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Old 05-21-2007, 10:28 AM   #1 (permalink)
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For those who have lost a child

"For the Newly Bereaved ~

The death of our children at any age from any circumstance is indeed one of the cruelest blows that life has to offer. The journey through this grief is a very long, dark, difficult and painful one for bereaved parents.

In the early minutes, days, weeks, months and even years of grief, we find ourselves in an all consuming grief and pain beyond description. We find it difficult to carry on our everyday lives or to think of little except our children’s death. Even our once wonderfully happy memories, shared with our children while they lived, now bring us pain for a time.

Bereaved parents do not “get over” the death of our children nor “snap out of it” as the outside world seems to think we can and should. The death of our children is not an illness or a disease from which we recover. It is a life altering change with which we must learn to live.

With the death of our children we are forced to do the “impossible”: build a new life and discover a “new normal” for ourselves and our families in a world that no longer includes our beloved children.

It is important for newly bereaved parents to know that they will experience a wide and often frightening variety of intense feelings after the death of our children.

It is also important for newly bereaved parents to understand and know that all of the feelings that you experience are very natural and normal under the circumstances. Equally important for you to know and believe is that as much as you cannot possibly believe it, you will not always feel this powerful and all consuming grief.

But right now you must follow the instincts of your soul and allow your bodies and hearts to grieve. The grief resulting from your child’s death can not be skirted over, around or under. You must go through it in order to come out on the other side.

Be gentle and patient with yourself and your family. Allow yourself to cry, to grieve, and to retell your children’s story as often as needed and for as long as you need to.

Eventually, you will smile and find joy again. You will never forget your child; he or she will be with you in your heart and memories for as long as you live.

Some of the things you may experience or feel are:

Depression.
A profound longing and emptiness.
Wanting to die. This feeling usually passes in time; for eventually you will realize that you must go on for the sake of remaining family members, yourself and your child who died.
Profound sadness.
Crying all the time or at unexpected times.
Inability to concentrate on anything, frequently misplacing items.
Wondering “Why???”
Forgetfulness.
Questioning yourself over and over: "IF only I had….?" "Why didn’t I…?"
Placing unnecessary guilt on yourself or others.
Anger with yourself, family members, God, the doctor and even your child for dying.
Fearing that you are going crazy! (very normal)
Great physical exhaustion. Grief is hard work and consumes much energy!
Difficulty sleeping or sleeping all the time to avoid the pain.
Physical symptoms such as heaviness in your chest or having difficulty breathing (if these feelings persist see your physician) tightness in your throat, yawning, sighing, gasping or even hyperventilating.
Lack of appetite or over eating.
Weight gain or weight loss.
Anxiety. (Often associated with overprotective behavior toward surviving children and other family members.)
Denial of your loss, thinking that your child will return. (Denial can be effectively treated by spiritual leaders as well as psychologists. Seek help if your denial phase persists beyond a month.)
Needing to tell and retell the story of your child’s death.
Inability to function in your job.
Sensing your child’s presence or an odor or touch associated with your child.
Having difficulty grocery shopping because of seeing your child’s favorite food(s) on the shelves.
Irrationally upset with yourself if you smile or laugh, thinking how can I smile, my child is dead? (Your child will want you life to be as good and as happy as possible in spite of death’s intervention.)
Feelings as if your spouse or other family members don’t understand your grief or are not grieving as you think they should. Remember everyone grieves differently.
Losing old friends who don’t seem to understand your pain and grief.
Making new friends through support groups with members who have also experienced the death of a child and therefore understand your feelings.
Feeling like you are making progress in your grief work, then slip back into the old feelings. Grief work usually is a succession of two steps forward and one step back over a long period of time.
Becoming very frustrated with others who expect you to be “over this” in a month, six months or a year and who say so. Or even being frustrated with yourself for expecting to be “over this” too soon. "


Bereaved Parents of the USA ©2007
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Old 05-21-2007, 10:33 AM   #2 (permalink)
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thank you DeeDee.
And hugs.
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Old 05-22-2007, 10:38 AM   #3 (permalink)
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thank you dee dee....
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Old 05-23-2007, 02:16 AM   #4 (permalink)
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(((deedee)))
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Old 05-23-2007, 01:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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(((deedee))) thank you...
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Old 08-13-2007, 06:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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(((tmarie)))

I'm so sorry you know the pain of losing a child. It's been over 2 years since I lost my son and even though I've "moved on" with my life, there's not a day goes by that I don't think of him and wish he was still here. Sometimes a feeling of such intense longing comes over me, it just blows me away. No, we'll never ever be the same, but I find comfort in the many good memories I have and in the fact that my son knew he was loved. I have regrets too and sometimes guilt still rears it's ugly head, but for the most part I've found peace. I hope you can find it too ... your son would want you to focus on the love and the blessings you shared.

hugs & prayers ~

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Old 08-15-2007, 02:44 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Wink Thank you

I have read alot of your posts. I feel as though you are inside of my head sometimes and can tell what's going on there. I lost my son last May. He was one week shy of his 20th b-day. I miss him terribly. I still can't sleep. It is almost 6 am and i sit here another sleepless night. I don't know how much longer I can do this. I am so glad that I stumbled upon this site. I reallu need some insight and support....Viki
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Old 08-30-2007, 07:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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well it's been 4 years since i lost my only son at the age of 21 and the sleepless nights continue.

i don't know any of you, but i feel the pain. life is different now....not better.

i know that only i have control of how i let this tragic situation effect my life, but somedays i really don't care.

just my toughts for tonight!
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Old 08-31-2007, 09:29 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I'm sorry you have to go through this. I lost my son 9 months ago and
I understand.

Someone here said "Life will never be the same" and it's true.
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Old 08-31-2007, 04:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thank you so much dee dee, last sunday (8/26) was the 11 yr anniversary of my son's death, and the first anniversary I have been sober. I'm sorry you know such a loss as well. In the last 6 months I feel like I have been grieving for my son as if he had only been gone a few months. People do not seem to understand that losing a child changes your view of life forever.
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Old 09-03-2007, 05:40 PM   #11 (permalink)
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(((hope)))

I'm so sorry for your loss

My son's been gone over 2 years and sometimes it feels like yesterday, sometimes it seems like forever. Blessings on your sobriety and please know I'm thinking of you today and sending prayers for comfort and peace.

One of my favorites ...

Last night while I was trying to sleep,
My son's voice I did hear,
I opened my eyes and looked around,
But he did not appear.

He said, "Mom, you've got to listen,
You've got to understand,
God didn't take me from you, mom,
He only took my hand.

When I called out in pain that day,
The moment that I died,
He reached down and took my hand,
And pulled me to His side.

He pulled me up and saved me
From the misery and pain.
My body was hurt so badly,
I could never be the same.

My search is really over now,
I've found happiness within,
All the answers to my empty dreams
And all that might have been.

I love you all and miss you so,
And I'll always be nearby.
My body's gone forever,
But my spirit will never die.

And so, you must all go on now,
And live, and understand...
God did not take me from you,
He only took my hand."


~ Anonymous ~


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Old 09-03-2007, 06:01 PM   #12 (permalink)
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For all who have lost a child...my heartfelt prayers go out for healing and peace for each of you.

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Old 09-04-2007, 10:29 AM   #13 (permalink)
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((Hope))) Sending you my thoughts and prayers.


I love that poem Deedee.
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Old 09-21-2007, 03:05 PM   #14 (permalink)
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~ To all Parents, by Edgar Guest ~

"I'll lend you for a while a child of mine," He said.
"For you to love the while he lives and mourn for when he's dead.
It may be six or seven years, or twenty-two or three,
But will you, till I call him back, take care of him for me?
He'll bring his charms to gladden you, and should his stay be brief,
You'll have his lovely memories as solace for your grief."

"I cannot promise he will stay; since all from earth return,
But there are lessons taught down there I want this child to learn.
I've looked the wide world over in My search for teachers true
And from the throngs that crowd life's lanes I have chosen you.
Now will you give him all your love, not think the labor vain,
Nor hate Me when I come to call to take him back again?"

I fancied that I heard them say, "Dear Lord, Thy will be done!
For all the joy Thy child shall bring, the risk of grief we run.
We'll shelter him with tenderness, we'll love him while we may,
And for the happiness we've known, forever grateful stay;
But should the angels call for him much sooner than we've planned,
We'll brave the bitter grief that comes and try to understand!"


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Old 09-23-2007, 06:47 PM   #15 (permalink)
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~ A Bereaved Parent's Wish List ~


I wish my child hadn't died.

I wish I had him back.

If I cry and get emotional when you talk about my child, I wish you would know it isn't because you have hurt me. My child's death is the cause of my tears. You have talked about my child and you have allowed me to share my grief.

I wish you wouldn't "kill" my child again by removing his pictures, artwork or other rememberances from your home.

Being a bereaved parent is not contagious, so I wish you wouldn't shy away from me. I need you now more then ever.

I need diversions, so I do want to hear about you, but I also want you to hear about me. I might be sad and I might cry, but I wish you would let me talk about my child, my favorite topic of the day.

I know that you think of and pray for me often. I also know that my child's death pains you too. I wish you would let me know those things through a phone call, a card, a note or a real big hug.

I wish you wouldn't expect my grief to be over in six months. These first months are traumatic for me, but I wish you could understand that my grief will never be over. I will suffer the death of my child until the day I die.

I am working very hard on my recovery but I wish you could understand that I will never fully recover. I will always miss my child, and I will always grieve that he is dead.

I wish you wouldn't expect me "not to think about it" or to "be happy" Neither will happen for a very long time.

I don't want to have a "pity party" but I do wish you would let me grieve. I must hurt before I heal.

I wish you understood how my life has been shattered. I know it is miserable for you to be around me when I'm feeling miserable. Please be patient with me as I am with you.

When I say "I am doing okay" I wish you could understand that I don't "feel" okay and that I struggle daily.

I wish you knew that all of the grief reactions that I'm having are normal. Depression, anger, hopelessness, and overwhelming saddness are all to be expected. So please excuse me when I'm quiet and withdrawn or irritable and cranky.

Your advice to "take one day at a time" is excellent advice. However, a day is to much and fast for me right now. I wish you could understand that I am doing good to handle one hour at a time.

Please excuse me if I seem rude, that's certainly not my intent. Sometimes the world around me goes too fast and I need to get off. When I walk away I wish you would let me find a quiet place to be alone.

I wish you understood that grief changes people. When my child died, a big part of me died with him. I am not the same person I was before my child died, and I will never be that person again.

I wish very much that you could understand my loss and grief, my silence and my tears, my void and my pain. BUT, I pray daily that you will never understand!

© 1998 Kathy Freeman

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