Reader Comments: You can support other bereaved parents here.
I respond personally by private email when I feel I can be of immediate help. Otherwise, I leave it to our parents to support one another. This is YOUR site.
From Haney: It’s been 3 miserable months since we lost our only son and life has changed so much..it’s like everything is BD or AD (after death ). There is no one to leave anything to when we are gone…pictures and personal things that no one else would want. Will they be found in a flea market some day or what should we do with them? Tons of photo albums that are precious to me but would be trash to others. Things handed down to me by my parents and grandparents sold to the highest bidder? So many things I never thought about when he was alive. Every day along with the tremendous hurt I am feeling I try to make it through without him and constantly have questions I need to ask him. I know my pain won’t get any better and I don’t know how to survive, but I have to. Like Richard I am no longer afraid to die and welcome it. Will anything make me happy again I wonder? I really feel for the others of you going through this thing we never thought could ever happen. Every day someone says they don’t know what to say to me and there isn’t anything anyone can say that helps, but this website gives us a place to vent our hurt and anger along with thoughts we keep from others around us. Thanks for being there.
From Molly Rose: My daughter died and I thought I had to die. No purpose in the emptiness and void. Absolutely no reason to live though I knew it was wrong to kill myself. I have written a manuscript and am now revising; hopefully, ready in a month. It has been two years since my little rascal’s death and it is now that I finally have gotten beyond the hardest hurdle. I do jail ministry each Tuesday and did a lesson on Addiction, stating I had an addiction, i.e. my daughter. i couldn’t live without my daughter and that meant I had put her before God. Yes, I am not scared of death but I shall not invite it. I will wait for Go to allow me to fulfill my plan. The last two years I was blinded that others like my mom needed me and that I was selfish. Two long years drudging through the deep sadness, tears, weariness, etc. I am glad i hurdled the hardest. Therapy and a psychiatrist with meds helped, too, and a very loving mom who loved me through this and shared my little rascal with me. I feel deeply for you Kathy. So deeply.
From Elizabeth: I took my 17 year old daughter and 13 year old son to a park for a few minutes of sledding… On her second trip down, my daughter's sled veered off and she hit a small tree. I was so scared- my son bolted up the hill and tried to help her up but she was unable to move or talk. I tried to call 911 . My hands were shaking so much and my voice was shaking too. I didn’t know where we were. It seemed like forever before the ambulance came. At the hospital they said her belly was full of blood. Then they came out and said her liver had been torn and they were trying to sew it back together. And then they came out and guided us to that little room and said she died on the operating table.
It’s been a year and a month since that horrible day. I struggle everyday with the thought of suicide, but I push it out of my head because I don’t want to cause my son anymore pain. But it is so unbelievably hard to keep going on. I have lost interest in talking to my friends- there are really only 2 people I talk to. They are great, but I need their physical presence in order to feel ok. When I’m alone I feel so so so alone. I miss my sweetie pie sooooo much. She was my best friend. I tried to do everything to give her a happy life. She was so unbelievable smart and had the most kind giving heart- she made everything so special.
I feel like I failed her because she didn’t really want to go sledding. I made her go because her brother wanted to go. I should have known the hill was too icy. I should have held her hand in the ambulance- but I didn’t because I was freaking out too much. My son held her hand in the ambulence and told her and me that everything was going to be ok. I feel I failed him because he manned up while I shrank into a hysterical mess. He consoles me when he see’s me sad. He never shows his saddness to me. And my husband gets angry so easliy and …
I’m just blabbering now. All I know is the void she has left is all encompassing- like an ever expanding black hole. I have gained so much weight- 30 or 40 pounds… I hate the way I feel and look. My life feels like a prison sentence for my failure. There is no re-do and early release for good havior. She is never coming back.
From Charlie: My 22 year old son hanged himself 6 weeks ago. I thought I was strong but this intolerable grief is crippling me and squeezing the life out of me. I don’t want to live this life no more. I have a 15 year old daughter but my suffering is so great right now all I can think about is doing the same thing as he did. I don’t know what will happen to me I can’t cope with this helplessness.
From Julie: Oh Charlie! I’m am so deeply sorry for your pain. Please choose life! If you can’t do that for yourself today please do that for the baby you have with you. My son died 19 months ago at the age of 28. I have realized that we make the choice to survive one moment at a time. Please Charlie, talk to us all here. We will help you, listen to you, hold you up before heaven.
From DW: Charlie, Everyone here understands the anguish you are feeling. Survival right now really is moment by moment. Breath, talk (or write), walk, cry, sleep, but hold on. This is a painful roller coaster ride. You will feel all sorts of feelings, or be numb, or any and all at once. We all have different stories about how our child died, but we all understand what you are going through. I am so sorry for you and for your son. There really aren’t any words to describe the loss.
From DJ: Charlie, as I read your words I feel my heart physically hurting and my stomach clenching, just like it did after I lost my 22 yr old daughter 4 years ago. The pain is real and unbearable….. but hang on. Take one day at a time, one hour at a time, or even one minute at a time. You are not alone and you are stronger than you know. What helped me through my daughter’s death was knowing that she was at peace and in a blissful place……. not suffering or hurting any longer.
From Charlie: I had a difficult day yesterday the grief when it comes in waves almost takes me with it. My beautiful boy is in my thoughts every waking moment of every day. I am just trying to think about today and no further because when I think about the future I start to panic. I can’t do a lifetime without him it’s too painful to think about. No one in my family or friends list know how I feel about my son, he was mine all mine and only he and I have that bond. I am torn between him and my daughter, I want to be with them both but right now am ripped in the middle and stuck here on this side desolate and alone in my grief. I don’t know how much of this torture I can bare. Surely god only gives us what we can bare??? He’s given me too much to carry on my shoulders. It hurts so bad. Thankyou for talking to me I am so sorry for everyone else’s losses. It helps knowing I’m talking to people who have the same struggles and burdens. I wish god could take our pain away.
From Richard: Alison/Hanley, I wish you all the best this Christmas. I am also thankful that my 13yr old son at least didn’t die a violent death. 3 years ago he fell in the bathroom, hit his head on the sink, and died here at home. My wife wondered why he was in the bathroom so long. I tried my best to revive him while 911 responded. I failed.
Of course I will never get over this. His little sister (1 year younger) will never forget seeing his body lie in our living room for hours until they removed him from our home. At least she had the sense to get a lock of his hair.
When he died, I wanted to die myself. The pain was, and at times still is, too great to bare. Though I thought of it, I couldn’t commit suicide. He would not want that and I had his little sister and my wife to take care of. However, I am no longer afraid of dying! I look forward to seeing him again when that time comes.
Holidays are the worst. I was in his old room last week and noticed what looked like a scrap piece of paper in the corner. When I unraveled it, I found a piece of art work he did in the 5th grade. Had our home and family in it. I see that as his xmas gift to me.
It took me a long time before I was able to go shopping and not leave the store in tears when ever I saw a boy his age. I can do so now, but even as I write this, my tears flow. There is a hole in my heart that will never heal. The scar will always remain. This is something you understand. I have lost my parents, and even my wife (First one died at 26 of cancer. Found out she had it 6wks after our son was born). However, losing a child hurts in ways no one who has not gone through it would ever understand (Which you do). I have had people say to me “I can’t imagine”. I tell them I hope they never will.
Thanks to all of you who have shared your thoughts and feelings. It helps to know I am not alone in this (Though, I sure wish I was,and you had not experienced such a loss).
From Allison: Dear Stephanie I am so sorry to learn of the death of your son. Those of us here on this site share your sorrow, and are thinking of you and your family. I know how you feel about what you think you are “doing” to your daughter, but trust me, she understands and has her own grief. The most important thing I’ve tried to do with my son is not make him feel “invisible” in my grief for my daughter. I try hard not to cry in front of him, but he tells me that we have to grieve together, and I think he is right. It has only been a very short while since the death of your son, and we here have all learned that there is no right way or wrong way, or timeline in which to grieve the loss of your child. It will take the time that it takes. I am so sorry for your loss.
From Haney: It’s Thanksgiving and we came up to the mountains to try and pretend there WAS no holiday…but it didn’t work. I am still crying a lot but mostly early morning or when the sun goes down. I feel so alone since our parents are gone and now my only son. It helps to have this site to express how I feel.
I have been reading this blog for a few weeks but this is my first comment. First let me say that no words can express my sorrow for the pain of everyone here. I cry reading the stories here.
My five year old son Kai, the younger of my two sons, drowned in February 2013. His father (now my ex-husband) and I were both home when it happened. I was occupied in the front of our house signing papers to donate one of our cars to charity and thought my husband was watching our son. When I realized things were quiet, I ran. I found him lying on the bottom of the pool. I did CPR and the paramedics and ER staff worked on him for over an hour but he was gone. At that moment my life ended, too.
Finding my little boy dead (and the hours that followed) was the most horrific thing that I can ever imagine happening to me. The guilt and sorrow I live with is beyond my ability to express in words. If it weren’t for my other son, I would have killed myself long ago. I have no fear of death because I truly believe that Kai is waiting for me. So many times I have cried and told him how sorry I am for failing him. I know he forgives me, because that is who he was. He knows I would have died in his place had I been given that choice. He had such a sweet, pure soul. He loved life and he loved people and people loved him. He made friends wherever we went. It’s been 15 months and I am still in utter shock that this happened. A lot of the time I realize that I can’t breathe but somehow my heart keeps beating. I never knew that it was possible to be in this much pain and still live.
It’s amazing how much you have to hide from people after your child dies, even people close to you. I feel so alone. I printed out this blog post and I read it when I feel most desperate. The last thing I want to do is cause more grief to my parents and my son.
Hugs to all the grieving parents here. I am so sorry for all of us.
From Rosemarie: I wish I could take everyone’s pain and sadness away along with my own. This is a long journey. So hard. I heard a comment on TV today that everyday we survive is a tribute to our children. We each have to find our own way and learn from and support each other. I pray daily for all of us and our children.
From Nancy: Jody, Richard and Julie- thank you so much for responding. I asked my husband to read some of your wisdom as I expressed comfort in finding you. I have a large, loving support system, but no one understands. ... I so appreciate your words of comfort and encouragement. Every morning is excruciating, every night full of terror. I can’t talk to God-He has my baby girl and I have too many tough questions for Him. So I turn here to this unfortunate group of compassionate grieving parents. Thank you all.
Haney, Richard, thank you so much for your replies today. Haney, I hope you find some peace in the mountains over the holiday season. A couple of weeks ago, some new friends we made directly as a result of Lindsay’s death asked us to house-sit and dog-sit at their beautiful home up north on a river. The dogs were a real comfort, but at times, the stillness and the quiet was almost too much for me to bear. But we each find our own ways to grieve and to try to cope, and I hope being in the mountains helps you.
Richard, I read everything you post and know your son’s story – you have brought me at times more wisdom and comfort that you could possibly ever know. I know you did everything you could to save your son, but I also know how in the last three years, you must have gone over that day a million times in your own mind searching for what could have been done differently, as I do every single day. My daughter and I had been discussing the escalation in her ex-boyfriend’s behaviour not two weeks before she died. I have learned not to blame myself as much for my inability to have protected her, but some days the self-blame is terrible, even though the police let me know that nothing anyone could have done could have prevented or stopped what happened, due to the plan that her ex-boyfriend had to find and kill her.
As Haney says, we all wish we didn’t have the loss of our precious children as the tie that binds us, but I am very grateful to each and every one of you for the gift of your kindness and solace while dealing with your own immeasurable sorrow.
Sending love your way.
From Kathy: My son died nine months ago . I sometimes think back to the night before his death when life was only ordinary. To that false sense of serenity that I had, to the peace of not knowing the hammer blow that was about to fall . How easily is a life destroyed and with it the lives of others who loved.Our family is devastated shattered the world changed forever into a darker more desolate place. Yet we go on somehow have survived in this sea of sorrow. We have survived the gross insensitivity what is the matter with people? We live on but in a sad place I don’t know how.
From Patty: I now understand jealousy of those that still have their children! Last year I had done most of my Christmas shopping by now. My son died this year, and I haven’t bought one gift! I have no desire to do any shopping either. It’s hard to shop when you feel dead inside. The only thing I’ve bought are some Christmas cards to send to family. I’m thinking about asking my family and friends to donate money to a charity for children or animals this year in memory of my son instead of doing anything for me. Matthew loved animals and children loved being around him. I couldn’t think of a better thing to do for Christmas! We just have to figure out how to get from one Christmas to the other.
From Leanne: When my husband died I had a mantra – If I can make it a year, I will be okay, I will know that I have already done each day one time, and if I can do it once, I can do it again. With my Son, there is no such feeling, everyday seems impossible. And yet, we get through them as impossible as they seem. I try to remember Mike, smiling and happy. Sometimes I have to meditate to get there, the awful memories come so easily, but the good ones are elusive. Please be gentle with yourself, know that your child knew the love you felt, and still feel. We carry them in our hearts, right next to that big hole that was left when they passed. I hope you can find comfort knowing you are not alone, each of us, reads and listens to these stories and we grieve with one another. I don’t think it gets better, I do know it gets different. Grieving is exhausting and painful, so again be gentle with yourself. You are not alone.
From Pardonn2: Once I did get through the trauma of acceptance and trying to “live” (as I have “mostly” done, I think), I have no true joy anymore. Honestly, I don’t think that I ever will. It’s been several years now and I remain stagnant. I have no dreams or hopes for myself. I know the best parts of my life are now over and have been since the death of my older daughter…it’s survival only for my little girl who is here with me. It’s so hard to explain this unique pain to anyone unless that person has felt a loss of a child, too. My soul feels empty inside most days. If I didn’t have my little 11-year-old, whom I am her entire life and vice versa, it would be so much easier not to live. Living has become work. There is little joy. I still couldn’t purposefully leave only living daughter. I know it would really mess her up for the rest of her life. I’ve researched the impact the suicide of a parent has on a child (because yes, I have flirted with the idea). I found out that suicide can be so traumatic, especially if the child is 18 and under, even causing them to battle with suicide his/her entire life. I don’t want that for my only living daughter, no matter how useless I feel inside. I am the love of her life and the sole caretaker of her pretty much now, though I admit I know I have failed her in my heart. She deserves more than I could ever give her. She didn’t ask for my pain! I feel like she has saved me in many ways, but that it wrong because it should be the other way around. I should be the one saving my daughter. She has had to watch me suffer way more than any child should have to. She is now only one year younger than my oldest daughter was when she died. It gets manageable in some ways, but the pain never goes away for me, and it never gets easy really! The death of my child has sucked the life, the joy and the purpose out of me. All I have left is the life I am living to sustain my other daughter. Sad and truly pathetic, but it’s how I feel.
I’d like to tell all of you parents that I truly am sorry that you have to feel the pain that I feel. Knowing that I am not alone doesn’t make it better. I makes me feel sad for all of you. I am sorry that I am not here to add much but my sorrow. I still hope you find some light through this. I don’t know how or when or if it is possible because I am still searching myself. I appreciate all the sharing. Your comments do help me see that my feelings are not all that unique, especially on these days when I realize that I am so messed up from all of this.
I rarely read about this anymore because it is so hard to put my head around, but I wanted to post here today. I know I sure need all the support I can find. Love to all of you!
From Jan: to everyone tonight peace and prayers – it is 4 months today that I lost by baby girl and I just cannot find the desire to go on anymore but I know that I was left here for a reason – I just wish I knew what it was. I cried all day and cannot stop aching for her – to hold her again, to smell her smell, to listen to her heartbeat – oh god why did she have to go. Love to everyone here – you are my strength.
From Linda R.: Thanks for the article… my 21 year old and his fiancé who’s was 20 both killed in motorcycle accident a couple weeks ago. I keep telling my family my heart feels like it is literally broken and have chest pains and brain pains. This is going to be a process and difficult journey of hills and valleys in the land of “oh-no”. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. Moment by moment…just breathe!
From "livingthroughitsite": 11 years ago today, my precious son, John McKay Kunz left mortality and entered The Spirit World. I am grateful to know that he lives on as a spirit entity. I do not use past tense abt him.
Today I will remember him with a Zoom meeting, to which many dear friends, family, former teachers have been invited to share their memories and thoughts.
My heart still hurts today, but it is less intense. As I talk about John McKay in my daily dealings, there are many who show compassion and love, and any acknowledgement, validation helps to some degree.
I am grateful to be the Mother of John McKay and younger brother James, who is estranged from me today. I would do it all again to have them in my life in whatever form that takes. I am a Mother.