Years after the death of a child, things are not ‘better.’ What I mean is that ‘better’ is not the right word. The grief is in shorter bursts and it’s more tolerable.
For example, I’m able to move forward most days. I’m able to laugh. But I want a word that sort of means better. And there isn’t one. ‘Less intense’ might be a good description but that’s still not quite right. ‘Easier’ is not it either. None of those really describe the process and what’s more, they minimize the experience.
There’s also no word for being the parent of a child who died. When a spouse dies, men are widowers and women are widows.
Survivor is a good word. You have survived the death of a child by suicide. You have survived the death of a child to accident. You have survived the death of a child to disease which could be cancer or addiction. You are still here and living your life as best you can.
Survivor is an awfully general word, though. Because ‘survivor’ could mean you have survived drowning when your boat sank. It does not describe the very specific and humbling pain of losing a child.
I have adopted the phrase ‘angel mom.’ But what about the dad? Is a dad who lost a child, an ‘angel dad?’
Is there no official word for it because it’s so unnatural to have a child die before the parents die?