Thursday, February 4, 2010

"Jordan should be here"

A gorgeous post from a mother (and blogger) who is grieving the loss of her 19-year-old son, on the New York Times's Motherlode blog. Anyone who has lost a child at any age, including during pregnancy, will relate to passages like this one (from the introduction to the post):
In the many months since then, his mother has been struggling to regain her words. What to answer, for instance, when asked (always casually, by new acquaintances who don’t know they are in a minefield), “How many children do you have?”
and this one (about her younger son):

He sees the images of Haiti’s destruction and death and like his dad and I have a kinship with the grief we see on the faces of the survivors. A part of us reaches back to the first moment of knowing of the death of Jordan and we wail inside and shudder with the faces of the people of Haiti whose grief is so graphically displayed.

After losing a loved one, viewing others’ displays of grief is with a lens tinged with fraternity and sorrow. I recognize the sobs and the wails, because I’ve cried them. I see the women holding their heads in their hands in grief and pain and I know it is done to try and block out if even for a second the new reality and life they must face, because I’ve held and still hold my head the same way. Total destruction did not befall my family. Our house still stands, food, water, medicine, all the necessities are in ample supply. But like anyone who has lost a loved one, how that person died is secondary to the tragedy of loss. There is an ever present longing to have your loved one back.
No comments yet. I suspect -- I most certainly hope -- they will be more sympathetic than those on articles related to infertility & childlessness.

Go & read:

When a Child Dies


  1. Thank you for sharing that link. It's heart-breaking, amazing and inspiring.

  2. It's a beautiful column. Thanks for pointing it out.

  3. I looked at this link and couldn't get through it without crying. I had to stop. I was on a break at school and it doesn't look too good when the teacher's eyes are all red. They'll pull me out for drug testing :)!


  4. Wow. Very, very powerful. thanks for sharing.

  5. Thanks for sharing that link. It is so true, when grieving parents are asked questions like "how many children do you have?" it often causes concern and distraught feelings. How do you recognize your child in heaven, when you don't need to tell your "whole story" at the same time?