The strange grief of losing someone to prison

Families do time too

Photo by Tim Hüfner on Unsplash

The in-between space

He was bailed to the community after questioning and we had a few weeks of ‘freedom’. I didn’t attend any of his court appearances; it was just too traumatising and stressful to consider. I was studying and raising my first child. I needed to try and have some normalcy in my life and not let everything blow up.

Single parenting not by choice

The first few weeks with him in prison were filled with night time ice cream eating sessions in bed while my son was asleep. In a way I was grateful to have a child to take care of because it kept me focused on practical tasks and surviving. But I knew I was up shit creek without a paddle because he had been the sole income earner.

The irony of incarceration for families

It became apparent to me almost immediately that sure, I imagine being locked up sucks, but for the families — especially partners with children — the time we do is harder. We’re sentenced too.

Ambiguous grief and disenfranchised loss

And the grief….

A forced breakup

Whenever I see news stories of some idiot (I’m allowed to call them that because continuing to make choices that jeodarize your family and leave children without a parent is idiotic) going to prison and seeing the wife clutching his hand in front of court, I think: You poor thing. You’ve got no idea what’s coming.

Australian writer, sexologist, & therapist. I sometimes write about sex & pleasure. I sometimes write about weird shit, my interests & being human.

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