Posted by: Jody Glynn Patrick | 02/08/2013

Bereavement: Thoughts after your child’s death.

Dear readers,

I’ve been reading your comments, of course, and I want to reach out and hold the hand of every parent who writes. Every posting is welcomed and prayed over. Sorry that I’ve absented myself for a few weeks; my son’s birthday — another celebration left unsung — occurred during those weeks, and I just didn’t really have anything inspiring to write. Instead, I buried myself  (yes, I see the irony of that phrase) in work and stay-busy-so-I-don’t-think activities .

One of the things I was doing was putting together a Pinterest board called “Bereavement”. If you haven’t used Pinterest yet, it’s a free social networking platform on which you create your own bulletin boards. You collect images on the web, using a Pinterest pinning tool that gets added to your browser. It’s easy… so easy and interesting that it becomes a magic rabbit hole that can suck you in for hours. You can “repin” other people’s images, and that’s the social component. Your bulletin boards reflect your interests — my site has craft items, quotes (like most people), steampunk art, kids activities, holiday suggestions, a travel bucket list… and the bereavement board.

teddy roosevelt

One of the items I posted on the bereavement board is this diary entry written by President Teddy Roosevelt on the day his wife died. “The light has gone out of my life,” he wrote on February 14, 1884.

Another posting I added is attributed to Rose Kennedy: “It has been said that time heals all wounds. I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time the mind, protecting itself from insanity, protects them with scar tissue, and the pain lessens, but is never gone.”

Here are other postings that resonated with me and that might whisper to you, too:

“People say you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. Truth is, you knew what you had. You just thought you’d never lose it.”  And a posting by Buddha: “The trouble is, you think you have time.”

“Tears are words too painful for a broken heart to speak.” I really like that sentiment.

You are going to want to give up. Don’t.”  To which I added this posting: “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

“If you live to be 100,” Piglet told Pooh Bear, “I hope I live to be 100 minus 1 day, so I never have to live without you.”

“I walk down memory lane because I love running into you.” Yes.

“Heartbreak changes people.”  Yes. “Grief is not a disorder, a disease, or a sign of weakness. It is an emotional, physical and spiritual necessity, the price you pay for love. The only cure for grief is to grieve.” Yes, yes, yes!

You know that place between sleep and awake? That place where you can still remember dreaming? That’s where I will always love you. That’s where I will be waiting.”

There are other quotes on that board, and I added pictures of the people I love, too, who are now deceased. So while I wasn’t with you here, at this space, I was with you in my own way, thinking about you and your beloved children and remembering them as I remember my son.

To close this week, I’d like to ask you to whisper “Happy birthday, Daniel”, as I didn’t bring it up to my family members, but kept it close to my heart so as not to “disturb” them with my continuing sorrow. And to borrow from another posting on my Pinterest board, because so many others are saying things better than I, I’d like to repeat the sentiment offered by Winnie the Pooh: “If there ever comes a day when we can’t be together, keep me in your heart. I’ll stay there forever.”



  1. It doesn’t seem right that we, as bereaved parents, feel that we have to shoulder our grief alone and not “disturb” our own family members or friends with our ongoing sorrow, does it? It’s the way it is, though. I know it well. Hugs to you.

  2. I wanted to let you know that I just found your blog today and I’ve added it to my website, which I’ve been curating in memory of my 23 year old son who was killed 38 weeks ago. The site is for bereaved parents and siblings and consists of blogs, articles, videos and more.

  3. Happy Birthday to your precious Daniel.. I’m so sorry for the loss of your son and for all broken hearted bereaved parents. The pain is often unbearable and most days I don’t want to live. Your blog has been a comfort to me and offers encouragement and hope. Thank you so much.

    • Happy Birthday, Daniel. I am sorry, Jody, you had to shoulder your pain of loss alone. Sometimes it is easier to share with friends. I find them more understanding than family. I alway used to buy gifts for my son, Chris, to remember his birthday. I would buy something for his room and put it there. I always burn a candle on the mantle piece during his birthday month. One year, I got a birthday cake for him and shared it with some friends. That one time helped me so much. I could do this with friends, but I don’t think my family would have understood. I, too, have started a blog, May Your Laughter Live which are words from a dedication to my son.

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