The worst happened. We lost a child.
So does this mean we are more at risk for divorce? Doing some research the data is not clear showing how much more at risk a marriage is after child loss. An often quoted statistic reports a 90% chance of marriage ending in divorce after losing a child. But more recent data shows the rate is not that high.
Scott and I will be celebrating 25 years of marriage this next month.
When I look at our wedding photo I see the promise of hope, youth and naivety.
Our marriage was strong before Nolan left us. Of course we had our difficulties. We are still in love but we found ourselves busy in our jobs, being parents and trying to survive the chaos of life. We had our lives as husband and wife be low on the priority list.
Some things we do now in our life with grief:
- We acknowledge we are grieving differently. I cry openly, I talk. A lot. He is quiet and rarely shares his thoughts. He does when he wants to.
- He is my first source for comfort and sharing of thoughts. I often share with my friends and family how I feel. But at my lowest I go straight to him. He is heart-broken with me. He understands.
- We do not blame each other. This is our biggest strength. How can I blame him or he I? We are not at fault for Nolan’s disease or his ending his life. Nolan made that decision. We each find ourselves trying to feel the guilt a parent has when their child takes his/her life. (that is another blog topic to come) We remind each other we are not to have guilt.
- We allow each other space. Especially in the first months. I found I would want him to have the same feelings of grief as I would have – however I understood quickly that grief is individually experienced. Sometimes you do better alone for a bit then you come together.
- We make each other laugh. Oh – how I love to laugh! Now more than ever. And he can make me laugh until I pee.
When you look at how our lives are now and the strength we have with our grief, I can’t see this loss and trauma as a tearing apart of our marriage. It is rather a bond in the union of husband and wife, of being parents. WE lost Nolan – together.
And aren’t the above practices what all married couples should try to do?
I plan to continue with Scott … if one believes the research, we can continue against the odds.
Scott plays the odds well (sometimes he benefits at the Horseshoe) and I am rather lucky – so he says.