Conveying Unthinkable Loss

| 10/17/2007 12:00:00 AM

If the death of a child is an unthinkable loss, then it must be, by extension, unwritable: a grief that defies language and refuses explanation to those (thankfully) uninitiated. Cathy Smith’s brief essay, "The Unthinkable," in the parenting zine Hip Mama (article not available online) is compelling, in part, because she doesn’t except you to fully understand: She's keenly aware that she's reporting from the other side. Writing about the car accident that took her daughter's life, she provides a burning glimpse into a parental grief, into becoming the “one you never want to know what it’s like to be.”—Julie Hanus