I found “Willower” on UrbanDictionary.com (someone added it this year). Okay, it’s an online dictionary of slang words and phrases but I like their motto: “Define Your World.” Intentionally or unintentionally, isn’t that what we humans do, define our own worlds?

Though willowers have the added lifelong challenge of processing the death of their child, an abnormal event. So a willower’s world needs re-defining. And words — shared and received — are the nuts and bolts of redefining—and rewriting—after loss.

One day, maybe willower will become part of our vocabulary, and will help create a world in which bereaved parents can weep more openly, find inner strength while redefining themselves in their worlds, and finally, with this one word, release a wisp of unimaginable weight.

It isn’t yet in the pages of Merriam-Webster. But wherever willower might travel, to Urban Dictionary and beyond, I hope that sometime . . . someplace . . . someone grieving their child’s death might discover it and plant it in their redefining soil, this one seed, one word.


By Deanna

Rewriting life after the loss of a child.

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