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Question of the Week: Loss 18 May 2008

Posted by SA'ILA in SA'ILA.

Is it worse to lose children in infancy or when they are older? Does spending more time with a child in this world make the loss even greater if it happens?

Does having knowledge of something (someone) and then losing it worse than not having known it at all?



1. Non-Muslim Wandering Past - 19 May 2008

Is is said that if it’s your own child, then “loss is loss” … We love our own unconditionally, and in losing a child, we lose the part of ourselves that we have given them.

No parent should outlive their child :(

With others, it’s not quite the same – they’re not a “part of us” in the same way. But the loss of someone we know is harder than the loss of strangers.

Strangers we mourn in the abstract – the cyclone in Burma for example has resulted in the loss of tens of thousands (that we know of to date).

We mourn their loss, and are saddened by it, but for most it’s almost abstract – especially when dealing with such numbers. Our minds shudder from the enormity of the suffering and pain caused and defends itself by trying to distance our emotions.

In smaller numbers, or even just one, when it involves strangers we’re still “detached” from the immediacy of grief to a large extent.

The loss of people we know isn’t so abstract, it’s immediate and personal. Something in our lives is no longer there, and we miss it.

Even believing that someone has gone to (for want of a better phrase) “a better place”, that “pain” is still there – all that belief does it reduce the sorrow you feel *for* the person who you lost, not your *own* for losing them – if that makes sense?

2. anon - 19 May 2008

only those who have been through such difficult and testing things would know how they felt, how hard it was etc. such things cant be and shouldnt be compared.

3. Anonymous - 19 May 2008

Has anyone every noticed there is no word in the English language for a parent who has a lost a child. We have widow and widower and orphan but nothing to describe a parent whose child has passed away. Are there words in other languages?

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