Life is occasionally interrupted by reminders of the direction we are all going. Make no mistake, we are all going to the same place. whether you call it heaven or hell or just 6-feet under, we are all going there. Alone. And, as far as I can tell, for good. The world ends permanently for people, one by one.
When a friend dies, a heavy gray shroud wraps itself around your life for awhile. Eventually it may slide off your shoulders and your life reappears as it was before, minus the love and friendship of the deceased. Well, maybe not the love. The love stays here with you and you can drum up memories and emotions and be enriched by the love that stayed here when your friend left. And your friend may seem to be lurking around near you, laughing at your folly or giving you strength when you are weak. That may be the love your friend left behind.
When a family member dies the shroud is black and heavy and does not slide off as easily. When it is a child who dies, I assume the shroud is never removed. Possibly occasionally, briefly, but it never leaves you completely. This is not just an interruption. It is a life changer. There is no recovery. The longing, mourning, aching and even dread are surmountable, I suppose, but the darkness within the shroud, the grief, is so enveloping, so stifling and airless it may seem unending. And it is. It would be. For me.