Dictionary of Loss
Dictionary of Loss:  P - Q - R


Painfully Clear adj. 1. During your greatest pain, becoming crystal clear on how little you mean to friends and family. (Example: "It became painfully clear that while all the other mothers in our family would be honored with flowers for Mothers Day, I would be left out because my baby was dead so my motherhood didn't count.")

The Pit n. 1. The aching, bottomless hole in your soul where your child should be. 2. The place where your grief work takes place, similar to THE BLACK HOLE.

Pop-a-fuse v. 1. what happens inside your head when you visit your child's grave and discover someone has removed or stolen your decorations 2. the ability to make your head spin 360 degrees. pop-a-fuser, n.

Post-loss greeting, n. 1. the head tilted "HOOOWWWW AARREE YYOOUUU?" that everyone greets you with after you have lost a child. (Contributor note: What answer are we supposed to give?!? FIIIIINNNNE?!? or maybe "I feel like jumping off a bridge, and you, how are you?")

Pothole n. 1. unforeseen, unexpected moments in grief. e.g. Seeing the Lion King toys go into the clearance bin at Target and being reduced to tears in public.

Professional Distance, n. 1. Ability of a medical person to speak of death and dying, or treatment of miscarriage in medical terminology and without apparent emotion. Causes medical professional to exclude information that might be important to the newly bereft. (See also: Unprofessional Distance)

Puddle v. 1. to dissolve in tears; to cry so hard you feel like your body has liquified. (Example: "Seeing that boy, the same age as my son should be, I totally puddled.")

Punish-Me's, n. 1. An intense need to be punished for not being able to save your child from death. This may involve wanting to call the police and turn yourself in or asking your partner to punish you because you feel you deserve it.


Quaint Comfort, n. 1. This is when someone says to the bereaved parent, "Oh, I'm so sorry to hear about your dead child. So anyway, my children are just doing so awful in preschool, and I'm worried they are behind on their development." etc etc, ad nauseum until you want to throw up. But it is so self-absorbed and idiotic that they become quaint comforters that you can sort of sit back and laugh at instead of wanting to bean them like you might want to do with the clueless folks.

Quantum Leap, n. 1. What a parent wishes when he or she wants to go back in time and alter a life changing experience such as the loss of a child.


Roller Coaster Queen, n. 1. The title you win when just going through the ups and downs of any day in the life of a parent after the death of a child. 2. Can be specificly used for "veteran" bereaved parents who are 2+ years out from the date of death and are semi-functioning in real life again. They win the title because they are back at the world at large dealing with the following things one right after another: a) your surviving child cries on the way to school because billy is bringing photos of his new baby sister, but your child's baby sister didn't get to come home because she was stillborn, b) you wipe the sobbing tears from your face and head to work where you learn that the boss is three month's pregnant and co-workers are already planning the shower, c) you lock yourself in a bathroom stall and try to breathe again only to hear co-workers at the sink talking about how awful it is that you insist on keep photos of "that dead child" on your desk, d) you leave work telling them you are feeling sick and e) stupidly answer your cell phone on the way home only to get your mother in law who cannot understand what in the world is wrong with you. f) yet you go home, take a little breather nap, get up, pay bills, answer emails from your home office, pick up the kids, get take out for dinner, clean up the kitchen after dinner, let your partner put the kids to bed, and go to bed yourself, exhausted, so you can be ready for another day. [People wonder why we don't "get over it" faster?!!!]

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