What is a vilomah? Is it a person, place or thing? Do I want one? Is there one in my home? I became one before I even knew what it was, so now you know it is a person. It may be said that a vilomah belongs to the “club” to which one never wants to belong and yet this “organization” has ever growing membership.
A vilomah is a parent who has lost a child.
Vilomah is from Sanskrit and means against a natural order.
Whether a child was miscarried, or well into adulthood, it is out of the natural order of life to have a child predecease the parents.
How many have experienced this? Data from Compassionate Friends (in the following link) indicates that nineteen percent of the general U.S. population have outlived a child. This includes miscarriages up to adult children. Truthfully, I was shocked that there are so many. https://www.oklahoman.com/article/2726690/surviving-parents-pain-still-lingers-19-percent-outlive-their-children
I chose this topic as this week marks the fifth year anniversary of my joining the ranks of other vilomahs. With other kinds of loss, there are words such as orphan, widow, or widower for those who are missing a parent or a spouse. For a type of loss as common as I previously stated, it certainly deserves a word to identify it.
Child loss is one of the most challenging types of grief a person can experience. Many are just not the same following the loss of a child. It is very important to find resources to assist your grief process if you’ve become a vilomah.
As an art teacher, I know that the arts can help us to move through grief. ERASE GRIEF provides a step by step process through three famous artworks to encourage transitioning through the grief. Another art related blog entitled BROKEN compares our grief shattered lives to a piece of exquisite Kintsugi pottery. This is a broken pot pieced back together with golden joinery. A third post of mine also connects to my art classroom, Art, Grief and Life. This one speaks of how individual our grief journeys are.
Here are three posts which detail healing methods to ease one’s grief. The first one, Tuning into Healing: Grief covers amazing sound healing techniques freely available on YouTube videos! The next one, MASKED EMOTIONS informs us of help through the work of Louise Hay as well as Chunyi Lin to prevent emotions from negatively affecting us. Empty Chair Holidays is the third one. This one details actions I took to move through some of my first holidays as a vilomah.
As a veteran vilomah, I find much comfort in reading accounts of other fellow vilomahs who have received signs from beyond. Grief and Visits from Beyond contains wisdom from Carl Jung, Jamie Sams and Dorothy Maclean. Their insight may help to clear blockages which could cloud your awareness of your child leaving you signs. My Mother’s Day Guest tells the story of my breathtakingly beautiful first Mother’s Day as a vilomah! One of our signs during a Christmas holiday was astounding! Read about it here: OUR VISITOR. Last but not least, here is the story of a soul-caressing dream visitation with our son: MIRACLES AND DUETS.
If you are a vilomah, may you be comforted. If you know a vilomah, may you be understanding and perhaps give them a helpful hand on their life journey.
I sincerely hope you may find relief through your grieving journey. Thank-you for reading my post. If you’d like a weekly post sent to you, simply scroll to the top, click Follow Blog and enter your email.
5 thoughts on “What is a Vilomah?”
I am searching for anything to help my daughter work through the grief following the brutal murder of her son (my grandson). What I’ve read so far sounds promising. I would love to read more & share this with her. Thank you.
Oh my, Rose! My heart hurts for you and your family! There are SO many different challenges for each and every loss. A murder must be quite an unimaginable crisis on many levels. In looking through my posts that I could add to help, look for the one called Grief Relief. It includes several grief models of well known psychiatrists. A concern to be aware of is “complicated grief” mentioned in Grief Relief. There is a site from the NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) included in Grief Relief which speaks of complicated grief. I would also recommend the Facebook group, Helping Parents Heal. Hugs to you and yours.
Sometimes just knowing I’m not alinr in this pain helps. Thank you for sharing this.
Hi Linda. We lost our son at age 24 two years ago. Although the grief is less intense than it was then, it’s still there and will never go away. Never even knew there was a word for those who lost a child. I will say that art therapy, particularly drawing, helps me a lot to lessen the anxiety.
So sorry to hear of your loss. Yes, child loss, once one experiences it, seems a constant, yet hopefully calmer state of being for most of us. I am thankful you have discovered art therapy to be helpful. The arts are an amazing kit of tools for healing oneself, whether it is music, dance, theater, literary arts, culinary arts, or visual arts. Take care.