Let’s start at the very beginning…

I am a bereaved parent. I will always be a bereaved parent. Let me make it very clear from the outset – you never get over the death of a child. You are never the same. I am not the same person I once was. Over time, a bereaved parent will integrate the loss into the framework of his or her life, but it’s unrealistic to think that things will go back to the way they once were or that the griever will once again be as he or she once was.

A few other things that needs to be clear from the beginning – there is no time limit; there are no consistent steps or phases. It takes a long time, longer than anyone expects. Others may try to encourage you to move along at what they consider to be a normal grieving time frame for you, and you may end up feeling guilty for grieving as you do. Remember – it takes as along as it takes. You have to learn to live without your child.

Like many bereaved parents, I view my life in terms of “before” and “after.” Before the accident…after the accident. Before Jason died…after Jason died. Before…when laughter could bubble up from the depths of my soul and life had so many wonderful possibilities. After…when a sadness can tinge any situation or pop up from just beneath the surface at any time. Before…when we rarely locked our doors and our home was occupied by any number of our kids’ friends. After…when the house was so quiet my ears hurt. After…when the comfortable and safe “home” we knew disappeared the night Jason died…and we have been looking for a place to belong and call home ever since.

People don’t like to be around others who grieve deeply. It’s hard. It’s uncomfortable. It’s not tidy. It takes a long time. It makes a person look at possibilities no one wants to imagine or think about, especially when it concerns the death of a child. People avoid you…decide it’s taking too long for you to get over it…try to fix you. People move on.

I do not claim to know what it’s like to walk in someone else’s shoes nor do I claim to be an expert on grief. I do know what I felt and what my experiences were. I have read many books and have found similarities in my life to other bereaved parents. My goal in this blog is to create understanding – understanding for bereaved parents and for those around them. No person is the same. No grief or griever is the same. There is no one shoe that fits all. But, if I can create a small sense of understanding in any way, I will consider that a success.

© 2011 Rebecca R. Carney

This entry was posted in Death of a child, Family, Grief/Grieving and tagged , , , , by Rebecca Carney - One Woman's Perspective. Bookmark the permalink.

About Rebecca Carney - One Woman's Perspective

My name is Becky Carney. My husband, Joe, and I have been married for 42 years. We have two living children, Eric (38) and Jenna (33). We lost a baby in utero at 19 weeks in 1987. In 2002, our middle son, Jason (19), and his best friend, Alina (20), were broadsided by a drunk driver who was going at least twice the speed limit. They both died instantly. This blog is written from my perspective as a bereaved parent. I don't claim to know what it's like to walk in anyone else's shoes. Each situation is different; each person is different. Everyone handles grief differently. But if I can create any degree of understanding of what it's like to be a parent who has lost a child, then I have succeeded in my reason for writing this blog.

5 thoughts on “Let’s start at the very beginning…

  1. Your words are very accurate. When my brother passed away I knew that my life had changed in a way that was incomprehensible to many people. I knew that I had to find my own way. Since my grandfather’s death and the suicide of a dear friend, I know I will find my way through, in my own time. Thanks for visiting my blog and touching my life. And thanks for your bravery in baring your emotional soul to the world. I am sure it helps others with their loss as well.

  2. Any significant death, such as the death of a child or a spouse of many years leaves a person changed. As you say, you can integrate their loss into your life, but you never get over it.

    I am so sorry about the death of your son. I am sorry for the hole his absence he leaves in your life.

  3. I know Im about a year late commenting on this, but just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to write this blog. It is nice to read to words of someone who is also a little further along this bumpy road. Thanks for sharing.

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