Death, Grieving, and the Inner Child


My older sister Suzie died a month ago today. She’s the one with Down Syndrome. Suzie’s death was peaceful and I was with her to the end. It was as good a death as I can imagine for her. I had lost Suzie once before, when she was 3 and I was 2, when my parents sent her to a school far away (those were the old days when people like her were called “Mongolian Idiots,” I kid you not).

My Inner Child remembers the first loss, the confusion and disorientation when my buddy was just gone, the loss of the security of someone to hug. This new loss brings memories of the old losses. My psyche remembers being told not to cry. It was the first big trauma of a childhood that brought other traumas. My family dealt with such things by avoiding them, not speaking, not expressing sadness and fear. My family successfully repressed sexual abuse the same way. As a child I was disoriented and scared--No one talks about things. What is happening? What is reality when we don’t go near the real things?

Now I sit with my Inner Child every morning, and when she needs it I rock and hold her as she cries about Suzie. I’m not avoiding grief now. I know how to be with it and let it unfold. I also can let my Child Within be happy or have other feelings; I don’t dictate what she is to feel. This is one blessing of all the hard work I’ve done around abuse and trauma. Gradually over the last month the grieving has shifted and peace has come.

2 comments:

markh. said...

Hi Jane, i wondered if it was Suzie, its terrible what diferent generations call people! I remember this part in your memoir. Good for you being able to be there for her until the end, you are a stronger person than you think! And suzies soul would be very gratefull for that, well done!
I remember when my maternal Grandmother passed away, about 15 years ago and i felt a BIG part of me going with her. She gave me validity, she saw a value in me, she saw something special in me that many others didnt.
Before she died she'd said to my wife that she wanted to see me happy and settled with a nice home and nice wife; Now, when the sun shines down on my front garden, i FEEL her smiling down on me. Happy at all i have achieved in life. It is a great comfort to me and when this happens i allways say "hi Nana"!
I was able to mourn and grieve for her that day, and thats a BIG plus for me. I went for a long walk in a thunderstorm and heavy driving rain, and did my grieving, i felt cleansed afterwards (literally!) and the thunderstorm went on well after 5am; she was getting a massive welcome!
Suzie is at peace now, no more suffering, and you stayed with her to the end, thats a great thing to do; i dont know if i could have done that! but then who knows until it happens?
That said, we lost our budgie on Christmas day this year, i was with him to the last and laid him to rest; little chappie was 14 years; not bad for a budgie! He was a dear little fella and we all loved him! Took me a bit of time to deal with that on the day.

So glad that you have adult Jane to help with little Jane, that will be a load off your mind; i look forward to the day i have the adult Mark to help me! Early days yet though.
Take care, and look after yourself; and a happy new year!
BIG((((((HUGS)))))), love, Markh.

Jane Rowan said...

Thank you, Markh. We need one another to heal and know our wholeness.
Be well in 2012