Friday, August 01, 2014


Mike of Genial Misanthrope commented on my last post on his (and all of ours) wish not to outlive our children.

But I write of this again. I've written of my own personal circle of good friends and relatives who've not been so lucky. I link to them all here. And I say "all" because there are quite a few. An aunt's child, a school friend of my daughter's - herself a mother of a teenager. And on. At my high school reunion a few years back, one of my schoolmates appeared with a shaven head from cancer treatments. Six months prior her only daughter, birthing a third child, had died in the birthing process from a stroke. Not uncommon.

And many more death posts. Too many. Or maybe not enough. I've outlived my mother by 14 years now. Death looms more clearly at the age one's parent dies. And yes, they've done studies. It bubbles underneath the surface. Stolen time, I feel. So death is more present to us.

I was with someone on Tuesday who lost an adult son. I talked of missing daughter who's left a gaping wound in my own small family. A pain that never leaves. A pain often completely ignored and unacknowledged by some family members. And in some cases added to by deliberate shunning and non-inclusion which makes it all the more unimaginable. I'm not alone in that either.

I am staggered and amazed by how most of us get through the often unbearable pain of living with such enormous losses trailing behind us. Focussing on what we have, I expect.

My friend felt a missing child was worse than a dead child. I have no idea. How do you weigh one pain against another unless you've experienced both?

I don't label any behaviour "brave". In fact I despise the word. As if failure to be brave makes a person less than, inferior. We need less of this bravery thing and more of feeling and grieving and roaring out at the injustice. And shaking our fists in exhaustion.

I'd rather you and I had the permission to scream our losses to the skies in each others' presence.

The loss of those living, the loss of those dead. And all those losses in between.


  1. The last line "And all those losses in between." made me think. Thanks for the memory jog.

  2. GM:

    You can probably tell I'm on a bit of a downer. Triggered by a few sadnesses and pain.


  3. This one a lot of losses inbetween
    Hopefully never one of my children. My oldest one has
    pulled away this week because I shared about her and siblings
    helping their father at this time.
    She has pulled back before and not
    as painful this time but
    still hurts for many reasons.
    When my mother was my age
    I would disagree with some she
    shared, but just listened.
    Does not seem to be happening to
    this one..

  4. OWJ:

    Amazing what we get through with our hearts breaking and in bits at times.

    I can't count my heartbreaks.

    But we rise again.

    Some days are worse than others. I wrote my piece on a downer and was going to delete but I've let it stand....

    I hope your daughter returns.

    With more understanding.


  5. OWJ:

    I wear my heart on my sleeve, one of my aunts used to say. As if it were a very bad thing as she certainly didn't.

    I used to pray, when I believed in such things, that I'd become really cold.


  6. I have quit going to funerals except for family members and close friends of which I have so few since many died in the mid 1990s.

  7. We have words like widow, widower, orphan etc but nothing to describe a parent who has lost a child. I was with my friends last week who had lost their first born son to an automobile accident in1988. They are still to recover from that though their grandson from a daughter is a carbon copy cheers them up no end. I often wonder how I would feel and I expect that all parents do too.


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