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What do single parents do after the death of their only child?

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By Maryanne W. Waweru l wawerumw@gmail.com

I recently watched a video of a single mother who recently lost her only child, a daughter, to suicide.

Now, there’s this comment from a fellow viewer that struck me. It read: “Losing an only child is a very painful experience and honestly, if you can give birth, don’t give birth to just one child. It’s better to have three or four children, for your own good.”

Another viewer agreed with her, saying: “Sure, this mother wouldn’t be ‘all alone’ as she is right now if she had other children.”

The insinuation being that when, in the unfortunate circumstance that you lose that only child, the hit it takes on you is so terribly more devastating than when left with other surviving children.

The mother in the video I watched appeared to be in her late 40’s. She was inconsolable, saying her world had literally come to an end following the death of her only child.

I noted other interesting comments in response to that initial one:

“That’s why our parents gave birth to many of us to offer themselves softer landings in such cases of child loss.”

Another one differed, saying:

“We don’t know the reasons why she didn’t get the three or four children you are talking about. So stop being insensitive with your comments and stop judging because you don’t know.”

“The matter of having children is personal. Whether one or 10, it is a very personal choice. We don’t know why people decide to have one or more kids.”

The comments went on:

“You can get those three or four children and they all die on the same day. It has happened before and we have even seen it in the news. It’s not about getting many children.”

Another one said:

“People should give birth to the number of children they want and can raise. No child can be replaced with another.”

And another:

“Most end up committing suicide unfortunately.”

And another one:

Even if you have 12 children, it won’t ease the pain losing one. Because which one would you like to lose?

After reading these comments, I asked myself: what is it like to lose an only child, as a single parent? Truth is, no one can answer this question better than someone who has lived through this experience. In case you are one or know of one such parent and would be willing to talk about it, please reach me on wawerumw@gmail.com and I’ll get back to you.

Mummy Tales by Maryanne W. Waweru is a platform dedicated to empowering its readers on different aspects of womanhood and motherhood. Read more motherhood experiences of Kenyan moms here. Connect with Mummy Tales on: FACEBOOK l YOU TUBEINSTAGRAM l TWITTER

Featured stock image from: iwaria.com

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Maryanne W. Waweru is a Kenyan mum raising her two sons in Nairobi. A journalist, Maryanne is passionate about telling stories and hopes that through her writing, her readers learn something new, feel encouraged, inspired, and appreciative of what they have in their lives. Maryanne's writing focuses on motherhood, women and lifestyle. "Telling stories is the only thing I know how to do," she says.

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