I was talking to another parent who had also lost a child. It occurred to us during our conversation that there is no name given to people in the same boat as us.
For those who have lost other significant loved ones, there are commonly accepted names. We call a child who has lost a parent an orphan, a woman whose husband has passed away as a widow and a man who suffered the loss of his wife as a widower.
Children are supposed to outlive their parents, and their grandparents most definitely. The concept of a parent losing their child is so unnatural, so outrageous, so hard-to-grasp that there is not one in over 250,000 words of the English language to describe us. Language is simply inadequate in the face of such loss.
While I remain nameless with this new life-long status, I am hoping the work supported by Curtis’ fund will help stop the violation to the natural order of things – it will prevent yet another parent from becoming nameless…