During the Victorian Era (1837-1901) mourners followed strict regulated guidelines all making the death of a loved one an acceptable public display, unlike now where mourners are expected to mourn quietly and quickly to avoid making those around them uncomfortable.
The length of time you mourned a loved one and wore mourning apparel was relative to whom you lost. Widows were expected to dress in full mourning attire for two years and only one year for the death of a child. Sadly, epidemics stole the lives of many children so the mortality rate for children was especially high. I remember reading many Victorians did not even name their child until he or she reached their first birthday.
During that era, women were able to openly display their grief because society honored their public display. It was written that people did not fear death as much as they feared not being mourned properly.
I find mourning my child in the here and now utterly complicated and confusing. Poor Dee — continues to lament for Amy. Yes I do. Sorry if the notion of that makes anyone uncomfortable — well, actually I am not going to apologize for crying because I miss Amy so much that it still hurts.
The most frustrating component of my grief is the pressure to return to live my life and not waste any more time grieving. I believe we are all on our own path in grief and no one can dictate how long it will hurt. What I share on my blog is my pain — very few people intimately know how hard I push to get through each day. Only one time did I retreat to my bed and stay in my pjs all day.
I admit it seems I continue to cry just about every day — not all day long, but when the reality hits me, it brings me to tears of despair. I do not consider mourning my child for the past 2 years and 7 plus months a waste of my life. My grief is a ramification of a beautiful love story between this mother and her youngest child and the treasured gift of the life of my child whom I have not figured out how to easily live without.
Yes, I have exceeded the one year Victorian time frame so my mourning clothes may be packed away, but my eyes still tell my story of love and loss.
Grief is personal; it takes as long as it takes. It cannot be rushed or measured against anyone else’s grief. Grieving Amy forever seems reasonable on some level yet I do hope and pray that with more passage of time that the day will come when the pain gets softer.
This is not my happy chirping blog about child loss. This has been my honest heart speaking and if that honesty offends or discourages, please stop reading as the statistics of this blog mean nothing to me. Just maybe I write these words because I need a place to release the grief poison of pain. I certainly could never write a book on how to grieve a child nor would I presume to know the intimate details of any other griever’s heart or the way to navigate this less traveled path.
Trust me, I finally realize I am unable to teach the world about the pain behind closed doors of child loss. Most do not want to hear it and absolutely no longer want to witness it. I had no idea a powerful pain such as this even existed … but I do now and oh how my heart aches with knowing compassion for anyone out there carrying this invisible wound. I am so, so sorry.
Always remembering Amy.