They say time heals all wounds…I don’t know who “they” are, but they got it wrong. Time does not heal all. Just like all the heart warriors battling this beast, we as parents have deep and angry scars. To say we will heal is a flat out lie. We’ll patch and bandage and medicate, but this deep of a wound simply will not heal.
Exactly 8 years ago my husbands dad died suddenly. I watched him grieve, but I didn’t understand how the process worked. I remember him saying that the next summer was very difficult. The next summer everything seemed to hit home. So, when Killian died, he warned me that the process was going to be long. So very long.
I felt completely numb the first few weeks after Killian died. Between planning his cremation, packing for home, getting back to a routine, planning his celebration of life, and the constant drop by’s, phone calls and check in’s, I didn’t really have time to stop and process what had happened. Once all of that was coming to a close, I threw myself into moving around the house, hanging pictures, purging things I didn’t need, scrubbing walls and organizing drawers (thank you Marie Kondo) After that it was Christmas, vacation, school. Now it’s quiet. It’s been four months since I held my baby. It’s been four months since the single most traumatic event in my life. And it’s hitting hard.
Every day has been a roller coaster. Forgetting to move the laundry from the washer to the dryer can send tears that don’t want to stop. Every song has a new meaning. Every movie has a reference. Everything is reminding me that I don’t have my baby here. That I’ll never rub his head again or kiss his sweet little mouth. That I’ll never hear his laugh or hear him call for his mama. It’s exhausting.
I’ve become online friends with a lot of mamas who have lost their sweet babes as well. Allies in the war. They know the battles that you are fighting every day. They know that this hurt doesn’t go away. It’s a lot like the tide. It slowly creeps out, leaving some sand to start to build up our castles again, and then comes crashing up again, washing all of that away.
Life goes on, to expect it not to would be selfish and unfair. A few months after a loss, many people assume, for good reason, that we’re healing. The phone calls and visits lessen. The mentions of your child become farther and farther apart. The last thing people want to do is remind you of what you’ve lost. Mention the pain that we’re trying to heal from. Not knowing that now is when we need it the most. Ive been incredibly lucky that so many people remember my beautiful boy. Killian. I hear his name so much. He’s using his trusty fox to creep into so many peoples lives. And I’m so, so grateful for that. Because I’m hurting so deep, and every mention of him is helping me slowing stitch up this fatal wound.
And I mean fatal. Without that help. Without the support and love and shoulders to lean on, this will kill the person that you were. So thank you all for being our triage teams on the battle field. Supporting someone through grief is such an incredible thing. You are literally saving our lives.