Do you call yourself a mother if you lose your only child?
Even if the answer is yes, you still struggle to get included in the category of parents, because your only experience of parenthood is loss. And, that’s brutal.
My son, Ayden, born with a Congenital Heart Disease called TGA (Transposition of Great Arteries), underwent an open heart surgery at 7 days old and passed away when he was 29 days old. You can read my story here.
There’s no bigger pain that losing your own child! I learnt it the hard way.
The first few weeks of Ayden’s passing away, I struggled trying to be normal. I thought the initial few days would be tough, and later on it should be ok. That’s how it usually works, right? But it was the other way around. The initial few days – insurance formalities, family and friends around, I hardly had time to think for myself. I didn’t actually get the time & space that I wanted. The air around me was different.
But later on, it was so tough. I wish someone had told me this earlier. It was so tough that I almost seized to exist. It was a struggle that can’t be described. There was anger, frustration, helplessness, struggle, pain, advices that didn’t make sense… All in extreme magnitude.
I’m usually looked upon as a strong woman to some extent, but this life event made me very vulnerable, and I started questioning things that I never did before. I started Googling on how parents cope with child loss, if they ever forget, if it ever heals… I realized what I was feeling was absolutely normal. That was a reassurance.
Death is a taboo in most cultures & grief is regarded personal, and more importantly it makes others uncomfortable. That’s when there’s a rush to mask the emotions & make things seem alright. That’s when the survivors, who barely survive, are denied the opportunity & the right to grieve, mourn, talk & live the way they want.
When there were emotions that I couldn’t express to anyone, I started expressing it to Ayden – in my pregnancy journal that I had started from my 2nd trimester on. This journal has notes on all the major pregnancy milestones, happy moments and notes from the hospital. It has some pictures too. I thought, some day when he’s old enough, he’ll get to read on how we chose his name, the story behind his pink baby basket, etc. So, I continued expressing my grief to him, in the most raw form. That journal was my therapy. I enjoyed it. I still do.
I realized, not just me, my husband & Ayden, but others needed to know too – at least a few things. Now that we had become ripe targets for advices, and sometimes (unintentional) hurtful words disguised under the wrap of advices, this was important. I started this blog.
I’m a private person. It takes a lot for me to emote myself in public. It took a lot of courage to take some part of that journal to this blog and share it with the world. I think that’s the impact your lost child has on you and your life. That’s what your unconditional love to him makes you do. I’m glad I did.
This is not a very sad or negative blog. It’s just how I see things. You’ll still see sadness, negativity, anger, grief & all emotions that are usually swept under the carpet, in my writing, and that’s because that’s how things are for a bereaved parent.
This blog is an attempt to document all the major emotional ups & downs of losing your own child. With no intentions to be rude or offensive, I genuinely wish people understood the emotions a little better!