A mama’s worst nightmare: losing a child
posted by: Amber Johnson
In honor of Mother’s Day, we will be featuring your motherhood essays of women you admire in our “Hero Mom” series.” For the Grand Prize winner, we’ll send them BOTH to Allure Skincare and Lash, True Bliss Massage AND Rooted in Tradition Acupuncture.
A few years ago, I was devastated by some news about my college roommate. Horrible news. She and her family were involved in a car accident while en route from Colorado to Utah. Her 13-year-old daughter was killed.
How does a person ever recover from the death of a child? There isn’t a day that goes by that my friend does not mourn the loss of her eldest child but she has done an admirable job of rebuilding her family with hope and happiness while continuing to honor her daughter’s memory.
When my son Bode was nine months old, I dreamt he died.
As if the end result was not painful enough, within my dream, I had a dream about how it would all unfold. How he would get sick. How I would have to watch him slowly deteriorate. And I foresaw how and when that exact moment of his passing would occur.
And I painfully waited, heart broken, relishing every last moment with him.
I awoke at 3 a.m. in a flood of tears. My husband Jamie consoled me by suggesting we sneak into Bode’s room. I was touched at his thoughtfulness as we crept in there to hear the comforting cadence of his breathing.
“He’s OK,” I whispered, relieved, and reached down to remove his bottle that he had drunkenly thrown to the wayside.5
And then he woke up. Forcefully. And very loudly objected as if to say, “What da freak? Just let me sleep, Woman!”
And never before have a baby’s cries provided such peace.
How does a person ever recover from the death of a child?
Before I became a mother, I just didn’t get it. I figured it would be horribly difficult to get over but you would just move on. Particularly when I heard of a baby dying, I thought, “Well, at least they were still little so the parent didn’t have time to bond very much with them.”
My thoughts were the same on miscarriage. I mean, the child hadn’t even been born yet. What is the big deal? You can just try to conceive again.
Never once did I consider the feeling of holding that newborn life in your arms, of knowing you had played an integral part in forming this little person. I never considered the sheer joy of seeing him grow, love and learn. And I certainly never understand that for so many of us, the hope of these things is ingrained from the moment of conception.
I finally get it.
But pray I will never have to.