Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Living with the Death of a Child

When your child dies, so does a part of you. Their death throws you into a state of emotional chaos and existential confusion, and it takes a lot of time, maybe the rest of your life, to sort yourself out again.

This book is another one that has helped me. Written in collaboration by 22 grieving parents, it tells their personal stories in an unvarnished way. The good thing is that it relieves the sense of "crazy" you carry inside, because it talks about things you thought only you felt. And some of the contributors feel worse than you, like the man who accidentally drove his tractor over his child, or the devastated parents dealing with their child's suicide. There is some twisted momentary relief in the fact that we don't have it the worst.

Here are some helpful topics the book covers--just the chapter titles tell a story:
How to answer the question, "How many children do you have?"
Marking Anniversaries
Seeing Your Children's Friends
Rethinking Faith
Considering Suicide
Preserving the Marriage
Your Surviving Children
Encountering the Void
Fighting Despair
Continuing the Connection

Perhaps the best thing is the sub-title: Living with the Death of a Child. Apparently, they've learned to LIVE with it. It doesn't feel like you really live after your child dies, you go through the motions. So I'm a skeptic about learning to live again...but I'm giving it time. We shall see.

Psalm 103:12 Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.


A Maui Blog said...

I am glad you are finding books that give you some kind of comfort. Books are a friend to me, when I feeling lost or out of control, I always grab a book for comfort...

Thinking of you and praying...


Elis said...

I think more than anything God wants us to keep on walking the walk. Sometimes not the easiest walk or sometimes we don't want to walk at all.
That's when He comes through holding our hands and guiding us, taking us to where we should go, where ever it is we don't know, how long it will take we don't know either, but the fact is we are moving forward.
My heart is with you, love Elis

Jeri said...

My heart aches for you and it makes me think of my mom and how she must feel, however doesn't express it. It brings much light to the road you've been on. Thanks once again for sharing your heart which allows me to understand the path you've had to travel over the past year. As always, you're in my many thoughts and prayers. I love you, Jeri

Bill and Lu Kepler said...

Reading your creation, Karen, is like being immersed in flowers, and sadness, and beauty. I am reading it again and again, breathing in the words. Your writing is a huge relief and release for me. I hope it is for you too.
Elise, your comment is beautiful. Thanks.
Bill and Lu

Anonymous said...

Hi Karen and Joe;
I just wanted you to know that I've been thinking about you and praying for you this week. I can't imagine how hard it must be.
I love you both.