A wife who loses a husband is called a widow. A husband who loses a wife is called a widower. A child who loses his parents is called an orphan. But...there is no word for a parent who loses a child, that's how awful the loss is!
I found this quote and have been pondering it. There is no one word to explain. How could one word hold all the pain and loss? (Not that other losses are not also great, but the loss of your child is something else entirely). When others ask questions, yes I am a mommy...then what? The inevitable question: how many children? how old? boy or girl? There is no simple answer to give.
"Yes, I'm a mom." I gave this reply last week. Fortunately that was the end of the conversation at that point. But I know the question will come again. I was asked recently about my identity of being a mom and how that has changed. How does it change? How can it? I did not cease being a mother. When I held my daughter, I felt it more strongly than before. I am still a mom, though my responsibilities for my daughter are not the same as other moms. Losing a child when he or she is three days...seven years... twenty-two years does not take away that role, that identity.
Yes, I am a mother. A mother with no baby to hold. No baby to nurse or rock. There is a crib in the bedroom next to mine and it is empty. I am a mother. A mother with empty arms.
A mother with part of myself in heaven.