Coping with the loss of a child – resources, thoughts and personal experience
It’s been a while since my last post, but the last few weeks have been a great struggle. It has been 3 months since Kiyana’s death, and reality is still very difficult to handle. There are so many emotions, life struggles, and thoughts swirling around in my head; making it is difficult to put in words. Although daily life struggles have impacted us, the most challenging for me is watching the man I love suffer in great pain. I want to ease his pain so badly, but nothing I do will take that pain away. Not having Kiyana here with us is difficult to accept, but there other challenges that come with her loss as well. It becomes overwhelming at time. Each day I pray that each of us finds strength to survive, and even more strength to survive as a couple. I fear that we will become one of the statistics so often represented with loss of a child. How do couples stay strong together, when they are at their weakest points?
Gerald and I are alike in so many ways, but dealing with grief is not one of them. Gerald is a private man, and sharing feelings has always been difficult for him. As I watch him portray a man of strength, I see the pain he carries inside. When I catch him staring off with tears in his eyes, I know at that moment he is with his “Baby Girl”. Days where he struggles to get off the couch, and content with hiding from the world. The hardest is watching him deal with the conflicting emotions as he attempts to revive his passion for music, which has carried him through his most difficult times. Now it holds both love and pain. Because it is a passion that he and Kiyana shared together. When he sings now there is a presence of pain in his voice that was never there before. For Gerald, his first love now signifies loss of his greatest love; his daughter.
I do my best to lessen the burden by not pushing him to open up, but admit I’m not always successful. It is a lesson in self-control for sure. I respect his way of handling grieve, so I found it is best that allow him to share feelings when he is ready. Unfortunately, it leaves me feeling helpless and alone. See, I’m the complete opposite of Gerald. Expressing my feelings is the only way I can survive right now. I need to talk about Kiyana and the wonderful times we shared, and cry out of the blue when something triggers uncontrollable emotions. This is what helps me move forward. I am desperate to honor and cherish the love she brought to us. Healing comes through words I write, hoping that some other parent will be spared this pain, or their pain is eased through my journey. I need to share her tragedy in hopes that just one child will be saved through awareness. I NEED her death to serve a purpose. It is my journey to days of happiness again. I know that is what Kiyana would want for us.
How do relationships remain intact through such a tragedy? So many differences in the way we cope, and adapting to this new life you’ve been dealt. Struggling to maintain your own survival, but loving your partner so much that you are desperate to help them. It completely changes who you are as a person, and the person you love is now different as well. I know that Gerald and I are not the same individuals we were prior to Kiyana’s death. I also know we love each other very much, yet the fear there is a real fear. Will Gerald love the person I’ve become, and will I love the person he has become? I pray each day that we find our way through this, but more importantly I pray that we find our way together. I love this man with all my heart, and can’t imagine my life without him.
Please pray for me and Gerald. Also, I am open to words of wisdom or advice that others might have.