Losing a child is the most devastating agony a mother can go through. It is regarded and often described as the worst kind of pain that can happen to any parent, especially the mother. When a child dies, a part of the mother naturally dies with the child.
A mother narrating her grief over the loss of her only child and how the experience seems to be becoming a nightmare for her, is seeking closure and how best to deal with the grief.
Parents aren’t supposed to outlive their children, but it happens sometimes. Losing a child is a horrific experience no mother would ever want to face. The laws of nature hold that, in most cases, a child should naturally outlive his or her parents, so, when the reverse happens, emotional devastation is the result.
Upon losing a child, a parent can begin to question his or her parenting abilities or, worse, his or her status with God. This can lead to years of emotional turmoil that can affect all other aspects of her life. Relationships among spouses, and even with other children, are often negatively affected by the tension resulting from losing a child.
Mrs. Rahama Muhammed, a 40-year-old lawyer opines that: “Unfortunately, I have been there and it is not an experience you would want for anyone. I have experienced the gut wrenching pain of having to lose a child. He was my oldest son and would have been 17 this year. It is very difficult to get over the pain, one does not ever get over the loss as parts of you and your soul might never come to terms with the reality of accepting the death. Nevertheless, there are ways to cope with it the best way one can. I am not saying it’s easy because it’s not, to be frank it may end up being the toughest thing you will ever have to endure with in life”
While this painful and difficult issue continues to linger on the minds of many, there is fortunately, plenty of help available for those who are coping with the tragedy of losing a child. The question most people ask is how long does it take to get over the loss of a child?
Benjamin Onoja, a 40-year-old Abuja-based contractor, says that: “It depends on each individual but it can be up to 10 years and sometimes be a lifetime experience to live with it. It is necessary and important that anyone in this situation makes positive moves to unburden their grief, for they have been through the worst pain they may ever have an unexpected death of a close one, especially your own child! What could be more grieving than that?”
It is never in the natural order of things for a child to die before his or her parents. There is no opportunity to prepare, resolve misunderstandings or even say a befitting goodbye. The life of the parents and if there are siblings, is changed forever in an instant and it takes time for the reality of what has happened to sink in.
As the reality of the death settles, the unanswered questions of why it had to be the child becomes normal, though sometimes one might remember the pain from time to time as memories of the child keeps coming up.
Hajiya Maryam Abdullahi, marriage counselor suggests that: “Discuss your pain or grief with friends and even spouse when these memories come up. It could help ease the pain you are going through at that moment. The memories and emotions will always remind you of the joy of their life and the pain of losing them, it is important that you do not keep these feelings to yourself but rather share them and keep the memory of your child and all other feelings out in the open so that you can get comfort from those around you. Bottling them up could be disastrous and devastating.”
Most importantly, always remember that they entered this world because of you and they left this world with all the experiences that your love has created for them. There is no fear because the love of a family is everlasting, one may not accept that they had to die, but we have to come to terms with reality.
One thing we will never be able to answer is why, but be rest assured that the bond with your child will never be broken even in death. Find comfort that they are at peace wherever they are and find closure in their memories, for in them there is always a reason to smile and even laugh.