Losing a child is the hardest thing you will ever do.
You would trade places with your child. In an instant.
But you can’t.
Instead, you ask questions, and there are no answers. Only silence.
You miss them. You love them. But that doesn’t change the fact that you can no longer hold them.
The crushing weight of their absence sits heavily on your chest. Every. Single. Day.
Those that have not lost a child cannot understand your pain. A pain so profound it goes to the core of your being. You feel isolated and alone.
But you are not alone. The road is filled with other fathers like you, trying to survive. Trying to find their way. Any way that points them to a glimmer of hope.
You deal with guilt. You deal with shame. We are fixers, but this cannot be fixed. Only processed.
A dad’s job is to take care of his family. You were your child’s protector. But you couldn’t protect them, not from this, the unthinkable.
Now you’re consumed by grief that no one wants to talk about. A grief that refuses to be ignored.
You know that you’re not supposed to grieve like this. It’s not what you’ve been taught.
Society told us from the time we were young: Toughen up. Take it like a man. Big boys don’t cry.
Let me tell you, men DO cry. It’s essential, the pain must be released. We must take time to mourn.
And asking for help is NOT a sign of weakness.
It is a sign of courage.
You never get over it. You never have “closure,” whatever that is. But you can get through it. Not beyond it, but through it. It is forever apart of your life.
Although painful, you fight to keep your child’s memory alive. We hang on to our memories and ask others that knew them to do the same.
Over time, I’ve learned that this grief is not the enemy.
This pain isn’t something to be conquered or fixed.
Over time, the pain gets better. Less intense. More about love. Less about pain.
The love never goes away.
You never stop loving them.
You start living your life to honor your child, and that gives you hope.
You can survive the loss of your child, but you will be a different person.
There is no going back to the old you. How could you? You know too much.
This kind of pain and love changes you forever.