death of a child

The death of a child is what bereavement writers call an enfranchised loss. This means that the survivors experience widespread sympathy following the death of a child. I remember the huge crowds that thronged into the cathedral in Thurles in February 1990, and the great amount of support I received from so many.People who lose children have particular ways of expressing their thinking. They may talk about how the child was special, they try to make sense of the death, they have vivid memories of the death even after the passage of years, and they use great pathos in describing the moment of death. They may also explore the ‘what ifs’, of the transition to being the parents of a dead child. They may describe premonitions they may have had before the death, and the chasm that exists between them and the rest of the world. These are very familiar to me.  I was in Dublin on the day before my child was killed, and I suffered from such a severe headache all of that day that I was unable to visit the shops, and simply sat in a café until it was time for the bus to depart. I also have vivid memories of the death. I remember exactly where I was when the accident occurred. That day is etched on my brain, and will never fade. I always worried that I would forget the sound of my child’s voice, and I often mentally listen for it.  I can still hear that soft voice, and it, too, will never fade.

Posted in Bereavement Grief and Loss, Death of a Child
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