I belong to a few Grieving Mom groups on line. I have witnessed moms being hurt and judged when their children were murdered, committed suicide or died due to an overdose. This post is for them, and all others like them. We are all hurting, this loss is enormous and the pain is beyond what anyone can comprehend. Please don’t judge a mom whose child died in a way you think is “less than noble”it doesn’t make her hurt any less, or any easier to comprehend. I have an amazing community behind me, I wish every Grieving Mom was as lucky as me in that respect. We all hurt, we all cry, we all ache, all of our hearts burn. Please be kind to all of us.
The death of a child leaves a hole regardless of whether that death is due to an illness, an accident,a murder at the hands of another, a suicide or an overdose. A loss is a loss is a loss, there is no changing that, but what is different is the way the community and those around you react to the death. In a perfect world no parent would be treated any differently regardless of the manner of death of their child. Unfortunately we don’t live in a perfect world, by any means.
When the death is the result of an accident or an illness, the support comes pouring out of the woodwork. Everyone wants to know what they can do, how they can temper your grief or make you feel better? As if there is any way in they immediate aftermath that will happen.
When murder or overdose or suicide is the cause of death all of a sudden your parenting is called into question. What kind of child did you raise that they would be put into a situation where murder was an option? What were they doing that caused such rage on the part of someone else to cause them to take your child’s life?
As for overdose, opiate abuse has become such a hot button issue in our country and especially in the North East that everyone has an opinion. People on both sides of the issue, both sides thinking that they are right. Forgetting that a Grieving Mom That has lost their child is stuck in the middle. They just want compassion and love, they honestly don’t care what your politics are about addiction.
As for suicide that is a hurt all of its own. Depression and anxiety generally caused a fear that none of us could comprehend. In their mind the only way out was to take their own life. To stop the pain, the hurt and fear and depression. That leaves behind unanswered questions for those parents mired in that type of grief.
Let me make one thing absolutely clear to anyone who has never set foot in this awful club. A Grieving Mother harbors enough guilt all on her own. Guilt that she couldn’t protect her child from the illness, the accident, the weather, the imagined harm that we should have protected them from. Our jobs as moms is to protect our children from everything, both real and imagined. When the worst happens, when our nightmares come true we don’t need to be reminded that we failed. We are quite aware of that scenario, we relive it every single day, more moments than anyone will ever know. It haunts us day and night, it is the plot of our every nightmare and every daydream. We don’t need your help reliving it.
So please do all of us Grieving Moms a favor. If you want to judge us for our failings. Judge us for the reasons that our children are gone. Please do it silently and from afar. We judge ourselves more harshly than you will ever know, we don’t need your assistance. Grieving Moms need your assistance and support, we need your love and affection, friendship and hugs, not backstabs and snotty remarks. We can beat ourselves up all on our own, please don’t do it for us.