How do you survive the death of a child?
(No worries, all is well here.)
I was sitting at my laptop last night fooling around with WhatsApp on my desktop (because my phone is still showing symptoms of not having dried out completely after I dropped it in water) when a message showed up from Australia.
A blogging friend I’ve gotten to know quite well over the summer months via that chat app texted me she had some difficult news to share. Her just recently turned 19 year old son died in a tragic accident.
My heart broke into a million pieces, and that doesn’t even begin to describe how she must be feeling. 💔
It’s not my story to share, so I will stop here, and share one of my own stories.
My maternal grandmother lost a child to an illness.
My mom is the oldest of four girls and it was the third one, Regina, who succumbed to complications from Polio and Leukemia. She was 7 years old, which incidentally was the same age I was when I developed Meningitis and ended up in the hospital, in a coma, for several weeks. (This is the reason I struggle with hearing – I have deteriorating hearing loss due to illness.)
So, my mom, who was in her early teens at the time, lost a sister. The youngest sister, who was close in age to Regina, likely suffered the most emotional distress because she was only around 4 or 5 at the time. Her mom morphed into a completely different person than she was used to after Regina died.
Things were different back then. Today we are much more in tune with what is needed, how to support, what to do, what not to do…
I learned later that the way my grandfather dealt with his daughter’s death was by being more absent. He withdrew and this likely impacted my grandmother more severely than she ever admitted to. At a time when family should have pulled together and dealt with this horrific loss as a supportive unit, each went about their own thing to try to dull the pain.
Does the pain really dull? I have my doubts, frankly.
All I know is that no one was ever the same again after Regina passed on. By the time I came along and was old enough to understand some of the stories both my mom, her remaining sisters, and my grandmother told us, I got a more intrinsic understanding of what must have gone on during that time.
My heart is very heavy today. 😪
This is not the first time I have learned of a death from a blog-friend. There was an elderly lady from Down Under who began to blog at age 80, chronicling her love for her boyfriend (who was her junior by some significant years), whose blog I followed. She eventually reached out to me a few times via email and we started a more personal conversation that way. I really enjoyed getting to know her (and by default her boyfriend).
One day, I received a text from another blogger who also knew them: the elderly lady had died and the boyfriend was absolutely devastated. Apparently they were on a trip and she fell and hit her head, ended up in the hospital, had a stroke, and passed away.
I went looking for her blog to see if I could reach out to her beloved, but he had taken it down.
It’s all so very surreal.
It enlightens me just how deeply invested one can become when making friends over the internet.
There are many of you I count as close friends. We talk outside of the blog, we share personal tales about family and life experiences, we enjoy each other’s company through some of the many apps that are available, and I have to say, I take it seriously.
I take you seriously. 💗
I know not everyone is as avidly devoted at keeping the two-way street alive as I am. Maybe I’m crazy, but I love the blogging, the engagement, getting to know people this way. At the same time, I realize the ‘real’ connections one makes when meeting in person is more authentic, what with all the nuances one misses out on over the internet – body language, facial expressions, touch, scent – but to me, these internet connections still mean something.
You mean something to me. ❤
Do you hear me?
Don’t let anyone tell you that the internet is a bad thing, that real relationships can’t be formed over an electronic device.
The blog relationships are real enough (to me) and anyone who dismisses them as fake or superficial, especially during covid time, is missing out on something special that could be, that is, for some of us.
Yes, all friendships requires nurturing.
I’m doing my part.
Are you doing yours?
Death comes so suddenly. We all deal with it at one time or another. Let’s not forget, shall we, that life is precious (and short).
🍁 This weekend marks Canadian 🇨🇦 Thanksgiving. 🦃 🌻
Also, a whole bunch of birthdays are going to be celebrated. It’s time, I think, to give thanks for all the things we still have despite this raging covid pandemic.
Thank you for your friendship, and for reading this blog.
As always, see you in the comments.