just part of the aftermath and it is exhausting at times. I can say, being 10 years out that I don’t have bad days anymore, I have survived it. I can say that with confidence, but it took me years, its takes everyone years. It’s that profound, as you know. My role know is to help as many people as possible along this path. To live as an example of survival.
The good things will come back to you. Never as quickly as we want, but they do start to trickle back in over time.