The more time that passes, the more isolating grief feels.

I have isolated myself. I have pushed people away. I feel at times I’m living in a lonely space.

Why?

Grief is isolating and the loss of a child is unfathomable.

Let me try to explain . . .

It’s been a year and a half since we lost our first son. I can smile, laugh at my husband’s jokes, fall deeply in love with our second-born son, enjoy time with friends, go workout. I am able to put one foot in front of the other each day and pick myself up off the ground.

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It sounds like things have gotten easier and maybe they have in a sense. The acute intensity, the crying day in and day out, wondering how I’d be able to find this new normalit has become easier and we are living it as best we can.

But the more time that passes, the more isolating grief becomes.

The challenge is that what others see and what you’re living each day are two different views. We learn to live in our (new) normal reality, which is walking on earth with a child in Heaven.

While the world continues to move around us, even though a part of our world feels frozen in time, we try our best to move forward. Of course, some days are harder than others.

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It becomes more difficult to talk about grief and losing a child as you enter this stage of life. Your conversations become more about “normal” daily challenges, you participate in outings, you don’t cry over every child you see, you finally look . . .  OK.

You see, it is not anyone’s faultno one ever told me, “Don’t talk about your grief or your child.”

No one did anything to warrant me not picking up their phone call, not to respond immediately to a text message, or to isolate myself.

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Losing a child is a much different grief. It is a grief that no words could explain, it is a grief no one could imagine, it is a grief that should never happen in a parents’ lifetime. The more time that passes, the more you start to truly realize what you’ve lost.

In ways, grieving the loss of my son has become easier, but in more ways, it’s become much harder.

Originally published on the author’s blog

The deep pain of losing a child is like wearing Crocs . . . really. 

Justina Oldehoff

Justina Oldehoff is a mom of two preemie boys, Carter in heaven (1/21/19-1/24/19) and Aron born 10/9/2019 who is home and healthy, and a wife of 11 years to Dan. Following the passing of their son, Carter's Cause Foundation was created to honor Carter's legacy and provide resources and support to NICU families, loss families, and support systems.