The old saying goes, “Hindsight is 20/20”. Though introspection and looking back can only go so far in the process of grieving and healing.
It is quite obvious that I as a husband and father will not grieve in the same way as Lucille does over the loss of Dominic.
However, _I do grieve the loss_ of our child. Though, I could not spend much time in any state of grieving during the first two to three weeks after losing Dominic as I needed to be Lucille’s anchor in the midst of the trauma and pain of loss.
Kimberly Hahn in her book Life-Giving Love dedicates a whole chapter to Miscarriage and Stillbirth (Chapter 10). Lucille handed the book to me and suggested that I read it not long after we buried Dominic as that is when I started to let go and allow the grief to consume me.
Kimberly talks about some of the emotions that we can expect as we grieve (pg. 254):
- Shock or disbelief
- Feeling overwhelmed or numb
- Deep sadness
- Guilt toward ourselves
- Blame toward God or others
- Depression to the point where it is difficult to function
As much as I tried to be Lucille’s pillar of strength there were days where I was almost completely catatonic. The empty hollow feeling inside was so intense as to consume every ounce of energy just remaining somewhat present to Lucille and the kids all the while just lying there.
It has been a very long time since I have experienced a depression of that intensity. The past depressions were due to the intense trauma of the abuse I went through. This depression is entirely due to my feeling utterly helpless in the face of Lucille’s pain, our children’s pain, and my own pain.
The numbness has been just as intense. As much as I clamoured to embrace the Cross, to hold onto the Lord’s moment of utter loss (Matt 27:46) while hanging on the Cross, there was no consolation to be found in the midst of my grief. Though an image of the Pieta (Bing Image Search), that is Our Lady holding her dead Son after being taken down from the Cross, has been a source of comfort as Lucille and I can surely relate to her pain and loss.
It would be so easy to allow the anger to consume me to and walk away from my faith and deny Him Who Loves me. There have been times where putting a bridle on the anger has been extremely difficult. I am fortunate in that I can head over to our shop and allow some of it to be vented there without worrying about scaring Lucille or the kids.
There have been times though where I did cross the line with my anger. Fortunately, we can talk about what happened and I can and do apologise to Lucille and/or the kids when it did.
Even now, a month later, there are more down days than there are up days. Today was a very down day for all of us.
We parents are not wired to lose our children. Our parents, yes, we can deal with the grief. But there is something about losing one of our children that just rips our heart to shreds.
Our Lady of Sorrows pray for us.
Blessed Hugh Taylor - Martyr
Catholic Saints of the Day