Child Loss: I’m So Lost Without My Child!

Twenty-four years ago I experienced a pit of grief like I never want to experience ever again.  My son died.

The moment Samuel’s soul left this earth, he took part of me with him — a part of my heart and a part of my soul and I knew that those parts of “us” would never return again.

I was lost.  And scared.  And felt so alone.  For the first time in my life I didn’t know if I could go on living.        Those first months following Samuel’s death were the bleakest moments of my life.  Nothing made sense anymore.  All I remember doing is crying.  And crying more.  And, never wanting to stop my tears from falling because that’s the only way I knew how to express my brokenness.

There was no guidebook to explain how to do this thing called “grief from child loss” and I was so scared that I wasn’t doing it right.  If I’m being honest, I didn’t care.  I just had one thing on my mind.  I wanted to hold Samuel.  I wanted him to wrap his tiny fingers around mine and look up at me and give me a silly little grin.  I wanted to rub my fingers through his silky blonde hair and smell his fresh baby smell.  I wanted to hold him close and kiss him a thousand times and then kiss him a thousand times more.

But, he was gone.  Samuel was now a memory and I was left to somehow find my way through this dark, deep tunnel of pain.  But, I didn’t want to.  I wanted to close my eyes and be with Samuel where all would be warm and soft and kind and full of love.  I wanted to be where he was.

Following the loss of a child, most of us go through these same feelings of despair.  We truly don’t know how to take our next breath, let alone know how to function in our homes and in society once again.  And, so we remain in a broken, frozen state of nothingness for a long, long time.

I remember crying out to God in the middle of the lonely nights asking for help.  I had other children to take care of and this wasn’t fair to them.  They needed their mama, but I didn’t know how to find my way back into their lives once again.

After about three months, I began to feel strong enough to move off of the couch and would take a few steps outside to simply sit in the quietness of nature.  I would stare at the big blue sky for  hours as the tears fell like rain.  As I cried, I would often watch the clouds moving and imagine that I’d see Samuel playing in the sky.  I knew he was happy, but that sure wasn’t true for me.  Oh, how I missed him so!

The months dragged on and little-by-little I got more energy — enough that I could take small walks to the edge of the woods where I would often sit on a rock until the cool chill of the evening air would nip at my neck. During these moments of aloneness I would watch the setting of the sun.

And, there was something healing in that for me.

As I watched the sun slowly fall behind the horizon, I imagined Samuel watching me from above.  I could almost feel his very presence wrapping his little arms around my neck as he whispered, “Mom, it’s going to be okay.  I’m never going to leave you.  I promise.  I’ll always be in your heart.”

For weeks I followed the same ritual trekking my way to the rock and watching the sun gently sliding behind the horizon speaking to me with each closing of the day.

And, then there was a moment.  The moment is as real to me now as it was then.  In the sky, the willowy clouds formed the shape of an angel.  That angel in the clouds met face-to-face with a small figure — the figure of a child.  As I stared in amazement at the clouds, the arms of that angel wrapped around the child, and drifted off into the beautiful sunset.

I will always call this “my Samuel moment” — the moment God allowed me to see Samuel in the arms of an angel.

I wish I could say my grief went away at that miraculous moment in time and that I jumped for joy and was never sad again.  That’s not at all what happened.  I did receive some peace that evening, and I’ve never felt totally and completely alone since then.

On those days when I miss Samuel so much I think I can’t stand it, I take that same walk to the edge of the woods.  And, I look.  I wait.  I watch.  I hope.  I hope to see some kind of sign of Samuel.  I pray that I will feel his presence.  And, most times I do.

Losing a child is devastating.  It literally breaks your heart in two.  But, there is nothing — absolutely nothing — that can separate a parent’s love from their child.  Not even death.  And, there is comfort and hope in knowing that!

I hope and I pray that every parent will have your special moment — that moment when you absolutely know that your child is still with you in spirit.  And, if you’ve had “that moment” I’d love it if you’d share with me.  As we share, we are encouraged and this journey called child loss feels just a little less scary for all of us!

Sunset

My love to each one!  May we feel the presence of our child this very day!

Clara

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6 Comments

  1. I to remember a night when my Matthew had his arms wrapped around my neck an d I remember just loving that moment but i had to go to work I so wanted to call in sick but I didn’t and I will regret choice for the rest of my life. My son died 2 months after that night I know your pain, if you changed Samuel to Matthew that would be my story of grief . I’m so sorry we have to share the same experience some days I just can’t take the pain I know i will never be happy not in this life time.

    1. I’m so very, very sorry. 🙁 I think every parent has regrets, and they really do a job on us don’t they? I pray that you will one day be able to find peace. Again, I’m so very sorry for the loss of your little Matthew. Life really and truly isn’t fair.

  2. My son is Samuel also. Samuel Frank Comstive 5/18/2010–4/26/2013
    We are coming up on Sam’s 1st Angelversary. I miss him everyday. My thoughts never stray far from him but by God’s grace and mercy I continue to put one foot in front of the other. I have a wonderful husband and 11 year old twin daughters also. Shortly after Sam went to be with Jesus, I started finding hearts……….usually heart shaped rocks as I would take our dogs for a walk but I’ve found hearts in other places also……….Last Thanksgiving (the first one with out Sam) I was peeling sweet potatoes and as I’m rinsing out the sink there is this one piece of potato peel that just will not rinse down the drain……..as I look closer, it’s a potato peel in the shape of a heart. Really?! Wow! Just two weeks ago I was taking pics of the sky with my phone because you could see the beams of sun shining down through the clouds and I always think that’s pretty. I posted to my FB page and I friend commented that one of the pics looks like a heart. I went back and looked at the pic. I was looking at the clouds searching for a heart but couldn’t see one. A little later another friend commented on my FB pic that she LOVED the heart pic. I went back and looked again…………this time I looked at the sun…………the sun itself was a sunlit heart due to the way the clouds were positioned. OMG! I was speechless! I call them my Hearts from Heaven. Just a little sign from God (and possibly Sam)………God is my rock (the heart shaped rocks) and the heart shape of course is “love”………God’s love for me, my love for God, my love for Sam, Sam’s love for me. Love is eternal. It doesn’t stop with physical death. Most times that I set out on search of these hearts, I don’t find them. It’s when I need them most and not really looking for them that they show up. God is so good and will see us through the most painful times.

    1. Thanks so very much for sharing your “Samuel heart story” — I smiled inside as I read about you finding the hearts. You’re so very, very right — “Love is eternal.” Thank you so much for your insightful, encouraging comment!

  3. I too have moments that I call my T-Moment/Day after my son, Talor. He was our middle child and left us at 21 years young and it’ll be four years in August. We are broken in the middle….his older brother and younger sister just don’t know what to do with that empty space.

  4. I lost my daughter Emily on August 14,2013. She was my first child. I miss her so much. She is now my angel. There are so shows that make me cry. Her birthday was suppose to be born on October 25,2013. She was a still born. i break down in tears so often and it hurts so much.But her death brought me closer to Jesus Christ.