Watching a friend experience the loss of their baby and the grief that remains can feel so helpless. Unfortunately, there isn’t a “one-size fits all” approach to support a grieving friend through loss, but there are many ways to be supportive. When my daughter died at 33-days-old, it was the first loss of this type…
Am I dead inside?
Do I have any emotions left?
Has the loss of my son made me emotionless?
Recently (October 2017) my dear father-in-law passed away. We were lucky enough to go see him the weekend before he passed.
I’ve known this man for 17 years. Upon our first meeting, there was no hand-shake – it was a hug. A completely encasing hug that left a memory to this day.
From the beginning, he always made me feel as if I was part of the family. Due to his job moving him to various locations, we did not get to see him very often.
Over the last few days since returning him and his passing, I’ve come to realize that this is the first real close death I’ve endured since the loss of my 7 years ago.
Don’t get me wrong. We have endured loss – 2 of my husband’s grandparents have passed since Drake’s passing. I met them a handful of times.
There was not a connection with them like I had with my father-in-law.
Am I dead inside?
I’ve pondered this question since going to see him.
Why might you ask?
Since hearing about his illness, I’ve been sad. My heart has been heavy – but there have been no tears. Not even one. I see all these people around me with tears streaming down their cheeks, tissues being used. Then there is me, standing back, watching, feeling like an intruder – the whole time no tears just a heavy heart.
So this has made me wonder if the loss of my son has caused me to be dead inside.
I completely understand that the loss of my baby is a truly devastating loss. It changed me.
I also understand that my loss is like no other I will ever experience.
I am usually a very emotional person so to see that my emotions are not as I expected, it makes me wonder – makes me think.
Am I dead inside?
Did the loss of my son affect me so drastically that I don’t feel for other losses?
I know each loss we endure will affect us in different ways depending on our relationship with that person.
I also know there is no more devastating loss then that of a child. A baby. My son. At least out of all the losses I have endured to date.
So while I ponder the question: Am I dead inside?, I think I’ve come to a realization. A possible answer to that question.
The answer: Yes. In a small way I am dead inside. The loss of my baby caused a small part of me to die when he died because that is how hard it was.
But let me explain a little further:
- I am not a cold and heartless – I do mourn the passing of my father-in-law. I am sad. My heart is heavy.
- I’ve come to realize that no loss will impact me the way my son’s did.
As each year comes and goes, I will endure other losses – I will mourn, I will grieve, I will be sad. But only time will tell if I shed tears or I shed no tears, it does not mean I didn’t care. It doesn’t mean I didn’t love them – it just means I’ve changed – my emotions have changed.
Am I dead inside? Yes, yes I am all because I’ve loved and lost. I’ve endured the worst pain, the worst sorrow, the worst grief possible – in my whole life.
That day 7 years ago I lost my son but I also lost part of my heart, my soul, my future. I lost a part of me. A part I can never get back.
So to my husband, my mother-in-law, my sister-in-law, my brother-in-law and his family – I am sorry if you felt I may have been cold or heartless that is not what I am – I truly loved dad and I hope you know I grieve him in my heart even when I have no tears to shed because
I am broken.
I am incomplete.
I am partial dead inside.