This is a guest post written by Nikki Moungo. Nikki is a self-employed, work-at-home mother to three inspiring children.
As a bereaved mother, my heart goes out to Ann Marie Devaney and what she is experiencing since the death of her son. A word exists to describe the loss of a spouse: Widow. There is no word to describe the loss of a child, because no words can begin to convey the sheer gravity of what we parents experience. It’s an all-consuming loss, and that’s an understatement. Every fiber of your being is stretched beyond imagination. You think of all the ways you could build a time machine. Denial takes center stage. “It’s not over until I say it’s over! I simply refuse!” repeats like a mantra in your head.
One month after my son turned twenty-one, I received “The Call.” I don’t remember the flight. I don’t remember packing my suitcase. All I remember is trying to make it to the city he was in as quickly as possible. When it came time to remove his life support, in spite of my grief, I knew that having the chance to be with him in his final moments was not a “luxury” all parents in my position were afforded. I was able to lay down on his hospital bed with him. I took my grown, young, adult son in my arms, just as I did when he was a baby. I laid my head on his chest and listened to his healthy heart continue to beat for nearly fifteen minutes after life support was removed. Each beat brought with it a ray of hope… but then his heartbeats slowed, until the monitor flat-lined with it’s macabre long beep.