If you have a bereaved parent in your life, remember that she/he is most likely choking down sobs in the quiet of their house. The silence of where their child’s voice should be, is deafening. They likely sob in the shower. In the car. Behind their computer screen….anywhere.
Show them in tangible ways that you care.
Show them you have not forgotten their child, no matter how many years have passed.
And for the love of everyone, remember to say our child’s name over and over again. It is music to our ears. … Read more...
If ever anyone is entitled to bitterness, I feel it would be those of us who have lost a child. Frankly, I don’t want to live my life feeling that way. It would be a disservice to my son that died as well as the one that lived.
I think the key to leaving bitterness behind is finding my direction and purpose in the most devastating tragedy of my life. My purpose as a mother was to raise my two boys to be thriving adults. To have one of them die by suicide at age 20 wasn’t part of that plan. With … Read more...
Charles died 8 months and 3 days ago from the above dateand these are the things that helped me find some peace.
#1 – Joined a support group*
While in group, there were times I felt like I was pouring alcohol in a wound when hearing everyone’s stories. I broke down with each one. However, exposing yourself to others in this way releases so much of your own pain. You bond with others in the same situation. Allowing the hurt leads to healing. It’s truly a relief and it allows you to let go.
#2- Understanding that I’m not always the captain of
Alter Ego: Are you really going to push that “publish” button and depress everyone?
Me: Well that’s not why I am writing all this.
Alter Ego: Then why?
Me: I am not sure why.
Alter Ego: Then why bring everybody else down? Who wants to read this crap? No one wants to be dragged into your grief about your dead child. Who wants to hear about that? This is your journey not theirs.
Me: They don’t have to read it. It’s not a required reading assignment
Alter Ego: You know people are going to feel forced or obliged to reach … Read more...
In short, it’s when grief sneaks up behind you and bam, ambushes you out of nowhere. It takes you down to your knees, it hurts like the devil, it doesn’t ask forgiveness nor does it apologize. You can’t function worth squat and you are confused and weepy.
Just when you think you can’t take another minute, hour or day, it subsides just a bit and then a little more and then some more until finally you see a sliver of light and you rush to open it wider because you are starved for a release from this pain.
When grieving, you feel very alone, very isolated. But do know if you are grieving, you are not alone. It’s simply that the nature of grieving has a component of pain so deep, you shut down temporarily to give yourself space to absorb the emotional tsunami that often takes you down to your knees or inspires you to scream at the car dashboard. The part where you feel your worst is where it’s the most isolating. You can’t share that part with anyone else. It’s simply too personal and a painful part of the process.
Some days are tougher than others. You keep pulling yourself up over and over and by the end of the day, you’re just exhausted. And done. Just done. Usually, running lifts my spirits but this morning I kept having to force myself to keep it up. This was one of those days. Feels like this song. Funny, how his words are so relevant to my grief journey.
“This world is crushing me but I lift the weight
Look at star with a different face you’ll see tomorrow
The world will be a better place”—Charles Rogers… Read more...
I remember a trip I took to my grandmother’s when I was around 9 or 10 years old.
Usually, I’d stay in the room with twin beds with my grandmother when we visited and one morning I woke up and saw my grandmother standing up in front of her dresser crying and looking at a picture. Curious and worried, I asked my grandmother what was the matter. She told me that it was Lou Maddy’s birthday and she would have been 40 years old that day. I asked her who Lou Maddy was and she said she was her … Read more...
Those of us who have lost a child CRAVE pictures and memories about our child more than ANYTHING in the world because it’s all we have. One of the things people will tell you is that once someone dies, you find out all these things about your loved one that you never knew and it makes you smile.
But I have to tell you that those of us who have lost a child by suicide from stigmatized illnesses like addiction and depression, just don’t hear as much. We hear a lot of silence, awkwardness and change of subject and we … Read more...
So both my husband and I are absent minded, we’re both losing everything we touch and forgetting what we wanted to say mid-sentence. I’m getting lost leaving my house and putting all kinds of engagements on the wrong day. Yesterday, I apparently had a lunch scheduled at 11:45pm and again on 11:45am Tuesday and 11:45am Wednesday with the same person. Tuesday was the right day but I had to email my lunch date to figure out which day and time was right. So logistically, I am all out of whack. Thank God … Read more...
There are actually good things about grief. Believe it or not. You realize along life’s path, you can only control one person, yourself. And in grief, you realize you can’t always do that. You have to let the journey lead you and there are times you simply can’t fix yourself but you can guide yourself.
In this journey that absolutely no one wants to be on, you simply see more things than you saw before, let things go that are not important and reach out and touch people you would have never thought to connect with. You also learn other … Read more...
Those of you who have a child with special needs, mental health issues, learning or physical disabilities know how hard it is for that child to earn a high school degree. There are countless road blocks, problems, run ins with teachers over homework etc. Providing Charles with the support to finish high school was so difficult and expensive, it was a full time job in and of itself.
We enlisted the help of an educational consultant, Martha Kolbe who has since passed away. I would highly recommend that step. While we ultimately had to choose a boarding school, there … Read more...
I know so many don’t know what to say to those who’ve suffered a loss, particularly that of a child and in the case of suicide.
Unfortunately, I can check both those boxes.
Suggestions on what to say
I made a pact to welcome any and all comments and never pass judgement on what someone has asked or said because it takes guts to speak up. After so many years of suffering in silence since he had such stigmatized illnesses, it’s a relief to let it out.
Figuring out what someone else in the same shoes wants is tough.