26th February 02:32
help me with my son (depression)
I think the worst pain a person can go through is the loss of a child.
After all, children are a continuation of the self, or at least they are
seen that way.
I'm not a parent, and I will probably never be one. Having said that and
the above, I think that there are people who survive, and even become happy
once again- but of course, they cannot be the same.
What's interesting about the figures on divorce between parents who have a
child die is the statistics that don't exist on the havoc death wreaks in
other places (and I think this is because of our fear of death, and not a
comment on the horrible loss parents bear). There are no statistics on what
happens to other relationships within families and between friends, for
instance. One of the things that often brings people to ASG is that a death
has unleashed pain on the family, in the form of greedy and unfeeling
relatives, friends who disappear, spouses who get cranky when the griever
doesn't cheer up after a few months, and so on. There are no figures on the
number of parents who become alcoholics after the death of a child, the
number of widows and widowers who commit suicide, the number of adults who
go into a permanent depression after the death of a parent or friend.
I think the figures on divorce among grieving parents (80%) are probably
correct. What I think is lacking in those figures (because it's impossible
to measure) is how grieving changes people. So far as I know, there are no
figures on grieving parents who remarry, or on how many of those divorces
come after a sudden accident or a child's long illness.
Still, I suspect that grief has a great deal in common with other deep
tragedies- they bring out in us what was already there. Our weaknesses tend
to come to the foreground. All of us have them. I think we all become more
than a little irrational after the death of anyone- and the death of a child
makes it extra hard. I also think that some of us are born with or acquire a
deep and abiding strength that helps them resist permanent depression even
while they might seem weak on the surface, whereas others may only have a
thin veneer of strength that wears out at the first real challenge, so that
they cannot climb out of the pain that grief brings.
I'm also coming to suspect that this is why we valorize heroes so much-
because so many of us have a thin veneer of strength (or think we do), and
we are amazed at the people who will fight no matter what. Fighting is
tiring and hard to do, and grief makes the whole fight seem impossible. I
no longer blame people for lying down and refusing to get up- I understand
it, because I'm in that place a lot myself. Still, there's a part of me that
feels leery at saying 'this category of grief is worse/easier than that
category of grief', because a lot of these things are subjective. It's
different for each person. Some people can walk away from almost anything,
and some can't.