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Monday, August 8, 2011

Sick children, and grieving parents


More especially, sick children.

Isn't it one of the most miserable parenting times? Trying the rounds of remedies, but for the most part, watching as they fight their own small battles with their own lurgies within.

Nine is our one who's been taken hostage by a Winter Woe. Friday night was a sluggish time of detachment for her, then Saturday, Sunday and today she has been a jarmies and dressing gown girl. Chills and high, but not very high, temps, and a rather sore and inflamed throat. So many days for a little person to be out of sorts. I think inactivity and discomfort have finally overcome her bright spirits, and tonight she went off to bed with listless, hopeless and despairing eyes. I'm holding hope that she has reached that very low point of that moment in old wisdom. That point that is darkest before the light of dawn and restored health and vitality enters in.

Thankfully she's not super unwell. Nursing an extremely sick child must be one of the most desperately distressing and difficult times a parent has to face. I find myself thinking of these mothers and fathers when I look at Munch's image above. Rightfully, the main focus is on the child. The tragedy of her illness and all it may entail for her is truly her story.  However, to one side, and worn to a blackened shell of her former self is the mother. She's not the main subject, but Munch's story of her is for me even more potent than the story of the sick child. There are no softening kind lines to present Mother softly to the world. She's worn thin. So thin she is merely a shell. A haggard, and possibly grieving, shell.

To you, mothers and fathers of terribly unwell children, to you goes out my deepest compassion.

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