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.