7 Things I’ve Learned Since the Loss of My Child

Child loss is a loss like no other. One often misunderstood by many. If you love a bereaved parent or know someone who does, remember that even his or her “good” days are harder than you could ever imagine. Compassion and love, not advice, are what’s needed. If you’d like an inside look into why the loss of a child is a grief that lasts a lifetime, here is what I’ve learned in my seven years of trekking through the unimaginable.

7 Things I've Learned Since the Loss of My Child

1). Love never dies.

There will never come a day, hour, minute or second I stop loving or thinking about my son. Just as parents of living children unconditionally love their children always and forever, so do bereaved parents. I want to say and hear his name just the same as non-bereaved parents do. I want to speak about my deceased child as normally and naturally as you speak of your living ones.

I love my child just as much as you love yours– the only difference is mine lives in heaven and talking about about him is unfortunately quite taboo in our culture. I hope to change that. Our culture isn’t so great about hearing about children gone too soon, but that doesn’t stop me from saying my son’s name and sharing his love and light everywhere I go. Just because it might make you uncomfortable, doesn’t make him matter any less. My son’s life was cut irreversibly short, but his love lives on forever. And ever.

2). Bereaved parents share an unspeakable bond.

In my seven years navigating the world as a bereaved parent, I am continually struck by the power of the bond between bereaved parents. Strangers become kindreds in mere seconds– a look, a glance, a knowing of the heart connects us, even if we’ve never met before. No matter our circumstances, who we are, or how different we are, there is no greater bond than the connection between parents who understand the agony of enduring the death of a child. It’s a pain we suffer for a lifetime, and unfortunately only those who have walked the path of child loss understand the depth and breadth of both the pain and the love we carry.

3). I will grieve for a lifetime.

Period. The end. There is no “moving on,” or “getting over it.” There is no bow, no fix, no solution to my heartache. There is no end to the ways I will grieve and for how long I will grieve. There is no glue for my broken heart, no exilir for my pain, no going back in time. For as long as I breathe, I will grieve and ache and love my son with all my heart and soul. There will never come a time when I won’t think about who my son would be, what he would look like, and how he would be woven perfectly into the tapestry of my family. I wish people could understand that grief lasts forever because love lasts forever; that the loss of a child is not one finite event, it is a continuous loss that unfolds minute by minute over the course of a lifetime. Every missed birthday, holiday, milestone; should-be back-to-school years and graduations; weddings that will never be, grandchildren that should have been but will never be born– an entire generation of people are irrevocably altered forever.

This is why grief lasts forever. The ripple effect lasts forever. The bleeding never stops.

4). It’s a club I can never leave, but is full of the most shining souls I’ve ever known.

This crappy club called child loss is a club I never wanted to join, and one I can never leave, yet is filled with some of the best people I’ve ever known. And yet we all wish we could jump ship– that we could have met another way– any other way but this. Alas, these shining souls are the most beautiful, compassionate, grounded, loving, movers, shakers and healers I have ever had the honor of knowing. They are life-changers, game-changers, relentless survivors and thrivers. Warrior moms and dads who redefine the word brave.

Every day loss parents move mountains in honor of their children gone too soon. They start movements, change laws, spearhead crusades of tireless activism. Why? In the hope that even just one parent could be spared from joining the club. If you’ve ever wondered who some of the greatest world changers are, hang out with a few bereaved parents and watch how they live, see what they do in a day, a week, a lifetime. Watch how they alchemize their grief into a force to be reckoned with, watch how they turn tragedy into transformation, loss into legacy.

Love is the most powerful force on earth, and the love between a bereaved parent and his/her child is a lifeforce to behold. Get to know a bereaved parent. You’ll be thankful you did.

5). The empty chair/room/space never becomes less empty.

Empty chair, empty room, empty space in every family picture. Empty, vacant, forever gone. Empty spaces that should be full, everywhere we go. There is and will always be a missing space in our lives, our families, a forever-hole-in-our-hearts. Time does not make the space less empty. Neither do platitudes, clichés or well-wishes for us to “move on,” or “stop dwelling,” from well-intentioned friends or family. Nothing does. No matter how you look at it, empty is still empty. Missing is still missing. The problem is nothing can fill it. Minute after minute, hour after hour, day after day, month after month, year after heartbreaking year the empty space remains. No matter how much time has passed.

The empty space of our missing child(ren) lasts a lifetime. And so we rightfully miss them forever. Help us by holding the space of that truth for us.

6). No matter how long it’s been, holidays never become easier without my son.

Never, ever. Have you ever wondered why every holiday season is like torture for a bereaved parent? Even if it’s been 5, 10, or 25 years later? It’s because they really, truly are horrific. Imagine if you had to live every holiday without one or more of your precious children. Imagine how that might feel for you. It would be easier to lose an arm, a leg or two– anything— than to live without your flesh and blood, without the beat of your heart. Almost anything would be easier than living without one of more of your precious children. That is why holidays are always and forever hard for bereaved parents. Don’t wonder why or even try to understand. Know you don’t have to understand in order to be a supportive presence. Consider supporting and loving some bereaved parents this holiday season. It will be the best gift you could ever give them.

7). Because I know deep sorrow, I also know unspeakable joy.

Though I will grieve the death of my son forever and then some, it does not mean my life is lacking happiness and joy. Quite the contrary, in fact. It is not either/or, it’s both/and. Grief and joy can and do coexist. My life is more rich now. I live from a deeper place. I love deeper still. Because I grieve, I also know a joy like no other. The joy I experience now is far deeper and more intense than the joy I experienced before my loss. Such is the alchemy of grief.

Because I’ve clawed my way from the depths of unimaginable pain, suffering and sorrow, again and again– when the joy comes, however and whenever it does– it is a joy that reverberates through every pore of my skin and every bone in my body. I feel all of it, deeply. I embrace and thank every blessed morsel of it. My life now is more rich and vibrant and full, not despite my loss, but because of it. In grief there are gifts, sometimes many. These gifts don’t in any way make it all “worth” it, but I am grateful beyond words for each and every gift that comes my way. I bow my head to each one and say thank you, thank you, thank you. Because there is nothing– and I mean absolutely nothing– I take for granted. Living life in this way gives me greater joy than I’ve ever known possible.

I have my son to thank for that. Being his mom is the best gift I’ve ever been given.

Even death can’t take that away.

 





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    Angela Miller

    Angela Miller

    Angela Miller is a writer, speaker and grief advocate who provides support and solace to those who are grieving the loss of a child. She is the author of You Are the Mother Of All Mothers: A Message Of Hope For the Grieving Heart , founder of the award-winning online community A Bed For My Heart, writer for the Open to Hope Foundation and Still Standing Magazine. Angela writes candidly about child loss and grief without sugar coating the reality of life after loss. Her writing and her book have been featured in Forbes, Psychology Today, MPR, BlogTalk Radio, Open to Hope Radio and Writerly, among others. When she’s not writing, traveling, or healing hearts, you can find Angela making every moment count with her two beautiful, blue-eyed boys. Join Angela's compassionate village at A Bed For My Heart.

    October 29, 2015

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    97 Comments

    1. Reply

      Melissa

      October 28, 2015

      These are beautiful words that spoke to my soul on the first month day of giving our son back to Jesus.

    2. Reply

      Tunde

      October 28, 2015

      So true every word of it… so painfully true… Life is really like that after a child loss. No escape no way out no ending, it is in every breath and every moment we live till the grave.

    3. Reply

      stacie thompson

      October 28, 2015

      I lost my 22 year old son Justin in June 2014. He was an expectant father, of a beautiful baby girl he never for to meet. It was a single car accident. Last Christmas was really hard for me beauss it was the first. I don’t even care to put up a tree now. I wish I could go away until the season is over with. this past Mother’s Day was a nightmare for me. I have 2 other children, but the loss is just too big to overcome. I am counting my days till I see my sweet son again.

      • Reply

        Rozanne

        October 29, 2015

        I felt the same way for about 4 years and slowly felt like I was coming back to life. My friends and family never gave up on me. To love so passionately means you have the capacity to love those who are trying to pick up your broken pieces. Let them … love them … keep breathing because that’s all they need from you. After 4 years I put up a tree with all its memories. I wept and wept but as I looked at the memories on that tree I smiled sometimes and I pray this year will be easier but no less emotional because I will never forget the one I loved most in this life.

      • Reply

        Dawn Butcher

        October 29, 2015

        My daughter passed in a single car accident in Dec 1994 at 16 The only thing that helps me through every holiday is making her a part of them. At Christmas we still hang a stocking and I put $200.00 in and invite her brothers and sisters to put in the amount they would have spent on her gift. The money adds up until i hear a story or I’m told of a situation where that money would help then I put it in an envelope and sign “From an angel” and drop it off. For her birthday I still make a cake, get balloons and invite family over. We all blow out the candles and look at photo albums or pictures or her and tell our favorite stories with her. It helps my grief to keep her memory alive and to know that the new family members added since her death know her and understand that she will always be a part of our family. I know she smiles and is proud of what I am doing.

        • Reply

          Rodney

          October 29, 2015

          That is an awesome unselfish way to show your love and compassion for other people going through difficult times. Thank you & blessings!

        • Reply

          Bunny Evans

          November 12, 2015

          I can only hope to be able to honor my son like this , he was killed Nov 5 2015, and the expense is harsh and we went the cheapest we could 🙁 and they are only giving us 2 weeks to pay the remaining balance and it’s causing more stress and heartache so I’d like to find a way to help parents like this someday, because it’s horrible I can barely breathe and now I have a huge expense to cover and I get to say Goodbye to my son after 20 years with him this is all to much!

        • Reply

          Nancy Maher

          August 6, 2016

          What a wonderful soul u a, God bless you always, I belong to this club too

      • Reply

        Gui

        October 29, 2015

        Dear Stacie, I feel your pain believe me I loss my son 16 years ago due to an accident also , things are never the same now as much as you try to bring the complete happiness of holidays , weddings, mother,fathers day it will never return! What should have been should still be but never will my deepest thoughts and understandings go your way God Bless you , your husband and remaining children , we will see our son’s in life after and hug and love again !

      • Reply

        Sharon Winter

        June 19, 2016

        Stacie Thompson ,
        I lost my son on August 15 2012 three days before his 25th birthday. He also was killed in a car accident , threw no fault of his own. He to was an expectant father. He told us three weeks before that tragic night . We were so happy for Luke and his long term girlfriend. Now we have our beautiful grandchild Nancy,who will be 4yrs old in January. She is so like her daddy bless, and like you when celebrations like Christmas, birthdays, Father’s Day. Mother’s Day it’s also very painful. The hole in our broken hearts doesn’t get any smaller, and every day we take a small step forward and also we have days when we go back a few steps. Like you I also count the days till I see my beautiful boy once again.

    4. Reply

      Kim Edmands

      October 28, 2015

      I would like to get in touch with the author of this article to see if I may publish in the Compassionate Friends Newsletter. How would I do that?

      Blessings to all of us who travel this journey and who bring light to the world as we illuminate the path for others who need it most.

      Kim Edmands

    5. Reply

      Misti

      October 28, 2015

      I sit here with tears rolling down my face. It has been 4.5 months since I lost my son. He was on the US Navy. These words you write and the story they tell are so true but in them I find myself inspired. Thank you for writing these words so my heart could connect with even itself.

      • Reply

        Carol Crosby

        October 28, 2015

        I’ve a grandmother’s grief. It’s been just a year since my daughter lost her baby boy. Hurting for my child who grieves for her child is a special kind of grief. I too have felt the joy Angela speaks of. That sudden awareness of the new normal in your life and all connections with family are heightened and real. We live in the moment now.

        • Reply

          Kim

          October 29, 2015

          my daughter lost twins in 2011. They were born 8/13. One passed away 10 hours after birth and the other one 36 hours after birth.

          We talk about the boys ALL the time with their little brother who just turned 1 in September.

          They were born premature (she was 24 weeks) and they somehow developed sepsis and that is what caused them to come early.

          Beautiful baby boys that left a huge hole in all of our hearts when they passed away.

          We include the boys in all holiday decor. We have pumpkins on the step for each one of them, I have Christmas stockings for them, Easter baskets, etc…..at Christmas time, we donate gifts that are age appropriate for how old the boys are at the time…..

          • Reply

            Liz

            November 2, 2015

            I just lost my twin boys to twin to twin transfusion syndrome a little over a month ago, on September 26th, 2015. I was 23 weeks. I am so sorry for your loss. I love how you have honored and remembered them during the holidays. We plan to do that as well.

            • Lauren

              November 5, 2015

              Liz, I lost a set of identical twin boys. I was 23 weeks and 1 day and I too had twin to twin transfusion. My sweet angels would have been 5 and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about them in some way. The pain never gos away you just learn how to deal with it. Honor then, talk about then, talk to them and don’t let anyone tell you different. Hugs!!

        • Reply

          MarySue Carter

          October 29, 2015

          When my 3 yr old daughter died, my mother in law told me that her pain in no way compared to mine, but that she had two kinds of loss/pain. She grieved for the loss of her granddaughter whom she loved dearly. And she also grieved for the loss for her son and I whom she loved. It gave me a new perspective on family loss. I was able, by the grace of God, to channel some pain into compassion and mercy to other family members. We have to look for ways to pull ourselves out of the pit that we want to crawl into. For me, that is “Hope in my Saviour Jesus Christ.” He is forever faithful. Because of Him, i will see my baby girl again. Take it one day at a time Carol. There are no rights and wrongs with grief. Everyone is different. We aren’t taught how to grieve. The loss of a child goes against the grain of nature. But know that God knows our pain. He lost His one and only SON as well.

          • Reply

            Ishraq

            November 21, 2016

            i lost my twins at 22 weeks of prenancy. they were born and anthon lived 3 days ,Samuel lived one week. i got pregnant through ivf after 21 years of trying to get a baby think how happy we were but then everything came upside down. i am still standing but i am dead.I need my children life means nothing after them.

    6. Reply

      Cindy Glaser

      October 28, 2015

      Beautifully written and all of it is so true.

    7. Reply

      Emily

      October 28, 2015

      Beautiful. Shared. Xxxxxxx

    8. Reply

      Sharon

      October 28, 2015

      Beautifully written, we lost our Daughter at birth and our Son at the age of 22, 3 years ago. I haven’t worked since, some days it is even hard to get out of bed. There’s a hole in our hearts that will never go away.

    9. Reply

      Marilyn

      October 28, 2015

      My son left me and this world in my arms on July 4, 2015. He wasn’t declared officially dead until July 7. In my heart and soul I know his true departure from this world. I struggle with the pain of my heart and the intelligence of my mind in knowing he is in heaven with God. My selfishness wants him here with me. I know that for the rest of my life I will long to hold him, touch him, and kiss his cheek. Although he was 39 years young, he was still my baby and I cry for him daily.

      • Reply

        Ambra

        November 12, 2016

        I’m sorry.

    10. Reply

      Karen

      October 28, 2015

      Today it’s been 1 month since my 30 year old son was killed on his bicycle riding to work. He left behind 2 beautiful daughters 4 and 6 years old,who loved their daddy with every thing their sweet baby hearts knew of what love was. He grew up in front of my eyes from a silly fun lioving little boy to a hardworking loving father, friend son, brother and kind person. I never knew this kind of pain existed. It happens every day to somebody else and there is no way to understand this grief because it’s 100 times worse than you can ever imagine We will never be the same but I am proud to say this amazing person called me Mom.

      • Reply

        Sheridan Ritchie

        November 24, 2015

        Hi Karen
        My name is Sheri. I read your post & it brought tears to my eyes. I lost my beautiful son on the 21st March last year. He was 37 with 4 beautiful children that were the light of his life. It was fairly sudden. He was playing golf & just fell down in pain. We all races to the hospital where they worked on him for over 14 hours. He died of an anurism of the thoracic aorta. We now know this is hereditary as his Dad died at age 47 of the same thing. His youngest was only 5 months old at the time & now my beautiful 32 year old daughter in law is left to bring these darling children up

        I’d like to say to you that ‘the pain gets better in time’ but I’m afraid it doesn’t. I’ve noticed ‘for me’ the only difference is that I actually allow myself to have moments of joy without feeling so guilty’.

        At first going up to see the littlies was bitter – sweet but now I actually enjoy my stay up there. I still feel his absence though as he did have a big personality. I miss him so much – his funny jokes & silly pranks, his texts when footy & tennis is on but most of all his hugs – he gave the best bear hugs. I can close my eyes & still feel that last hug & I hang on to that like there’s no tomorrow.

        I don’t know if you are like me & don’t have a lot of people you can chat to but if you ever want to have a chat – talk a outs our sons, I’m happy to chat anytime.

        Please know you are in my heart.

        Kind thoughts
        Sheri

    11. Reply

      Peggy

      October 29, 2015

      Beautiful words and true as well. As a grandmother to an infant grandson we had to return to Jesus.I can tell you now the grieving never ends for us as well. Not only do we grieve for the loss of a grandchild we also have broken hearts because we can not take away the pain from our child who is in emotional agony. We feel helpless as we hold them when they cry and cry with them. We know all we can do is love them through it. It is a daily focus and ever present in our mind and hearts but Love is all that we can do and grieve with them.This has been the most helpless and devastated I have ever felt. You want to help your child who is hurting and at the same time your own heart is breaking. These feelings never go away even after 13 years.

    12. Reply

      Jo

      October 29, 2015

      I am a bereaved mother as well as a chapter leader of The Compassionate Friends. This article is spot on and so helpful for all parents struggling with the loss of a precious child. How long does this grief last? As long as your love will last. In other words, when you are done loving your child, the pain will cease…which is NEVER! I have walked in the very same shoes as the author of this excellent article, and it’s all so true. Kudos to Angela for speaking her truth~

    13. Reply

      Randall P. Robinson

      October 29, 2015

      It has taken me the three years since my 15 year-old son died of suicide to find an all-encompassing article that so perfectly encapsulates all of the complex grief emotions that surround my loss. So from a devastated dad in Oklahoma who has formed an instant bond of deep emotional understanding with you “in mere seconds…[with] a knowing of the heart [that] connects us, even [though] we’ve never met before,” I humbly thank you with deep gratitude for expressing so perfectly what our hearts understand.

    14. Reply

      Barbara Osipoff

      October 29, 2015

      I, too,lost a son 5 years ago at the young age of 33 to an acute asthma attack. Marc’s loss has left a void in my heart and my life. The pain never goes away. I miss him and will love him forever.

    15. Reply

      Mike Moore

      October 29, 2015

      I really appreciate your thoughts and words. I have been trying to express this over the past month as I have recently lost my son. This says it all! Bless you

    16. Reply

      Roselyn

      October 29, 2015

      Thank you for sharing this. It is so true and raw. I hate it all, and hope to see # 7 but 10 months later I do not.

    17. Reply

      Roselyn

      October 29, 2015

      Thank you for your words . They are true and raw. We are out here searching for some relief, others who feel as we do, a cure!!!??
      I hope to get to # 7 but do not see that .
      I feel so alone but I know I am not .

    18. Reply

      Maxine

      October 29, 2015

      As a member of ‘the club’ the metamorphosis that we as mom’s go thru from the day of our loss and the potential that there is to continue to live I believe is really remarkable. My strong, beautiful, healthy Brett, 30, drowned in a freak accident. I feel as if every word you’ve written came straight out of my mouth!
      We have all been blessed with an insight and understanding

    19. Reply

      Cherie

      October 29, 2015

      unfortunately I belong to this group who are on this journey. We lost two sons. ONe from cancer at 38 yrs old our middle son died unexpectedly while his brother was fighting for his life. I guess I through myself into taking care of my son who had cancer when my middle son past. Keeping myself busy and thinking I had to do all i could to save him. Jason told me several times he would not died int the same yr as his brother, no mother needs to go through such pain. On News day 2013 he past in hospice house holding my hand. Then I had no one to take care of but myself, i thought, well they both had children,my grands. The children were practically grown but still i saw them looking to me to see how I was going to handle this journey. I then saw I needed to be strong for them and my youngest son. The lost of two brothers was almost unbearable.. ONe day i looked up and it had been three yrs since they both had left his earth.Three yrs since i had a hug or kiss, I thought. Then I looked into my grandchildrens eyes and a thought came to me .. It hasnt been three yrs because I had many hugs from them and kiss’ on my cheek.I always have my boys with me each and everyday, because i have their children. I have to be strong for them… resently we had a special addition to our family.. our youngest son and his wife had a beautiful baby girl. I have to make sure she knows all about her uncles..so this is my journey now. Not to just grieve and walk everyday without my sons but also a journey in love of what they left for me- their children..

      • Reply

        Kathleen Cowan

        October 30, 2015

        Three years is still very raw…I lost my son of 17, 16 years ago..I do not know your grief in losing two sons and I am so so sorry for your loss…I do know that how much this article is true that for me after 7 or 8 years each year got a little easier..but to a certain extent you learn to bury the pain for longer and it comes flooding back less…you can never take away love or memories…they are always and forever in your heart and soul and never a day goes by you don’t think of them. It is good you can see them still alive in your grandchildren and they also live on through them..allow yourself to grieve…grief is a journey that no one else can do for us. Be kind to you too. My thoughts are with you…it is true we all connect on another level..take comfort from others. Kathleen x

    20. Reply

      Frank

      October 29, 2015

      Thank-you for the article, my mother lost her youngest son at 35. I am oldest at 50, I know that I cannot imagine a parents grief , it is different from a brothers grief. I going to reach out to my mother.

      Thank-you again

    21. Reply

      Sandra Kay Potts

      November 2, 2015

      I recently lost my son of 46. We had an incredible relationship, woven around hunting, fishing, camping, and parenthood. So many wonderful memories, so many plans for the future.
      And now, I cannot seem to heal the feeling of bleeding in my core. It feels as though I am not connected to anything . I have lost my will to live, to sleep , and accept this new membership to HELL.
      I have started a few new quilts ,and find ” creating” my new friend.

      • Reply

        Connie

        November 7, 2015

        Sandra, I feel exactly the way you do. This club is hell. I lost my only daughter July 30, 2015, she was 38 years old. We were friends not just mother and daughter. I don’t think I’ll ever get over this. I am raising her 10 old son. He was 9 when she passed and his 10 year birthday without her was really hard for me. Matter of fact everyday is hard no matter what. I miss seeing them together and the love they had. I will never be the same. Prayers to us all for being forced in this Club from Hell.

      • Reply

        Libby McDowell

        September 16, 2016

        Connie and Sandra,
        I read your comments with such awe in how our stories are so much the same re: our heartache. My Precious son Chad died at age 44 after a gallant struggle with leukemia. He had such a beautiful family. So close and loving!! 3 young children that lit up the world and they were so tight!! Won’t even try to explain this family. He was the light of MY life like you can’t believe. Everyone who knew me knew my love for Chad was beyond words ….he was my ‘precious’ and I knew he was just plain perfect in my eyes. He died recently…12/9/2015. I still cannot think about him without crying almost uncontrollably. I work long hours and and am consumed by my job which has helped me move through this pain. My husband is a grief counselor and he tries so hard to help me but NOTHING will bring Chad back and I have to manage this heartache on my own. No one can share it….it is my burden. I have close family members and friends but I don’t care how they sympathize ……they have not experienced this loss. Hello fellow club members! YOU do know how it feels!! Tragedy always seemed to happen to other people….now I am experiencing tragedy. No, it won’t ever be easy but I must be able to enjoy life with my other 2 wonderful adult kids and my grandchildren. I DO look forward to that……….but I am very very sad that Chad is not here with us.

    22. Reply

      Bill Chester

      November 3, 2015

      Unfortunately, I just joined this club. It is the most painful thing that I could ever have imagined. I feel for each and everyone of you had that has had to go through this. I keep waking up each day praying that this has been a horrible nightmare and will land. It has not. I lost my nine-year-old boy who seemed to be quite healthy just out of the blue. We were walking to a neighbors house three houses away because my little boy wanted to bring a friend of ours some cookies. He collapsed and his heart never started beating again. I find myself lost. I find myself crying almost all of the time. I have many many people around me and still feel so lonely. I feel for everyone else who has had to go through this.

      • Reply

        Bunny Evans

        November 12, 2015

        I can relate to this 🙁

    23. Reply

      Bets

      November 3, 2015

      I have been sitting here reading all these comments, after reading this so true article, with tears running down my cheeks…..my Christmas baby died after being thrown from the back of a motor cycle…..she was 54 and left two wonderful daughters, who have been such a blessing and I grieve constantly for them….they lost a loving Mother and i lost a loving daughter….her brothers and sister feel her lose so much, we all cry together….but the blessing is on the Mother’s Day before she died, we were all four together, just the 5 of us and we didn’t even plan it that way, God did, knowing what was coming….such a memory to hang onto….I can’t think of anything that would make the pain and better except remembering the words of a gospel song, Tears are a Language God Understands….

    24. Reply

      Linda

      November 3, 2015

      I too am part of the said club of parents who have lost children I lost my only child my beautiful 42 year old son 1 year ago today. I miss him every day and tears come easily

    25. Reply

      Merri Lynne Sterry

      November 3, 2015

      This is the best thing that I have read. Really touches on all of my thoughts and feelings. We lost our “boy” in January in a horrible car accident. He was such a delight and a blessing to have for almost 19 years. Some days I don’t know if I will make it another day.

    26. Reply

      Peg

      November 4, 2015

      I also belong here along with all of you, I lost my best friend ( my son) at the age of 34 to a freak auto accident on Memorial Day. We told each other everything. My MD said we had a special bond that not too many mothers and sons have.. My husband and my daughter have that bond and I and my son had it also… It’s been ten years and I haven’t moved forward very much… A lot of that I blame on my family, you see, I have 10 brothers and sisters, many nieces and nephews and so on. When you count just my immediate family there was 84 of us, and my son was the first to pass. He spent 8 years in the. Navy so I had a military funeral for him, he deserved it… He is in the new military cemetery up here and I also had him buried at sea. ( That was at his request, When he came home from his tour he said ” Once a seaman always a seaman”)
      The one thing that I did not have that it seems like all of you had was family support, after the funeral, my family wasn’t there for me… My mom told me that it was Gods will and I had to move on… My one sister told me not to call her because I made her depressed and she couldn’t handle it… The other one said to accept it and get on with my life…For 5 years I hardly talked to them, I see them once in a while now, but I’m not permitted to bring up my sons name… If I start a sentence by saying Butch I get all these looks, and once in a while I can tell a funny story about him… His name fit him very well… He was 6’2″ 180lbs. And I am 5′ …. My husband is my soul mate but my son is my best friend… And I have nowhere to go…
      Thank you so much for listening to me…

      • Reply

        Leahann

        November 10, 2015

        its hard to lose a child under the best of circumstances but to have no family support at all i couldnt immagin i mean my family wasnt there for me but i at least have my husbands family and they treat me like one of there own if you ever need to just talk or vent rant or whatever my email is leahannvaughn.com im always willing to lend an understanding ear

      • Reply

        Patricia Donnelly

        December 6, 2015

        Dear Peg, my heart goes out to you, for your loss. I`m so sorry, your family has not been supportive! They, who should be there, for one of theirs, is not. I pray God they see the light, and finally step up. Glad You have a husband, there for you. I lost my 27 year old son, 16 years ago, in a car accident, he left a 5 year old daughter, whom I raised as mine! She is now 21, and I can see a lot of his features still! All I can say, is Please Hang In, It never goes away, but will get easier, in time. Time is the key word. As you can`t rush it, it will happen on it`s own.. I will keep you in my prayers, may God Bless You, and grant you PEACE!

        In Love, Pat!

      • Reply

        Rachel

        January 28, 2016

        I know what your talking about. My husband and I lost our ” Sweet little Gurl “, 34 years ago. After her birth we were so happy. We had had been married more than 6 years and feeling so Blessed to have her in our arms. Our home was complete. The next week was the most wonderful week of my life…. then it happened !! She was gone. JUST GONE !!! We went thru the motions, the funeral ect…. in disbelief. And now…. I still have the pain in my heart, the tears still flow and people have forgotten when she was born, when she died. They say “It is better that she died before you got to know her” People do not understand !! My prayer is that they never do understand. Being a member of this CLUB sucks raw eggs.

    27. Reply

      Rhonda Hall

      November 6, 2015

      Wonderful article!

    28. Reply

      Rebecca mcneal

      November 7, 2015

      2006 my 43 year old daughter died. 2008 my husband died after fighting cancer. 2009 my 54 year old son in law suddenly died. Year 2013 my 50 year old daughter died from grief. That is my family. I have a grand son and grand daughter living. Some days are so hard. I could write so much of the sorrow .

    29. Reply

      Cecelia

      November 8, 2015

      Thank you so much for this wonderful article. We have been members of “the club” for nearly nine years. This is surely a club that nobody wants to join! Our son had muscular dystrophy and was in the hospital for over a month when he was 15–he came home with a tracheotomy. Someone had crocheted a “prayer blanket” that fit perfectly on his hospital bed. I still have it and wrap up in it sometimes. I dreamed about him one night soon after he died. He was sitting up on a bed in a cabin (at camp?), no wheelchair, no respirator, with a stack of blankets beside him. I asked “Are these your prayer blankets?” He answered “No Mom, I don’t need them anymore.” That dream has given me such peace! I pray for peace for everyone who has to go through this. I also encourage those who have just started their journey to look for the unexpected joys. It’s okay to be happy again after losing your child. Not happy they are gone, but the happiness of memories and the joy of still being able to love them even though they are absent in body. Speak their names! Remind yourself of that funny face they made or that joke that only the two of you understood. It took me almost a year before I could laugh about things like that, but it happened, and it was good.

    30. Reply

      Lydia Davis

      November 9, 2015

      It will be three long and painful years next Monday since my beloved son took his life aged 34. . He had a brilliant mind but a tortured soul. The pain and grief is unbearable, my heart is broken and can never be fixed and for me, time does not heal but it has helped reading all the poignant and amazing messages of courage and inspiration from parents who have joined this most dreadful of ‘clubs’. . It is true that you can have a broken heart and I feel that mine has been completely shattered and can never be fixed but my life is worth living because of the joy I get from my amazing daughter and three wonderful grandchildren. My love and thoughts to everyone who is dealing with such indescribable pain.

    31. Reply

      Kimberley

      November 9, 2015

      I lost my youngest son Dec 2013 and struggle every moment trying to make sense of why me. I attend Compassionate Friends, grieve counselling along with weekly Dr appointments and still find the heartache unbearable. Then I found your words, amazingly I realized that its okay to feel the heartache, pain, and emptiness in our family, this shows that my son Grant was and is loved. You have explained the grieve of a parent the way we feel on a day to day, hour to hour, minute to minute basis so eloquently.
      I do hope in time I am able to feel joy, happiness and blessings that come my way, you have given me hope! There is a bond between grieving parents of children, I have not met you nor the others that have posted their comments but realize we all understand each other regardless of race, religion or the countries that we may live in, we are all bonded by our children in heaven.
      Thank you for your uplifting words, from one mother to another.

    32. Reply

      Miriam Center

      November 10, 2015

      A poem I wrote for my son Henry, who died of a brain tumor:

      Words for my Dead Son

      If I should open the door
      and suddenly a man,
      you at thirty-seven
      walked in

      Who would you be
      Where have you been
      what would you say

      I would know you
      you would love me
      symbiotic drums would
      beat You would be
      alive alive

    33. Reply

      Leahann

      November 10, 2015

      I enjoyed reading your story/exsperience. I myself have lost a son. His name was bennett and he was 7 and a half months old when he passed. while everyone exsperiences loss differently we all also deal with it in alot of the same ways also. and you are surely right when you said the loss never goes away there isnt a single day that goes by that i dont think of my little guy.if i had to think of one thing that bugs me about people who havent been in our shoes its that my little guy was here 7 and a half months and everone always says just 7 and while that seems petty of me to let something that little bother me but it does he was here longer than just seven months and while that seems like a small amount of time it altered my life forever he made me the person i am today he was my reason for exsisting and when there gone u feel as though you have nothing left to live for. still im grateful for the time i did have with him he was an adorable little boy with the cutest blond hair and pierceing blue eyes youve ever seen.i often think to myself as im sure most of us do when i could have done different or what i have done in my life that was so horrible that i deserved this but in truth there isnt really a why that matters.all that matters is that it did happen and no amount of begging pleading and yes in my case even trying to barter with god so to speak but in the end you left a lonley empty shell of your former self. but as time goes by you begin st see a small glimpse every now and agian of the person you used to be and while im forever changed i wouldnt trade a single second of the time i had with him even if it meant the pain would stop be cause without sorrow and grief we wouldnt apprecate life and love just my thoughts that you so much for sharing your very brave best wishes leahann

    34. Reply

      KAREN

      November 13, 2015

      I lost my son Jacob on 4/3/15 in a car wreck two weeks before his 20th birthday. Then I lost my dad two months later to cancer. I cry just about every day. I just can’t get passed how sad I am and how much I miss my son. Jacob was smart, funny, witty, just a wonderful person that loved life, loved college, loved his friends, would do anything for you. He was in college studying to be an engineer. He wanted to be one since elementary school and was in sophomore year of college when he was killed on his way to visit his girlfriend. I just fill so lost, broken and that he and we were cheated out of so much!

    35. Reply

      Donna Cable

      November 13, 2015

      God gifted me and my husband on August 7th 1976 with a beautiful healthy son and on March 2nd 2014 God called him home to Heaven. Our son Jamie was our world and I honestly do not know of a more kinder gentler and loving man. The pain and grief that me and my husband share is constantly with us. We always took vacations together, Sunday dinners at his home, and Church together. The certificate states complications of a seizure. Jamie never had seizures before but was hospitalized in October 2013 with high blood pressure and a seizure. He always told everyone that he knew that he would take care of mom and Dad and he did. He was a senior technical architect at AT & T and he loved his job. He loved God, his family, and friends. He loved the saying – Remember me with smiles and laughter for that is how I will remember you all- If you can only remember me with tears and sadness than don’t remember me at all. Once I get to Heaven I will never have to be separated from him again.

    36. Reply

      Cathy Blakley

      November 14, 2015

      I lost my son 9 days before his 25th birthday, in 1998.. He and a best friend were killed in a small airplane. I have written him a poem for the last 17 years and have published it in 2 local newspapers. Here is one I wrote in 2011:

      My dearest Jamie,

      Another year goes by and yet the struggles are there,
      To everyone I talk to, it’s your memories I share.
      There’s so many questions , there’s so much to say
      And I will look for those answers til my final day.

      I walk past a mirror and I take that second look
      Wondering why instead of me it was YOUR life God took.
      I often imagine of your world up above
      And I’m hoping you are constantly feeling our love.

      Are you happy, are you sad, do you have any fear?
      Do you look down upon us without a tear?
      When there’s peace in your soul will we somehow know?
      Will the stars in the sky have that heavenly glow?

      As with Todd now there is Aaron right by your side
      And without your presence we have been denied.
      Remember from our hearts which will always be broken
      The words “I LOVE YOU” will be softly spoken.

    37. Reply

      Valerie Loupe

      November 16, 2015

      I lost my 17 year son in a horrible car accident. However I didn’t only lose him but everyone in his life,because no one knew what to say to me so they left me as well . The pain and emptynesss.
      Is with me everyday. I always say it’s okay but it’s really not okay. I am still grieving daily.

    38. Reply

      Lori Jackson

      November 24, 2015

      I lost my 15 year old daughter on August 26,2014 and my mother November 2, 2014 I am so far in grief I barely leave home or talk to anyone. The hurt is real I loved my mother and my daughter very much and both of them left me to bear this grief my heart has been ripped from my chest. I feel as though someone is suffocating me and I don’t know what to do. Please say a prayer for me. Hurt, lost, and lonely!

      • Reply

        Gabbie

        November 29, 2016

        I am praying for you – my son just died this past summer – I can barely breath sometimes – I will keep you in my heart. Dear God hear her tears and help her walk this with You. – Gabbie

        • Reply

          Lori Jackson

          November 30, 2016

          Gabbie, I know your pain. I am still yet struggling with these losses. I can pray for you and I will pray for you. I can’t offer any quick fix remedy because there are none. You have to go through this storm in order to find out what will work and what won’t work. Just know that there is no expiration on grief. Take all the time you need in order to heal and when you feel strong enough then and only then can you help the next person. God sees and he knows. Prayers from my heart and soul go to you. I am so sorry for your loss.

    39. Reply

      Kathy Ramsey

      December 5, 2015

      I pray everyday day for anyone that has lost a child.

    40. Reply

      s.a.m.

      December 5, 2015

      Grief that reaches the depth of despair. Our 19 year old son was in a drowning accident. (he was an excellent strong swimmer). Thank God his two friends survived. Then the questions come WHY God? Was I being punished?.
      Peace of mind comes from knowing he is safe, well cared for, happy, loved and without pain and someday I will see him.
      It has been over 36 years. I fight never to think back at the tragedy the pain is eternally unbearable. I remember how much I loved him and still do.
      My words to all “you never get over it but you get on with life” . Forever a changed person, more aware of others and the grief they are suffering..

    41. Reply

      Christy Mckinney

      December 7, 2015

      I lost my daughter who was only 20 years old And I think of her everyday God bless all of you Cuz I feel your pain I know she’s in heaven Just like all the other children are And I’m glad to know I’m not aloneGod bless you all.

    42. Reply

      C Southard

      December 7, 2015

      I lost my older brother almost 9 years ago. He was only 38 years old. He was estranged and ostracized by my parents for several years after he came out as gay at 19 years old. Us four other siblings rallied around him and always accepted him for who he was (he was such a good person and our brother), but it took a long time for my parents to come around. Eventually, in the end, he was the one who came home and took care of my parents when they were going through some tough times, and then he took a turn for the worse. After he died a horrible death from AIDS related complications my mother never recovered. My Dad remains silent, stoic and detached. My Mom remains cold, emotional and aloof. I imagine both of them have guilt for the way they treated my brother for several years and that’s why their grief, particularly my mother’s, is so profound. We all mourn my dear brother. The thing that pains me the most though is that my Mom has four living children and she has all but abandoned us emotionally since my brother’s passing.. It’s been so long and I understand that grief is handled differently by people, but when you have four living children with grandchildren, you need to focus on this life and the blessings that you have now. The death of a child is profound, but grief is not unique no matter who died. You can’t measure one love against another kind of love. Life is for the living and our beloved deceased family members would want us to celebrate this life, not crawl up into a hole and become useless because of their passing. I have children of my own, and my heart would ache like no other if they ever died before I did.. But I am also cognizant of the fact that life is for the living. If you choose to be dead inside, no matter the circumstances of a loved one’s death, you are are choosing your own emotional self destruction. Grief is grief (I just want to disclose that I witnessed my birth mother shoot her heart out when I was 7 years old, and I was later adopted by my Dad’s second wife, who is truly the only Mom I’ve known. I know grief and heartache and nightmares…so please don’t post crap about…”but it’s not the same….” ) You can’t measure grief and articles like this diminish others experiences sometimes. Celebrate your child. Celebrate your loved ones. But don’t compare your grief to another’s grief….

    43. Reply

      Jacki

      January 23, 2016

      I wish that I was not apart of this club. I
      lost my mother at age 16. It was difficult and painful . However that pain does not compare to the loss of a child. I’ve lost two. One in 2003 and one in 2006. I thought it would get easier but no, it doesn’t. It’s not as raw, but the deep loss is so painful. As I go through my life, no one seems to allow me to communicate my loss. If I mention one of my children, they change the subject. It’s too uncomfortable for them. I’d love to communicate with others that share this pain.

    44. Reply

      Susan

      January 26, 2016

      Thank you for articulating this so beautifully. You speak for many of us who could not find the right words. Thank you <3

    45. Reply

      luanne taylor

      May 3, 2016

      jackie i would love to communicate with you. i am going through the same as you. everyone just changes the subject.luanne

      • Reply

        Annette Tajc

        August 4, 2016

        This was so true and answer some of my questions. On March 20, 2016, my daughter, Amelia was in a homicide. We are still waiting for the crime to be solved. She is 35 years old and I miss her so much. Just to hear her voice………………………….

    46. Reply

      Brenda O'Brien

      July 31, 2016

      We lost our son almost 10 years ago at the age of 19,we are not suppose to outlive our kids.This article is so very true,I feel for all that suffer the loss of a child it is definately a club we belong to but never asked to join. I really wish more people understood the loss and how it is a lifelong sentence that we have to endure. God Bless those so few that try.

    47. Reply

      Terri Norris

      August 2, 2016

      I lost my daughter on July 25, 2012. She was 26 years old & left behind a 4 year old precious little girl! This article is so true!! Thanks so much for sharing! Changes your life FOREVER & EVER!

    48. Reply

      Patricia geoghegan

      August 5, 2016

      Yes getting up in the morning my son andrew is in my head last thing at night andrew is in my head miss him in our home big bouncy lad full of cheer it’s birthdays Halloween Christmas the void of our beloved son andrew was killed coming home from college aged nineteenth 2oio and I am still watching him home to all family’s who have lossed someone precious out their pease Andrews ma ❤

    49. Reply

      Theresa

      August 12, 2016

      Thank you so much for sharing your story I have just lost my son this past April he would have been 25 this past May every day that goes by I miss him more the pain never seems to go away just reading your story made me cry but made me feel better to know that there are some people out there that knows how we feel.

    50. Reply

      Sue Evans

      August 14, 2016

      In 1963 I lost a twin daughter she was about 8 months that hurt but in 1996I lost another daughter she just disapeared her body has never been found she was 38 another hurt she left 5 children but then in 2016 Jan.26
      at 430 in the morning my son died from cancer before we could get to the cancer center at 900 we got a call
      that my daughter was in a coma she passed away at 1030 that same day so I understand what grief is all about
      Some times it is hard to breathe but I know that Through it God never makes a Mistake

    51. Reply

      Sherelyn Hornick

      August 15, 2016

      We lost our 23 year old son to Cystic Fibrosis, almost 12 years ago (in October). Today, looking back at those first few days, weeks, months, and years, I wondered how we would get through this. Joy does come, although sorrow still could overtake me. I take my days, one at a time, and look at my faith in the Lord. His strength is made perfect in my weakness. May God give comfort to each who go through this. There is joy in the morning. It will come.

    52. Reply

      Janet Bartell

      August 16, 2016

      I lost my precious daughter on July 3 2016, she was my best friend and the best mom to her 9 and 10 ear old daughters. She died suddenly of cardiac arrest that afternoon with no warning signs. She was running marathons and exercising so much so it was a shock. She was adored by so many people and was an accomplished photographer. She was one of six children, only 38 years old. I sometimes beg God to take me because the pain is too much but I need to be here for my granddaughters and their daddy now as well as my other children. I seem to be in denial now and then it hits me. I wouldn’t wish this pain on anyone. Thank you for your story, I don;t feel so isolated

    53. Reply

      Maureen E Cooje

      August 17, 2016

      I lost my daughter when the ski lift at our ski resort broke and she was thrown in the air & died. That was back in 1977. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t think about her, what she would have become as an adult woman, what she would have accomplished, what her children would have looked like. We, as a family, have been robbed of this vibrant exciting kid who loved horses, skin, skating, swimming! All of it. She even looked the spitting image of me. There’s a big hole in my heart that can never grow back. Well-meaning people have said things like ” well you can always have another child”. What? I could never replace the one I lost! What did that person know anyway? Very strange things get said & it hurts even more then.
      Bereaved parents stick together & help…. Sometimes just silently but just their mere presence helps, like a crutch to lean upon.
      It’s been almost 39 years that she passes at the young tender age of 11…. And I almost asked a portrait artist to do a rendition of what she might look like now…. but I didn’t pursue that idea. I think I’d rather do it in my mind by myself! Her little sister & her Dad also still miss her & talk about her.
      I have helped form a group of people who are going through the same struggle called ” Mothers with something in common” & we try to have regular get-together a. It is so damn hard! We just have to cherish every moment we had with our child & cling to those fond & happy moments. Love conquers all!

    54. Reply

      Doli

      August 18, 2016

      Thank you for the messageit is too hard, people no longer want to hear about my son 3.5 years, died on July 5th 2016.

    55. Reply

      Sheryl Nelson

      August 18, 2016

      It’s only been three weeks since my 16-year-old son died of a gunshot wound and I’m afraid I haven’t gotten as far as #7. But thank you for reminder that my husband and I are not alone.

    56. Reply

      Brenda Chain

      August 18, 2016

      I lost my son 7 years ago. My life is changed for ever. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about him. He left behind little twin boys 5 years old. I went to see them 3 weeks ago. It was like I was looking at David ! Life will never be the same ! Without God I could not go on !!

    57. Reply

      Linda Smith

      August 27, 2016

      We lost our Son on Dec. 3, 2003. He was on his way to work early in the morning and his Camaro was broadsided be a large vonversion van fleeing grom the police, traveling at over 100 mph. I saw on ingold on the local mornong news. When the helicopter camera zoomed in I recognized the car and it was on his route to work. I have never been able to watch the news since. My 32 year old baby boy was gone like thst. The pain, the grief, was unbearable. Our older son lost himself in grief for awhile.. We all did. And not my husband, my son or myself will ever be the same. The hurt, emptiness, the lack of grandchildren from him. I could go on and on but we all have our stories in this club no one wants to be in.

    58. Reply

      Judy Ellington

      November 1, 2016

      I lost my Son April 15 2013 in a motorcycle accident .. My life changed complete around. Still having a hard time with it.. Read your email really helped a lot. Thank you.

    59. Reply

      Karla Bundy

      November 3, 2016

      A friend sent me this. On August 15, 2015 my only child age 23, was killed instantly in a single vehicle accident. 3 friends were with him and, thankfully, they survived. He was the kind of person who always said he would take a bullet for his family or friends and in my mind that is what he did. He would not have been able to live with himself if he had lived and a friend had died since he was the driver. This writing is so very very true! A club we have no choice in joining and no way of leaving! We learn to live at a completely different level. No other person, except parents and grandparents who have lost children, experiences life as we do. It’s always BEFORE and AFTER. One moment in time changes every moment that follows. I am blessed because Taylor had a daughter who turned 4 just two weeks after he died. She is the joy of my life. She has been a trouper and we talk of her daddy all the time. She believes in heaven and God and knows her daddy is with Jesus and loves her. This Christmas, 2016, he will have celebrated his 25th birthday. We will still celebrate him. Along with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. A double blessing! My heart goes out to all who share having lost a child. The pain is real, it means we love and will always love.

    60. Reply

      A

      November 17, 2016

      I find it that people dont even bring up my child anymore. When it is brought up, the subject is quickly diverted. Even though i cry and have tears, i still like to talk about him. My first born son at age 19 was the victim of car vs motorcycle accident-almost 3 months ago.

      • Reply

        Pauline Tulia Giles

        December 6, 2016

        I don’t understand the way people will divert talking about our children who died. I find the same thing to be true. It’s only been 4 months and at first I had support, now they run from the subject. Feels so alone. I’m sorry for me, sorry for you, sorry for our children. There is no medicine to fix it. None.

        • Reply

          Jo

          December 12, 2016

          My daughter died 4 1/2 months ago and I feel exactly like you do. It’s as though they just want to forget the horror of me losing a child. She died as a passenger in a single car accident. She was 32, single, never been married. 16 years ago I lost my 19 year old son in a car accident. I don’t want either of them to EVER be forgotten. They lived, and I will continue to keep their memories alive. My heart break for all of us carrying this pain~

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