Thursday, September 22, 2011

Complicated Grief


You have to love the terms that are used to try to explain how parents feel regarding the death of their child. One of my favorites is "complicated grief." According to the Mayo Clinic, complicated grief symptoms are:
  1. Extreme focus on the loss and reminders of the loved one (What would you expect from any parent who has experienced the death of their child?)
  2. Intense longing or pining for the deceased (See #1)
  3. Problems accepting the death (We accept the fact of the death, we just do not accept the reasons behind it...any infant death is senseless)
  4. Numbness or detachment (Duh!)
  5. Preoccupation with your sorrow (More like a full time occupation...I graduated from my preoccupation a while back)
  6. Bitterness about your loss (Of course I am son is dead and there is only the "comfort" of a diagnosis of exclusion left to not explain how he died, only how he did not)
  7. Inability to enjoy life (I enjoy life...and am miserable underneath my enjoyment)
  8. Depression or deep sadness (see #4)
  9. Difficulty moving on with life (Here is a hint to any and all NEVER move on, you just keep moving forward the best that you can)
  10. Trouble carrying out normal routines (Another hint...what was normal to us is nowhere near what is normal to us or you now)
  11. Withdrawing from social activities (Like it is a big hit to be the only SIDS dad in the room where many people are scared to talk to you about the most important thing on your mind...your dead child)
  12. Feeling that life holds no meaning or purpose (When you come up with a meaning or purpose to explain the death of my son, I am all ears)
  13. Irritability or agitation (I am as pleasant as 50 grit toilet paper some days)
  14. Lack of trust in others (When the trust between me and God has been deeply shaken, do you think my trust in my fellow man might follow suit)
There you go, complicated grief at its best. I guess I have complicated grief and now need some "happy pills" to sedate me into complacency about the death of my son, or I can just feel everything I feel, know I am alive, know I loved him, know I still love him, and know that my grief will be complicated until the day I die. I choose to feel everything, good and bad, in order to keep moving forward and loving my son.

I love you!


  1. Sometimes I wonder if the people who come up with this shit have ever actually been through any of it themselves. Most days I'd like to rub them in the face with some of your 50 grit toilet paper.

  2. Thank you! I am sharing this...What I hate is when people analyze me and tell me that I am going through the stages of grief (those were intended for dealing with a serious illness, by the way, not the death of a child) and then when I pass through the next stage I will be "better." They analyze me and tell me that the reason I research SIDS is because I am still in denial or the bargaining phase. Hell, maybe I just want to learn about SIDS! Or, if they say something stupid to me like, "Well, at least he was just a baby so you didn't get the chance to get that attached to him" and I snap at them then they knowingly smile and tell me that I am just in the "Anger" phase. Yeah, you bet I'm angry!