Isn’t it time to move on?

“Thousands of mothers lose a child every day.”  “Everybody has a cross to bear.” “Think about your other son.”

These are a few of the “reasonable” but insensitive responses people might be thinking even if they do not share them. I even say the same things to myself, sometimes. But Malcolm was my son. Bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh, as Genesis Chapter 2 says. Although the end of this story in Genesis is used as a metaphor for marriage, man and woman joining again as one flesh, the language of bone from bone and flesh from flesh is much better suited to parenthood, especially motherhood.  A child is literally part of a mother’s body, fed by her blood. Losing a child is like losing a limb. The scar is permanent and the pain continues long after the loss, like the pain suffered by an amputee in a leg that is no longer part of her body. So to anyone who dares wonder if it is time for me to get over my grief I say, Have your leg amputed and in two years I will ask you if you are ready to move on.  Then we can talk!

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