My father passed away after a long battle with pancreatic cancer just a little over a year before my daughter left this world too. I always thought that losing my parents would be the most difficult thing I would ever go through or have to face. I recall a conversation I had with him just before he passed away. I was lying next to him because he wasn’t really able to get out of bed much at all without help. I was laying with my head gently on his chest and shoulder so I didn’t cause him any pain and I said “Daddy, I’m so scared. I’m not ready for you to go.” He stayed quiet for just a moment then he told me something I will never forget and something that I can understand now. He said “Darling, I’m not going anywhere. I promise.” And do you know what, he was right. His body may have died and his soul now lives in Heaven, but he is still present, right here inside of me. He gave me part of himself to keep always. I am flesh of his flesh and carry a strong resemblance to his physical appearance. I even inherited several of his personality traits. He gave me his unconditional love & I still feel that love alive in my heart. He taught me through his strength and lent me his wisdom. I am literally a living piece of my Daddy.
I’ve recently began going to counseling, after two years to help me open up about my grief. The reason it has taken so long is a whole different topic so I’ll explain that at a later date, but when I was first asked what it feels like to have lost my daughter one of the only comparisons I could come up with quickly was this:
Have you ever watched or even heard a cow that has lost sight of, had her calf removed or had one die? They cry out and cry out, while searching for their missing calf. The big difference is, this behavior stops within a couple hours to a couple days for the cow because they are just animals and have a rather limited emotional capacity. This never goes away for a human mother grieving her child though. Myself and every other grieving mother are left constantly crying out and searching.
My councilor said that he’s honestly never, in his many years of counseling, heard that analogy or even thought about it that way. I realize that my answer was quite superficial and obviously understated emotionally, but I got a bit of my point across. And I think it allowed him to grasp the fact that this was not simply just some process he could push me through.
In reality grieving mothers are nothing at all like cows. We feel on a much, MUCH deeper level and losing a child has deep seeded emotions that no cow could possibly ever have.
As promised, my father never left me and instead gave me much of himself to keep always and like I said, I am literally a living piece of my Dad. When thinking upon Maddy, I cannot say the same because with her it’s just, well, different. Like my father gave part of himself to me, I too gave a great part of myself to her. However, when she left so did everything I gave to her. While I still very much have an undying love for her in my heart and countless memories remaining in my mind, everything I gave to her, as her mother, just disappeared like a cloud of smoke the moment she left this world. I believe this is why I feel I constantly and desperately search for her everywhere. Every fiber of my very being will always cry out for her as long as I live.
My hope, faith & God are the only things that can ever make me whole again, but I shall never truly be whole again, until I am reunited with my daughter. Losing a child is out of God’s natural order so I cannot imagine that He would expect me to truly be whole again until I’m in Heaven along with them both. After all, He is the one that formed the very bond between a mother & child, a bond so strong, it can never be broken. I think for now, He just tries to love me through it all and will continue to help me along until the day comes to reunite again.