I am a bereaved mother. Early on I felt their stares, watching for signs of how I was coping with your loss.
All eyes on me… wondering how I could possibly go on when they knew there was no way they could.
Time slowly passes. I’m known as the mom whose kid died.
There’s an awkwardness in our interactions – like you’re afraid it’s something you can catch.
I assure you it’s not.
You’re not sure what to say. It seems the most comfortable thing to do is pretend nothing happened.
Yet, that doesn’t really work either.
I still feel all eyes on me.
When will she go back to normal?
They say you should never let your loss define you.
But, I am a bereaved mother.
It may not define me, but it’s a part of my identity now. It’s imprinted, your imprint, weaved throughout my DNA.
How can a loss like this not define every part of me going forward?
As long as people continue to see me as a bereaved mother, they continue to see you.
To acknowledge you existed.
Sometimes I need that reminder, too.
As time continues to pass, it feels like a different world.
The one where I had you.
The further away it gets, the more I convince myself it was real.
You were real, even if for a short time.
This loss, it does define me… and I’m OK with that.
I AM a bereaved mother.
Feature Photo by Designecologist | Pexels
Emily is a wife and mother to 3 children – 2 girls here 1 son in heaven. Late Christmas Eve (2015) life was sent on a new, unexpected trajectory. Her oldest child, Cameron (forever 7), unexpectedly got sick. Within 24-hours they were making the hardest decision of their lives to withdraw life support. As he died in her arms, she promised to find a way to live on in his honor.
She began sharing her grief journey on her blog (JustPlayingHouse.com), and the response from other bereaved parents was overwhelming. Feedback resonated that the support out there seemed to focus on infant/baby loss and miscarriage versus older children. She felt this was an opportunity and calling to help fill in that gap. Her passion is supporting other bereaved parents walking this path and educating others in an attempt to shatter the stigma surrounding grief and life after child loss. Writing has been the foundation of Emily’s healing, and she is currently working on her first book.
Facebook Page: fb.com/emilyjph