Editor’s Note: If you haven’t watched Stranger Things on Netflix (current or past seasons), this article may contain a few, non-specific spoilers.
On July 4th the third season of Stranger Things was released on Netflix. My husband and I immediately started watching it.
The show is amazing and if you aren’t watching it, you should be.
While watching, we were reminded that one of the main characters, Jim Hopper, lost his daughter. He then goes on to take in Eleven, a girl with telepathic powers who appeared in the woods. He easily falls into the role of her father and is extremely protective of her.
At the end of the season, a letter written by Hopper to Eleven is read.
“Feelings. Jesus. The truth is, for so long I’d forgotten what those even were. I’ve been stuck in one place. In a cave, you might say. A deep, dark cave. And then I left some Eggos out in the woods and you came into my life. For the first time in a long time, I started to feel things again.” – Jim Hopper, Stranger Things, season 3 episode 8.
Having forgotten that this character lost a child, I was immediately reminded of that fact when I heard these words.
Instantly, tears fell from my eyes from the truth in them.
Immediately after Asher died, I forgot about feelings, plural. To me, there was only one singular feeling, sadness.
The other feelings no longer existed to me.
My firstborn child had died and nothing else but the pain of losing him mattered.
I sequestered myself from society in a cave of sadness. It was dark and all-consuming. I couldn’t bear to be around people, to witness others experiencing the feelings that no longer existed to me.
Prior to losing Asher, we would entertain at our house all the time. I loved having people over.
After he died, I was exhausted just thinking about having people over for a party. I withdrew into my cave because I didn’t have the energy to feel anything but sadness.
The outside world was too much for my grief.
It’s been over two years since he died and, much like Hopper in Stranger Things, I’ve emerged from my cave and rejoined society. All the feelings have returned to my life.
However, there is a new duality to my feelings since losing Asher. Happy moments are sprinkled with a twinge of sadness because of the little boy who is missing from them.
Life after loss progresses in its own way, but eventually, the numbness fades, the sadness remains, and the other feelings return.
Amy Lied is a wife and a mother to her son, Asher, who was inexplicably born still on February 19th, 2017 and twin daughters. Before losing Asher, she suffered a miscarriage and struggled with unexplained infertility. She has documented her journey from the beginning of her infertility struggles on her blog, Doggie Bags Not Diaper Bags. She is also a co-founder of The Lucky Anchor Project , an online resource for loss families that houses an Etsy store whose profits are donated to loss family non-profit organizations. She hopes to help others by sharing her journey as she continues to navigate the bumpy road that is life after loss.