The other night I sat and watched the film “Rabbit Hole” starring Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart. I wasn’t too sure why I wanted to watch a film dealing with the emotions around the loss of a child. To be honest its a little to close to home. I guess it was just curiosity, wondering how others had faced the heartbreak, coped with the pain. (yes i know its just a film).
The film was extremely well acted and at times I found myself walking through the emotions with the cast.
The desire to change everything.
The need for space.
the raw unadulterated anger.
The emptiness inside.
“The only way out is through ”
There is a moment in the film when in a bereavement support group another parent speaks about the separation of her marriage and that it was “Inevitable”. The grief books often state that “many or most marriages cannot survive the death of a child”.
This statement didn’t surprise me, all the research I had done all the self help books I had read all say the same thing.
Grief is such a individual journey, everyone travels the road in different ways and at different times. Even when you lose the child together your grief is unique to you.
I experienced this in my own marriage,my husband deals with things quietly and internally. This at times has left me feeling alone and rejected, not the way he ever meant for me to feel. But the way it did, alone and hurting.
Exhaustion also is such a big part in all, the weight of the pain can be so heavy that even getting out of bed requires effort. Let alone finding the energy to be there for others.
Circumstances too play a major role, many times bereaved parents find themselves having to go back into work not long after their loss to an environment that requires them to be a professional not a grieving mother or father.
Its not easy and I know that, even now four years into this journey it still isn’t easy.
I also know I am one of the lucky ones, I had a husband who tried so hard to make it as right as it could be. Tried to understand, showed me compassion without no bounds even when he was struggling too. He sat and listened as I tried to digest the reality of our loss. Held me tight when the reality finally hit home and my heart shattered into millions of pieces.
He held me then.
He holds me now.
Marriage is hard and it requires more work than you possibly could imagine. It didn’t come with instructions. So when a marriage faces such a loss and the two people in the union suffer the utmost heartbreak its hard to keep it together. It is simply easier to walk your grief journey alone. It may seem selfish but its about survival.
We struggled, we still struggle. There is a hole in each of our hearts that can never be filled. We lost our beautiful daughter and nothing can fix that.
Yet as the catchline off the film states “The only way out is through “.
In life we all face things we never could of imagined, pain we don’t think we can survive. Whatever, whenever situations arise the truth is simply “The only way out is through ”
You cannot hide, you cannot go around it. Believe me I’ve tried.
Through it is the only way.
For my marriage talking was our saviour,
Ephesians 4.26 “do not let the sun go down on your anger,” became our daily scripture.
There were so many times I was angry at my husband and he was angry at me and we were both so angry at the world. But we worked hard to communicate. Worked hard to cherish each other.
We had lost so much, losing each other wasn’t an option.
Separation doesn’t have to be inevitable.