Posted by: Jody Glynn Patrick | 11/16/2012

The heart broken by a child’s death — when will it heal?

nothings rightThank you, readers, for your very candid comments recently about the excruciating loneliness and pain you continue to feel for days, weeks, months and years after a child dies. Thank you for the courage to tell it like it is, so that we can talk about it.

A recent (2011) University of Michigan Study has concluded that the feeling of a broken heart is real, experienced as intense physical agony that hurts “even more than pain”, complete with brain chemistry and electrical changes. Ethan Kross, lead author of the paper written about the Michigan experiment, says research points to increased brain activity in the secondary somatosensory cortex and dorsal posterior insula. Others suggest the vagas nerve becomes overstimulated, causing pain, nausea or muscle tightness in the chest region. Regardless of the causes, loss triggers these responses, with real and sometimes significant physical outcomes.

What all of this medical jargon really means is that loss of love hurts.

It isn’t a phantom pain, it is real pain — as real as it gets, as bereaved parents can testify to.

Studying people after romantic breakups, researchers conclude that loss of love resembles, to the brain, a pain similar to the sensations of  burning or searing in the heart. And the death of a child can literally cripple parents.

This grief can trigger the deepest pain we humans are able to tolerate – both emotional and physical — and sometimes it hurts more than we can bear. Harvard researchers have discovered that, on average, one in 10 heart attack survivors had lost a loved one within the previous six months. The risk of heart attack was 21 times higher the first day after a death, eight times higher the week after, and four times higher a month after.

Time is, in fact, grief’s aspirin. I realize that my own grief is well worn now, and most days the pain is dulled. The edges aren’t so sharp and I can recall my son’s face without heart palpitations now. I can do it with a steady heartbeat and a full breath again. I can bear the great sadness, so many years after losing Daniel-Paul, with a grace or acceptance that I simply could not manage in the early years — not because my love for him has lessened, or because I feel his loss any less keenly, but because time has passed and I have learned to accommodate this parallel universe without him in somewhat the same way one learns to live with phantom pain.

I think of my grief now like this because phantom pain is a side effect of an amputation, and when my son died, I suffered an emotional amputation, and a part of my core self died. I was left to stumble on without my legs, to see without my eyes, to feel without my heart — that is the way I felt.

Today, I can walk again, and I can see — though still through tears some nights or mornings or odd afternoons when I’m caught by surprise with the playing of  “Daniel” or “Danny Boy” on the radio (that always gets to me). Or when I see his namesake nephew doing something that so very much reminds me of him at that young age, climbing a tree or shyly bringing me a flower. There are a million holes in this sidewalk that I am expected to walk down without him, and sometimes I avoid the cracks, and sometimes I stumble, but the path gets a little smoother year by year.

There are coping suggestions in many of the other blogs posted on this site, so I’m going to briefly highlight a little well-intentioned concern:

  1. Let go. If you are fighting tears, find a private place and shed them. Crying sheds stress hormones and helps restore brain chemistry balance, in addition to helping you focus again. Fighting tears means you have a buildup of stress hormones and yes, real men cry, too. It’s healthy.
  2. Forgive your crazy thoughts. Forgive your outbursts. Forgive you lapses. You aren’t a bad person for questioning faith, your sanity, or for flashes of anger or high emotionality. It’s time to get emotional support if these behaviors are hurtful to others, but don’t label yourself. Become your own best friend when other friends fail or stumble or avoid.
  3. Purposefully seek out a way to remember your child that is healthy for you and respectful of their memory. Honestly, that wouldn’t really include drug addiction or self mutilation…. This is a time for honesty, and I well understand that both “escapes” can be tempting, but getting drunk or trying to off yourself only creates problems for other people — it won’t bring your child back or change things for the better. While it really sucks to be you right now, you can do this a minute at a time, which becomes an hour, which becomes a day. You can do this.

My thoughts and prayers are with you all as you make your way. You are not alone. Legions of bereaved parents, who understand and send love and support your way, walk in the shadows of this blog to help prop you up.


Responses

  1. Thank you so much for this article.

    It’s the first thing I have read since my Daughters death that has made sense to me. I have often tried to explain the physical pain caused by losing my Daughter to others and have been met with guarded skepticism. Our pain is very, very real. Almost crippling some days is a great way to put it.

    There are many days in the past 5 months that I have been unable to function at work. It’s a slow slog. Some days seem to never end.

    Me, my Wife and my oldest Daughter have gone into survival mode and have chosen to do what we need to do to begin the healing process without regard to others. We have surrounded ourselves with family and friends who need nothing from us as we have nothing to give.

    With the holidays fast approaching, my mood has turned much, much darker. The first holidays are always the hardest I know, but they are simply brutal to experience. I don’t think you ever truly know unless you have lost a child. We’re all part of an exclusive club that no one wants to be a member of.

    Still, when I think of Emma Rae, I try to think of all the wonderful gifts she gave me instead of what could have been. What should have been. It’s so hard to not feel cheated out of her physical presence. A parent should never outlive their child. It’s unnatural.

    Life goes on all around us, but we are still stuck on June 7th of this year. The worst day of our lives and one that I relive every night when I lay my head on my pillow.

    Our “New” normal makes me feel like I am living someone else’s life. I never thought at 43 I’d be an empty nester, but that’s the reality we face.

    Again, thank you so much for putting into writing what I have tried to explain over and over.

    • It’s been four years since we lost my beautiful son. Although a graduate student in dental school, he called nearly daily just to say “I love you”. I miss that so much. The holidays ended for me that October. I try so much for my other children but its gone.

      • As i lay here the day after putting flowers at my precious SONS PLACE 9/05/2016. He turned 32. I went back today and let iff 3 more balloons with guitars. I stand over the spot and just stare and wish i could lay there and just sleep. I have my priceless Sister who is my rock. She lets me go over all the details. She is reasonable and makes me know nothing is unreasonable. I search for sites to help me. I really dont know how i am still here. Everything is still raw. I work…i function…but im paralyzed missing my SON. He was only 27. I Adore Him. He was so sweet and kind. My Daughters dont understand. My husband wont show emotions. I cry alot. It is lonely. A huge mixed bag of emotions. Overwhelmed.

    • I just lost my son New Years Day 2017, He had Brugada Syndrome, He was only 36 and had a son that is 12. I loved him dearly, I feel that part of me died that day. But i really need to tell you about what i felt in his room that early morning…..My husband and i felt it at the same time….My son is not his birth child. My Son my only son, just died, and i was in his room, looking through his stuff, the hospital was wanting his idenification, When i felt an overwhelming power of love, so strong that it was almost crippling. I should of not been feeling that at this time, My son just died.
      I screamed and asked said do you feel it, what i am feeling, and my husband and turned with his eyes opened wide, I feel it,…I said what is it……What is inside me, The love was so strong.
      I believe God was with me, no one will be able to ever tell me any different. My son passed away that day, and God sent me his love so i can bare it…..I think that is the day, i found out God is real…….

  2. Thank you for your expression of your grief. It puts in to words what I am experiencing two and a half years after Greig’s death. It brings some comfort to know others are struggling down the same path.

  3. As you said, I don’t think a bereaved parent’s heart ever completely heals; the edges just become less sharp. I have to admit that I had one of those weeks, even after all these years, when I wanted to stand and yell up at the heavens “WHY??? Why did you have to take Jason??”

  4. reading the comments makes me feel part of a loving and understanding community of friends……..thankful for this website…..lost my son,Thomas (18 Mos) FEELS LIKE A DREAM….WANT TO HONOR HIM BY LIVING…WANT TO TRY….LOVE U SUNSHINE, ALWAYS. LOVE TOLOOK AT YOUR PRECIOUS FACE.

  5. I lost my only child, my boy, Aaron on Sept 13th. He was 2 months shy of his 23rd birthday (to the day). It’s so new and so raw still. I miss him horribly. I long for him. I have so much regret and yes, I too feel like a parental failure.

    This article was so good. It’s true, the pain is actually physical. It takes my breath away at times. It’s also good to read all of you other parents’ responses. My heart goes out to us all.

    • Joy I lost my 23yo baby boy last week Jan 13, 2013. The pain in my heart is unreal.

      • I feel u, lost my only 16year baby-girl Essy a year ago . The pain its still there but i know she is in safe hands… Jesus. Please look up to God and u will get answers.

      • I know I lost my 32 year old 5 months ago. Feels like yesterday. I need help.

      • Teresa, I hope that reading through the many blogs will help you, but if you are asking for more personal concrete help, of course we are here for you — the other parents and I, who lost children too. However, I would strongly recommend turning to a therapist who specializes in grief counseling, if that is possible, as well, and that could be a minister, if you come from a faith base. I would stay away from “mediums” at this point when you are fragile — I’d strongly suggest waiting before you might explore that avenue. But do read the posts here, and I know other parents will reach out to you as well. I am so sorry for your pain and your situation.

      • I’m so sorry I know. The is so UNREAL ! Lost my since 6 months ago I will never be the same I know what you are feeling. Mine has become a little less SHARP. BUT THATS IT. THERE ARE NO WORDS TO DESCRIBE OUR PAIN. THIS IS SOMTHING WE HEAR ABOUT. CANT BE HAPPENING TO US. I STILL JUST CANT BELUEVE IT

  6. lost my daughter 27 yrs ago. Beautiful, 27 yrs old, 3 children and a pastor in The Salvation Army. Try to figure that one out! Auto accident. I was very bitter, angry, etc for 2/3 yrs. Then it turned to hatred when 3 yrs after her death, found out the guy that hit her (across the center line) was a retired cop. guess what? no tickets issued!! bitterness, hatred, you name it I had it!! Went to the altar and said Lord you have to take this! Wrote him a letter, told him I forgave him and urged him to seek the Lord b4 he too went into eternity! Have peace in my heart! do I miss her sure! now have 6 precious great grandchildren. Will see her in heaven some day. I am now 77 yrs young.

  7. It will have been a year on Jan. 4th when my daughter passed away. She was 15 months old and passed away from an illness caused at birth. I am 25 and served 3 times in Iraq and afghanistan and have found that i took all the sadness and hurt and bottled it inside to he supportive for my wife now almost a year later I’m the one slipping. Is it my time to grieve?

    • It is. Thank you for your service, from one military family to another. I’m so sorry for your loss as well. There is no “right time” to grieve; Only your time. The time that is right for you. It sounds like you’re the kind of man to take care of business before taking care of yourself. How sad but how true that grief will not be set aside. It will wait for you. My thoughts and prayers are with you tonight.

  8. My beautiful boy, 26 yr old passed away 9/23/11. My sisters birthday. I just want him back.

    • I want mine back also.

  9. I am in agonly-my 16 year old son died jan 9th 2013after a seizures he didnt come out of. He was on life support for 3 days and a huge flow of family and school firends and teachers came to say goodbye. I miss him so much and he was my life.

    • Im so sorry for your loss. I know the pain you are feeling.

  10. Thankyou Cathie.

  11. I lost my daughter to an accidental drug overdose at age 22. It has been two and a half years. I just recently went off the anti-depressant I was on which helped me to continue to get out of bed and go to work. I don’t feel joy anymore and really don’t think that is ever going to change. I feel that my tolerance and patience with people is very small because I am not willing to waste my time being around people I don’t want to be around……..life is too short. I also don’t put up with people’s bull anymore. This has caused me to lose certain relationships, even within my family. Sometimes I feel guilty for feeling this way but then think to myself “I am going to take care of ME for a change” and screw everyone else.
    I do have anger that continues to rage. My daughter’s biological father (whom I left for being an abusive alcoholic when she was 3 and my son 6), not only physically and emotionally abused them, but also sexually abused my daughter from the age of 3-6. Most of these things I found out when they were older, but I guess I was hoping he would not be abusive to them on the weekends he had them while they were growing up. I tried desperately to help my daughter by taking her to numerous counselors, getting her books, talking with her etc. but she continued to self-medicate her pain until one day she accidentally overdosed. Sometimes I think this is too much for me to bear and I feel so alone. Both my parents are gone, my husband is very supportive, but I sometimes wish I had someone to talk to and get advice on how to go on. I read numerous books and continue to educate myself but it just feels like a lonely world.

  12. DJ, you have three issues going on here, at surface level. You have the rage at having someone in a power position abuse your daughter; you have your inability to protect her, as a child and as a young adult; you have the grief of her death. This is a lot to handle for anyone. And we have responses which are natural of rage, hopelessness, depression and detachment. If you had a broken arm, you would look it up on the internet, maybe, but you’d reach out for a doctor to help you set it properly. I see that you are reading, and you turned to medication. I’d suggest that your husband is a source of support, but he is not a doctor (?) with the training to help you with your natural grief work? Some specialists who handle depression are good at drug and medication management for pain (I think of them as pain specialists), but without a framework to deal with all of these issues, it only hides symptoms of your suffering. You need someone to help you “set the bone” so you can begin healing and I’d strongly suggest bringing in a psychologist who specializes in grief counseling. I do recognize and empathize with your pain; I don’t know where you live, but it would be my expectation and hope that there is someone there, trained as I’ve been trained, to help you bridge this terrible black hole in your life. My best wishes to you and I’m sure you’ll find support here, from other parents. We are here. The world seems lonely, and your experience is isolating, but we are here for you.
    Jody

    • Hello Jody,
      Thank you for your response. I did go to a psychologist who specialized in grief counseling for a period of about 6 months after my daughter passed. It did not help me………..I thought well maybe she just wasn’t the right person. When a year was coming up that my daughter died, on someone’s advice, I went to see another counselor along with the psychiatrist in that office. She seemed to help me see things a bit clearer and they had increased my anti-depressant. I don’t regret going………I just think nothing is really going to help the pain you feel. You can sit and talk with someone and cry a load of tears, and it may help to relieve the pain temporarily but there is only so much you can say to a counselor/psychologist.
      I have always read a lot, trying to help myself work through things in my life, and I have gained a lot of knowledge. I go in and out of it……….sometimes the pain seems overwhelming but I know it will get better usually in a couple days and it does seem to pass like bad weather.
      But honestly……………..I don’t think you ever truly feel joy again in your life. Your life is tainted, so no matter if you seem to be having a good time, it’s just on the surface. I am extremely angry with the abuse that took place with my children. It left deep scars and has affected the decisions they’ve made in their life and especially their self-esteem. I don’t know how to let go of that anger. I blame my abusive ex-husband for the outcome of her life……. and I still see it affecting my 27 yr old son’s life. How do I handle this? Are there any books you can recommend?

      Thank you for your support and time.

      • I would suggest something different, a respite versus a self-help book. I would recommend the book (not the movie) Lovely Bones. You’re dealing with anger as well as grief and forgiveness will be a gift you give yourself as you give it to someone else; as the truest staying goes, unresolved anger is like drinking poison and expecting someone else to die. Justifiable hurt and bitterness still eats away at you and it is like an acid and you are feeling the burns. The situation happened to you but I can feel you in a loop feeling helpless as to how to get yourself out of that hole. You do have my support, DJ. You do have both my empathy and my prayers and my strength, though you cannot always feel them as keenly as what you are feeling now. Seriously, for yourself, as corny as it may seem, as downright silly, read Lovely Bones and I’d also recommend The Shack. We have to find a way just to lift you up a bit with regard to pain before you will have the strength or desire to grab a rope to help pull you up, or before you will be able to even sense it in the well. Let in a little light, even though that book will be painful to read. So painful. It also will help carry you to a lighter place for a moment or two as you think about the conceptual possibilities of life viewed on a more universal, versus personal, scale.

  13. My beautiful earth angel died 3 days after my birthday and six days short of her 23rd birthday. In May 2012 we were confirmed that she had rectal cancer with it growing on her tailbone. She had to be scheduled for a ileostomy quickly in fear of blockage. She was such a well defined mature young lady that absolutely devastated her to have this. 3 weeks later 1st round of chemo, hydration the next day and an injection for 10 days in fat tissue (?!). Her medical syndrome she had been born with included a height of 4’7″ and had lost 20 lbs so she was a mere 50 lbs. Next week in the hospital for blood infection for 7 days. Found a small leak in drainage from kidney to bladder and went in for immediate surgery to insert a drainage tube (stent) which crystallizes and must be changed every 3 months. If this procedure didn’t work she would have come out of surgery with a urinary bag below her shoulder blade in her back. We knew eventually this would end up happening. Another round of chemo 2 weeks later. Hydration, 10 injections another blood infection and admitted into hospital again. Didn’t like the aura around her evening nurse but I complied with my mature daughter’s wish which was to go home and get rest to not get up every 4 and 2 hours for her meds. I got a call from 7am mom come take me to emergency they haven’t helped me all night. Ct scan indicated that morning that her bowel wall had ruptured and was nauseous from toxins in her body. Nurse neglected my baby!!!!! My dear Meliss died that night at 7 pm with her siblings and mom telling her they loved her. When the doctoe went into tell my sweetie that she was going to die within hours to days I will NEVER forget my daughter’s words “I am going to die”. Meliss was my life outside of work. Her siblings had friends they dated, went out with friends, myMeliss was not accepted because of her size and pureness and thoughtfulness for everyone – I was her and she was my best friend. Their dad died in 2000 of cancer and now my 19 year old son hates me. He has never dealt with his dad’s death and now his sister he was very close to and his other sister’s addictions. I have lost two very special people in my life. I grieve everyday Meliss gone as she had no choice; my son had a choice and for that I am bitter and angry at him. How does life go on from here? PS: I had that nurse lose her certificate.

    • Linda, your son had a choice about what? I don’t understand what you are saying with regard to your son and I want to help you, but I don’t understand that dynamic. A 19 year old male brain is not fully developed; they are adults in size and some behaviors, but I hear you speaking about a growing young man who was not able to deal with a father’s death, then lost his sister who he was close to, and he’s troubled with his other sister’s behaviors. Where is your bitterness toward this child originating from? I just want to better understand to perhaps be of the most help to you in dialogue. Thanks.

      • He chose to leave his home. He left the morning following her death and I didn’t see him until Meliss’ Celebration of Life. He then stayed in his room only talking to his girlfriend and moved out in November. Meliss had no choice. He was sending venom-like texts and he wouldn’t listen to reason. His texts were very hurtful at a time when I was already grieving a huge loss. I told him I was going to give him time as I didn’t want these texts pushing him out of my life. I would text him little living texts like roads look icy glad you put snow tires on another one Hapoy Easter, love you miss you. Happy Birthday however you celebrate that you are careful. Then his girlfriend called last week while he was at work to “try to help my son’s and my relationship. His text to me was so angry as she twisted stories of what we had talked about on the phone.

      • Linda, I better understand your pain now. Thank you for filling in some dots. There is a lot of anger in the situation, and sometimes it is as a result of a death and all of the mixed feelings about that, and sometimes it was present but not so pronounced before a death. You have a lot of issues to separate out here and a counselor (a good counselor) could help you do that. The girlfriend may have meant well, and you may have meant well in what you chose to tell her. She may have “heard” more loudly the messages she passed along, using her own filter. But she did reach out, so that is a mark in the plus column for her in the future, even if the ending wasn’t what you probably both hoped for. This is why even well-meaning friends of one party or the other cannot usually negotiate a truth, or hear both parties fully, and help them be heard by the other person. You are a person who is hurting and you need someone to love you during this, and you feel your son is failing you in that regard (I heard that rather clear and loudly). Your son is not speaking, except when his frustration turns him to anger as well. He tried to escape to his room and then he left home. It doesn’t strike me that this is how you respond to pain or frustration, and so it is a sign to you of his walking out on you rather than the situation of living in a home without his sister, as she “left” — not by choice, as you point out, but by circumstance. You will have to set aside your anger with your son when you talk to your son or his agents, which is what the girlfriend is. However, you can’t bury your feelings or they will bury you. I urge you to find a supportive and qualified counselor in your area to (1) hear you and be your advocate and (2) help you reconcile with your son in a way that is respectful to his feelings as well. Friends cannot do this as effectively as a third-party counselor can. You will respond that this is expensive. You’ve lost one child; there may be a cost to holding the second close again. It will be worth the investment, Linda. Meanwhile, my thoughts and best wishes for you are yours and I will keep your family in my prayers.

  14. I cannot express my grief and that of my wife and elder daughter on loss of my beautiful younger daughter Mansi. The life’s cruel side was opened to us on 09 Jun 2013 for which we as parent were never prepared. It happenend so suddenly that no amount of efforts from doctors could save her. She had undetected type 1 diabetese till 24 hrs before she left us. I can not forget the 18-19 hrs I sent in ICU praying and hoping for her recovery. I wanted to give her so much in life and keep her with me for ever, she was every thing to me. I miss her touch, her laugh her cuddle. This was her age to enjoy life, she was just thirteen.

    I was trying to come back to work so that i can divert my attention. it’s not happening amd my thoughts go back to Mansi and her last day with us. I feel as father I failed her, my wife and robbed my elder daughter of her sibbling. I was having intution that she may be diabetic but didnot get her tested in time and paid the price. Her absence in our life makes me miserable each day. I have no idea how will I cope with my job or life in coming time.

    • Neeraj, I completely understand your feelings. The guilt is almost always present in a child’s death, even when there was absolutely nothing, nothing that a parent could have done. Later, we see the flags much more clearly than we did when we were living our every day lives, but even when there were faint flags or no flags or waiving flags, many times we feel debilitating guilt. The flag we see now waiving in the distance is the distress the daughter and wife also feel that only you can understand and help with. You feel you have failed them all but you are the only person who can help hold them up now. Share the burden. You can be their champion today by helping them through this and keeping your family together while taking time to help heal yourself. The death of a child… it isn’t something we ever “get past”. We only “get through” it a day at a time, a day after day after day, minute after minute. You will cope in coming time by coping minute by minute as you are. It will always hurt, always. It will become less and less urgent, in the now — the pain will become a thought away instead of in front of you every minute. The thoughts will come and it will swallow you like a tide, but then it will recede. You will get through it and take the love of your daughter forward with you, and less of the pain… over time. Know that you will and can do this. But for now, you are whatever you tell yourself you are to your remaining daughter and your wife. Be their champion now. Hold them and be present and give them the gift of your love and get whatever help you need to be there (a grief counselor or advice from someone who truly understands your situation). We are here for you, Neeraj. You are not alone on this painful journey. We line your path with love and wishes for your healing.

  15. I stumbled on this blog the other day. I wish I could print it into a handbook of sorts for friends and family.

    I lost two of my three children one year ago when a drunk boater hit our boat. My 9 year son and my 13 year old son were killed instantly and horrifically. My 15 year old son has become an only child. He was sitting right beside his brothers. they were killed and he was not injured. His pain on top of my own grief is more than I bear.

    To add to my pain, I suffered a miscarriage 3 months ago. This was to be a child to bring some joy back into our family. My husband loves children. his boys were his whole life. This might sound trivial but we also bought a kitten for my son. Something for him to love. He did love it. It died last month. I feel like God hates me.

    My grief makes people uncomfortable. So I pretend im okay most of the time. It’s exhausting. Friends and family want “the old me” back. I feel like they are pushing me to “move on.” It feels like at the one year mark (last month) people went from being understanding to annoyed. They don’t understand when I just don’t want to be at a big family birthday party or a girls night out or even church.

  16. 16 months ago tomorrow, I lost my joy,my heart, my best friend, my Baby Girl, Ariel Lise Tucker. Ariel was 21, live out loud amazing. It happened very suddenly and while my head knows it’s true my heart can not accept it. I have lived a wonderful life and always said it was charmed. Until April 29, 2012. Ariel passed from an embolism. I was with Ariel that morning, she had moved into her little dream house the day before and her father and I brought her furniture from her childhood home. Ariel was not feeling well and was having difficulty breathing. I tried to convince her to go to a clinic but she said her boyfriend had been sick and she thought she had caught it, she assured me that she would go if it got worse. Seven hours later I received a call from Adam, saying that he had returned from work and there was an ambulance with attendants working on Ariel. My husband and I rushed to the hospital to hear Adam wailing as we entered. the hospital. Everything from then on is a blur except for my memory of my Baby lying there with a giant tube in her mouth. I remember stroking her eyebrows and kissing her. Everything from here on is a blur. I am not sure why I am writing this, I live this every day. Sometimes I think I may be adjusting, then I start crying and covering my mouth. I sometimes wish I could just fall asleep until I see her again. I have wonderful 26 year old twin boys and know that I must ” fix” myself for them BUT the pain is sometimes unbearable. I hide around corners to shed my tears and spare their pain. I am part of a group of Mother’s who have lost their children but feel they do not understand because their child was not ARIEL. Thanks for listening. Ariel’s Mommy.

    • We all understand and feel your pain. Believe me.

      • Thanks Cathie xoxoxoxoox

      • Dearest Christine,
        My heart aches for you and I hear your pain. I too lost my daughter Rachel, age 22. It’s been just about 3 years now and the pain is still there (as always will be) but I have survived and so will you, I promise. I understand about losing a daughter …… I also have a son who is now 28. We never know what the universe has in store for us…. but try to take comfort in knowing she is in a peaceful state and you will see her someday again. She is around, you just can’t see her physical form any longer. Here is my quote of the day by the Dalai Lama, it seems appropriate. “When we meet real tragedy in life, we can react in two ways– either by losing hope and falling into self-destructive habits, or by using the challenge to find our inner strength. I am truly sorry for your loss, hope your pain will lessen day by day, and that eventually you will find moments of joy in your life. God bless you and may you find comfort.

      • Thank you. I know that Ariel is with us, she messes with us. I try very hard to stay positive but today was rough. Thanks for listening. xo

      • I know your pain I my daughter and best friend passed on 4/27/15 I too do the silent cry because I have s son and granddaughter who need me I cry to and from work sobbing why what did I miss. She hung herself and I had just spoken to her earlier that day with no indication that she was distressed. She had a problem with alcohol and I know that had a factor in what happen but my heart aches daily she was such a happy and kind gentle sole. I call her little girl lost she would have been 41 and was very immature for her age but everyone loved her. I’m dragging. Myself through each day with extra heavy load it’s the worst pain to have to endure

      • It’s been eight years since I lost my beautiful daughter and I still miss her every day I feel robbed I watch all her friends getting married and having babies and it hurts so much because I so wish it was my daughter I understand the pain and the loneliness that you feel I’ve lost friends and family over my anger and grieving because they just don’t understand I also feel that they think I should be over Tara and go on but I just can’t seem to find the happiness in me anymore

      • I so feel your pain.

    • Christine, I understand a lot of what you are saying. I lost my beautiful girl almost four years ago, under very similar circumstances. We were ice skating and her heart simply stopped beating. She was nine years old.

      While I am tempted to say that those who lose their children to a disease like cancer “at least know it’s coming”, I know that’s a cruel and unfair comparison — every parents who loses a child is equally devastated. But sometimes, I wonder if there’s an additional layer of complexity when there seems to be no warning, no explanation, no…sense…to losing our children. There is no disease or drunk driver or specific accident to “blame”. They simply…cease to be. While I often try to hold out hope for other parents that “it gets easier”, it’s still SO f**king hard.

      For my own part, I spent the first year, sword and shield in hand, fighting, battling, struggling to re-define my life. I spent the second year slogging through knee-high mud to re-define my life. But now it’s been almost 4 years, and it really has gotten easier. Not better. Nothing makes it better. But it does get easier to function.

      Don’t despair. The second year sucks just as much as the first year, but in a completely different way. You’re not crazy and you’re not failing to cope and you don’t need to “fix” yourself for anyone. You shouldn’t feel anything but normal.

    • Your story really touched me! My 29 year old daughter died almost a year ago from injuries she sustained in a car accident. She lived for 2 months. After she died I thought about suicide several times, the pain was unbearable! The reason I am still here is I have another daughter 26 who I would end her world if I did. My life will never be the same. I breathe everyday but don’t nessasarially live! If you understand what I mean. Sometimes I do better than others. I still want to just stand up at work one day and scream,”does anyone realize my daughter is gone?” everything else in life seems stupid and pointless.I was always my glass is full person, even when it was on the floor broken. Now I just feel life sucks and whats the point.

      • Donna do you want to talk privately, I think you can see my email. I would be more than happy to talk. xoxo

      • I so feel your pain and my family stopped coming around as they said I am to sad. I lost my 19 year old 5 months ago on july 5th and I feel dread and death all the time. I scream inside and I have lost weight or self destruct really. He was my world and it never seems to pass. I miss him so much and I died that day even though I do have two other children I cant seem to make me move on. I am drowning and don’t know what to do. I have no one to help or understand the pain.

      • Dona, that’s exactly how I feel. My son died in a car accident 3 months ago. He was doing all the right things in life and such a beautiful soul was taken. I just want to scream when I see people around me like nothing is wrong. Don’t they know my son is dead? I feel like I’m functioning not living.

      • It has been 2 years and 7 months since my beautiful boy was taken from me in a car accident at the young age of 5. I struggle everyday to try and survive. I have been in and out of work because I struggle with concentration, focusing on what I am doing…I constantly have visions of him…friends, coworkers and family try to understand but they cannot…it is a pain like no other. I have been to therapy, shrinks and other doctors…I have been hospitalized for deep depression….the thought of suicide crosses my mind daily. I compare how I feel to the way people who have lost a limb feel…they have feeling in the Phantom limb….I have a phantom child with me every where I go and everything I do but nobody else can see him.

        I wish I could tell you it gets better or easier…and it might depending on your strength. For me, my life ended when my baby was taken from me….I go through the daily motions, I even have moments when I find a little joy in something, or can laugh out loud at something….but those moments are scarce. Right now I am out of work for a month trying new meds and therapy because I kept messing up and making costly mistakes…my savings has depleted and I feel like friends and family feel like I should be better by now. I want to be, I work towards it, but the memories of my beautiful little man continue to control me.

        I wish you all the luck,strength and assistance you need to help you. Do everything you can to keep from falling deeper into the rabbit hole. Make yourself get out and around people even if it is just a short time each day. I wish more people could understand the pain and psychological effects losing a child has on a mother, but sadly the only way they can is if they actually lose one.

  17. Christine, I understand a lot of what you are saying. I lost my beautiful girl almost four years ago, under very similar circumstances. We were ice skating and her heart simply stopped beating. She was nine years old.

    While I am tempted to say that those who lose their children to a disease like cancer “at least know it’s coming”, I know that’s a cruel and unfair comparison — every parents who loses a child is equally devastated. But sometimes, I wonder if there’s an additional layer of complexity when there seems to be no warning, no explanation, no…sense…to losing our children. There is no disease or drunk driver or specific accident to “blame”. They simply…cease to be. While I often try to hold out hope for other parents that “it gets easier”, it’s still SO f**king hard.

    For my own part, I spent the first year, sword and shield in hand, fighting, battling, struggling to re-define my life. I spent the second year slogging through knee-high mud to re-define my life. But now it’s been almost 4 years, and it really has gotten easier. Not better. Nothing makes it better. But it does get easier to function.

    Don’t despair. The second year sucks just as much as the first year, but in a completely different way. You’re not crazy and you’re not failing to cope and you don’t need to “fix” yourself for anyone. You shouldn’t feel anything but normal.

    • Beanies answer is the best of all! Ty

  18. Beanie thank you, that felt like a great big hug. Your words are what I have needed for 16 months, someone who really does understand. I feel like a helpless child, people treat me that way and I let them because it is the only comfort I get.
    I am so sorry about your daughter, what is her name ?
    I understand your statement about no one or thing to blame, I say the same thing, then feel guilty.
    I do feel like I am knee deep in mud, great analogy. I had shoulder surgery 9 days before Ariel left and am now struggling to find my path in life. I feel broken mentally and physically. Now I must start over again at 51 years of age. At first I thought my new plan would just pop out of thin air but now realize that it will take a lot of work. I have been doing what I call my grief work for about 7 months and every time I think I am making headway I seem to slip back. I belong to a group called empty arms that does help but we are out for the summer. Even in group I feel alone.
    My sisters and I go on adventures that Ariel would have enjoyed and I take some of her ashes in a tin, this helps. I am at my best when I am doing this but I need to be home as well. I could go on rambling but I really just want to thank you, your words have really touched my heart.
    xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxooxoxoxooxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

    • Looking at this two years later and wondering how you’re doing, Christine. ❤

      • Thank you Beanie, for another hug, two years later. How am I doing… some days are better than others, laughing and sharing time with my 28 year old twin boys, then crash, that wave comes in. My life is still very much uncertain. As mentioned, I had shoulder surgery 9 days before Ariel left, when I returned to work, my employer did some very underhanded things and there was no support from workers compensation. I not only miss my daughter, with ALL of my heart, but I miss me, that smiling cheerful part that trusted the safety of a life lived well. I am trying to pursue another career but often find myself unable to concentrate. Like many others here, I have lost friends and acquaintances because this loss is just too hard for them. I really can’t blame them, I don’t have a lot to offer to conversations, I feel very one dimensional. Every day I get up and promise myself that today will be better, in some ways every day is a little easier than the last, but some days are just lost to the fog. I am however, working very hard to learn everything I can about my chosen career, it’s just taking me a little longer, I forgive myself.
        How are you, awkward words, Beanie ?

    • “some days are better than others, laughing and sharing time with my 28 year old twin boys, then crash, that wave comes in. ”

      Ah, yes… the existential gut-punch. The problem with feeling normal most of the time is that, when you have a day and you’re not ok it can be terrifying and disorienting. And our friends who love us (and they do) can be just as thrown off by these days. (“For heaven’s sake; is s/he ever going to get over this? I just hate to see him/her this way.”)

      And oh, by the way, it’s just totally unfair that we don’t get a free pass from the rest of the quotidian bulls**t that the world puts out there because we have suffered enough and can’t the rest of the world see that??? I mean, really…

      Yeah, I haven’t found anything magic there, either, except to practice a lot of mindfulness with others, which is to say that I try to keep a focus on what they have to say and to ask a lot of follow up questions. It makes people think you’re a wonderful conversationalist because you really give people a lot of room to talk about what they’re really interested in and you don’t interrupt. 😉

      Here’s the other thing my husband and I have done that both gives us an external focus (very important for mental health) and gives us something to talk about (so we still get invited to parties): we have found meaningful volunteer work to do in areas that our daughter would have been passionate about. My husband is an educational surrogate parent for foster kids with learning disabilities (Kiersten was an Asperger’s kid) and I help with wetlands conservation work (because she loved alligators — she was an odd kid, what can i say?). But I’ll tell you, in all honesty, that those are recent developments — probably only in the last two years.

      So again, in my really limited (a sample size of me) experience, your longing for normalcy and beginning pursuit of it seems right on schedule. Here’s the other thing that seems to help: Think of life as a beautiful catastrophe. The learnings we gain from pain, from hardship, from the stark examination of our pure feelings and psyches and hidden motivations, can be profoundly beautiful and give us insight into the hearts of others. That whole bit about “everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about”? I think that’s very true, even if everybody else is too chicken to tell you.

      Keep pluggin’, Christine. You’re going to be okay.

      We all are.

      • Some days the loss of my daughter who committed suiscide on 4/27/15. The day I will never forget and as they say it comes in waves like the ocean and today was especially bad day it was one of those days that I got hit. By that big wave in the ocean and pulled me under water gasping for breath trying to figure my way out of it until I finally land on my feet. But it’s been harder to land on my feet I miss her so much and am so angry at myself for not being aware of how much she was drinking and how depressed she was after all we lived in the same house her bedroom was right across from mine. I talked to her at 12:37 on the day she killed herself. Was I there her door was closed because she worked the night shift and she told me she was tired so on our last phone call I verified if everything was ok and she said yes mom I said I love you and she said I love you too mom. As she hung herself on the bedroom door which we feel she did in a drunken stupor did she call out for me could I have saved her I hate myself for failing her. She was my best friend and I’m nothing but a failure I couldn’t save her when I thought she was in the safest place in the world in a room right across from mine. Her brother found her at 2:00 on the 28th she was already stiff. We didn’t I hear her what’s wrong with me. Everyone tells me she is in a better place but I don’t know that I can see feel or touch her I’m a selfish pig I want her here with me. I have to cover my mouth with rags so no one will hear my sobbing and crying for my child I miss so much. I m going to see a grief counselor because the pain hurts so much and I don’t want to vent to my son he is already facing his own Demond’s because he found her. I’m so very angry with myself I strived so hard to be a good mother because I never had one I loved my kids to death and they knew it. Maybe Deanna can forgive me but I will never forgive myself for failing my precious baby girl. And my punishment is to live the rest of my life in pain wishing I had been smarter or more aware of her so I do deserve to suffer I’m such a failure

      • Roseanna,
        I am so sorry for the loss of your daughter, I can hear how much pain you are in and my heart breaks for you. I too lost my daughter through an accidental overdose. As parents and mothers, we are so connected to our children and think we should be able to protect them and fix things for them. Unfortunately, we are human and sometimes our children are experts at hiding their pain. If it was a friend that was going through what you are, what would you say to her? We cannot control things that happen in life and cannot control what happens to our children. Your daughter knew you loved her and still knows. We cannot understand why some souls leave this earth earlier than others. It will take time for you to heal……. So glad to hear you are going to get grief counseling. Be there for your Son who needs you very much right now.

      • Beanie, thanks. Your response was so well put and truly shows your “growth”. I love your term “life is a beautiful catastrophe”. I guess I am doing things backwards. In the beginning, I volunteered for charity fashion shows, my daughters previous job, I felt connected to her. I became a volunteer grief facilitator for children. I started a group for bereaved Mothers, something to get them out and connected with others who understand their feelings. My group ended when an insensitive woman questioned my motives. I kept going, living in Ariel’s glow. As I approached the third year anniversary, something changed, I got tired, acceptance ?.
        I still celebrate Ariel and that is when I am at my best. My new career choice is to be a travel agent, a lifelong dream revisited when faced with my new reality and a bum shoulder.
        My sister, my biggest supporter and I love to travel, we take a small container of Ariel’s ashes, as a way of living for and with her. In September we will be taking her to Barcelona for a week, then on to a Seminar at Sea for a Western Med cruise. There are Beautiful moments when I feel Ariel and see signs everywhere. When I travel and see new things, it’s as though I am seeing through her eyes.
        I love your advice about dealing with people. I will practice shutting off that critic in my head that wants to scream, Stop whining your life is perfect.
        Sorry for the negatives and the wallowing, this is not what I used to be. New stage I guess, yup acceptance.
        Thanks Beanie, I promise tomorrow I will remember that everyone has their own struggles, my words in the early days. AND then maybe, I will stop saying I so much.
        Next phase please, this one has become very exhausting.
        Thanks Beanie. xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

  19. Christine,

    Everyone on this page understands your loss and feelings of hopelessness.

    I lost my 16 year old Daughter (Emma Rae) on June 7th of last year. She drowned alongside her friend while celebrating their last day of school.

    I remember word for word the phone call I received from my Wife telling me that Emma was missing. Some people believe in intuition while others may not. I knew as soon as I heard my Wife’s voice that my girl was gone.

    Rescuers searched for her body along with her friend Sydney. On June 8th at Noon, while still holding out hope, we were informed that a body had been recovered. Nothing, I mean nothing hit’s you like that news. You know the feeling. The worst moment of my life and one I relive over and over and over. After giving brief descriptions, we were told that it was Sydney they found first. Emma was found 4 hours later less than 5 feet away.

    This coming Monday would have been Emma’s first day of her Senior year. This time of year is always a trigger for my Wife and I as we see our friends children returning to school. We feel left out. We feel cheated.

    After almost a year and a half, it still feels like yesterday that we lost her. The pain will never, ever go away. I think you learn to deal with it as time goes by. Our lives are so different than they were before we lost Emma.

    Don’t despair. You will have your lowest of low days, but alongside those, you need to allow yourself joy as well. That by no means is lessening your loss. Quite the opposite really. Living your life to honor your child.

    Thank you for sharing and please know that there are so many others out there that do really, really understand your unbearable loss.

    • Dennis, I am heartbroken for you and very proud of you for post. Most men find it hard to open up like this and it is very hard on their wives. Your courage is very helpful in ridding society of stupid stereotypes, men hurt as deeply but are expected to “man up”. Nothing will ever bring our children back but as mother we need the support of our children’s fathers. My husband hurts very deeply but was brought up to believe that if you don’t dwell on things they will go away. He does talk and cry but not enough which leaves me feeling like a burden and a sad reminder. We all look for some purpose in this horrible pain, I think your Emma would be very proud of you. PLEASE get men talking. xoxoxoxoxox
      I do celebrate Ariel’s life, through sharing adventures that Ariel would have liked with161 people on her memorial FB page, In Memory of Ariel Lise Tucker.
      BUT there are days when this pain is so bad, I feel like I might loose my mind. I do not share this kind of pain on the site, so thank you for listening and sharing. Love to your family, Christine xoxoxo

      • The pain does seem unbearable at times. Some days I feel a little ok but most days I’m incredibly sad and missing him beyond belief. I look ok on the outside, function at work but hurting real bad on the inside. I’m trying so hard to move on, never without him in my heart, but move on with life because I know Christopher would totally want that for me and his brother. In time, one day at a time hopefully we can learn to live with the memories and the incredible 23 1/2 years that we had with him and will always have with him in our hearts. I’m sorry for your hugh loss Christine and everyone else that has lost a child. We all know how each other feels. Not a club we ever wanted to be in, but here we are.

  20. So sorry for all your losses. I lost my son who was 20, 3 years ago. There are good days and bad days. Nothing in life now is as sweet as it was. Then again, nothing in life is as bad as it once was because the worst has allready happened.

    • Nothing in life now is as sweet as it was. Then again, nothing in life is as bad as it once was because the worst has already happened.

      That’s exactly what I say. After the loss of my 23 year old son, Jonathan, I know for sure that I will never again in this lifetime have one day as sweet as the last day with him. But I no longer fear death. I look forward to seeing him again and hearing his laughter again, for all eternity.

      Almost 3 years ago he left behind a baby girl who had just celebrated her first birthday and a wife. The baby was diagnosed with cerebral palsy shortly after we lost him in a farm accident. The cp is mild but she is frail. I keep her every day after daycare because her mother works late, and I teach school, so I’m off earlier. His wife is now in a relationship with a man who she will probably marry. Our relationship with her is one that we strive to keep on good terms but there are days when it’s overwhelming: the loss and our love for our granddaughter, and the cavalier treatment of us by his wife. Our marriage has crumbled. Family has moved on. I have not. I pray in tears every morning for strength for the day. I look forward greatly to being finished with this life and at the same time, pray to live long enough to help this beautiful child grow up. Like all parents, I will say he was our sunshine. Our happy child who made us smile and brought us joy. It’s like the movie Groundhog Day. Keep waking up to the same nightmare, and have to live the day without him again.

  21. This is soo hard,, ive been brave and held in a lot of my feelings and emotions for my other children and my partner,, I havent spoke about this atall,, I lost my baby boy at birth, he had exomphilous, wich means his organs grew on the outside,, he looked so perfect and beautiful,, I dont understand why he was taken from me,, this happened 4 yrs ago, should I still be feeling so hurt?? Ive tried holding in my stress and feelings, but I feel like im going to burst,, so thank u for being here,, so I can talk to somebody.x rest in peace sweet heart, xxx

    • Hi Christine, Have you reached out to support groups ? Unfortunately. people expect our losses to magically go away after time. They do not, time changes our reactions to loss but it will never go away, YOU NEED the freedom to speak openly about your loss, I attend a group called Empty Arms through The Seasons Center for Grieving Children, I can honestly say, I do not know where I would be without the freedom to share my loss with other grieving parents. PLEASE for yourself and your other children, seek support. I live only because of my other children so I understand. I am willing to listen any time you need to talk. LOVE Christine xoxo

  22. I lost my 31 year old son Oct. 31,2009. He was a single Dad raising his 10 yr. old daughter, had full custody of her and never married. They lived with me so I could help him raise her. ( since the age of two) it worked for us. He worked for my construction company since he was 15 yrs. old. Then my mother-in-law had lung cance and lived out of state. I went to stay with her for the last six months of her life. So work was very slow, I kinda gave up. But my son had bills to pay and need to find another job. He had never worked for anyone else. So he found a company that traveled a lot around the state doing Texas Roadhouse Restrauants. He was a little hesitant about it. But I encouraged him to give it a try, he was young the experience would be great and I would be here for Haley, his daughter. So he took the job. After awhile I realized that this company was nothing like our company. No safety training, they pushed him from one state to another with only a day or two of home time. He would be the only one driving all the road trips. So I told him to just quit and come home. But he was being so loyal to this company. The way I taught him. So is was on his last out of town job in Duluth MN. Second day on the job, 10/31/2009. He fell from a ships ladder from the roof, 17 feet. He laid their for two hours before he was found. Two other employes never even checked on him and he told them two hrs earlied to pack it up and they were leaving early. They never went back for TWO hours. He only had a concussion, he would have lived, but the way he fell, he went unconscious and the way his neck was bent he could not breath. On his death certificate, he died from positional exfixationation. Full autopsie, he would have been fine and back to work in a couple of weeks.
    Everyday I just feel live my heart has died, I just breath and go thru the motions of live. I hate what has happened to our family. I have custody of his, my granddaughter. She is 14 and she is a mess. In counciling every month, both of us. It’s just not working. We are broken!!! My 34 yr. old daughter has four sons and just wants her Mom back and my grandsons want their grandma back. I don’t know how to get me back. I feel quilt and pain and watching my granddaughter going thru the same kills me. I can’t fix her. I don’t know where to turn???? My live is upside down. Also my younger sister passed away five months later, cancer and my mom passed away 12/25/2012 I believe from a broken heart at 69. Is that going to happen to me??? I don’t want to feel this way. I miss them all so much!! It really does hurt. I love you, Bob Jr., Tracy, and Mom!!!!

    • I’m so sorry for your loss and sending you a prayer.

  23. I have tried grief groups, social media help groups, ministry groups, I am convinced that there is no relief.Grasping at straws, need to talk

    • Hi Tammy, my name is Teresa. I myself do not where to turn anymore. Not to make it about me, but I lost my Daughter to a heroin overdose. She left behind her at the time a 3 year old son. My Grandson’s father in in Prison. Such a long horrible story. Just wanted to say hello. I will pray for you & your family.

  24. I realize this may not be the answer for some of you, but it has helped me. My son was taken Feb. 7th 2014. I grieve constantly but there was something even more. I couldn’t get the feeling of needing something of his with me all the time. I have his favorite stuffed animal from babyhood which he still had, I have pictures and books and all his favorite things, it just wasn’t enough. A friend of mine told me maybe a tattoo with his ashes in the ink would help. I of course said no not my style, but the more I thought about it the more it made sense. My tat is of the moon with it’s old man face and star beams and in those beams is my sons name and birthday. His ashes are throughout the tattoo and for some reason this does comfort me. He loved the moon and stars and this keeps him with me every minute of every day.

  25. Kathy, after my son died, both of my daughters decided (on their own) to have his signature tattooed high on their groins, where only people they loved would ever see it, as a private tribute to him. Later, when Brook joined the Air Force, they insisted she remove a black ribbon from her wrist, which she had worn for years to honor her brother. She had a think black tattoo like a ribbon to replace it, with his death date in Roman numerals inside her wrist. I know these tattoos continue to give both adult daughters (they were 14 and 11 when he died) great connection to him in their own way. It wasn’t the answer for me, but it truly had merit for them, and it sounds like it does for you. Shine on, and thank you for the thought for others.

  26. It is sadly comforting to read what other parents are going through after the death of their child (or children). I know some of the pain you all feel, although of course I can’t know it exactly, but what others write in some ways touches my own. I keep going on. Some days are worse than others, some days have better moments, but this is definitely an experience I wouldn’t wish on any parent. My daughter Julia, age 29, died 18 months ago. There is a part of me that still cannot believe that she died, although I was with her at the end. I don’t feel like I can say how much it hurts to many of my remaining friends. A lot of people have just disappeared and I don’t have the stamina to pursue relationships with them, especially since they clearly want to just live their own lives. I just can’t pretend to be who I used to be. I am going to Compassionate Friends and at least there we can talk about our children, or our feelings, and not have people look away or look uncomfortable. The hardest part I am having is that I want to talk about my daughter, but I find it awkward to bring her up. One reason I know is my own pain about her death that makes people uncomfortable, and the other is that people don’t seem interested in hearing about a dead daughter. They like to talk about their children well enough. My daughter was important to me and I still love her as much today. I will always be glad she was my daughter. She was a wonderful young woman and I will cherish her until the day I die. t am working on how to include her in my conversations. But it’s not easy. Does anyone have any suggestions or have the same struggles?

    • I was just telling my husband that people look at me in shock, as though I’ve offended, each time I mention my stepson. It was ok, and interesting, too speak of him two months ago, but not now. I hate that head tilt of sadness, that look of feeling sorry for me, followed by the body language that screams “I can’t talk to you anymore if you’re going to talk about him.” All this being so fresh for me, I don’t have suggestions for you, but rather to those who make us feel this way.

    • D.W . My only daughter Carrie passed away in jan14 from a brain tumor and like Julia your daughter she was the light of my life and I can’t believe or accept Carrie has gone.I break down emotionally every day and I am so broken hearted my sons aged 22 and 26 had never seen their dad cry before but have no option to see him this way and understand fully why, I was in life so confident and was able to sort out problems as they arose but I am so afraid of life now and all confidence has me me a shell of the man I was.I cannot breathe sometimes the pain I feel is that intense and can truthfully say without trying to be an alarmist if it was not for the love of my wife and family and I had the strength to do so I would join Carrie.

      BillX.

  27. Our daughter died a month ago. She was only 17 and took her life. She had been happy but was being bullied by some other girls. We had no idea. She was impulsive and strong-willed. I feel like I failed her as a mom not knowing she was hurting on that day. The day before she was happy and making plans. I am stuck in deep sadness and guilt and the inability to move forward. I know it is so fresh. I can’t even believe I’m typing these words…my 17 year old daughter is dead.,,it’s been horrific. I miss her every moment of every day.

    • My son died 6 weeks ago he was 22 and took his own life. The shock itself almost stopped my heart from beating. I don’t know why or how I am still here. I am existing but not living. I am breathing but not to live because I dont want to. There is no hope or anything I can do to bring him back. This is real and it’s killing me. He hanged himself and we don’t know why. The inquest of his death is coming up in two weeks. I live with his step dad and our daughter. No one understands how I feel. They seem to be getting on with it and look awkward at me when I break down, I’m sick of it I need to be alone.

      • I am so very sorry, Charlie. This pain is beyond imagination. It’s so exhausting, isn’t it?

  28. I just lost my 24 year old son Monday Sept 1st. He died from a massive heart attack. He was over weight and smoked and I begged him every day to stop. I loved him very much and the pain is just unbarring, my wife and I look to God for answers our older son is a pastor and we have allot of family support. I have never experienced such a hurt, my heart is totally broken, I just wanted to write to some one.. I miss him beyond any believe ….

    • John, I am so very sorry about the loss of your son. Yes, the heartbreak is real, it’s physical, emotional and it is indescribable. I’m glad you have support. Please continue to reach out to other parents who have had a child die. We will understand what many others won’t.

    • Its been two years now since my Son Josh’s sudden death. Somedays I still can;t believe he is gone.. My wife and I have left his room the way it was.. Some better, but I miss him.

  29. I’ve been searching for months for blogs that deal with grief. Today I came across this site, I read several post on this site, and this is the one that grabbed me. I’ve searched and searched because I was looking for something that would not tell me to pray to God for comfort, or other well-intended religious suggestions, so I really enjoyed your coping suggestions at the end. I respect others and their religious beliefs, it’s just not for me and I don’t find answers within the beliefs that others put upon me, and I wish they’d respect me in kind. I appreciate your description of the pain. I could relate as I remember the deep breaths I would take, and still do, not from a sigh, but because I literally felt like I couldn’t breathe as my chest tightened with pain. As I write this, I have those same feelings.

    My step-son died August 10, 2014. My husband and I have been together since 2007, and we married in 2011. There are many people that form 1 family by joining 2. Some have difficulties and others, like us, are blessed with creating a harmonious family unit. My husband brought in two children, and I, one. From the day I met his children, and he met mine, we all clicked, and never was there any drama in our home that some combined families may experience. All those that know us, or had ever had the opportunity to see us as a family would comment that you would never know we were combined by looking at us. So needless to say, I had a wonderful relationship with my step-son. As much as I consider my husband’s children as my own, sometimes I feel like I can’t possibly imagine what my husband feels because that was “his” son. What I do know, is that my pain for my step-son is extreme. People keep telling me, “give it time”, or “healing is a process”, words I was guilty of telling others. Those words mean nothing to me know because I no longer understand what exactly they mean. I associate the word “heal” to mean no more pain. Like the healing of a wound, a scar may exist, but the pain goes away. I was wounded – 2 months and twenty days ago – I realize that is not enough time to “heal” and perhaps, ‘in time’, I will understand this idea of the ‘healing process’. Your post gives me a little clarity in what I’ve been feeling. You don’t really heal, the pain remains, and coping is all we can learn to do from here forward.

    Before anyone ask me or tells me to seek out a counselor/professional help, we’ve been doing so since a week after he died. People keep telling us to do that, and I wonder what people see that makes them think we aren’t getting help. Quite honestly, I think we’re doing better than we thought we would be at this point in time.

    I’ve been wanting to write about my feelings, thoughts, suggestions I already have for others who want to help the grieving, etc., but most days I don’t know where to start. Thank you for your post, and allowing others to reply, as this may be exactly where I needed to start.

  30. Wish I had some words of comfort for you. Our daughter took her life on the same day your step-son died. I’m so sorry for your loss. It is crushing pain. People say in time that all of the memories will bring smiles instead of tears. Hope that’s true. Some days we are better than others….most days just pretty numb from the pain and sadness. I do hope time and memories will ease all of our pain.

    • Ann, I had not returned to this blog until today, and I found your post. I see we share the same day of our life changing event and I’m sorry to read about your daughter. This past Sunday was difficult, as I’m sure it was for you, being the 9th month..Sunday, just like August 10, 2014 and of all things, Mother’s Day. We’ve tried to do a lot to honor our boy in these past 9 months, some things have brought us smiles and great joy. However, time has only allowed us to learn how to become great actors at work and around those who want to see us “happy and moving on”. Many days we fail at being what they want and we succeed at just being who we are…broken. It still hits me like a ton of bricks and sometimes I break as though I’m just being told that he is dead. The tears still flow, but it’s no longer on a daily basis, but I so miss him, every moment of every day! I hope some comfort has found you, Ann, you will never be alone in this journey.

  31. Denise, You and your husband are newly on this path. The truth is that it is going to be a long time before the sharp edges of your grief and sorrow are softened. What I’ve found is that there is absolutely nothing anyone can say to make this any better. The best thing anyone can say is “I’m here with you. I will be here with you no matter how bad it gets for you.” Most people don’t say that at all. They can’t handle the deep sadness. They tell you to see a therapist, go to a group or offer a book.” The truth is that this hurts more deeply than anyone can imagine. I have taken the advice of allowing myself to feel this loss. Most people have wandered back to their own lives. All I can advise is to Keep reading, keep reaching out to people who do understand, keep feeling, keep loving your precious step-son, and each other. Don’t let anyone shame you out of your grief. Each of us deal with our loss a little differently. There is no right or wrong way to grieve, except don’t drink too much or use drugs to numb the pain.

    I hope this helps.

    • DW, your comments are comforting and I appreciate the help. You’re spot on with no allowing others to shame us out of our grief. We’ve moved on from those who have tried, and we don’t look back. Those that truly support us and understand, are still around – listening when we need it, hugging when necessary and always just being present. It is the best thing for those walking this path of pain.

      Thank you.

  32. I lost my grandson, Kaydin, on September 16, 2014. He and his mother were in a car accident, she survived with some internal injuries but he died at the scene. I found out later Kaydin had removed the shoulder harness while in his car seat.

    It was 12 weeks ago yesterday and the pain still feels just as sharp, the tears are still flowing steadily. I came back to work about 6 weeks ago, but get very little done. My mind is always going back to Kaydin and reliving the evening of the accident and then remembering his voice, his jokes, his all around silliness – Kaydin was 5 when he died, he was turning 6 one month later and we were going on a Disney Cruise, I had arrange lots and lots of little things with the cruise line to make it an extra special birthday – that we never got to celebrate.

    Well meaning friends and family keep telling me I need to get out, move on, they want the “Old me” back. Even my daughter feels like I need to move on. And each time I hear this I want to scream, they will never get the old me back – my heart has been broken like it has never been broken before. I let Kaydin get so very close to me, we spent every weekend together and sometimes his mom would leave him with me for several weeks at a time as she took care of things in her life. He went on every vacation with me, we cooked together, cleaned together (we would sing the Wonder Pets song TEAM WORK….what’s going to work….team work..lol. I find myself completely lost, I don’t know who I am if I cannot be Kaydin’s Nana. And like others have said the emotions just keep coming, like wave after wave. After 12 weeks I feel like I am functioning as well as can be expected but then I find out things that I did or said and realize that I am not doing very well or that the grief is still controlling me.

    I hate to admit it but reading about others who have lost their children does help me to know I am not alone, my pain if real, I am not being a “drama queen”. It is also nice to see what others have done to try to heal. I know I will never be the same person again, but I am holding out hope that I will be able to enjoy life again at some point. At the 12 week mark my goals are simply – exercise and try to eat right, it is amazing how good you will feel after taking a long walk outside or going to a yoga class. I try to force myself to go out with friends, this is harder to do because I like being alone with my thoughts and memories of Kaydin, but I try and do get out every now and again. I have talked with my Pastor and will be going back to church after the first of the year, I told him that coming to church was too painful, all the children excited about Christmas, the Christmas pageants, the Christmas fellowship gatherings, the singing of Christmas carols – all of that is just too much for me to deal with right now – I do pray to God every night, and I still yell at God almost everyday – but I still believe and put my trust in him and having this faith helps a lot too.

  33. My beautiful son 18 years old completed high school in November 2014. He then ran off to initiation school where he died within two weeks after he was brutally tortured to death. I miss him terriably. I dont know if I will have the strength to face the upcoming court case.

    • My 26 year old son died unexpectedly, (he lived with us, so I was used to seeing him daily), four weeks ago, four days after your post. This pain sucks and all I can say is to try to stay in the moment and try not to imagine what he went through and also what court will be like while you are there. You are not there now and your son is in heaven with the Lord, try to focus on that. I just started therapy, don’t know yet if it helped but will continue at least a year and see what I think from then on.

      We also need to remember how blessed we were to be the mothers of these wonderful boys.

      Please know I am asking God to give you peace. I just keep hoping I have a nice dream about my son, they have all been bad dreams about our family’s loss.

      God (please, just please) give all of us grieving parents comfort and sweet dreams about our beautiful children that we can no longer hold. Amen

  34. Well Joseph was four months and five days old. He just died. It was on the fifteenth of February. A day before my thirty second birthday.,………………………..I Dont know how much longer I can hold on.

    • Brandye, we understand your pain. The loss of your son is the most painful burden you will ever bear and we are so sorry for his death. Share what you can and we’ll respond; we are here for you and with you.

  35. Today is 6 months since my sunshin passed away at 3 ad 8months, i am angry and wish it was just so easy to take my life and live my other two kids

  36. I lost my sweet Liam 19 days ago. Today is a bad day. A very bad day to say the least. I am mad at the world. Mad at my husband myself and God. Liam was three years old. He had been sick for four days and died suddenly. He was my only child. Our miracle baby to be exact. I miss him dearly and dont know how I am supposed to live. I dont want to live.

    • Hi Ashley, my son Caleb died May 3 of this year. He was also three years old. He complained of a stomach ache that night and became lazy throughout the day. He said he wanted to go to the doctor. I was going to take him the next day. Then he started to look really pale and lethargic. I was getting him dressed to go to the emergency room but he went limp in my arms. I called out to his dad that Caleb wasn’t breathing. He tried to do CPR, I called to the neighbors to call 911 because I couldn’t find my phone. The paramedics were able get him stable but he got to the hospital and went into cardiac arrest. By the time I was able to see him, he was gone. I wish everyday that we can turn back time. I’m in so many support groups and I gave read about 5 or 6 books, I have been going to church. Nothing can fill his void. Caleb was my best friends. We have spent the last 3 years today almost everyday. The day he was born, I knew I had to protect him and I failed. I miss him so much. He was starting to talk pretty well and hold great conversations, he loved to dance, he loved to play outside, he loved to be on the IPad. He always knew where my keys were. How can he be gone forever? What did I do to deserve my son not being here? How did I not know he was sick? I failed my son son and now he is gone. He was my responsibility and now he will never start preschool, he will never watch be the big brother to his sisters. I journal everyday now and I just don’t know how to keep going.

      • Oh, Ashley and Cathlyn, I am so sorry. I lost my daughter at age nine almost six years ago now, under somewhat similar circumstances. Her heart stopped and she just…died. Nothing made sense about it. It took me two years to completely accept that it had happened. And I felt the same way. She was my only child and I felt like, “I only had one job — to protect her — how could I have failed?”

        You didn’t fail.
        And God didn’t punish you.
        And it isn’t your fault.
        And you don’t deserve this.

        I’ll say it again: This ISN’T your fault and you DON’T deserve it.

        God doesn’t take our children away. Illness, accidents, malice, genetics…those things take our children away.

        GOD helps us figure out what to do next.

        Keep writing, keep talking. Tell your story, as often as you need to. Heck; tell strangers your story. Most people want to help. Take every hug you’re offered. Hug back. Cry.

        Punch a wall, and install a pretty new cabinet in the hole. Make a batch of bread dough and pound the heck out of it. Then bake it up and see that something good can follow your rage and hurt. Light a candle. Blow it out. Light it again. Keep writing, keep talking, keep praying, keep walking, keep fighting, keep breathing.

        Because it won’t always feel like this. I promise. I know. I’ve been there. So have the rest of the good folks here. We know your pain. And we know that it gets easier. (not better; but easier)

        Bless you all.

  37. I know I should feel blessed for having my daughter in by life but I don’t want to be blessed or strong I just want my daughter back and that will never happen I’m so broken

    • Sorry for your loss Rose,
      I am a Father who lost his only daughter in Jan 14 aged 33 due to a brain tumor which came out of the blue.I have been diagnosed with ptsd and anxiety I admit to crying everyday and wish I could join her but I have family to look after.

      • Bill,

        There is a therapy called EMDR that can help you. It’s not scary and it’s not invasive and there are no drugs (sounds magical, doesn’t it?). It won’t make you forget what happened, but it will help you cope with your loss and anxiety. My husband had the same problems after we lost our girl and it was miraculous for him. I see it used a lot with young men and women in the armed services who come back with PTSD.

        I’m so glad you reached out. Men sometimes bury their emotions after these horrible losses, and that doesn’t help you. Find a therapist who is trained in this technique (some people call it Brain Spotting). Please take care of yourself. And keep talking. There are good folks here who aren’t afraid to listen. Bless you.

      • Bill I wish I knew a man like you and your really a man. My ex told me to stop crying for our child and take a drink. My birthday was this week and it was harder than her birthday because no one expected me to be happy on her birthday but my son went out of his way to make my day special. I had to put on my mommy. Pants even though I sobbed so har on the way home from work I could Heardly. Breath I keep seeing her dead body laying on the floor and am incapable of going to her grave I think I would collapse and lay on her grave and never get up. I go only for my son it would be so much easier to join Deanna but I can’t and won’t do that to my son and siblings who miss her as mich as I do. I can’t imagine watching your child suffer and I am sure y ou would rather suffer that’s see your child suffer I,m old and tired so tired but I drag myself through every day no matter how hard for my wonderful son

      • Hi Rose,

        I am going to answer you as honest as I can, first of all what a wonderful son you have and I have two the same aged 23 and 27 so we are very fortunate Rose to have that.I do not know if I am a real man whatever that means but as I was raised by my parents it became evident that me and my brother were in fact my Mother and Fathers everything as far as the love they gave us and my feelings for my children from birth follow the feelings they gave me and me for them.Before Carrie was born I wanted a daughter because I always wanted a sister and when Carrie was born I was over the moon because I did know the sex of of my child beforehand as they know today if they want too.My son’s will not mind me saying Rose but Carrie was the love of my life and we never had a cross word with each other since the day of her birth and she reminded me so much of my Mother I am so proud of what she achieved in life Rose giving me three grandchildren who were 2,4,8 when she went away 18 months ago.Her illness came out of the blue with a family friend came to my home and said he had been asked to come to tell me straight away that Carrie had collapsed at her Grandma’s home and rushing to the hospital a tests being taken it was found to be a brain tumor I died that moment also when told I just wanted to run away not knowing or caring where just running away and never coming back but of course that never happened and I nursed her along with her Mum and relations through the suffering Carrie bravely fought and sadly lost.I have always been a strong person coming through my life never running away from anyone or anything that threatens me,but what has happened has truly broken me from the person I knew and God only knows and Carrie how hard I try to lift my spirits every minute of everyday but I can’t.Their was absolutely no reason or anything to gain by my daughters death I am so proud to have been chosen to be her Father and I will continue to cry wherever and whenever my emotions take me and in truth I don’t really care what others think by doing so after all it is for the love I have for Carrie that I cry.

        My love to you Rose and your family.

        Bill.

      • Bill I feel the same way you do some days I’m ok and then some days I cry so hard I can’t breath Deanna was not the sharpest tool in the shed but anyone who knew he’d could put help but love her she was such a kind sole and my best friend in the world. I wasn’t raised by my mother she prefered alcohol to her xilidrn but my dad was gray and from the pain I had not having a moth I swor to God my children would never feel that pain. Every conversation with my kids end with I love you and that’s the last words I said to my baby girl and she replied I love you too mom. My third child my baby boy whom I live with (he is 38) and is th Bret person in the world and he is th only thing that stops me from joining my baby girl. It must have so much worse for your watching your child in pain not being able to do anything how you survived I can never imagine. I will mourn her loss till I die I survive for my son but I will secretly mourn forever.

      • Rose I REALLY hope we both find some kind piece in the grief we share.X

      • I don’t have a choice I have to keep living for my son. He doesn’t deserve to loos his mother so will have to find a way to fake it till I make it

  38. clara Norris 6/2/2015 MY SON TIMOTHY TOOK his life 10/29/2014.This iS 7 &months now and my pain has gotten worse. I MISS my son so muchand it feel like I am going crazy some times ,My prayers are for all the mothers and fathers who has a special bond with their child as well as siblings. My son suffer from schizophrenia. Timothy was 27 when he died , he became ill when he was a teenager in high school. I FELL SO GUILTY because I did not NO tthat my son was as sick as he was. My tears are none stop day and night.May GOD HELP US TO EXCEPT THE THINGS WE CAN NOT CHANGE. TIMOTHY’S MAMA ALWAYS AND FOREVER

  39. My only child died 23 years ago at age 11; he was hit by a vehicle while waiting at his school bus stop. He was brought into the emergency department of the hospital in which I was working as a registered nurse. I made the decision there in the emergency room to remove life support and donate his organs, as his brain injury was incompatible with any quality of life. My heart is still full of pain after these many years. The pain is constant but tolerable. It gets worse when his friends and cousins reach milestones I’ll never get to experience with him. Getting driver’s licenses, graduating school, getting married, having children. My faith, shaky with adulthood and higher education, was completely lost in the ensuing years, so thoughts of a reunion do not comfort me. I’m grateful for the memory of his love, but it’s also the source of my greatest misery. Jeremy’s mom.

  40. I am so thankful I came across this article! I really needed these words. I’ve been afraid to say out loud what I’ve been feeling but this is exactly it! I lost my 16 yr old son Dylan in June after a car accident. A part of me went with him but I know I have to keep going 🙂

  41. I lost my handsome 19 year old son Eric last October to accidental drug overdose. Amazing human being with a heart of gold. This pain I feel will never go away. I had so many dreams and hopes for his future, and now it’s all vanished and I am left hopeless, heartbroken and paralyzed. His 20th birthday is coming up in two weeks. How do I deal with this loss? Advise to all teens – choose your friends wisely and say no to drugs. I love you Eric forever and ever. your life was a blessing, your memory a treasure. You are loved beyond words and missed beyond measure.

    • Oh Gina….. I feel your pain. I also lost my daughter Rachel at age 22 to an accidental overdose on October 28, 2010. It will be five years soon….. the pain will never totally go away but it will become more manageable. It took me 4 years to totally accept her death…. that is when the pain finally started to ease a bit. I stopped resisting the fact that she died and just surrendered to it. Take a day at a time, allow yourself to feel whatever you are feeling, and try to just let it pass through you. It will take some time, but hang on. Concentrate your thoughts on the great memories you had with your son.

      • DJ, I am so sorry for your loss. Sometimes our children give in to temptations, and us parents have no control over. I am trying to be strong for my daughter and taking it day by day. Pain is still very raw for me, it’s only been 10 months for us… this life is so unfair. Parents should not outlive their children.

  42. Thank you for this article. My sons died in 1963 and 1964. The pain eases, but doesn’t really go away. But life is good. We will be together again.

  43. My heart breaks reading these stories. My Son slipped into a coma and passed away the day after his 28th birthday. On that date his big brother and I lost our best friend. 4 lonely, guilty, depressed and sad years have passed at a snails pace. Moving forward with life still feels impossible.

  44. My heart breaks reading these stories. My Son slipped into a coma and passed away the day after his 28th birthday. On that date his big brother and I lost our best friend. 4 lonely, guilty, depressed and sad years have passed at a snails pace. Moving forward with life still feels impossible. He was a loving brother a fantastic uncle and a great Son. Anniversary is near, all the pain and sorrow feels like he went away today. His passing is extremely hard for me to deal with. Have been reading this site. It does help to know i am not totally alone.

  45. I lost my 32 year old son JOSHUA 5 months ago. He came to visit me for 3 days. When I went to wake him up he was dead. His heart has just stopped. It feels like yesterday. I HURT so bad. I need help. What should I do ?

    • Teresa their really is nothing any one can say or do to help stop the heartache.Their are no medications or councilors on this earth that can help me I have tried.The brutal fact is we must for our loved ones memory fight the the daily battle within ourselves alone.The deeper the love the harder the grief is true and I could not have loved my daughter any more than I do.You will move forward even at a snails pace and know you are not alone their are excellent parents on this site dealing with the terrible loss of a child no matter what age.What I have written Teresa is not meant to upset anyone it is only how the loss of my daughter impacted on me personally as her Father.

      • Thank you for writing I like the honesty. I hate hearing all the normal things that people say. I ran across this site. And if nothing else. It helps that I know I’m not alone ..that other people know what I’m going through. Because they are too .I’m not saying. Of course. That I’m glad that they lost a child. But for me it felt like I was the only one. And no one could know my pain you get so tired of hearing. I’m SO SORRY. HES IN A BETTER PLACE TIME WILL HEAL YOUR PAIN. TERESA

  46. I lost my 8 year old son to leukemia November 29th, 2003, after a year-long battle. It’s been 12 years, and his loss still hurts. The lives of his mother, his sister, and myself have never been the same since. We all cope as best we can – there are still bad days. Honestly, our days are either okay or bad…there are very few happy days for us. All that any of us can do is cope; and find ways to go on with our lives, one day at a time. Good luck to all of you…I hope you can find a way to make peace with your loss.

  47. You are right, getting drunk doesn’t bring much son back.. but it does let me sleep and not run through that last day over and over again. I don’t know how to do this part. I don’t want to know how… but I also don’t want to go thru that last day in my mind anymore.

    • Omg. I know just what you are talking about !!!! That last day !; I’m reliving it ovor and over. Its HORRIBLE !!!

  48. My 17 year old son died when I was on deployment, and I just want to die.

    • Me too. Everyday. It’s been 9 months now. I just miss Caleb so much. To live a world without has been a nightmare that I cannot wake up from. How cruel.

      • Me too its been 7 months. It feels like yesterday. I’m in a deep hole. He was visiting me for 3 days and I went to wake him up one morning and he was dead. Heart and just stopped. Enlarged heart. 32 years old. JOSHUA I HURT so bad every single day.

  49. God doesn’t exist!! How good it / He / she allow my beautiful daughter who achieved so much commit suicide. It’s only been a week and I am so broken…the memorial was last night and I can’t breath. She had a doctorate in psychology and with all her knowledge couldn’t save herself.

    No amount of rational / faith / hope higher purpose consoles my being. Time heals all speaks to the inability to find answers. Hell exist !

    • Derek, your feelings are very understandable and your pain is evident. It is such a gigantic sorrow and loss and ache to lose a child that the hell is truly beyond description. I hope you can find a trusted person to talk to who can help you with your shaken/lost faith. I’m an ordained minister, but this site isn’t a “religious” site, it’s a parents grief site, and I don’t preach per se here. While I am a Christian by faith, I honor all other faiths of the world as well, and respect a person’s right to make a different choice as well, even if it is not becoming involved with any religion. When I lost my son Daniel, the only comfort I found was in the idea that Daniel would have everlasting life in the presence of a loving being. I believe that God’s covenant with us is not to intrude in our lives or act in defiance of our own free will — to change your daughter’s choice, in this instance — but God has promised to be there for her, and to be with you as well, through the touch of a friend, a helpful shoulder, a love and concern expressed for your daughter. It is the desire to love one another and to help one another that best expresses God’s love for us, and our ability to love others. This isn’t the time or place for a deeper conversation long distance about spirituality or the role of a higher being, but Derek, you are not alone in your grief — we are with you. We understand that hell is very real here on earth, and we have experienced it, too, with the death of our children. We understand your brokenness, as we have been broken ourselves, and while we haven’t walked in your shoes, we have walked this path ourselves and it is brutal and seemingly endless. It won’t end but it will become bearable — still unthinkable, but bearable — first a minute, and then a few mimutes, and eventually you will be able to stand strong enough to take her into your future in a different way. From the other side of things, your relationship with God may look different. Right now, just know that we hear you, we honor and understand your feelings, and we are here for you. Jody

  50. I lost my only daughter four weeks ago today the pain is horrible .I cant imagine living my life without katelyn.

    • My strong and beautiful angel Mary Ember passed away 3 weeks and 2 days ago. I carried her for 42 weeks inside me and 1 week 8 hours and 16 minutes in this world. It was the most wonderful, challenging, and heatbreaking week of my entire life. Every week after her passing feels like an anniversary to that moment that i held her tiny hand as her under developed heart failed. As her mother it kills me that i could not give her a stronger heart, although her will to live every moment she could with her eyes open and looking in mine was ever present and was enough to move mountains. I can’t seam to function very well on those “anniversary” days. She was my lucky number 7. My other children are a joy for me although it was hard to allow myself to reconnect to them with this new mind and body it feels like I have after her passing. I feel so numb and it feels like I am only go through my days on auto pilot. Life will never be the same again, I can feel that. Some days I feel on the verge of a heart attack myself it hurts so much. I miss her…

  51. Four days ago I lost my 20 year old son to a sudden cardiac arrest. He was autistic,non-verbal, and prone to violent meltdowns. He had been having a bad one just before his heart stopped. EMT’s worked on him for an hour, and doctors at the hospital worked on him for another 35 minutes, but couldn’t bring him back. He was with me almost constantly, and I just don’t want to go on anymore. They days are so long without him. I don’t know what I am going to do.

    • I know your pain. I LOST my son 8 months ago..feel free to call me if you want to talk..909 273-8646. I’m Teresa

  52. I’ve experienced two mothers in the last couple of weeks that had to bury their child. It’s been 18 years for me and it brought back the intense pain. I just wanted to lay down and not wake up. Some days I just get sick of carrying around the emptiness. This blog only speaks of initial grief, it doesn’t speak of years later and how it can feel like the day it happened. Family and friends don’t understand so you feel so alone in your grief.

    • Carrie i feel your pain i also lost my child she was 2, two weeks before her 3rd birthday from leukemia she fought it for 9mths. September 24th will be her anniversary date and it will be 16yrs since shes been gone and yes it does feel like it just happened all over again. The day of her death and the day she was born are the worst for me even after all these years. All though time has helped smooth out the sharp edges in your heart there is still those certain days throught the years where you curl up and just wanna not breath anymore i long for her to just touch her, smell her, hold her, hear her voice and her giggle. Its been constant pain everday since shes been gone but i managed to stay a float with the help of great family and friends support still today they are there but your right there are some who dont understand i pay them no mind cuz you cant understand until you have lost a child. Its 3 days until her anniversary date and i feel my chest getting tight my knees buckeling and the feeling of wanting to lose control because i miss her sooo much why is it just these 2 dates i get like that and what could i do to help get thru these dates?

  53. Loneliness is the most prominent feeling I have dealing with the death of my daughter. She was 34 and died 3 months ago. I spoke to her one day and the next afternoon her husband called with the news that she had hung herself. All I could do was scream her name. My life is so empty now. Never will I trust anything again, this is what contributes to my loneliness. I was just getting over her dad’s sudden death that occurred over three years ago and now this happened. I hear all the explanations, that she had a mental illness, that she wasn’t thinking clearly, but it doesn’t help. People have reached out to me, I don’t want any relationships. I don’t trust them anyway. Nothing in my life has meaning. I go to grief support sites, I can’t relate, and I talk to a therapist, none of that can get through to me. There are no words in any language to describe the sense in this. I am just waiting for my own demise. The loneliness is truly crippling, as is the fatigue and lack of desire. I am on medication but it only takes feeling away and the side effects are horrible. I’m not interested in anyone’s comfort or understanding. Right now, my heart is beating and my lungs are taking in air but I am dead in every other way. The worst advice someone can give me is to go out and be with friends and family. That’s all I hear and it makes me angry. If you can easily say that to me, then you don’t understand. Hello! I have no interest. So what if I’m depressed, there’s nothing anyone can do about it. My daughter is dead.

    • I understand. I lost my 17 year old daughter 2 years ago today to suicide. The pain is beyond anything I could have imagined. I am so very sorry for your pain. It takes the life out of you. We do still have some things we look forward to after this much time but life is forever changed. It is so hard and I’m so sorry.

      • Judyx63 and Sammie. It has been 4 years plus, many ,many sleepless nights and painful days since Ariel left. I wish I could tell you that everything will be alright, that time will ease the pain and I hope it will. Truth be told, sorry, it will get worse before it gets better, sorry but I was never told the truth.
        I thought with every passing day, that the pain would ease, people thought, that telling me this lie, would give me hope. The hope, faith, not religion, that gets me through is believing with all of my heart that I will see and hold my girl again. This is not about religion, but I am thankful for my Mothers Catholicism, I was taught that taking a life, my own, might affect my afterlife.
        I do not believe in Heaven, Hell or Purgatory, BUT, I will not risk seeing my Baby again. I am not sure if this helps or hinders your outlook, I can only say, I expect answers and I am no longer afraid of death.
        I have not posted here for far too long for fear of being judged as this is a public forum, I no longer care, our pain, your pain needs to be validated.
        I may not know you, but I know your heart. As crazy as it may sound, again not religion But faith, look for signs. xoxoxo

      • Thanks Christine. I understand what you are saying. I am tired of the platitudes presented as advice for what I’m feeling. I am sick of hearing baby steps and new normal. None of this has to do with any of that. I don’t want to move at all because my life ended when my daughter took her life and there is nothing normal about this. It’s about spending the rest of my life living with a huge hole nothing or no one else can fill. I am emotionally self-sufficient, have always been, but I find the trite nonsense people write about grief to be irritating. Many variables occur in a single person’s life, but the loss of a child is an overarching catastrophe. It takes all those variables and smashes them, makes them meaningless. That’s the truth about it and nothing, no wishing, praying, hoping, will change that.

    • I understand how you feel it’s been 16 months since my daughter took her own life and till this day I still cry and miss her so much I am so lonely without her. I get tired of other mothers not appreciating the fact that they have a daughter and seeing my sister who’s daughter had twins. I am also angry at myself for not being able to predict she would do something like that she was my best friend and told me everything or so I thought. I failed her so completely and feel I deserve to suffer for eternity for failing my child. I talked to her the morning she did it and she seemed fine and my last words to her we’re I love you and she said I love you too mom if I had only known that was the last time I would ever talk to her I stuck in a loop where I can’t get over that horrible night and am blaming myself. I miss her so much I’m so lonely and lost without her

  54. My 20 year old daughter Devyn passed away July 24th, 2016. Her stepfather who has known us 6 years immediately the day after, actually the night of burying her, accused me of cheating with her father (who is married with twins who are 3 years old). Progressively he got worse to the point of demanding sex and when I said no he told me to get out of the house threw my purse across the room and I pointed my finger at him and said don’t ever throw my things again! So he grabbed my hand and pulled my hair and called me a C**t, B*tch every name in the book and said I hate you over and over like 15 times. I called my brother to come get me and threatened to call the cops. So He called the cops and said I was trying to hit him and it was self defense! He’s a 5th degree black belt and former marine! I went back the next day and he promised to stay in the shop or sleep on the couch which only lasted 2 days then he was right back at it. This was 3 weeks ago. I left Saturday because I got tired of the constant arguing. All I can think about is my dead child and all he can think about is himself! I’m so upset I feel like I ‘m about to have a heart attack. I have a 10 year old son (that’s not his kid either) and I have to pull myself together for his football game tonight. My husband thinks I took all of our money out of the account which I took some but I put it back. He took out a lot Friday and never put it back yet he’s pissed cuz I did? I should have not put it back. Ugh! He has turned my child’s death into a pity party for him. I’m scared of him. I’m scared to leave my work, go to the game afraid he might show up and attack me. I just want to grieve in peace. He’s not grieving he’s acting like an animal 😦 Anyone else split up with a spouse this soon after losing your child? He acts like this is all my fault.

    • Wow, I honesty dont know what to say. Its the last thing you need now. I hope you have good support somewhere else. (your brother) I know violence isnt the answer, but I personally want to belt that guy

  55. My 20yr son died 10 days ago. Very unexpectedly…I am trying to find solace in talking to others that maybe are farther along..but still..Idk if im gonna make it..i mean..may literally die of a broken heart. I also have an 18 yr old daughter who i know needs me so much..she was so close with her brother..I also have a great husband..tho he is not Justins father..he loves him like he is..(my sons father died in March).. But I need help. Im in so much pain..and I know im not the only one..but..idk if i can do this..I need help..i want my son to contact me..he hasnt..every other loved one contacted me some way to let me know they are ok..i havent seen him yet..im just not a whole person anymore

  56. I just lost my 33 year old daughter august 25th. 💔She was sweet, kind ,a heart of gold. She was my best friend. Idk how to do this yet. It is a club you never want to be a part of. People who have not lost a child WILL NOT understand everything we are going through. Barb,Tiffs mom. ❤

  57. I just lost my 33 year old daughter august 25th. 💔She was sweet, kind ,a heart of gold. She was my best friend. Idk how to do this yet. It is a club you never want to be a part of. People who have not lost a child WILL NOT understand everything we are going through. I dont want to be around anyone really but her Brother. I have so much blame hatred guilt for everyone including myself who is still breathing but her brother. I’m married and he has a son but I only want to be with her natural brother. Alot of disagreements during this 11 month marriage. Barb,Tiffs mom. ❤

  58. I was just looking thru the blog world of how to deal with the loss of a child. Heather my wife of almost 25 yr said were in a club that none of us asked to join. I want to say one thing to every parent. I’m sorry about your child. Just the same you are for ours. I read on here just a few minutes ago something I didn’t realize is so wide spread. Example for me. I’m a born again Christian. Since 1984. We all make mistakes. Our son was killed by a drunk/high/drugs driver. Who’s a nurse. My wife’s a nurse. On June 29th 2014. So about 3 months ago I’m waiting my turn to fuel up our Van. When I start to pull up for my turn and lady probably around my age (55) raced out of nowhere and cut me off and pulled beside the pump. I didn’t have to be anywhere pressing, and what would 5 more minutes be. No that’s not what I did. I honked at her to say ha, that’s my spot. She just shrugged her shoulders so what. I pulled out to leave because I was feeling something starting to build up in me. I didn’t get 5 ft before my window was down yelling at this women. Calling her more vulgar words, and saying she was a worthless peice of. After about 15 seconds of this I drove off. About a half mile away I stopped and turned off the engine. And cried for 15 minutes. My first thought was where did that come from? Yes I’m a Christian and not perfect. That’s not me. I don’t just blow up and go off like a missle. The words I used were filled with hate. How did my action do anything to Glorify Jesus. My son was a Christian too. How would Matt felt about what just happened. I asked for help and just sat in the van about an hour. 1 month later I was at a traffic light. It turned green and I didn’t leave soon enough. We’re up in Vermont on a traveling nurse assignment, so hearing a tap of the horn is very common. A older man and probably his mid 20s son in a green mini-van behind me didn’t just tap. They held the horn down for a good 5 seconds, I’d started moving and it was still going off. When it stopped, the younger guy leans out the window and calls me a mother f@££!& I was making a right turn and they went straight. Oh well some people at times aren’t nice. No. I raised up to the first street, turned left and went 70 miles an hour down a 25 mile an hour road. Then after 10 or 12 blocks I turn left again and hurry to the road there driving. YES I got ahead of them. They went by and I got right behind them. There was a red light less than a block ahead and we stopped. So I lay the horn on, and hold it down. At the same time I’d put my window down. I stopped the horn so I could yell call me that name again you, words that came from wow I don’t no. The young guy jumps out of the van starts walking real fast toward me. I’m 6ft and weigh 255. I’m strong and knew how to handle myself. The young man was about 5′ 5″ and weighed 140 at most. I jumped out of my car and told him where is head was going. Suddenly the older guy tells him to get back in, he does and they run the red light to get away. I’ve been around drug addicts when there tweaking, and the kid was. But again I find somewhere to stop and just lost it. I couldn’t even think about driving again for over an hour. The same feeling of guilt came over me that did at the gas station. I’ve said I’m a Christian already. I’m a Minister of the Gospel. The Minister friend of mine who did our sons funeral in Idaho ( we live in Texas now, but only for about 5 yrs before the wreck). He grew up there and I was born and raised there also. Had a son drown about 12 years earlier. I texted him 3 pages of both the things that happened. What he told me set me free. Just the day before his youngest daughter had just given birth to a baby boy. But his lungs weren’t working just right. He said Mark I didn’t get up and go demand to see the doctor. 14 years had gone by since his little boy passed away. He Pastors a church, and truly loves people. But that rage would just show up at times like that. I then knew it wasn’t just me. 2 more times within the next 2 weeks someone just driving like a mad man cut me off. These times my only daughter and my youngest child she’s 18 was with me. First time I honked and yelled only a few not nice words. Last time I honked and said not nice words with my window up. My friend was scared for his daughter. If her baby didn’t survive he would break him. The 2 car scared me, what if I hadn’t seen them just the second sooner. They would have slammed into the passenger door at 60mph. Where my daughter was sitting. It’s the fear of losing another child, but it’s really the absolute hate of going thru that kind of loss again. What I read about were still very nice people even though we get angry sometimes. I’ll pray for everyone that these things become fewer and fewer. But I’ve confessed that I’m a minister and am truly sorrow for my actions these 4 times. But I also desire and NEED you prayers too. I’ve told 50 people I’m sorry for getting a little short because something didn’t go has planned. I mean people I’d never met. I would say I’m sorry first and explain I’m working thru my son being killed. The hurt, missing him, sorrow, anxiety attacks, you name it (ya’ll know what they are) The one thing I hate. Is this type of anger. It’s not me. And tonight I’ve learned it not any of us. I truly want that part to never pop out again. We’re not alone. I’d no idea we all go thru that. I forgive ya’ll, please forgive me.

  59. My beautiful boy died aged 44 on the 30th April 2016. I watched him take his first breath all those years ago and watched him take his last on that Saturday night at 9.54. He leaves a lovely wife and 3 year old little girl. We are all heartbroken beyond words and I, for one, can never invisage a ‘new normal’. So much of me died that day with my son, that it is hard for me to know how I will come through this immeasurable grief. Each time I look at photographs, I feel he is still so much with us. You can’t really be gone-can you?

    • I am so sorry!! I lost my beautiful 20 year old daughter July 24th. I ask myself this everyday. It is just so unbelievable 😦 I hate that “new normal” term. Nothing is ever going to be anything close to normal. Now the holidays are coming and I can feel my heart aching for my daughter. I want her back!!

  60. I am so very sorry to hear about your daughter, the pain we feel every day is beyond the imagination of anyone who hasn’t lost their precious child. Now Christmas is approaching (the first without our son) fills me with dread.
    Somehow we will get through step by step, hour by hour…….we have to, there is no choice.

  61. I have read the heart breaking messages and understand so well the feelings expressed. My beautiful amazing daughter died 90 days ago today – was St Patrick’s day and a huge solar northern lights display appeared at the hour she died on 17th March 2015 (15 hours earlier than expected) – I have cried every single day since – I know life has to go on and I have a troubled son who is a litle lost at the moment and his lovely grandchildren to think of but it does not ease the pain and I feel very guilty for that. Regrets and anger at those who made her life difficult (including her father and emotionally abusive partner) are the biggest enemy – the things I did not manage to do for her and terrible pain at her suffering (she died from autoimmune lung disease of unknown cause) – all I can do is light candles and pray and pray and pray for her protection, freedom, happiness and peace and I do as I would for all of you going through this – I think whatever inner belief you have – life does not end – it changes but my gorgeous butterfly girl is still here flying with rainbows and angels and I believe your wonderful children also are with you all.x

  62. Your blog really helped me today. Thank you.

  63. I have a very wonderful 3 boys. They are both healthy and handsome. My eldest son is 11 and his going to graduate in grade 6 this april 8, but he passed away last march 8. I blamed myself of giving the wrong medicine, or maybe he is still alive right now. I feel like I am dying everyday. I dont know how to start again, how to be okey because every part of my life is broken. I miss him so much; he is very nice boy. He can cook and taking care of his youngest brother.

    • Readers: This comment originated in the Asian Pacific, so phrasing is somewhat unique and I’ve changed many spellings to make it more consistent with English. We have participants from all over the world, and this helps remind all of us that losing a child is a universal reality and tragedy.

  64. Thank you for sharing , I am so sorry for your loss 😢
    I am the mother of Fallen officer MichaelJohnson
    SJPD , EOW 3/24/15
    Losing a child is the worse pain ever 😢
    I feel my life has changed forever!
    Will never be the same again
    You are so right , it dose dull with time .
    Love
    Katherine Decker
    🙏🏻❤😢

  65. When??? Answer: NEVER…

  66. I lost my sweet boy less than a month ago. He went to the hospital with a stomach ache, had some type of infection and died four days later. I was holding him when he took his last breath. He was only 31 years old. Every morning I got to listen to him give traffic and accident reports from the TV chopper or road cam. On his way back to the station, we would always talk about the days news, BBQ or plan our next hunting or fishing trip. I do not know while such a fine young man had to die when the world is fun of assholes who do not take care of themselves or others. Every day I have to sneak off and cry like a little girl. Every night I pray that god would take me so I can see him again, then feel guilty for wanting to abandon my wife and two daughters. I just don’t know why this happened. My heart is just crushed, I miss him so much. I never got along with my own father, I was not his favorite son. My son was my best friend in the whole world, he was the best. The best.

    • Hi Brent,

      Reading your message and firstly I am sorry for your loss of your son.
      Just over three years ago I lost my only daughter Carrie aged 33 leaving three young children aged 2,4,8. I had the same sentiments as yours and still have them and can find no answers and I know I never will. I still cry and my heart will remain broken as it can never heal how can it. I have two sons aged 24 and 28 and my wife and they are the only reasons I live if not for them I would have died the same day as Carrie. We must carry on Brent and our children would expect nothing less of us and we will one day be reunited with them.
      Take care my friend.

  67. I lost my son on November 16 th 2001 at great ormond st London ,Reece Harrison sheaves ,clare Reece’s mum held him while the nursing staff took off his oxygen supply ,I held her legs and when he eventually gasped his last breath I broke down ,I held him for ages ,eventually his mum suggested we let him go ,the pain and anger I felt is well terrible ,I remember driving back to where we lived in Essex ,through London ,tonight tonight by Phil Collins ,that was nearly 16 years ago ,I miss my son and what he would of become ,time is a healer ,but the pain stays forever x

  68. Thank you for you’re encouragement I just lost my son on Mother’s Day he was 21 years old I feel like I’m going crazy and just existing here, a shell! I can’t see it getting better but I guess it does

    • I am so sorry for your loss Leanne.

      I have found this to be true in my case anyway after losing my only daughter in 2013 aged 32 that the greater the love for your child the greater the heartache and for me it will never get better and their will never be any healing. My grief has left me with ptsd etc and I am still here because I have a wife and two sons and five grandchildren who I need to watch over as long as I can.

  69. Thank you so very much. My son passed away on June 5-2017 at 11yrs old and I feel like my world has ended. My son died due to an abnormal heart, all details we are still waiting on. I keep blaming myself thinking I could have done better. I never knew he had these issues. But this hurts like HELL!

    • I’m so sorry…I know your pain…just know one thing, I know there is a place that we go after this & they’re waiting for us…the spiritual world let me know they’re over there…I know you may not believe me, but I had an experience that confirmed it…it still hurts to not have my daughter, but I know she’s safe & waiting for me…

  70. My 9 year old daughter passed away suddenly & without warning in her sleep last year…my life doesn’t feel real anymore & I feel like the older I get, each day that goes by, the closer I get to seeing her…that’s all I can say…earth people sadden me tremendously … this life is so temporary, but so may people filled with hate, jealousy, racism, lies, manipulation, & deceit…war, hunger, murder, greed, homelessness, & the rat race to make money has consumed this earth.. I’m not suicidal, but spiritual…I know in my heart it’s better on the other side…

  71. I lost my 19 year old son, he wasn’t a bad kid he was good buy the lord took him anyway
    In my soap I could feel something about to happen,when God show you something or you get a feeling act on it don’t wail act right
    Then it will save a life. Thanks


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