Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Mother's unendurable grief

My much-beloved cousin Sarah just lost her only son this past Saturday night in a crazy, horrible & totally unlikely traffic accident. No alcohol, no drugs, no reckless driving - on anyone's part. I haven't wanted to write about it, but I should, if only to acknowledge a Mother's terrible and unendurable grief. After my prayers, it is all I can do, and it is so very little.

My poor, sweet and kind Sarah is in total shock, and all I can tell her is "I'm so, so sorry and horrified. I love you!" I can hardly quit crying over it; yes, for HER sake; because my heart just goes 'thud' every time I think of what she and her husband are going through, as they buried their only son today at 1:00.

I can hardly stand to write or think about it, it's just so horrible. And no one can do a damned thing about it :-(

We have only 2 living children, ourselves, and I thank God every day that they are still with me. I cherish them more than I can begin to describe. But do I need to? You are parents, most of you. YOU know what it feels like to have your heart squeeze in love - and fear - for your children. I tell my kids that I love them ... every. single. day. I try to show it, too, with my actions, not just words (because talk's cheap, and kids intuitively know that). Because, one day, I might NOT be able to tell them - or show them - how much I love and appreciate them. They are more precious to me than my own life.

I would like to comment on what one poor mother said (to another grieving mother on another blog): that she "got angry" when someone told her that were sorry for her loss. That just blows me away. I wondered...what does she want people to say, instead? That they were GLAD at her loss? Of course not - she'd be justifiably horrified, hurt and outraged - and I don't know of anyone hateful enough to say something like that. I suspect there are those like that in the world, but *I* sure don't want to meet such foul, satanic monsters.

That poor, grieving mother has forgotten that most of us adults in this world ARE parents - and we have vivid imaginations. Oh, yes ...we can imagine -- far-too-easily -- the horror and grief we would feel if we lost one of our own beloved children!

Of COURSE we're "sorry" when we hear of another parent's loss! In fact, we are so horrified and devastated for that poor, bereaved parent, that we can hardly breathe. We're "sorry" because we're not God, so we can't do a damn thing about what happened. We're "sorry" that we don't have a magic wand to undo what happened. We're "sorry" because we KNOW that whatever words we say or actions we take will be cold comfort - at best. We know our hugs and helplessly-murmured whispers will mean nothing to the grieving parent, yet it would be worse - far worse - if we did not offer them at all.

We feel a cold, bony hand mercilessly squeeze our hearts when we hear of these things. Should such a thing happen to us, I know I would want to curl up and die of agonized grief, as would my husband. What an unspeakably HUGE hole in our hearts that loss would leave!

We know one of OUR babies could be 'the next'. :::shudder::: Oh, yes, we CAN 'understand' -- even if we have never lost a child. Any ordinary, normal, loving parent can't help but 'understand' - we have no choice but to understand, for the fear of our own possible loss is never far away; no, never.

We are, when all is said and done, not ever the 'masters of our fate', as some very silly people want to delude themselves into believing. We never will be in charge, either.

If you all would offer up a prayer for my poor Sarah & Simon - and for all grieving parents - it would be an act of Charity...and understanding.

Thank you!


Dori Ann said...

Well,what is there to say? You are all in my prayers. A hole that you hope no one ever has to experience. Please take the time to understand the stages you go thru when you loose a child. Sometimes you hurt so bad you can hardly look at someone that isn't. Some people carry it longer than others. Some people get consumed by their grief, it is a phyiscal condtion. I hear your anger at the situtation. That is another part you experience in this type of horrible loss. There is no right or wrong way to go thru this journey. There is only making the journey. Your life has changed, I wish I had some words of wisdom or comfort for your cousin and yourself and the family's touched by this tragedy. I know it is way to early, but there is a group on the internet for loss called griefnet. When I felt so alone in the middle of the night, there was always someone there to talk to. You run out of people to talk to, everyone is hurting around you they don't have anything left to give.
What you hear when someone says they are angry when people say they are sorry, is a mother who is still hurting so bad, her anger is all she has.
If I can be of any help, in any way. Please let me know. My heart breaks for your family.

Fairy Spun Fibers said...

Dear Dori,
I am so grateful you are sharing this. You are still in the middle of your own unendurable grief - and you took time out to comment on my stupid post {{squeeze}}. You are so kind, dear lady, and tolerant of those who really can't understand unless they've been through it. I wish I could have found a better way to express what I was trying to say (but I still can't find the right words - perhaps there aren't any). I would probably be one of those who became consumed with anger in my loss - physically ill and prostrate, unable to 'unfreeze', were it not for my Faith which would help sustain me. Our lives have not changed, compared to my poor Sarah and Simon, so devastated by this unexpected Aaron-sized hole in their lives. I feel so helpless and (you're right) *angry* at the senselessness of his death. Three drivers ran over him, one after the other. They didn't even see him :-( You DO have 'words of wisdom' to offer, Dori Ann - you just did. I will tell our Sarah about griefnet when she can bear to think again. Man, just talking about it hurts. It makes me feel so wobbly on the inside, imagining what the parents are going through - and will suffer - for the rest of their lives.