Child Loss · Grief

The Severed Limb


They say time heals all wounds.

I’d like to think that’s true, but I have my doubts.

Heal: “make better, make well, to be cured”

I don’t feel that time heals grief any more than time would heal an amputated leg. That leg is NOT going to grow back. My life will not return to the way that is was before Mattie died.

That person with the severed limb will not walk the same. They will learn to walk with support, and they will find new ways to get around. Healing after loss may come in the sense of learning to live within the pain and loss, the severed limb, but not if healing means to return to normal.

I will always grieve.

And yet heal also means: to mend, to improve, to alleviate

So maybe there is “healing”, but there is not cure. It will not be all better.

I will mend. I will improve. The intensity may be alleviated.

I know enough to know that I will not always feel the same way I feel at this moment. I know enough to know that there will be a time where I will walk a little easier with a prosthetic strapped to my soul. And I know enough to know that even in that place where I will be able to breathe a little easier, smile more at beautiful memories than cry over the crushing weight of loss, that I will always grieve.

As Max Lucado so perfectly stated in his book Traveling Lightly,

As silently as a cloud slides between you and the afternoon sun memories drift between you and joy, leaving you in a chilly shadow. No warning. No notice.

…..why won’t sorrow leave? Because you buried more than a person. You buried some of yourself.

So yes, part of myself has been buried, and I’m trying to get to know the new me. I am learning how to walk with a missing limb. Breathing in everything that my strong, kind, loving son taught me about life, and praying that who he was will become a prosthetic that helps carry my soul.


One thought on “The Severed Limb

  1. I’m so sorry for your loss. My heart aches with you as I lost my special needs girl last Mother’s day. My husband found her in her bed already gone that morning. I, being 4 hours away fell into my mother’s arm with tears.

    I especially loved the letter to the grieving father. As I looked for cards from our angel girl for Father’s Day I fell into despair knowing I wouldn’t find one. I felt sad and mad that I couldn’t acknowledge her loving him where she is now. But your letter, real and so true is perfect.

    Thank you for being another parent chronicling the journey. All my best to you.

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