Child Loss,  Healing after child loss,  How to Validate Your Child's Life after Death

Why Does It Hurt So Much to See Life Go On After Child Loss?

If you’re like me, one of the most difficult things for me to hear is how quickly life has gone on for others following the loss of my son. I want to know others are feeling some of my loss. I need to know that others still remember my son.  I want so desperately to know that others still think of him.

And, yet the fact is that life has gone on very quickly for most.  

It hasn’t been quite one year since my son died, and I’ve noticed more and more that when I mention his name people are starting to shut me down.  I think it makes it uncomfortable for them to hear me talking about him.  Some people have said that they are afraid I might be stuck in too much pain.  Others just get a pained look on their face as if to say, “Why are you bringing up this sadness again?  Can’t we just focus on only the happy things in life?”

The truth is it comforts me to talk about Mike.  I want to say his name.  He is one of my children and his life was intertwined with us as a family for forty-two years.  How can I talk of anything without mentioning him?

His memories dance within my head day and night.

Just before Easter my daughter-in-law said to me that one of the last pictures she took of Mike was with bed-head.  She said he was standing in the kitchen making coffee and looking over at the kids when she snapped the picture.

I cried.  I cried a lot when I heard of this last picture. 

I cried because I know how much they miss him.  I cried because I pictured him standing there barefoot as he always did getting his cup of coffee in the morning.  A simple ritual, but one of so much meaning.  He was ready to begin his day — watching his children, and planning on enjoying some quiet time with his wife at the beginning of a new day.

Yes, I cried.  But, I need to hear things like this.  I want to hear stories about my son.  I want to hear the everyday things about his life.

I need to know that he is remembered and missed!  I need to know that he is still loved! 

I wish that people understood how important the little conversations such as this are to parents who have lost a child.  I wish others understood how much we long to hear stories about the little things that our child did — the things that we didn’t always get to see or hear about.

I wish that life didn’t go on so fast for others. 

When Mike died, I began journaling my thoughts.  I live alone — the rest of the children are adults and I’m left with memories.  Precious, beautiful memories.

And, some very sad memories, too.

With the help of my youngest daughter, I have written a book about this journey of child loss.  It’s not just my journey.  It’s the journey that each of us who has lost a child, a grandchild, or a sibling is taking.  This is not an easy journey.  It’s hard.  It’s difficult.  And, yes, it’s often very sad.

We are left with the job of figuring out how to rebuild our lives while living in our brokenness.

I hope you’ll read the book.  I think it will help you.  I think it will help you a lot.  My life hasn’t gone on too fast.  I’m still here, and I want to share my son with you as we travel this journey of child loss together.  Child Loss — The Heartbreak and the Hope is a book that will help you understand more about this journey of grief we’re taking.  Will you get the book and walk hand-in-hand with me through this pain?

I promise you that I will be here to listen.  I will be here to care.  I will treasure hearing stories about your child, and I thank you for letting me share stories about mine.

You can order your book here.

Clara's Book

Love and prayers always,

Clara Hinton


  • verla kellar

    i didn’t know your son, but i know your pain. my grand- daughter, Amber, was only 14. she had been a huge part of my life as she spent a lot of time with us. when i want to talk about her, and that’s a lot, i refuse to be shut down. when her brother, 10, asked why i talk about her, i told him it was because it made me happy and i didn’t want anyone to forget her. EVER. God bless you and may He bring you peace and comfort. vk

    • Clara Hinton

      Verla, Thank you so much for your comment. I, like you, will continue to talk. I understand talking about my son makes many others uncomfortable, but it brings me so much joy just to say his name that I will continue to say his name forever and always. I’m so glad that you can talk freely using Amber’s name, also! Love to you!

    • Caroline

      Grandparents grieve twice. They grieve not only for the beautiful child they have a relationship with and love so very much but they also grieve for the pain of their own children. I’m so so sorry you lost your grand daughter. I’m sure she was a wonderful person and a benefit to her community.

  • Susie

    I truly understand about wanting for others to share. I to love to hear others tell about things they shared with our daughter, or for them to share pictures. I have been fortunate to have friends who allow me to talk about Lisa. Lisa was 38. She got sick on a Friday and didn’t go to work. Went to the doctor 2 times the next week. Nothing was said about the flu which it turned out that she had. The H1N1 (Swine flu). Lisa had connected with so many of her old high school friends on Facebook. Her old friends will still write on her site from time to time. Oh, how it warms my heart. One of her friends faithly gets her flu shot in memory of her and always posts it on her site. Love all of your hearts that have lost a child. Life will never be the same for us. It’s like the old song, “Tracks of My Tears” said laughing on the outside, but crying on the inside. Lisa has two beautiful and wonderful kids. I found myself always grieving for them and my grief was put on hold. Probably that is how the Lord got me thru the first few years. I have the promise that I will live eternally with Lisa. She was a wonderul Christian.

  • Judith Williams Gentry

    I know my pain and it does hurt even if it has been 36 years now. I often wonder what she would be like today, the police office she wanted to be, married, children, all these things. She was only 18 and a senior in high school when she died. Now my husband passed away 2 1/2 years ago and is buried next to her with a space for me when I pass. He would never let me visit her without him. On the 30th anniversary of her death a huge bunch of her friends got together and had a 30th memorial anniversary in her memory. I, too, don’t want her ever to be forgotten. It was awesome. All of us grieve in a different way. I love and miss both of them so much.

    • Clara Hinton

      Judith, I’m so sorry for the tremendous losses you’ve had in your life. It hurts so much when we don’t have those we love here with us. What a beautiful thing to do on the 30th anniversary of your daughter’s death! I’m so very happy that you have so many wonderful friends who continue to help you keep the memory of your daughter alive. Thanks so much for sharing this!

  • Disa Van Orman

    Clara, thank you so much for sharing your story. I lost my 6 year old grandson almost 3 1/2 years ago. It felt like everything else went on as usual and for me, my world was shattered. When asked how I am, I still to this day can not say fine. When I sat down to write his eulogy, he came to me and gave me a poem letting me know that he was still with me and would send me signs. He kept this promise. I took my photos of animals and nature and it is now a book “My Loved One Shines On! A Gift from Beyond”. I will never stop talking about and celebrating my beautiful Dylan Skye. I hope your book brings comfort to many people. It is a painful journey to be on.
    Disa Van Orman

    • Clara Hinton

      Disa, What a beautiful, beautiful tribute to your grandson, Dylan! I am sure the book has brought you and many others a lot of comfort! How wonderful that you were drawn close to animals and nature and put that all into book form. It’s wonderful hearing from you. I’m so very sorry for the loss of your sweet grandson, but so happy that you have found a way to diminish some of your grief.

  • Amanda bennett

    I just want my boy back home with me it’s not fair.two years 16th March 2016 my precious boy was only 21 Peter Leigh Bennett….

    • Clara Hinton

      Amanda, I’m so very sorry for the loss of Peter. Life definitely isn’t fair about a lot of things, and this is one of those things. Again, I’m so very sorry. My thoughts are with you.