There are words for someone who has lost a spouse:
they are widow or widower.
We have a name for someone who has lost their parents:
they are an orphan.
So why is there no word for parents
who have survived the unimaginable—
the loss of a child?
And whilst acknowledging that there's a world of difference
between their experience and mine,
why are there no words to describe parents of a child
who has attempted suicide and come back from the brink?
I mean, I've done that twice— but I was grown;
my mother never knew, and my father wasn't there.
So they were none the wiser,
and if I had succeeded, I would be oblivious too
because I would be dead.
There is no short, easy way
to explain to anybody what has happened to her;
no convenient word to describe her attempts
or the dubious club I now belong to.
No palatable option for letting others know
that my child could not bear the life I gave her.
No descriptions vivid enough to articulate
the painful, slow steps back into living
or the beautiful, symbiotic relationship we share.
And so, in the absence of suitable terminology,
she draws, I write, we talk, we make music,
hoping that we find an outlet there
and beauty in the pain.
Written by Wafflenose
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