For awhile after the loss of a child, bereaved parents can convince ourselves that our child is just “away” from us. This is especially true for parents who have lost an adult child who lived away from the family’s home. Parents tend to imagine their child is at school, on an extended vacation, at work, with family, or away with friends. As the shock of child loss begins to fade, parents come face-to-face with soul-deep YEARNING. Yearning after child loss is more complex than simple longing.
In the early months and years, yearning is the GIANT after a precious child dies. A parent’s very soul cries out to connect with a child. There are no words, no touch from another, not anything that will stop the soul from crying out each and every day after child loss. It takes great personal courage, moment by heartbreaking moment, to accept loss and slowly learn to integrate the realities of death. In the early months after child loss, time is of little comfort. The passing of time just moves bereaved parents further away from the last moments spent together with a child. Learning to honor the yearning and breathe through the gut wrenching attacks on a bereaved parent’s heart takes conscious and deliberate efforts in order to seek a child’s love that remains even after death.
In the early months, I talked to my child non-stop about the yearning. I made journal entries almost daily to try and release all the pain of the yearning rising from the depths of my soul and broken heart. I wasn’t always what I believed to be courageous, but I was doing the best I could each and everyday to integrate loss and to honor the gift that is, and forever remains, my precious child. Most days, it took every ounce of strength I could summon not to drown in the darkness of my own yearning.
Now, after two years, the yearning is softer. Yearning will never completely go away, but parents who reach hard for their own child’s light and love can find comfort there. Our children are all ok. Bereaved parents who are left behind will struggle with yearning, but with conscious efforts to seek love, light, and grace, we all can find a beautiful spiritual connection with our children who travel before us.
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To read more about YEARNING after child loss and my own private journal entries, see Forever Namaste.