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40 Days of Sorrow

I said in the beginning of his departure, I had a foot on earth and a foot in heaven. I'm standing on the edge, looking at death. Even before I or anyone else knew he was gone, the premonitions came. Call it mother's intuition, grief, walking in a cloud. Call it shock. Call it processing twenty-seven years of your child's life lost in heartbeats. It's real for others; it's not just me. There are more mommas of lost children who feel this sorrow, yet find the divinity despite it. Some cope, and some don't. Some take their own lives eventually.There's no special name, like widow or orphan, for us parents who lose. Mothers are deeply connected to those who have arrived on earth through us. I once read in a social media group, "upon a loss of a child, we stand in the middle of the river of life, heaven, and earth. There are deep knowings or mysteries afoot, and not everyone is privy to them." This is my life now. A blessing and a curse. Many things unfolded before my eyes from day 1. It all felt very dreamlike. The unimaginable happened, and events were telling me he was contacting me from the eternal state. I wrote all hours of the night. I was compelled to write. I took photos not to forget; when the shock wore off, would I remember details? Forty Days of Sorrow was mostly written, and many photographs taken during the initial forty days after my son, Bradley's, death. I kept a journal and communicated via social media with many family and friends. It was during the beginning of the COVID pandemic impacting in the USA. Sorrow and isolation were profound. I assembled my personal writings and photos about six months after to keep the integrity of the events and my state of mind during this process. My next move is to join the fight against the cause of his death.

--PJ Kerr

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