Filthie's Mobile Fortress Of Solitude

Filthie's Mobile Fortress Of Solitude
Where Great Intelligence Goes To Be Insulted

Monday, 12 March 2018

On Losing Kids

An internet acquaintance sent me an email last night. She had just lost her youngest son; and she knew about the feud I had with my own daughter and wanted to tell me to stop being stubborn and stupid - and fix it before it was too late. It was heart breaking. Here she was, enduring the unendurable... and thinking about me and my feud with my daughter. I didn't know what to say - I sent her back a note offering my condolences and a few pointers on coping with the loss. She's probably in a state of shock today and numb with loss - or she's passed out from the sheer physical  exhaustion that comes with such a loss. My daughter and I are estranged; we rejected each other five years ago so although she is still alive - to me she is at best a different person I will never know, living in a different city. At worst - she may as well be dead, we don't speak anymore. I haven't seen or heard from her in five or six years, and my in-laws for about two, now. So while I haven't technically 'lost' my daughter - for all intents and purposes it kinda feels like I have. I dunno the details about her son, drugs and alcohol may be involved or may not - they'll have to do an autopsy. Another gruesome detail for a grieving mother.

Others have asked me about grief and loss as they weather losses of their own. From my perch up here in the Peanut Gallery - I think women handle grief better than men. As mothers they feel it much more deeply and painfully - but they seem to spring back from it much faster too. The loss of my daughter just about destroyed me. Dunno what I would have done without the wife. I am in no position to counsel anyone I suppose.

Still, I might have learned a thing or two that helped me, and maybe they can help you if (God forbid) you ever get put through something like this.
  • You can't get your shit together until you lose it first. Make sure your friends and loved ones  are close but not too close to begin with. You will need some privacy for your melt-down, and the time to recover afterward.
  • Try to step outside of yourself as soon as you can. Look at your grief as an impartial observer and try and see it for what it is. You'll realize that none of it is about you - it's about them. That one took me either five years or 53 years depending on how ya look at it I suppose. There's any number of people that will tell you how the world and life works but they really don't have any more of a clue than you do.
  • Take all condolence with grace and as much class as you can. I cringe when the bible thumpers go off - they'll say things like God tests us, its His will and so forth. Try to remember that their faith is a huge comfort to them - and they are only trying to comfort you too. It's the thought that counts - they are really saying that they love you and feel your loss.
  • Educate yourself. Parents of teen suicides need to dig out the facts on it as soon as they are able. Find support groups. When my daughter came out of the closet and ran away to join the circus - I found a closed group on the internet comprised of parents with gay kids. Honest parents, whose own kids put them through the same meat grinder the same way mine did to me. Years before we had terms like 'social justice warrior' or 'millennial snowflake' or 'cry bullies' - these folks had this stuff all figured out. A lady trucker in Idaho told me all about the virtue signalling and victim politics that go along with the LBGTQWTF crowd. An airforce colonel gave me pointers on how to deal with my daughter and how she would react. He could literally predict her behaviour patterns before she went dark. Knowledge is power, and allows you to take possession of your grief in an intelligent way. You can learn things about yourself that you never knew before.
  • Let your grief come natural. Don't try to rush it, or rebound from it, or take shortcuts around it. I am suspicious of grief counsellors myself, but if you think they'll help - go for it and don't be ashamed. If you have access to a really good church group, they can help too.
  • You will emerge from your grief a better person. It may not feel that way at first, but trust me on that one. It is of little comfort during the process, I know.
Gawd, we live in truly fuddled times. I watch the lunacy around me and it truly amazes me at how otherwise rational people can get swept away by it. You hang on for dear life, every man for himself, holding against the gale ... and then when there's a lull in the hurricane, you look around and your kid is gone... or your family. In 60 years, historians are going to look back on us and ask themselves, "What were those idiots smoking?"

If this humble account should survive and fall under the eyes of those historians all I can do is shrug and say, "I wish I knew...". 

3 comments:

  1. Glen, maybe I am getting more cynical as I get older, but I am finding that people falling out of my life - even some I would consider very important - is less of a mind-numbing shock than it used to be (not talking suicide here, just a falling away because of different lifestyles or different views). On the one hand, I find it a great deal more isolated than I had hoped to be at this age. On the other hand, I find my peace of mind is greater when I am not having to sort out the issues and concerns of others and their decisions and their views of me.

    I have enough interaction now with people who share my interests but with whom I do not necessarily share my life. It might seem a bit shallow to some, but it allows me a level of interaction while careful avoiding the stress that modern relationships seem to embody.

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    1. TB I hate to say it but I think you have the right of it. My disgust with degeneracy like homosexuality, proggie politics, feminism etc... All that seems to alienate me from half the people I knew. My new found faith does it for the other half. It's weird - their own lives are train wreck and it's like hey want mine to be too.
      Do you feel it too? Is it faith and spiritualism or just old age? I am starting to find this odd serenity too, now. I am slowly leaving their baggage behind me. All that matters now seems to be my place on the flight line at the RC club, or the firing line at the rod and gun club, or in the church.
      Maybe that's the difference between my loss and hers - I am recovering from mine. I don't know if the death of a child is something you ever recover from...

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  2. It is a combination of both, friend. It has become much more difficult to have "friends" which are more than acquaintances because ideological purity is more important - and to be fair, I am probably just like this as well at this point.

    It is also like watching a slow motion train wreck - I can literally see society fraying more and more at the fringes and, being a historical buff, know all too well where such fraying ends. Train wrecks, personal and societal, are almost something that some seem to demand that we all participate in for reasons that are unclear to me.

    The serenity is real. Maybe it is hitting that inflection point at 50 and realizing that much of what mattered once no longer really does. I certainly pick my own associations and interests with a deliberation that is missing in times past. I am finding my own time much more reduced with others: Iai, church, and volunteering at the rabbit shelter take up most of the time that is not spent at home or at work.

    And no - I suspect that one never really recovers from the death of a child.

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