Praeteritus Puer


Sadly a friend with whom I went to high school, lost her child to murder. My heartache left me thinking how there’s not a word for such a loss.

After all, a wife becomes a widow, a husband a widower and children are known as orphans. But what of parents left behind?

So I began to study, using the dead language of Latin. I tried to conflate ‘praeteritus,’ which means ‘to pass over,’ and ‘puer,’ meaning ‘child’ into a single word.

But it fails to reflect the parent’s profound suffering and now it has become simply too painful to continue.

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