Page 10 - 2016 Autumn-Winter Issue
P. 10

© Biletskiy Evgeniy/

                                 A Special Loss

                                 Living with the Loss of a Special Needs Child

                                 by David Hines

                                 I do not believe there is any experience in life as traumatic      It is indeed hard work to care for a special needs child. It
                                 or life altering as the loss of a child. The loss of a special     can consume every minute of every day and result in a life
                                 needs child often brings a unique twist to this excruciating       given only to the needs of that child. Every parent faced
                                 experience.                                                        with this does what they can as they are capable physically
                                                                                                    and emotionally. That child and its care becomes your life,
                                 Those who have not been lucky enough (yes I said lucky             in many cases quite literally. But those parents are rewarded.
                                 enough) to have a special needs child in their life may not        It is incredible to see the world through the eyes of one
                                 understand the unique circumstances that are presented by          of these children. My daughter was that child. Nobody or
                                 such a situation. Most parents, despite themselves, when           anything I have ever experienced in life taught me more
                                 they learn they are to be parents start to dream about the         than my daughter Erin did. No matter how hard my day
                                 life of their new offspring. Nobody envisions their baby as        was, coming home to Erin and her smile made everything
                                 less then perfect, their child’s life as less then blessed. When   right and the world brighter. I was able to marvel at small
                                 parents learn their child has developmental issues, disorders      things that because of her I realized were major experiences
                                 that will equate to “special needs” all its life, they are thrown  and great achievements that few others even noticed. The
                                 into a state of grieving for both their child and themselves.      world with Erin in it was brighter, happier, filled with hope
                                 This is true for every parent whenever they learn this             and offered more opportunity than we probably deserved.
                                 news. It may be at birth or even in the womb, or later as          That is the beauty of a special needs child. Others may
                                 development lags or an injury or disease creates damage to         see them as needing and taking but those of us fortunate
                                 the brain or central nervous system. Most overcome this            enough to live in their presence understand they are mostly
                                 and begin to do the work needed to give their child the best       giving. When these special people give they also give with
                                 life possible.
                                 1 0 |We Need Not Walk Alone
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