Dictionary of Loss
Dictionary of Loss:  A - B - C


Abyssion, n. 1. The perception of falling that occurs while watching your loved one rise.

AfterMath, n. 1. When you count up the days you have lived without your child or the days you must yet live.

Angel Date n. 1. the day your child became on Angel. 2. Anniversary of the death of your child.

Angelversary n. 1. This word denotes the annual date of a child's death. This day is just as important to a bereaved parent as a birthday, and stillbirth parents are marking both birth and death on the same day. So it is different than a regular birthday. While "anniversary" might work, that often seems to celebratory a word for this kind of day. Angelversary is our answer to describing this most difficult day.

Apologitis, n. 1. The need to constantly be apologizing to your spouse and loved ones because you couldn't save your unborn child from death. This involves constantly telling them how you tried to take care of your baby and how much you loved and wanted that baby.


BaDahBoom v. 1. the verb Sonny used in Godfather Pt. 1 when teasing Michael. 2. the bursting out of The Creeper (see the C words) that you unleashed on some poor, unsuspecting human being. 3. the smashing of dishes for no "apparent" reason.

The Beast n. 1. grief personified 2. the monkey on your back everyone seems you think you should "get over" when you know that the loss with be with you for as long as you live. 3. synonym for cancer of any kind because this disease seems to take on a personality of its own and often takes the lives of our loved ones. -beasted adj.

Beved adj. 1. short for bereaved 2. tired, scattered, overwhelmed -- even by the simple things 3. not up to par - heck, not up to anything. Examples: "Yes, I am still in my PJ's, and yes, I know what time it is, feeling beved, back off." OR "I am taking a beved day today, no I'm not sick - I'm simply beved."

Bereft, n. 1. Those who have lost a child. i.e., just as one might say, "I am a widow" or "I am an orphan," likewise a parent whose child has died would say, "I am a bereft." (Contributor note: Wendy writes about why she chose this word and says, "...because they are bereft of the opportunity to enjoy their children's lives; bereft of the right to nurture and instruct those children through childhood and into adulthood; bereft of the friendship that might have been, the love that might have grown, and the joy that might have welled up; bereft of the incredible pleasure of having small arms wrapped around their necks, wet kisses planted on various facial features, and sweet voices saying "Mommy, I MISSED you today"; ...because a child is a part of yourself, and to lose a child is to be bereft in the deepest, most desolate sense of the word.) (Editor note: All of those reasons seem good enough for me to justify turning the word bereft from an adjective to a noun!)

Biting Reality, n. 1. The fact that whatever was once only a possibility is now the endless reality. Having had The Knowledge of the Biting Reality before your child's death, you now fully understand the total meaning and all the ramifications in your life of the Biting Reality because of the death of your child. (Author note: This is the emotional, reality knowledge that comes from first hand experience!)

Black Hole n. 1. a dark murky place where the reason for losing your child has disappeared. 2. the evil darkness that occasionally swallows you whole, especially when contemplating what really did happen to your baby.

Blame factor n. 1. the need to find someone and punish him or her for taking your baby away from you. This is often pointed at one's self. For example "If I had done ABC instead of XYZ, then my baby would still be alive." Blame factors are especially common in miscarriage and pregnancy losses where doctors cannot tell you why you lost your baby, just that 'it happens.'

Brick Wall, n. 1. what hits you when someone says to you, "Oh, I thought you were over it."

Brief,adj. 1. fleeting, short, temporary, in reference to memory and time. Time feels both brief/lightening fast, yet slug slow at the same time. (See also "Brief Grain" for futher usage details.)

Brief Grain, n. 1. a variation of Grief Brain, and illustrates how our brain function is severely affected after the loss of a child. 2. Representative of one symptom of grief: mixing up the first letters of words. (See also the individual words "Brief" and "Grain" for further usage details.)


Cemetery Posse, n. 1. a group of mothers armed with video cameras, hiding in various cemeteries in hopes of 'capturing' marauding morons stealing things from children's graves, in hopes of inflicting appropriate punishment - like that nice, cozy seat next to the fire in Hell.

Childless Mother, n. 1. A mother who has lost a child in miscarriage, stillbirth, or any other cause of death. 2. A mother whose only child has died.

Childless Father, n. 1. A father who has lost a child in miscarriage, stillbirth, or any other cause of death. 2. A father whose only child has died.

Circling cleaning, v. 1. You stand up, turn in a circle while observing and commenting on all that needs to be cleaned, then sit back down totally exhausted, without having touched a single thing. Can be applied to bill paying, cooking, writing Thank You notes, returning phone calls, etc. (Contributor note: My daughter Jen and I coined this phrase after Cassy died.)

The Clueless n. 1. folks who haven't lost a child and just don't get it.

The Clueful n. 1. folks who haven't lost a child and who try really, really hard to understand.

Cobweb Phenomenon n. 1. comparing your life to a room full of pretty things and happy times, but realizing there are cobwebs in the ceiling corners that never go away. 2. having a perfectly decent life, good job, other children you love, a solid partnership, and still feeling empty because one of your children is dead. 3. going to a party where people are lively and happy and laughing and someone asks how you are, but you know you can't really say how you are. -cobwebbed v. -cobwebified adj.

Cobwebified adj. 1. the feeling between your ears during the first and second years after your child has passed away. 2. adjective form of Cobweb Phenomenon (see Part 1 of this Dictionary) syn. Brain No Worky

Contingency Theory, n. 1. a false myth perpetrated by society that the depth of a parent's love or grief can be measured by the child's age -contingency theorist, n.

Cow-eyed Grief Virgin, n. 1. person with no concept of what bereaved parents have been through 2. person who sees putting bereavement stories in print -- not as a way to work through grief and memorialize dead children and possibly help other bereaved parents -- but instead as a "get rich quick" opportunity because as anyone knows, if you wrote a book, you must be very lucky and your life must be fabulous.

Creeper n. 1. grief anger personified. 2. the anger that resides just under the surface of your skin that may break out at the slightest bump from another human being. -creeped adj.

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