Dealing with the loss of a child

IS IT just me or does everyone imagine they would not survive the death of a child?

Yesterday I cried my way through a book by local author Libby Muller, A Mother's Journey: A Difficult Path Through Grief.

Libby is a teacher, much loved by students at Talara Primary and Currimundi Special School.

Seven years ago, her five-and-a-half-year-old son was torn from her arms in what could only be described as a freak accident. An innocent knock with fatal consequences.

Joe was Libby's only child. Through an incredible support network, a deep faith and a commitment to the healing process Libby rebuilt her life and has now written a book to guide others.

Little Joe was a very bright spark; my favourite story is about putting away the mats at pre-school.

In the weeks before he died Joe came to his mum, troubled, "We've got a problem."

He wanted to be the leader of the mat tidying and thought his mum should clear things up with the teachers.

His mum suggested the teachers probably had a list for the role to be shared. "Exactly mum, they do have a list!"

Then what's the matter? "The list! That is the problem. I need to be the leader every day. You have to talk to them about it."

Reading Libby's book made me realise I would survive the death of a child, just like thousands of other mothers have had to.

I don't know the purpose of loss and grieving in our lives, it certainly doesn't feel right that anyone should bury their baby but it happens.

I don't know Libby Muller but I understand she is now very sick with cancer. Another poignancy.

Libby is suffering multiple myeloma, a blood cancer which begins in the bone marrow.

When he was alive, Libby used to say to Joe, "You are blood of my blood and bone of my bone."

She thinks there might be something in that.

I don't know the protocol of gifting a book like Libby's to a grieving family; just tread lightly I guess.

For everyone else, while A Mother's Journey is very sad it's actually a book about love, friends, ritual and resilience, things we could all use a little more of.

For more info visit http://www.phbooks.com.au.


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