What I want you to know about child loss

July 19, 2016

What I want you to know is that you never get over losing a child. The pain never goes away. And you are never the same person again.

I lost my sweet, funny, one of a kind 14-year-old son on November 29, 2008. There’s no real answer as to why a healthy, active, athletic boy would leave for a bike ride behind his house and never return. How a viral infection can just suddenly attack that seemingly healthy airway and take his precious life.

But I want you to know, it doesn’t make a difference how he died. He’s just gone. And I still hurt. My heart still aches for my son. I still cry, sometimes for no reason at all. I still scream at the sky, willing him back to me. I still wish he was here.

I want you to know there’s nothing you can really do or say to someone who has lost a child. Everyone grieves differently. There is no right or wrong way. We each handle tragedy and loss in a different way. So there’s no cookie cutter answer for how to help.

But I want you to know you should try. The ones who did nothing are sharp stings I still feel today. The ones who silently slipped away and now avoid me, perhaps because their kids are still healthy and they feel guilty, or they don’t know how to act, or who knows, but they just left. Those are the ones that added to my already broken heart.

I want you to know that even though I cried while staring at the caller ID and chose not to answer, I still know you tried. For the card in the mail on the day nothing else came and it was an emotional breakdown at the mailbox because I remembered how he used to run to check it. For that day, it helped a little. And for the prayers, oh the many prayers, yes I coveted them – and still do. Some days, they were the only thing that kept me going.

But I want you to know, if you’re facing this unspeakable loss, you can survive this. There are better days. No, the pain never ends, but you learn to breathe through it. Like a cracked windshield, you can still see, there will just always be a reminder of the precious child taken from this world too soon.

I want you to know there is hope. You will laugh again. And the first time you do it, you will cry because you feel guilty. But you will laugh again. Life will get somewhat easier, but not before it gets harder. Child loss is a roller coaster and just when you think you’ve reached the top of the mountain, a low blow to the belly is around the corner. You just have to keep on, keeping on. You have to fight. You have to choose it.

I want you to know you deserve happiness. Your child would want you to live again, love again, to find joy again. And you can. Just breathe and take it day by day.



  • Heather Blair

    In 2008, my world as I knew it changed forever, with the sudden loss of our 14 year old son, Austin. The journey to my blog (and attitude toward life) was bumpy and tearful, beginning at a memorial blog for my son. I later chose to take another path, challenging myself to find the JOY in every day, despite the sadness I still felt. I love and miss him daily but I'm living my life to honor him - and celebrating every moment it brings. My goal...to find and share the joy in every day. You can find me at Joyful Challenge


    • Debbie Wieck

      Debbie Wieck

      July 19, 2016 at 4:49 pm

      I can relate to everything you’ve said. Losing your child changes you, grief changes you. I’m now a person who thinks deeper, cries more easily, appreciates more, and is starting to feel grateful – to be blessed with another day to breath air in my lungs while my child was denied longer on earth. We lost our 20yr old son Jacob last Oct from a short battle with Ewing’s Sarcoma & his guiding love from afar is helping us to ‘smile’ again – see miracles in life everyday x take care ♡

    • Sherry

      July 20, 2016 at 7:08 am

      Identified with most of what you wrote. So true re about things that happen afterwards.

    • Robin obendorf

      July 20, 2016 at 8:33 am

      This is so true! It has been 22 years, and I still miss my daughter…

    • Sarah

      July 20, 2016 at 3:51 pm

      Thank you for writing this! We lost our 13 year old son suddenly and unexpectedly 7 months ago. He was playing in a basketball game and collapsed all due to a heart condition he had had since birth that we did not know about. This could have been my own words, it was so true. I hope I can find some sort of joy again.

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