I wish people could understand that grief lasts forever because love lasts forever; that the loss of a child is not one finite event, it is a continuous loss that unfolds minute by minute over the course of a lifetime.
Every missed birthday, holiday, milestone– should-be back-to-school school years and graduations; weddings that will never be; grandchildren that should have been but will never be born– an entire generation of people are irrevocably altered This crappy club called child loss is a club I never wanted to join, and one I can never leave, yet is filled with some of the best people I’ve ever known. The joy I experience now is far deeper and more intense than the joy I experienced before my loss. Because I’ve clawed my way from the depth of unimaginable pain, suffering and sorrow, again and again– when the joy comes, however and whenever it does– it is a joy that reverberates through every pore of my skin and every bone in my body.
For as long as I breathe, I will grieve and ache and love my son with all my heart and soul.
There will never come a time where I won’t think about who my son would be, what he would look like, and how he would be woven perfectly into the tapestry of my family.
Isabel’s bird croaked his agreement, and fluttered down to nestle back on top of her head. I didn’t just call him ‘Cat.’ How would you like it if Maman had named you ‘Girl’ or ‘Witch’ or ‘Curse Upon My Loins’? Her brother had never developed her knack with magic, but like most folks with half a brain and a modicum of sense, he’d nurtured at least a couple arcane talents. Chinese food belonged to Isabel’s childhood, to sunlit days in her mother’s kitchen: the bright primary colors of the vegetables, the expert flash of the chopping knife, and Maman’s painstakingly arranged presentation of dish after fragrant dish on the checker-clothed kitchen table. And talk to them.” The temperature dropped as soon as the apartment door shut behind them. I want to live and die alongside people I care about.” Silence. “ “Leave me as I am,” Elias offered, desperation creeping into his voice at last. Still, she grit her teeth, and strode forward, closing the distance to Elias. His fingers clenched around hers like icicles, but that golden magic of his flared still, threads of sunlight whispering through their entwined fingers, a beacon against the cold. The fleeting, uncomplicated joy of a snapshot piece of childhood. Instead, her fingers curled into the crisp fabric of Elias’ shirt, paused over the heat of life thrumming in the skin beneath. Later, Isabel would feed Horrible his supper, let Sunshine nest in her hair, roll her eyes at some horrible joke of Dom’s.
” Dom’s starched shirt sighed over his shoulders as he shrugged. Curiouser and curiouser.” She dusted her hands on her apron. I’ve heard their voices, enough times over the years, to recognize when those things are on the hunt. The ghost, Isabel imagined, of what should have been an elevated heart rate. He picked up on what was happening, and let me hide out in his spare room for the night.” Of course. A blast of cold shoved her back, so hard she gasped. What was one half-baked immortal boy and a blinded, failed demigod of a girl, against two full-fledged, self-made gods, running on the full power of the ? Elias’ parents would get what they wanted, in the end. It took knowing that voice well, to recognize the fury simmering beneath the carelessly drawled syllables. ” Heat blasted through the cold, shocking in its contrast to the snow that had been stinging Isabel’s face numb seconds before. It licked along the edges of her porch, uninterested in the very burnable wood, instead gunning forward like a rogue dragon, twisting its hissing, serpentine form toward that last source of cold. “Here’s the thing about family – or anyone, really, mortal or immortal. Welcome to the rat race.” She popped the rest of her beignet into her mouth, speaking around the dough: “At least we have donuts and coffee.I want to speak about my deceased child as normally and naturally as you speak of your living ones.I love my child just as much as you love yours– the only difference is mine lives in heaven and talking about about him is unfortunately quite taboo in our culture. Our culture isn’t so great about hearing about children gone too soon, but that doesn’t stop me from saying my son’s name and sharing his love and light everywhere I go.They start movements, change laws, spearhead crusades of tireless activism. In the hope that even just one parent could be spared from joining If you’ve ever wondered who some of the greatest world changers are, hang out with a few bereaved parents and watch how they live, see what they do in a day, a week, a lifetime. Minute after minute, hour after hour, day after day, month after month, year after heartbreaking year the empty space remains. holiday season is like torture for a bereaved parent? Consider supporting and loving some bereaved parents this holiday season. Though I will grieve the death of my son forever and then some, it does not mean my life is lacking happiness and joy. Living life in this way gives me greater joy than I’ve ever known possible. Being his mom is the best gift I’ve ever been given. ————————————————————————————————————————— the Open to Hope Foundation and Still Standing Magazine.Watch how they alchemize their grief into a force to be reckoned with, watch how they turn tragedy into transformation, loss into legacy. Empty chair, empty room, empty space in every family picture. Empty spaces that should be full, everywhere we go. The empty space of our missing child(ren) lasts a lifetime. Quite the contrary, in fact, though it took awhile to get there. Angela writes candidly about child loss and grief without sugar coating the reality of life after loss.