READER REPORT:

You never get over losing a child

ALAN CLARKE
Last updated 05:00 09/12/2012

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Thirty-one years ago we lost a five-month-old child to cot death.

You get used to it, but you never get over it. It comes back and bites you just when you least expect it, and your sense of loss manifests in other ways too.

Recently some good friends lost their teenager to suicide. They are great parents and had done everything that they could for their child. Be it miscarriage, cot death, accident or suicide, the loss is great. Most of us would trade our lives for theirs if we could, since we have lived and they are so young.

The worst thing about loss is those people who, after three months, tell you "it is time you got over it".

The other sad thing is those who avoid you because they fear they don't know what to say.

And if you are tired of our gloomy faces, please be patient. We will bounce back, we just need time, or are going through a reflective phase. These phases come and go and seem to be a necessary part of the grief and love process.

Please don't avoid us, and please don't avoid the subject. Our children live in our memories and are still very much alive to us. Sometimes we like to, need to, talk about it. We like to remember the good parts of their short lives too.

For the most part we are able to carry on with normal lives, but at times we just need you all to cut us a little bit of slack when we are still recovering, or having one of those much later on, but very real, moments.


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