Grieving the loss of normal with a child who suffers

We have this picture in our minds. We wonder what our child will one day become and when it goes off the rails and doesn’t fit the scenario in our heads, we feel cheated out of our proud poppa or momma moments we had been expecting.

We may have missed seeing our child graduate from high school, go to prom, or kick the winning goal. Whatever it is, we didn’t get the satisfaction

While everyone else’s child seems to be succeeding at something, yours is struggling. It could be drugs or alcohol, learning differences, mental illness, autism, or all of the above.

That investment of your love and time in raising your child has to offer something in return. But it feels like it’s not and you can’t help but feel deflated.

I’ve grieved the loss of normal. And it’s hard.

Before Charles’ suicide, back when we were struggling with his drug abuse and depression, I’d have taken two weeks without a phone call from police as a reward.

Grieving the loss of expectations that never materialize is normal. We’re entitled. But then we have to adjust.

The truth is, we can’t invest all of our own expectations for life in our children. We need to invest expectations in ourselves. Because we can’t control or live our children’s lives for them. We can only live our own. This is why we need our own coping skills –and an attitude of compassion instead of competitiveness.

Your kids are not trophies





Published by

Anne Moss Rogers

I am an emotionally naked mental health speaker, and author of the Book, Diary of a Broken Mind and co-author with Kim O'Brien PhD, LICSW of Emotionally Naked: A Teacher's Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk. I raised two boys, Richard and Charles, and lost my younger son, Charles to addiction and suicide on June 5, 2015. I help people foster a culture of connection to prevent suicide, reduce substance misuse and find life after loss. My motivational mental health keynotes, training and workshop topics include suicide prevention, addiction, mental illness, anxiety, coping strategies/resilience, and grief. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now the legacy I try and carry forward in my son's memory. Mental Health Speakers Website. Trained in ASIST and trainer for the evidence-based 4-hour training for everyone called safeTALK.

3 thoughts on “Grieving the loss of normal with a child who suffers”

  1. You are spot on in this post. I went through the stages (anger, grief, acceptance). I still get depressed from time to time, but I try to move on and keep busy. A good quote: “Comparison Is The Chief Of Joy”. Thanks for all you mean to this community.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap