The puncture in Carol Peletier’s heart will have every rose turning to ash from this point forward. No feeling the petals or relishing the scent. She is the mother who buries her child every day and every night.
Marilyn Manson once sang the lyric, “Whatever doesn’t kill you, is gonna leave a scar,” on 2009 album The High End of Low… It couldn’t be more applicable because Carol is never going to leave the frame of her broken family photo behind. The ironic twist of Carol as a mother, both biological and adoptive, is that it always ends with her as the parent that outlives the child. Sometimes even remorsefully by her own hand as was the case with Lizzie Samuels or the weight of her words if you recall young Sam Anderson’s mental breakdown. Much like Jack Bauer in 24 before her, family is a premium that life will not afford her.
This time, Henry’s death has Carol at her breaking point, rock bottom, empty and hollow. Popping pills like no tomorrow, words cannot soothe or console her, regardless of who they are from or how well intentioned they are. The silver-haired one is around lifetime friends but inside the crowd she is all alone. They cannot bring Henry back just like Sophia before him. She will carry the burden as a mother for eternity, struggling with one question… What if?
What if she’d been there in time to save Henry from Alpha? What if she never sent Henry to the Hilltop? What if she had found Sophia in time? What if she took Lizzie more seriously before the Mika incident? It goes on and on. The voices in her head will never stay silent. Rumbling like permanent tinnitus, gradually increasing every sober moment to a roar. Nothing to drown them out but perceived self medication, destroying herself with every pill. Her eyes void of the life they once held. They look but they don’t see.
Even when those screams simmer down to a whisper, one memory is all it would take to bring them back. Right back to square one, attempting to recover from which there is no cure. A mother’s grief is forever.
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