Child Loss: Unless You’ve Walked in My Shoes — Don’t Talk!

Note:  This was written one year and three months before the death of my adult son.  Little did I know how much more my grief would increase in just a few months!  Since the original writing, I have written two books, Child Loss – the Heartbreak and the Hope  and Hope 365.

Not a day goes by without someone making comments to me that are questioning the validity of the intensity of pain a parent feels when child loss occurs.  I understand that people are trying to “get it” when it comes to losing a child, but some comments are beyond my realm of thinking.

“I loved my dog just like a child. I slept with my dog.  We were companions forever.  And, when my dog died, I didn’t think life could go on.  But, you know what?  I knew I had to move on.  I got a new dog and I couldn’t be happier.”

Or this one:  “When my best friend moved out of town it was just like a death.  I didn’t have one other friend around, and I was so lonely I thought I was going to die.”

How about this one that I got told just a few days ago?  “My mom died a few months ago.  She was 86, and it took us by such surprise.  I never expected this to happen.”    

Each one of these losses in a valid loss and certainly worthy of a lot of sadness and intense grief, BUT let me make this perfectly clear.  In no way are the losses that I just mentioned even close to being the same as losing a child. 

I’m a pet lover, and I do mean I love pets!  The first dog I ever lost was my “Laddie” — a collie.  He was the light of my life!  It just so happened that my dad accidentally ran over Laddie and killed him and I grieved that loss for months.  I sobbed long and hard, quit eating, couldn’t sleep, and had nightmares for months and months following Laddie’s death.  Oh, how I missed Laddie!  And, I still do think of him occasionally.  He was a wonderful pet and companion!

But…..losing Laddie was nothing like the death of my sister or my son.

I, too, had my very best friend move away, and it left me feeling empty.  I felt like I had a real big hole right in the pit of my stomach.  I felt so lost.  When she moved away, no longer did I have anyone to call and talk with, laugh with, share secrets with.  The loneliness swallowed me up and I fell into what felt like a bottomless pit of sadness.  Many, many nights I cried myself to sleep because life was so different without my best friend.  Sure, we could talk on the phone, but it wasn’t the same as going places with her.  Life was horrible for a long, long time.

But…….losing my best friend was nothing like the death of my sister or my son.

My grandmother died at age 96.  She was my rock and my fortress.  She was my example.  She was the only “solid foundation” I had in my life since I was a little kid.  She and I were pen pals after I moved away and went to college and for 23 years she and I corresponded without missing one week!  When Grandmom died, it felt like the bottom fell out from me.  Oh, how I missed her!  And, although it’s now been over thirty years since her death, hardly a day goes by without me thinking of her or mentioning her in conversation.

But……losing my grandmother was nothing like the death of my sister or son.

Why?  What makes losing a child so different?  What is it that brings parents to their knees in heartache and pain, that often causes families to crumble, and that is directly related to nervous breakdowns, severe depression, physical illnesses, and quite often withdrawal from society?  What makes losing a child so different from other losses?

Child loss is not supposed to happen before parents die.  We expect pets to die before we do.  And, for goodness’ sake!  These are pets, not people!  (I know I’ll hear some flack about this!)  People move away all of the time.  That’s a fact of life.  We live in a transient society.  And, aging parents and grandparents — as sad as this is, most of us think about this a lot in order to make preparation for their last years and eventual death.  We know with full assurance that we’re going to lose them at some point-in-time so we are always making provision for their eventual death.

But, our child’s death?  Never do we think that’s going to happen!  In fact, we won’t even allow our minds to go there because it’s too painful! 

For time evermore, attempts have been made to “explain child loss”, but it cannot be done.  It really can’t.  Why?  Quite simply, there are no words that can come close to explaining what losing a child feels like.  The brokenness of losing a child is in a category all its own.

You can argue with me on this.  You can deny what I’m saying is the truth.  You can say I’m stuck in grief.  You can argue that I haven’t experienced every loss imaginable to mankind so I can’t say child loss is the worst loss.

But, I will say……  “Unless you’ve walked in my shoes — don’t talk!”  Please don’t tell me how my pain feels because you don’t know how crushing this is to my heart.  You cannot get inside of my head, heart, and emotions and know the ties I had with my child.  You cannot feel the spiritual bonds I had with my child — far above earthly ties.  You do not know the depth of love I had for my child, nor will you ever know.

And, I don’t expect you to know.  But, I do expect you to have tolerance for my grief, understanding for my brokenness, and love for my aching soul. I do want your friendship and your support to help me as I try so hard to find my way back to life.

And, never do I want you to walk in my shoes.  Why?  Because I know what it feels like to lose a child and it is my constant prayer that nobody else will have to endure this pain.

In honor of our children who have passed on into eternity, I would feel honored if you would post your child’s name on this blog and a brief message to your child (for those who feel safe enough and strong enough to do so).

My message to my sister:  “Dear Mellie, You have no idea how much I love and miss you — always and forever.  When I meet  you in heaven, we’re dancing and we’re never going to stop!  I promise you!”

My message to Samuel, my son:  “Dear Samuel, I have dreamed about holding you again, of touching your soft hair, of holding your wee hands, and of kissing your sweet little toes.  If you’ll let me, your mama wants to hold you and never, ever let you go for all of eternity!  I love you, sweet boy of mine! I cannot wait to see you again!”

I also welcome your thoughts and comments on how to explain child loss to others.  It is by sharing that we will help others to grasp a bit more understanding for the greatest mystery of all — the ties of parent and child and the lingering pain when those ties are severed by death.

My love to each one who is reading this blog.  May God’s love shine down upon each one and give you a measure of His blessed peace.

Peace

Love,

Clara

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75 Comments

  1. You seem to know my every thought even thought I have never met you
    Thank you for this blog and support
    I sadly have no family support

    1. Tina, It’s heartbreaking to me when I read a comment like yours. Losing a child is hard enough, but to have no support……..that’s just wrong! I’m so very, very sorry. I hope and pray that somehow, someway we can be a support to you.

  2. My message to Colten Wiley Crum, my son- My sweet bubba you were only 18 years old when you left me to be with Jesus. I am waiting for the day I am reunited with you. I long to feel your hugs. It’s been 5 months and I miss you more and more everyday. Til we meet again my sweet angel. I love you forever and always.

    Mom

  3. Kyle Good~ I love and miss you every day! I miss our talks. I wish I could just hear your voice or see you walk through the door. It is all very surreal! Semper Fi, Sir Knight, Kyle Good

  4. My son, Joshua. You are my everything. My buddy, my best friend. I cherish the 25 yrs we had together. And I know, in my heart, you are in Heaven and watching over us. I miss you so much and love you always.

  5. Child loss, there’s nothing like the pain and emptiness. Take time in your journey of grief. One step at a time.

  6. There are simply no words that adequately describe the loss of a child. I have experienced many losses- grandparents, parents, my brother, friends and pets who were my 4-legged babies and nothing comes close to the grief of losing my little boy. The grief is intensified a million-fold, and unlike other losses that seem to fade with time, this one does not. Mason, my beautiful little boy- you are forever in my heart. You made me a better person, and continue to do so on a daily basis. To say I miss you feels so inadequate to describe how I feel. I love you, to infinity and beyond <3

    1. Jenna, I appreciate the phrase you used, “The grief is intensified a million-fold, and unlike other losses that seem to fade with time, this one does not.” That really sums it up. Thank you for your explanation.

  7. Clara,
    Your words are inspiring and allow me to move forward with losing my 36 year old baby in July of 2012, there are no words to express the pain of losing a child, the pain is deep and there is not an hour or minute that my Tanya is not in my thoughts. I will see her again and that is what keeps be moving on a daily basis. I take day by day with the help of your blogs. I lost my dad and the pain is and will always be there but nothing compares to the deep heart broken pain of losing a child, I brought her into this world and saw her grow into a beautiful wife and mother and just knowing deep inside that I cannot hold her, talk to her, and knowing of all the birthdays, graduations and experiences her 2 boys are going through breaks my heart more, I miss my baby so much and at times hard to believe she is not here physically to talk too, I hate the feeling of a broken heart but knowing that God is helping me along with friends and family I can walk daily.
    Thank you so much for doing what you do to help all who have lost a child

    1. Sue, Thank you for your comment. I think what you’ve said will help so many. I’m so very sorry for the loss of your daughter, Tanya.

      1. My loving son Gary, you were my happiness, peace, caring, loving, helpful, greatful and beautiful child. I miss your love, huge and kisses daily. I wish I could hold and love on you daily. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about you and stare at your pictures. I constantly think if I could have, would have, should have. You were everything to me and I have nothing to make me smile, feel loved, appreciated, happy, grateful, proud or taken care of. I am so grateful to call you mine and I have nothing but memories. I miss you so much and still love you too the Moon and back. Mom can’t find a way to have a new life without you. Even the counseling as extensive as it is isn’t helping me. I just need you to move on. I can’t wait to hold you in my arms again and tell you I love you. Until then I will keep trying. I love you my darling son.

  8. For my sweet, beautiful, willful Sara,
    Not a day goes by that I don’t think of you a hundred times. I miss you so much! My heart is still broken, and there is a huge hole in my soul that can never be filled. I used to fear dying, but not anymore as I know I will get to see you again. You taught me so much, and I hope you are proud of me. I am so proud to be your mommy!

  9. My Beloved Bridget, oh how you have been on my mind! Because of you, many entrust me with their own loss.. And sometimes I am quite helpful and other times I turn into mush, cry, what-if and why like it was six years ago. The last few months have brought on any triggers.. Perhaps it’s the winter and tooucj time to reflect. But to be honest, every tear I have shed.. Night without sleep.. Thinking of you.. Makes me proud. Baby girl, you are still here with me every day. 6 yrs 6 months later. Your baby brother is turning 5 this week. Bridget, I wouldn’t appreciate him so much if it were not for you. I wouldn’t be a grateful and pathetic mom if it weren’t for you. Although I would click my heels to have you with me right now… I know, it is not possible. I cry a lot lately.. Lots going on in Mommys world. But without you, I don’t think I could manage the now so well. Thank you thank you love you love you.. Xoxo

  10. To my son Hunter Crane, my oldest child and my only son! To see your smile and hear your laugh again keeps me moving forward. God called you home in a blink of an eye and with no warning. I doubt that shock will ever wear off but one day we will be together again and I can’t wait!! I love you more and miss you much!!!

  11. Noah 4 and Lily 2, grandma misses you so much. We had such short time with you, but cherish every memory, I still see you Noah with the sticks you loved to pick up and Lily you are in the pink Barbie car u love to ride in. Grandma just wants to say when I get to heaven I can’t wait to give you big hugs and say I’m sorry no one was there to protect you from the horrible way you died. I love you both so much.

  12. Amber I love you and miss you so much. I look forward to the day we can be together again. Everything is not the same since you went to be with Jesus. I want so bad to hear you laugh, to talk to you, to hug you. I am so thankful God allowed me to be your Mother. Forever and always you will be in my heart.

  13. To my son Weston Mitchell….half of my soul went to Heaven the day you left this earth…just hold it tightly until I meet you again and then at the very moment I hold you in my arms…I will be whole again.

    Sometimes I almost feel guilty for loving a person as much as I love my son…and then I remember that God understands the love I have for him…because HE place that undying love in my heart when HE placed him in my womb.

  14. My precious Emily, you are my heart, my soul, my everything! I thank God everyday for choosing me to be your mom! You forever left a song in my heart and a smile on my face! I miss you terribly! You were my best friend, my best secret keeper, my purpose in life! I know with every breath, I am closer to seeing you and holding you again! Until then…….heavenly hugs and kisses baby girl!

  15. My sweet daughter Mary almost 5 years old 2 months shy of experiencing kindergarten. I miss her more than any words can ever convey!! What you have written here is the truth!! I dont speak to much of anyone anymore…because of rude comments and others not understanding im not over it…Love and hugs to you all who walk this miserable existence with no end to the relentless pain we endure each day.

  16. I lost my precious girl, Hayden, six months ago. She was only six years old. We can never expect anyone to know how we feel. I used to hear about people losing a child, and would think, wow, I can’t imagine. Then, my life would go on, and I would think about that family from time to time, not ever really knowing the anguish that they were going through. Well, now I know how they feel, and am crushed when I hear of others going through this pain.

    I look forward every morning to reading your Facebook posts because they always speak right to my heart. Thank you so much!

    My precious Hayden, I love and miss you every minute of every day. I long to see you, touch you, and hear your voice again. You were so excited about going to 1st grade, but I know Heaven is even better than 1st grade! You are so loved, and I know I will be with you again one day!

    1. Brandi, Most of us have been like that — barely noticing the pain a family bears when a child dies UNTIL it hit us, and then our world came crashing down. Losing a child is such a terrible thing — the worst. I’m so very sorry for the loss of your sweet Hayden.

  17. I want so much to believe that I will see my baby again. I’m struggling. I miss your voice Ingrid, and your chubby little hands, and your sense of humor. My smart, strong, fearless child. I cannot bear this world without you in it, it all seems petty and silly.

  18. I lost my son 15 years ago he was 17teen and this helps me a lot my aunt told me the other day that I sounded sad cause the post I have been putting on my time line and I told her that this helps exp things to people how we cop with things on a day to day so thank you for this web page from a lost mother.

    1. Melinda, To others, the posts might seem terribly sad. But, to those of us who have lost a child, they are our way of expressing our grief and help us to know we’re not crazy. You’re very welcome for the support page. It is my prayer always that we will be encouraged and strengthened as we learn from one another.

  19. Evelyn Sophia, I love you and mommy misses you big time. You were my third child and first girl. Keep on dancing in heaven sweet girl mommy can’t wait to see you.

  20. Taylor Jacob, my sweet and handsome son. My hearts hurts for you everyday. You are in my thoughts every minute of every day! I long to hug you again and stroke your beautiful face again. I can hardly wait to see you in Heaven! To see your smile! You are my heart, forever! Momma

  21. We, my husband and I, lost our beautiful little girl after having her only 9 short years on 3-9-93. Diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma at age 6 she fought a long hard battle for 18 months the first time then it came back and she only lived 2 months. She gained her angel wings 3 months before her 10th birthday. People would say ‘you have your son you have to think of him’ one lady ask if I missed her and another ask how our daughter was doing and when I told her she had gone to heaven she said ‘oh she finally died on you huh’ I just ignored her. Then after we lost our son on 3-4-05 in an auto accident I was in a daze for months. People would say you can’t question GOD I would tell them yes I can but I didn’t get an answer. People would say look at Job he lost everything I tell them don’t compare me to Job he didn’t loose my children! Others would say have you thought about adoption or fostering children I tell them that wouldn’t take the place of my babies and would fill the whole I have in my chest where my heart use to be! A lot of people say your a strong person and you have to go on!! Well I know I have to go on but that doesn’t take the pain and emptiness I fell away! Then I stop and think they are only trying to help they just don’t know what to say. There is nothing anyone can say or do to take away the loneliness and emptiness we feel after child loss.

    1. Sheila, I am so, so sorry for the loss of your little girl and your son. To lose one child is a horrible tragedy; to lose two children is beyond our scope of thinking.
      I’m convinced *most* people do say things wanting to help, but there are many who are just plain careless in their speaking. They don’t think. I hope that as we talk and share among ourselves that some of this information will eventually get to others and they will learn to think before speaking.

      You have said it all: “There is nothing anyone can say or do to take away the loneliness and emptiness we feel after child loss.” However, knowing that our friends and family care sure does make a difference in the way we grieve.

      My love and prayers to you!

  22. My beautiful son with a loving and sensative spirit, Jacob. You brought so much joy into my life. You taught me how to love and about unconditional (that was a little more of a challenge) We had an unbelievable special bond. I long to see your sweet face and wonderful smile of yours. You are deeply loved and missed even more. Thank for allowing me the privilege of being your mom even for 24 years. Until we meet again. I love you wider than sky and deeper than the ocean. Mama

  23. Clara… thank you for your blog… I could not agree more!!

    Expressing our true feelings, is so very important to find some sense of peace and release, as we move ourselves through each challenging day. Yes… The loss of a child… what could be more painful?

    It has been a little over three years since my only child, my son, passed. I live alone, I grieve alone, and I still cry almost daily, alone. Just about the time when I think I’m really beginning to make some headway with my suffering, I fall into a rugged spell.

    Why do we hurt so? I of course miss him terribly. I also worry about him, as well.
    I’m not sure if that feeling is unique to me, or not? Certainly… It is part of our DNA, to know an all-encompassing, deep and nurturing, Love……that goes beyond all understanding, and surpasses the value of our own life.

    I no longer receive bizarre comments from people, surrounding my loss, as I very rarely mentioned it. For me… The most soothing communication that I can receive and have received… is simply saying I am sorry for your loss, and then stillness.

    I do recall… My dear sister, God love her… once saying to me…”did you even see him that much?” This statement was so horrific… but really, had no ill intent. Just yet another… Stupid thing that someone would say to try to appease ones suffering. Fortunately… I was well on my way… Into my spiritual journey, helping me to release and forgive, right away.

    Another time… within a few months of my Son’s passing, I shared my loss to an acquaintance. The response was… Oh, I had a tragic loss also, I recently lost my dog. I thought… You’ve got to be kidding me!

    Thank you for allowing my expression.

    Thank you for your lovely post.

    It does help, knowing that I am not alone.

    Peace, love, acceptance and victory over sorrow… To us all –

    1. Vicki, Thank YOU for your enlightening comments. I think people often speak before they think and then they regret what they’ve said afterward. They just cannot grasp hold of the depth of pain that is associated with losing a child.

      Part of the reason for this blog is to share information, and the other part is to form a community where we absolutely know we are not alone. I’m so glad that those missions are being fulfilled.

      My love to you!

  24. Jarryd Carne. My darling son. I am so lost and broken without you. I can’t wait to see you, hug you and be with you forever somewhere over the rainbow. You are always on my mind and in my heart. I love you. Forever your mom xx

  25. Melanie Sacha xx I love you so so much xxx a part of me died when you died and I will never be the same person again but I say this darling xx I will never allow you to be forgotten as every New Born comes into the family, I will tell them all about you and what a beautiful loving funny affectionate girl you were and one thing is for sure is that I lost my Dad when I was 17 and my Mum a year to the week after my daughter died and as painful as their losses were and I miss them a lot it is Does not compare to losing my little girl as I said earlier a part of me died too now I have to learn to live without her

  26. Dear Lukas, there isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t think of you, miss you and love you. You are perfect in everyday and I often ask God why you couldn’t stay. You are our baby boy forever in our hearts. People tell me all sorts of things but I know in my heart that you were meant to be and that one day mummy and daddy will see you again. Fly high out little butterfly. Love mummy

  27. To my son Cody, I cannot wait to see you again in paradise. Being without you here on earth is too horrible for words to describe. While I keep living and breathing, I feel like an empty shell because of your absence. My heart is broken, lonely, and shattered. I thank God for making you perfect in heaven and for the strength and comfort He gives me to keep living. I miss you and love you is an understatement…there are no appropriate words.
    Love, Mumma

  28. Amanda, I miss you more with each passing day, I don’t know how I will ever make it through without you. Your children are growing and are as beautiful as you are. I love you to the moon and back

  29. The Emptiness of Your Child’s Death is Greater Than Anything Else You’ll Ever Have. Until a Short 3Years Pass and You Again Are told that Another Child has Died in the Vary Same Way as Your Son. Then 10 Years Later Yet a 3rd Child Dies. That Grief is Strong Unending Grief.

    1. Hank, I’m so very, very sorry. There are no words that can give true comfort, but I want you to know that my heart aches (quite literally) knowing this. This is one of those times when life just doesn’t make sense!

  30. Jayson Logan, my baby boy you will always be. I long to hold you so tight, I will hug you forever. I miss you more than words can express. —Jayson Logan Tippett 12/2/93 – 07/06/13

  31. I miss you Stephen, every day, every moment, every breath. I’m watching your children grow and I see so much of you in them, It’s only been 7 months, but time doesn’t travel at a normal rate of speed for me. I miss you sweetheart.

  32. Clara, this was beautifully written. I lost my 22 year old son in 1992 six months after his father died of a sudden heart attack and then 8 months later I lost my precious 13 year old daughter to the exact unnamed brain disorder that took my son…..the pain and the hole in your heart never ever go away, but you do go on if only by the grace of God. I’ve read and followed you for many years and your words and thoughts have soothed my broken soul more than you will ever know. Thank you so much for all you do for the broken hearted. Love and hugs to you and God bless.

    1. Rosemary, I’m so, so sorry. Life has so many tragedies and is so full of uncertainties. Sometimes we wonder how we set one food in front of the other, and most days we couldn’t if it wasn’t for the strength of God.

      My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  33. I lost two children and my husband when our boat went down in Alaska. That was 14 years ago.I miss my husband, but I am devistated on the lose of my children. I also lost a brother when he wad 16, now I know why my mom was never the same after that. To this day I just want to tell that I miss them and love them and I will see them one day. Nothing helps the pain go away it is just as strong today as if it happened today. I struggle everyday, some better than others, but I am not the person I was 14 years ago. Tell people that the age of a child dying doesn’t matter, if they die before the parent its a tragedy.

  34. I know your loss and feel your pain. I lost my husband and both my children and I was critically injured when a drunk driver hit and killed them in 1986. My heart breaks for everyone who’s lost a child, try all your children. God instructed me to share my loss and recovery with others in hopes of helping someone else, please look at my website http://www.JAndersonAuthor.com or read my book, “God, Help Me!”

    1. Janice,
      Thank you so much for your comment, and I will be certain to look at your website. I’ve bookmarked it, and will look at it tonight.

      I’m so very, very sorry for so much loss and pain coming into your life!

  35. My son Jakob Shayne 7-2-93/9-16-09
    I’m thankful for the 16 yrs I had you on this earth an I live an miss utopian more an more with each passing day…I had 3 kids an without you here I will always feel as if I’m not complete…keep watching over us an your nephew Shayne an keep sending us your wonderful messages an signs to let us know you are still around!! I love you my baby boy forever an ever!!!

  36. Dear Garrett,

    All our lives are forever changed since you died that awful Sunday afternoon
    March 3, 2013. Your first anniversary is approaching quickly and I am struggling deciding how best to celebrate your life. Your 23rd birthday follows soon after on March 26. I hope you have been watching over your big brother on his first deployment as a Navy pilot in the Middle East. I have been worried as he had to leave soon after your death. I awoke from a dream with this poem in my mind… I so love you and miss you and will never understand WHY???

    Yet another night I lay in bed
    Sleep splintered with thoughts of you racing through my head
    Startled awake
    I suddenly remember you are gone, no longer here
    I agonize what could have gone so wrong
    My heart aches, the tears flow
    I look for you in the night skies, soaring birds, fluttering butterflies
    I listen for you in the gentle breeze, rustling of the trees
    Remembering your gentle way, beautiful smile, and love of nature
    But where oh where you are
    I pray you are at rest and have found peace my son.
    Loving and missing you,
    Mom

  37. Andrew James my funny, witty, smiling, never met a stranger son. I live with a broken heart and guilt . I am so sorry I didn’t know what to do when you were in pain and eventually overdosed on drugs. I knew for years under that smile there was an unhappy boy with extremely low self esteem. I blame my husband, your father for that in and myself for not acting and getting proper help. Oh how I wish I could have a do over. I am missing your loving bear hugs , you were the best at that and your sence of humor, and you strumming on your guitar all the time, I miss everything and I can’t believe almost 3 years have passed. No mother is ever prepared for child loss, I don’t care what the curcimstances are. 10-31-85…..2-16-11

  38. My Dear Jacob, it has been almost 3 weeks since you passed and I occasionally find myself thinking that you’re going to call me. I cannot wrap my mind around that I’m not going to be able to hug you or tell you to be careful before you go out and that I love you. I pray you are in a happier place where your heart is filled with joy. I can’t wait until we meet again. I love you Jake.

  39. Eric I miss you so much …still some mornings when I wake I don’t remember you are in heaven, then it hits, you are gone forever from my arms but never from my heart. I will always remember you at 25 with that huge smile!

  40. Losing my son Angel after a long and courageous fight with leukemia is the worst pain ever. I always have been a person of fath but more so I like to control my emotions. I never in a million year would of think that my Angel will die before me but it did happen. Every day is a tremendous challenge to continue to move with my life. It hurts to be happy it hurts to be sad all of these emotions that are so strange to me, I dislike them. There are times that I want to scream and stop the world and I might be able to bring him back home again. Then I start convincing myself that he is in a better place he is with Jesus like he called it many times, “the greatest gift of all”. Then I cry out of desperation and I realized my baby has left me for heaven and not matter what he is not coming back. I pray so much every second I need to pray it helps. I wonder how many grieving parents feel the same way. I hope my pain brings comfort to other grieving parents because we are not alone. God bless

  41. My heart goes out to each and every mother that has lost a child. What’s left of my heart. I had lost my father 5 months to the day, he was 86 and had a good life, was sick for the last 10 years, it was God’s way of getting us ready for his journey. I miss my father but nothing compares to missing my son, he was only 21, just starting to live. One comfort I do find is that he is in heaven with his grandpa and many close friends.

  42. I have not had an easy life, it has been a very tough journey. Yes I’ve been around the world (and continue now); yes I have a wonderful connection everything around me, plant, animal, insect, etc. But my heart has been broken multiple times. NOTHING I have ever experienced, or WILL ever experience (including some horrible diagnosis, pain and death) compares to THIS grief, this “missing”, this horror. So far no one has been stupid enough to tell me to “get over it”. Hopefully, that will never happen or I will go away in handcuffs. The exquisite agony cannot be explained. The fact that I am surviving this is a miracle to me, the result of my preparation at age five while dying from double pneumonia: I was WARNED. I always, always remembered that vision. I never lost sight of it. Without it, I would not be here now. What kind of “survival” is “worth” the experience of going forward into time without your precious child? I can’t answer that. But I’m doing it.

  43. Phil Odendaal aka Tertius Heenen……..10/3/1988 – 29/6/2011……….. Every day i shed a tear for you. I am greatful for the years we spent together living alone in our duplex that your stepdad provided us. We shared special times…..from finding out you smoke to cuddling on a bed watching fireworks down the valley. No one can take those memories away. They feed my soul but so too does your face in death haunt me! That smile gone forever. The shock of seeing you just lying there. It is just not right and somehow i cant process life having anymore highs after that day. I exist and play the human game. Death has been my constant companion after my dad dying when i was four, the his parents…my grandad and granny later on in life, a misscarraige at four months that NO ONE ever acknowledged or helped me over come, now…..you are just gone. Ripped from this earth by a man that drove into your path and just got a fine! Taking a life means so little. Now my faith is my companion, my God is my comforter and this earth is but a mere transission to a place where hurt will be no more. Thank you God for allowing my son to come and comfort me and to assure me he is ok. That vision has restored some life into my soul. Till we meet again my son! Enjoy the company of my dad Phillip, granny Flo and grandad Phil! Hugs to heaven. AND back!

  44. To my dear son Ethan, it’s been almost 4 months since you passed. I have already cried a river of tears and do not see an end in sight. The depth of my love and how much I miss you cannot be described in words. The only thing I look forward to is seeing you again on the other side. xoxo mom

    I cannot find adequate words to describe child loss. Your life stops, time slows down, you shut down socially, you can’t breathe and you would do anything to have your child back. It is a nightmare no parent should endure.

  45. August 5, 2006 my 21 year old daughter Jenny was murdered by a 23 year old drunk SOB driving the wrong way down the interstate. Fortunately, he died too. My life was been forever changed by him but I don’t get the chance to confront him. I know I suffer from Complicated Grief otherwise known as Unresolved Grief Reaction. Rumination is my worst enemy! I know Jenny is dead and I will never see her again. I do not share the belief that we will be together again. I wish I did because I wouldn’t be hurting so much. To me, such faith exists because believers cannot go on without something to hold on to. I struggle every day, throughout the day with going on without her. I have great guilt for not being there emotionally for my other child when she needed me the most. My depression smothers me. I know all the things grieving parents can try to move forward. I could write a book on what to do. Problem is that I do not find comfort in those things. Volunteer work or getting counseling or journaling, or setting up two scholarships in her memory – none of these have helped. I no longer have panic attacks every time I ride in a car at night but all these years later and I still feel as though I’ve been punched in the stomach when I hear sirens or see flashing lights of emergency vehicles. I panic if I don’t hear from my daughter. I can’t fully enjoy our new vacation home because Jenny was killed 2 1/2 months after we moved in. Riding in my other daughter’s car only reminds me it was the car we drove in for 14 hours to get home after we learned of Jenny’s murder. I could go on but I am finding this too difficult to continue. I’ll close by saying I hope if you are reading this blog out of your own grief, that you will find peace and eventually get to where you don’t cry because your child is gone but can smile because he or she came into your life, for however briefly. To each grieving parent, I am so very sorry for your loss.

    1. Thank you so much for your open and honest comment. I can tell you’ve been working with counselors, and that you have gotten some help which is good. I don’t think we ever get to a really great place in our lives when a child has tragically died (as in the case of your daughter Jenny). But, there is help with the trauma part. I’m wondering if you’ve tried EMDR therapy? http://emdr-therapy.com/emdr.html I know some people that have had tremendous success with this.

      I’m so very, very sorry for the death of your daughter. I feel so strongly about keeping people off the roads who have been drinking. Our laws are tough, but they need to be enforced!

      Thank you so much for your closing statement! That is the prayer of every parent of child loss — to remember more vividly that he/she lived and to allow the beauty of their lives to bring us comfort in our pain.

  46. Or people talking on mobile phones!!!! The guy that killed my son was talking on his phone and DID NOT STOP TALKING WHEN HE HAD MY SON WRAPPED AROUND HIS BACK WHEEL!! Thank goodness for kind bystanders that witnessed it. Unfortunately he only got a fine due to admission of guilt. God will be his judge. I cant hold that hatetoo in my heart!!

  47. Dear Shanda,
    It is another dreaded Saturday and at 3:00 p.m. I will look at the clock like I always do marking one more week since you walked out the door and did not come back. It is through tears that I write this note to you. I hope you can see it.
    Your daughter is doing fine in my care and I am going to get her into a different counselor next week. We are hoping this Lisa gal will be a good fit for her.

    I am not doing as well. I continue to battle on in your name and your honor. I have not given up the fight. There are certain things I know for facts and the 1st one being that you never meant to die and not come back home that day. I am so sorry for not looking for you, but please understand, I wouldn’t have known where to look anyway. I did not know about that place where they found you. I would have not known.

    The 2nd thing I know for a fact is that the police used and exploited you. They had a direct influence in your death. I blame them. I do and I can’t change that. I will hold them as accountable as I possibly can. I am working on it.

    The 3rd thing I know for a fact is that the police did NOT investigate your death properly. They didn’t question anything! They closed the case the day of your autopsy and called an “accident”. There were so many things that should have been done at the scene that the police failed to do. Again – I will attempt to hold them accountable or at the very least make them understand what they did wrong so they won’t do the same thing to someone else.

    I don’t blame you for anything you have ever done in your life here on earth. I would take a million heartaches if you were hear again, than the heartache I have now that you are gone.

    I love you more than anything and want you to know that. I am sorry for any wrong I ever did toward you or perhaps not understanding your issues as well as I should have. For that I am guilty as charged and will live with that the rest of the days of my life.

    Much love and I hope you are in the light of Christ,
    Your mother…..

  48. My dearest Nico, missing you is like trying to breathe while under water… Just about impossible. We love you so very much and you will always be in our hearts, mind & soul.

  49. My son David was excited to go to a party on the 21st December 2012, he was missing until Sunday 23rd, when they found him, drowned. He shouldn’t even have been near water to get home, he was 21, the shining light of our family. Happy, and beautiful, inside and out. My life has fallen apart, I have 2 other beautiful sons who I love so much, I am broken. I ache for him. I miss you so much Dave, we all do, life is going on around us, we want you back so badly. Love you xx

  50. My dearest baby Dylan,
    I miss you so so very much! I never ever thought that you would be taken from me. This does not happen to us! You promised you would never OD!!!! You knew how much you could take! Why ? You were clean 2 years! Why? You told me life was so great 1/2 hour before you passed! You told me how lucky you were that I have unconditional love for you! You hugged me !!!! Kissed my cheek!!!! and sweetly whispered “I love you mamma”
    I blinked and you were gone, forever! I am so so sad and lonely with out you!
    All my love to you on angels wings. Sweet dreams little man, sweet dreams!
    mamma loves you always and forever. xoxoxoxox

  51. My precious, only son, Wes. January 16, 1986 – November 25, 2012.
    I thank God for 26 beautiful years…..and I long for the day when I see you again.

  52. My son – the air is so hard to breath with out you in this world. I came across a Mother’s Day card you gave me – I felt the envelope – I ran my fingers over your handwriting – I read the sweet precious words you wrote to me – my tears fell – the air is so hard to breath with out you in this world. I will see you in Heaven – I walk in this place this cold dark lonely place daily with out you – I love you – I miss you – I love you forever – moma❤️

      1. I found my sons last Mothers Day card to me. I had his handwriting from his card tattooed on my wrist in white ink!❤