About

One of the first things you’ll notice about this website – it’s not pretty. Losing one of your children isn’t pretty. It can’t be sugarcoated. So I’ve decided to skip the frills and angels, to leave this site plain and stark.

Plus losing my son Richard has zapped my creativity.

One technique I’ve seen recommended for handling grief is writing a journal. Being something of a nerd, I have of course chosen to do my journal in the form of a website. A blog.

I have some misgivings about this. The posts in this blog are by nature very personal.  They’re my attempt to figure out this whole dead kid thing. And release the pain. I’m by nature a private person. Yet I’m opening up this most personal part of my life to public view.

I did this because the sad truth is we aren’t the only parents to have a child die. And we won’t be the last. When you go through this, you’ll have people that care about you ask how you’re doing. You’ll wonder this yourself. By laying our grieving out in the open, maybe other bereaved parents will find some benchmarks.

Unfortunately we all grieve differently. So as they say in the commercials, “Your results may vary.”

One of my coworkers told me that after his step-daughter died, his wife was basically nonfunctional for three solid months. I took off work for 2 weeks. But just because I showed up at my job, doesn’t really mean I was at work. My mind is seldom there.

If I find something that helps, you’ll find out about it here. And when something hurts, you’ll probably find it here as well.

And finally, like most bereaved parents I want to tell the world about my kid. He was a really good young man. I don’t want him forgotten. So this website provides me a place to memorialize Richard. Tell a few Richard stories. Show some pictures. I miss him. I want people to know why.

If you find something here useful or want to share your experiences, please feel free to leave a comment or two.

If you’ve lost a child or are friends with someone that has, I hope you’ll find something here that brings you some comfort and peace.

{ 57 comments… read them below or add one }

Linda December 28, 2009 at 4:08 am

Hi Joe, just a note to say “welcome” to the grieving parents club. You are among friends, though we would probably not have sought each other out, but for this common thread of losing a child. Opening your heart here is a wonderful gift to other parents, siblings, extended family, and friends of a lost child (no matter what age). I didn’t know when I started my blog about losing my son (two weeks before his 21st birthday), that I would meet people from all over the world who shared in my particular form of grief. Now, just about two and a half years later, I feel closer to some of the people who’ve written to me, than I do to people I’ve known for most of my life. Weird, and true. Such is child loss. I wouldn’t have imagined so many things, so many events, so many losses as a result of losing my son, yet they have come to pass. Thank you for being brave enough to share your grief. It’s not easy. It’s survival. And, it’s a gift. In light and love, Linda

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Joe Mudd December 28, 2009 at 1:02 pm

@Linda
Thank you. You’re right, it does seem to be a “club” of sorts. Very exclusive. And that admission fee… much too costly. But I think that members of this club have to help one another. This grieving parent thing may not be something we can do alone. It’s just too hard a road to travel without a guide. So thanks for your help on this path.

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Lisa August 16, 2010 at 4:25 am

Hi Joe,

My husband and I were talking this afternoon while kayaking that there is simply no on going dialog for grieving dads. I am a writer, and have always journaled, scribbled, taken notes, you name it …… so I am very comfortable communicating. My husband on the other hand is an intensely private man, and has a very difficult time putting his feelings into words. Oh he shares with me, but I think it would do him a world of good to read your blog, and will be sending him the link.

Warmest Regards,
Lisa

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Joe Mudd August 16, 2010 at 10:09 am

@Lisa
I was going to tell you about the Grieving Dad’s Project website, but I noticed you already found it.

You might point out this post to your husband:
http://grievingdads.wordpress.com/2010/06/13/nightmares-have-taken-the-place-of-dreams/

There has been a lot of commenting back and forth between several grieving dads on that post.

Peace to you both.

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Tina November 16, 2010 at 4:31 am

I was told by the pastor that did my son’s funeral to go to a greiving parent group in town like he did because his son had also passed by hitting a deer,I asked if it helped, he said no I’m still mad @ the deer, my son passed away by a Bronco 2 rolling over once and catching on fire,the passenger was fine but the Bronco 2 has the gas tank directly under the driver seat and my son was the driver. My oldest son was in my S-10 in front of him before he took that turn and tryed desperately to turn around as fast as he could to free his younger brother from the seat belt, sadly he had nothing to cut the belt with, he tryed to wake Mikey up by slapping him,he was going to break his arm or whatever it took to get him out but nothing worked but getting one arm and his head out of the window,that was the reason 90% of his body was burned and he held on for 15 hrs,all the while they kept telling me he wasn’t going to make it,I was pissed! How dare them tell me my son was gonna die, hell no he wasn’t I said!Then the nurse kept telling me it was ok to cry,to me that was giving up and there was no way I would and then @10:00 am, 15 hrs after the crash the Dr says I’m sorry your son has expired, like he was a loaf of bread on a shelf. That was 7 yrs ago and I can’t get over it, I need help, I don’t want to live like this anymore, I want to see him so bad!!!!!!

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Joe Mudd December 11, 2010 at 2:09 am

Tina,
I’ve waited a long time to reply to you because I was trying to find the right words. And as we all know, those just don’t exist.

I hope when you wrote this you were just going through one of those rough times, and it’s not like this for you all the time.

The Compassionate Friends has helped us. Being with people that really know what you’re going through is important. We’ve learned the things we’re feeling are “normal” for people in our situation, and we’re not just crazy. We’ve also learned there is hope, no matter how dark things seem.

I have a friend that found Hospice helpful. They are in most cities. They can help you find more professional help if you need it.

Don’t try to go it alone. It’s too hard.

I’ll keep you in my prayers and I hope you can find some comfort soon.

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Jody Dark Eagle Breedlove December 14, 2010 at 6:44 pm

Tina,
I just became aware of your post. I lost my son also and I know
how for some of us…the pain never stops, always remains sharp and hot.
It is so sad when others treat our loss with such callous words and gestures.
You must be in great pain still and there isn’t much to be said that helps as you probably already know.
Know that you are not alone. Those of on this site really do care. You can e-mail me at eaglecrow6@gmail.com. I have some things to send you and perhaps some resources to ease the pain a little.
Until then, keep communicating with us. Don’t give up. There are some good people here on this site.

Jody

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Hilary Byrne November 23, 2010 at 11:09 am

My grandson passed away at age 20 on Oct.30th. 2010. His father my son was mother and father and started a web site and writes it like a journal. as I deal with Hiltons death I also see the pain my son is going through, it is a parents worst nightmare to lose a child. The crying never stops and sleep is almost impossible.

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Joe Mudd December 11, 2010 at 2:31 am

Hilary,
Others that have been down this path before us told me that it does get better and the tears will stop. It takes time.

That’s how it’s been for me. It’s still very painful and I miss Richard a great deal, but don’t spend much time it total despair. I’m mostly just sad.

It’s a hard thing to remember and to deal with, but our kids died, we didn’t. We still have a life we need to live. It’s much different now, but we must learn to handle the pain and live again.

It’s a process that takes years it seems.

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Tara Ferriter November 24, 2010 at 10:33 am

I am deeply sorry for everyone’s loss. I am very lucky to have all my children. However, my sister lost her son in January of 2001. This loss broke her and I have never seen, nor do I wish too see, pain like that again in my life. One thing that struck me was how deeply dark the place she was and getting out of it seemed impossible. Meanwhile, life went on. She still had a mortgage and other children to care for. However, she was nearly incapable of completing the normal daily tasks, working, paying bills, and keeping her younger children’s commitments. I wondered how other with less of a support system survived. My sister was fortunate enough to have a significant amount of earn time and a small savings so she did get some time off. However, the harsh realty is many people HAVE to go back to work immediately.
From this, I have decided I want to help. I would like to establish a charity that provides short-term financial assistance to families while they grieve. This idea is in the beginning stages but I would like to enlist your readers help. The idea is:

1. To help parents who have lost their child meet their short-term financial commitments.
2. To allow these parents to take time to grieve and not have to get up and go to work if they are not capable.
3. Help these families deal with the creditors while they grieve.

When my sister was in her dark place, I realized there are no resources for parents like her, no charities that help the parents post death, there are no laws to permit parents to take more than the standard three days off from work, and there is a need for all of this.

I am an accountant who serves on a few boards so I understand how the executive management will need to work. However, I need to better understand what these parents need. I would like the input of your readers on how to quickly and efficiently help parents who lost a child get the money they need to meet their commitments and take up to 12 weeks off work. I want to be sure that the money only goes to those who need it and is not abused, and I want to work to change the family leave act to include these parents. Please, if you have any thoughts or ideas email me at taraferriter@hotmail.com.

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Joe Mudd December 11, 2010 at 2:53 am

Tara,
I’m sorry for the loss your family has faced. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

I have sort of mixed feelings about the return to work thing.

On one hand the idea of someone that has just had a child die should be able to return to work after a few days is just nuts. Nobody should have to do that. There’s no way you can be an effective employee in that mental state.

But going back, and having to force myself to do my job probably was helpful.

I’m lucky because I work in a very huge factory. I know all the hiding places. My job allows me the freedom to move around a lot. I was able to go to those dark hiding places and pace for awhile when things became too overwhelming and the tears were flowing.

If I was in a more structured setting and couldn’t bail out when I needed to, I don’t think it would have gone well.

I’m going to submit your comment to The Compassionate Friends. They often post questions on their Facebook page asking opinions of grieving parents. You should get many ideas of parental needs.

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Shirley May 17, 2011 at 6:42 pm

Can you please send me your email address. I want to send you some information.
Thank you
Shirley
Grieving Parent
02/17/10

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Joe Mudd May 22, 2011 at 5:10 pm

Hi Shirley – I sent my email address to the email address you used on here. I haven’t seen anything from you, so maybe I missed it, or you missed mine.

Let me know if you need a resend.

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hagar May 24, 2011 at 10:37 pm

I’ve still got my kid, but I’m around too many people that don’t – I didn’t know about this site until I saw your response to “Sam” on TIff’s blog.
I’ll pass this around; looks like you’re doing exactly what’s needed… forming a core that folks can collect around. Perfect job.
As you said, the admission to this “club” is too high a price – but it would be worse to find out you were the only member. “Pain shared is pain halved, joy shared is joy doubled” is true; hope it works for you and everyone here, as you share the joy your children brought you, as well as the loss.

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Maria August 2, 2011 at 9:04 pm

Your stories touch my heart so deeply, we lost our daughter Stacie, 9-6-09 everyday is a challenge. We were very close and spoke 2-4 times a day, when she died part of me died. NOt a day goes that she is not in my thoughts, I truly feel so lost without her. I tried to be strong for the rest of the family but it is hard. Thank you for for having this site it helps.

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Jana December 5, 2012 at 1:51 am

I am going thru what you all have gone thru and still dealing with. My husband and I found our middle child Melanie on 11-13-12. She still lived at home at 25 and was finishing up college. She had trouble sleeping so she sent away for Kava for a year or so. I did not she had switched to poppy seed tea. This is very lethal!! My darling girl only wanted was a decent night sleep, instead she got permanent sleep. I am at a loss as to what to do, my husband cannot or will not talk to me or anyone.

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Joe Mudd August 5, 2011 at 9:03 am

Maria – It’s so true what you say about feeling like a part of you has died. It seems to get really hard in those weeks leading up to “that day,” so I’m sure you’re starting to feel that heaviness in your heart now. For us that day is also our daughter’s birthday. She lives several states away, so on both of her birthdays after Richard’s death we’ve run away to visit her.

Birthdays are also tough, Richard’s is coming up at the end of this month. I have a couple of coworkers with the same birthday and I take them ice cream and cake. It let’s me celebrate Richard’s birthday in secret – and score points with my coworkers at the same time.

But like you say, there’s not a day they’re not in our thoughts. I wish I knew some magic words that would bring you peace as you grieve Stacie’s death. You’re in my prayers.

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waldo & cynthia September 9, 2011 at 12:31 am

i just learned of your site, i must say im relieve to know that we are not alone. my husband and i lost two of our children, our daughter passed away on july 4, 2011 she was only 18, she died a horrible death. our son two weeks later on july 19, 2011 passed away of an heartattack he died in his sleep, he was 21. we are still greveing, the pain runs so deep words don’t describe the feeling. we have tried to go at it alone with god’s help but that was’nt enough i knew it had to be other people just like us so i went on line and typed in greveing parents thats how i found you. after reading some of the comments i was in tears, i felt the pain from the words being spoken. our hearts are broken and aching can you help us through this journey of healing.

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Bruce Goldfarb November 2, 2011 at 11:52 am

My thoughts and prayers are with you as being someone who has lost one child I can not imagine the pain to have lost two children. I wish you days of peace and for the smiles to come out when you talk about your children.. Those days will come and for now wishing your pain to ease a little every day. I know there is nothing I can say to help we are in an exclusive club nobody wants to be a part of..

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Debbie Mudd September 10, 2011 at 10:20 am

Dear Cynthia & Waldo,

As trite as it may sound, I am truly sorry about the loss of your children. Joe and I know very well there are really no words that can come close to helping you at a time like this. It is a Nightmare that never stops.

Our son, Richard has been gone two years and three months now and I still grieve. I will still be grieving his loss no matter how long I live. It changes and some days are worse than others. I haven’t been able to do anything about his room, except get rid of the bed I came to HATE for some reason I still don’t understand. But I’ve learned it doesn’t matter. I just needed it gone so it is.

Your suffering must be unbearable right now, after loosing both of your children within days of each other would be absolutely overwhelming. Your hearts are broken and aching. I was heart broken when Richard died, and my heart is still broken. The loss of our children is the most difficult thing parents have to suffer. It SUCKS!!! I can tell you there is no right way, or wrong way, we just have to do what helps us get through each day, one step at a time. And it is hard.

I’m glad you found my husband’s blog, perhaps reading some of the stories here about our journey will bring you some sense of comfort. I often come back here and read what Joe has written, he has a way of saying exactly what I’m feeling at times, some of his entries are humorous and will bring a smile to my heart when I need a lift and other times they help me reflect. I haven’t been able to express myself in this way, I just miss my baby boy all the time. You might try some of the books Joe has reviewed here. I haven’t read them, I can’t. Although I did read Heaven is Real and found it comforting. And I guess I have skimmed through some others.

One of the things I’ve found that has helped me is a group just for grieving parents, The Compassionate Friends, their national website http://www.compassionatefriends.org can help you locate a group in your area. I go to the meetings as often as I can, it is safe there. I can talk about our son, tell stories, cry, complain, listen to others going through exactly the same thing, and somehow it does help. Just knowing we’re not alone in our suffering, that there is someone out there who does understand. It doesn’t make it all go away, I don’t think anything ever will, but just having that support, a shoulder to lean or cry on, and is there ready to listen makes a difference.

I think the most important thing I can tell you about this horrible journey we are on is: Don’t let anyone tell you how to grieve, just allow yourselves to grieve. Do what is best for you, and don’t feel you have to “get over it” – you won’t. You will just learn to get up each day (somehow) and take one step at a time to get through another day. Most importantly, lean on each other, you and Waldo, love each other and be patient with each other. We all grieve differently and handle our feelings in many ways, like getting rid of a bed for some reason, just knowing I had to get it out.

Remember you and Waldo are not alone in this journey of grief there are thousands of us out there suffering right along with you. Please feel free to post on here any time, we will respond. And hold onto each other.

My thoughts and prayers are with you both,
Debbie

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waldo & cynthia September 11, 2011 at 5:27 pm

debbie

yours words has lifted me today, you say things that are true and heart filling, i can feel what you feel cause we are the same (in some sense). i was so excited to see the response i immediately told my husband “they responded”. my heart has been heavy for a couple of months now. im just now able to talk about our children however on the other hand my husband has no problem doing it. i love when he do cause it gives me an oppurtunity to see how he feels and to no that he’s stronger than me and we do grieve differently. i havent been able to put my son’s pictures back up, when he can look at his daughter( shes my step-daughter) but she was still mines. im not able to get rid of none of his things, i cant, not right now. i dont really no what will happen in the future but right now i just cant. i miss my my son(gavin) i want so bad for things to be like the were before but i no that will never happen. my life has changed dramatically, i only pray that this journey we’re taking will allow me to live and cope. keeps us in your prayers always.

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Sheila Garrison Metcalf September 27, 2011 at 1:22 am

my son Paul died on Monday May 2 2011, he was on his way home from work and had a wreck in his truck. I still find it so very hard to deal with my loss, he was my only child and he was 27 and would have been 28 on May 26. it has been pure hell and he left behind a beautiful daughter who just turned 2 on 9-15, she is the spitiing image of him and as long as she lives he lives on through her. Her mother, Heather and I have a great relationship and I love them both. . life just isn’t the same and we will never be the same. The old Sheila has forvever changed since Paul died and I need to take care of myself and find a way to start healing. I saw a saying the other day and it was as the following: When you lose a parent , you lose your past, but when you lose a child you lose your future. that is so true, as my dad died when I was only 13 years old. My son is buried next to my dad and I know the they are ok. my dad is taking care of my baby and this gives me peace. My son was named after my father and his dad and other grandfather, which are also deceased. I hope to find some peace by sharing my story with other parents and hope they will help me as well.

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Sheri Brock July 31, 2012 at 10:40 am

I am trying to find a charity that finacially asists grievimg parents. I am a single mom that lost my oldest som on 8/16/10. March of 2012, reality hit and I lost my job due to despair and staying in bed. I have survivedd untiil now and will return in sept. I just need te.mpo.rary help. Thank u for advise.

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Kevin Black August 7, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Hey Joe,

I’ve been reading alot over on GrievingDads, and i found your website. Wish I didn’t need to look at all of this.

I lost my 11 year old son, Mason, 4 months ago today. It feels like everyday gets harder and harder to deal with. I miss that boy so much. I’ll be following your stories and postings. It seems to help a little, reading other peoples writings and relating alot of my feelings to them.

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Shelly McCoy August 30, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Reading all of the post does provide a little relief to the pain and sorrow. I lost my son, Nick, on April 28, 2012. It has been 4 months and 2 days. Unfortunately, his cousin Matt was with him. They were buddies since birth, Nick was 22 and Matt was 25, they were both great guys with loads of potential but had the feeling of being invisible. Coming home late at night after partying at a local bar, stopped at Taco Bell and was within a mile from their destination and Nick crashed his beloved car (Chevy Turbo Colbalt) into 2 trees. Nick was thrown from the car and lost his leg during the accident and Matt was trapped in what was left of the car. They were both DOA. Our lives have not been the same, it has been a nightmare and fog every since. . . . . I did just return to work and am so thankful that I was able to take some time to MOURN> I am still mourning but able to hold it in most of the day without having a complete breakdown.

Richard was a handsome guy and sounds as if he was and is very loved. Extremely sorry for your loss. I hope he is able to share some time with Matt and Nick in Heaven. <3

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Debbie Mudd August 31, 2012 at 1:16 pm

Shelly,
I am very sorry about the loss of your Nick. I see he was our Richard’s age, too. I know how you are hurting. The many overwhelming feeling of loss, sorrow, all the questions continue. But for me somehow mixed in all those feelings is a since of joy. That is the one that surprised me the most. Joy that we were blessed with Richard in our life for 22 years, that he was a gift given to us to love and cherish, it just wasn’t long enough. He was gone too soon. So many feelings…and the tears. Oh, the tears are never far away. We miss our children so very much.

Today would have been Richard’s 26th birthday. One of those days that bring back many of those feelings AND the tears. So Joe and I took some Arby’s roast beef, one of Richard’s favorites and his last meal, along with some balloons, sunflowers and York Peppermint patties and went to the cemetery for lunch with our son. Its one way we cope. Doing things like that on special days or on those days that meant a lot to Richard, like Halloween.

I hope you have some support. I think I am thankful for the many prayers from family and friends. This journey is not one I would wish on anyone. It is a nightmare. And I will be mourning the death of Richard the rest of my life. One thing I’ve learned is the “mourning” doesn’t stop, the hurt and heart-ache doesn’t go away…it just gets a little softer as the time passes.

The Compassionate Friends support group is a great help for us. They are always ready to listen to stories, share our tears, and envelope us in hugs when we need it. The whole group is made up of parents mourning the death of a child. Sometimes more than one. I was very surprised at how helpful they can be.

Please visit us here anytime, leave a message and let us know how you are. Joe does a beautiful job writing about our Journey, he tells the stories so very well. But he would rather I respond to the posts, its my way of helping him, myself and others. Sometimes it may take me a while, mostly because I’m unsure of what I can possibly say. But I do try to respond.

Take Care of yourself, and God Bless you
Debbie Mudd

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Tracy Foster February 2, 2013 at 3:25 pm

My name is Tracy and I lost my son Nick July 3, 2012 ,when he was 13yrs old. Nick died in his sleep due to an epileptic seizure. Losing a child is the worst thing that can happen to a parent. There have been days when I didnt want to get out the bed and go on with my life.

I miss him so much, its hard to see his friends ride their bikes and walk to school because all I think about is that should be Nick. His best friend lives 2 houses down and when I see him coming to our house to say Hi I go back in the house and let my husband talk to him. Its just too hard to see him or talk to him because all I think is Nick should be here with his best friend.

Nick was the neighborhood kid. Nick would help all the neightbors out. He would rake leaves, shovel snow, and he even had a small business taking out some neighbors trash, and they paid him for it. Nick was just a thoughtful kid he would call me at work just to see how I was doing.

We also have a son name Myles who is autistic, and Nick looked after him and always protected Myles. When Nick died Myles didnt understand. The first night of Nick’s death Myles went from room to room looking for Nick so they could go to bed. You see even though the boys had separate rooms they always slept in Nick’s room. So that first night was extremely difficult for our family.

Nick’s room is under our master bedroom, so anytime Nick had a seizure I would hear his bed move, and I would run up whose stairs like a track star even missing some in my stride. But this night, I heard something but I heard my daughter get up and check so I didnt think anything of it. So I went back to sleep only to wake up and find my son dead in his room. This has truly haunted me and made me feel like I should have checked on Nick, that was my job and I failed.

So there are days when I feel responsible for his death.

But God has truly helped through some pretty hard days. And talking about it with family and supportive friends has helped.

I must say that my husband and I have made great progess in this journey, because there was a time when we couldn’t even memtion Nick’s name without crying. People have told tell me that with time my heart will heal….that’s not true my heart will never heal as long as Nick is dead, I have just adjusted to the Pain.

Thanks for listening
Tracy Foster

K So a mom I felt like I didnt protect Nick, I felt like I wasnt there to help him.

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Mary Ann February 23, 2013 at 11:24 am

I lost my son, Richard, New Year’s Day. I am really struggling. Please pray for me.

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Kevin Black February 23, 2013 at 12:24 pm

Mary Ann,

I am so very sorry for your loss. I would encourage you to seek out a local chapter of The Compassionate Friends. They have helped my wife and I through this terrible journey.
http://www.compassionatefriends.org/home.aspx

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Hena Manocha May 17, 2013 at 12:24 pm

Hello, my name is Hena Manocha. I’m so sorry for your loss. We all know Richard is peacefully watching over you, and he will make sure you never feel any more pain. His life lost was out of love for you; it was a sacrifice. And for that, realize, that you had an incredibly selfless, wonderful son.
I’m a senior at Dublin Coffman High School, and am tapping into making a documentary about loss and the regaining of strength. I am studying Psychology next year, in hopes of making a difference, some day. I haven’t lived many years, but I’ve also been through a lot of pain… I’ve learned that strength and hope is everything. I suffer from depression, and always will, but it’s that which has pushed me into my ultimate strength mode. I have experienced many awful things, at least in my eyes, but I’ve grown a thicker shell thanks to every painful moment. I want to show the world that everyone hurts– but it is necessary to reach beyond that. Giving up on one’s own life is a person’s biggest failure. Through this video, I want to show what true strength is. No matter what person you are, or under what section of the world you’re living in… you are not alone. Everyone hurts. But it’s only the truly strong who can try to see the good out of the tragedy that has befallen them.
I understand that this is a very soft topic, but I would be truly honored if you would be willing to share you story with me and the world. I really admire you both. You have an angel watching over you.

Please feel free to contact me through email or phone.
email: hena.manocha@live.com
phone: (614)-531-1728

Thank you.

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Ray July 11, 2013 at 5:45 pm

Hi I’m Ray and I was a father of two and it’s been about 12 days now since I found my youngest son Robert “Robbie” who was 19 months old after he had gotten out of the house and somehow fell into the channel in the backyard of our house. I had found him and grandpa and I tried to revive him. He was taken by ambulance to the hospital where I was still at the house giving my statement to the authorities when I received the worst news that he did not make it. I went to other relatives who might have had some answers for me. They had said the same things, take it a day at a time and that my situation was different. My wife and I have our ups and downs with all this. There are never any fully up times. I find myself going through alot of these grief steps almost all in a day and back again. Mornings seem to be the hardest on me the most. We agreed to seek grief counseling however no calls have been returned yet. I always felt bad hearing about the death of children and you never know how it can be until it is yours. I find myself acting on impulses and feel rushed to move on. I have many things going through my mind, it feels like thousands of things. I feel I walk around like a zombie my mind feels one way and my body the other way and vice versa. We have Robbie home now in a box when he should be outside with us and our oldest his brother the way it used to be. I am seeing some changes in him too and I am concerned. Concerned about alot even about where is Robbie? Is he here? When we leave does he follow and join us for his bye bye’s? Am I doing the right thing on every little detail? Will I ever be the same again? Can I continue my future goals? Where can I pay tribute to my son and speak aloud to him? Where do I find answers?

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Tiffany August 16, 2013 at 11:41 pm

Hi, my husband and I are about a month away from the 3 year anniversary of losing our 2 year old son. He drowned in a friends pool at a Labor Day party. He was on life support for 3 days. No brain activity. None. We donated his organs. We buried him exactly 2 weeks before his 3rd birthday. My grieving process has been unbearable and painfully slow. I cover it up in public and try not to show it at home as much as possible. We have a 7 year old – he’s always watching. I need to find somewhere that I can open up and share. I know it’s not healthy to keep it bottled up. I am an introvert -always have been- so meetings give me severe anxiety. Last year I went to a counselor one time. I cried the entire hour. She literally did not know what to say to me. She shook her head and in the end told me that I was still in shock and I had not really begun to grieve. So that was the end of that.
Reading this blog and other people’s experiences helps. I like the no frills and honesty. Losing a child is the absolute worse thing that can happen to a parent. It doesn’t matter what, when, how, why ….. And I will never get over it. Recently two close families in my life lost a child. Their children were adults. I want to help the so badly. But in order to help them I’ve got to help me. Maybe I will start here. I’m so sorry to all of you who have gone through losing a child.

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Debbie Mudd September 16, 2013 at 11:47 am

Tiffany,
I am very sorry for the loss of you son. I know how you are suffering, it hurts! I wish I could say the pain will go away, I can’t! My heart aches for our son everyday. But the pain does get softer. Talking with and listening to others going through the same grief does help you and them. Don’t hold back, share your tears with those who loved and knew your son. I found some help and support through The Compassionate Friends for a time, they are a group made up of grieving parents/grandparents, led by grieving parents. They always keep an ample supply of tissues, are ready to hug you through your tears and listen. The stories shared about the children gone to soon help hold each of us up in our grief. I would encourage you to locate a group near you and consider trying it out. You can talk as much or as little as you like.

Another thing I have noticed since Richard died is the immediate connection we have with other grieving parents. In the past few years I have made an effort to attend when a friend or relative has a child who dies. It is very hard! The tears are always there near the surface and ready to fall. But in being there to help and listen to that newly grieving mother or father, has helped me as well as giving them a sounding board.

And don’t forget your 7 yr old is grieving and may not know what to do or how to show it, so he’s watching you for a signal. He may need to talk or cry as well. Sharing the tears with someone is healing in itself. I cry for my son still, I miss him every day and every day there is always something to remind me of him and will make me smile at some memory. I let them come. And if I feel the need to mention it or him, I do.

Above all else take care of yourself, do what is best for you one day, one minute at a time. There is no time table, and if anyone says different, well they probably haven’t been there. You are not alone in your grief, there are many of us out here with you.

Take care and God Bless
Debbie Mudd

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Grief Coach September 20, 2013 at 4:17 pm

Losing a child is one of the worst feelings in the world. Going through waves of grief and feeling different emotions is common. I, myself lost my son 19 years ago and still miss him to this day. My loss inspired me to help other parents who are dealing with stages of grief. I am not a grief coach and understand what you all are going through. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

http://www.Ouch-Its-Grief.com

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John Reed October 18, 2013 at 12:29 pm

I lost my nineteen year old son Duncan about three and a half years ago due to an accident. I wrote the following recently. It’s a poem from me to anyone else who’s lost a child. It’s not necessarily encouraging, just sharing thoughts about losing a child. If it helps anyone knowing that there are others feeling the same way, then I guess that’s a good enough reason to share it.

I would offer to do anything for you
But I know that there’s nothing to do
I could speak to you words of encouragement
But I know that there are none for you

I could sit quietly by in the distance
Knowing that you feel only pain
I could come wrap my arms tight around you
But the hurt for us both will remain

The teardrops will fall as expected
With doubts that they’ll ever stop
The knot in your throat will grow stronger
Your heartache will rise to the top

There are years left before us still ticking
The pendulum of time will not cease
The answer will surely allude us
The question is ‘can we find peace?’

There’s nothing like losing a child
It’s a place gracefully few of us go
And unless you’ve walked down that long mile
It’s a feeling that you’ll never know

Thoughts left unspoken are frozen
Dreams disappear as does snow
To wrap our arms once more around them
Is a feeling no more that we’ll know

Gone are the hopes for the future
Time both flies by and stands still
Memories of past are the comfort
That we hold for our hearts to be filled

I know that my child is in Heaven
Without which I could not bear
And as time drags on slowly without him
My hope is that soon I’ll be there

I don’t want to leave from this earth
And not that I no longer care
But should I hear the footsteps of God
Death I no longer beware

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Lucy Cleary January 14, 2014 at 10:26 pm

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am a parent I have never experienced the lost of a child I can not even imagine what you have been through. But I lost a sister that was abducted by my mother’s friend. I watched my mother struggle from day to day trying to provide for me and my other siblings.

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Tomboysuze March 24, 2014 at 8:42 am

Hello dear companions,

Looking at the dates of these posts, I realized that I have a little more time dealing with the my son, Thomas’, death than most. He died in a car accident in 2006 – at 18 – three weeks before he was to graduate high school and go on to VMI. So, this April 19th, it will be 8 years that we’ve been struggling and pretty much succeeding in trying to ‘live’ again. I wanted to tell ALL OF YOU that it does get better – but it takes every ounce of courage that you can muster and a lot of prayer. Let’s face it – when your child dies, you die – spiritually, emotionally, mentally and functionally. It’s almost impossible to find a reason to want to live – unless you come to a point where you realize that your child still lives. Think about it. You can feel the life of your child in your bones, in your heart, in the very depth of your soul. Death is not the end. Our children have passed from this life into their new life. I’m not trying to preach – but I cannot bear the thought of my fellow, beloved companions on this horrible, terribly journey suffering and only suffering — for the rest of our lives. Yes, I still suffer terribly. My son was my soul-mate. He was the male version of me. We understood each other on a very deep, soul – to – soul level. He was the only person who ever “got me.” I’m a musician and writer, mom, choir director, crafter, cyclist and scuba diver. I had a passion for life that was a blast – and so did he. When he died, I died. I had to decide to live again. I have 3 other children whom I adore, but let’s be honest — we yearn for the child we’ve lost. No one can understand our pain except another parent who has walked this dark road. But we are all we’ve got – so we HAVE to be strong for each other. I want to encourage you to get out of bed. Exercise. Walk. I know you don’t want to but force yourself to do it. Grief is paralyzing. The year after our son died, both my parents died suddenly. They were two of my best friends – but my jealous siblings resented the fact that they were grieving my son so hard and they blamed me for ruining their lives. HA! It was insane. My children were very close to my parents because they were the only grandchildren that visited them almost every day. Little did I know that my other siblings were jealous of our relationship. I had no idea until they began to persecute me and my other children while we were caring for them at the end of their lives. Subsequently, my own siblings began to say horrible things about me and my son who had just died – even though he was a fantastic, good, beautiful kid and loved them dearly. We have all been to hell. We’ve seen it. Let it strengthen you with love and empathy for all those that suffer. Dig deep and find the strength to live again when you can. The first year is shock. The second year is like living in a gutter and waking up just enough to get run over again. The third year is a bit better. It takes about five years to begin to come out of the fog – and then it seems like you can walk a bit taller.

We will never go back to the life that existed before our beloved children passed from our sight. But for the sake of their memories – and to honor the LOVE THEY STILL HAVE FOR YOU – keep trying as hard as you can to keep an open heart of compassion for others and for yourself. Bitterness is the easy road for all of us, but we don’t want to be bitter when we see our children again…and we will see them. We will be together with them again. I yearn for that moment when I will see my beautiful son’s face again. But for now, I must be patient and cherish the beautiful face of my husband, my daughter, my other two sons and the faces of the dear friends who have walked with me and new friends that God sends me all the time.

I just became friends with a young musician whose two baby nieces 3 and 5 were killed in a car accident last week. I felt that God wants me to help him figure out how to help his brother and his sister in law through this — so although it’s pretty painful, I’m doing my best to tell him what to expect and how he can help the parents of these two babies survive this holocaust.

It does get better. You already know how hard you have to work just to get out of bed….but try to care about something. And know that you are already doing the hardest thing anyone on earth can do. This is a long process but you ARE surviving. You need to recognize that you are in the middle of this hellish storm, but you are surviving. Now. Today. If all you did was to get out of bed – THAT WAS A LOT! (I can tell you this as someone who stopped leaving the house, then stopped leaving my room and then, couldn’t get out of bed for oh – probably a year and a half or more. I can’t remember.)

I hope I haven’t been too preachy – and if I have, I’m sorry. But I want to encourage what I consider ‘my people.’ We belong to the club no one ever wants to join. I’m praying for all of you and carrying you all in my heart. xo

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I’d be really grateful if you could email me in connection with a post I made under one of your articles

A

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A

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eduardo July 24, 2014 at 11:07 am

Im from Argentina, I lost my 8 year old son because of a bone cancer, and I miss him so much.
I have created a blog for everyone to know how brave he was.
Link: http://miheroebautista.blogspot.com.ar/
Thank you

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Lucy Cleary July 27, 2014 at 8:27 pm

Thank you so much for sharing your blog about your son with us. I don’t know how it feels to loose a child. But I know how it feels too lose a sister. My sister was abducted when was an infant by my mother’s friend. I watched my mother struggle day to day with the pain of loosing a child. I know that nothing can ever take the place of that lost, but you can always hold on to the precious memories of your child. My mother didn’t have those memories that’s why I chose to write and share her story.
“All I Had Was Your Birth Certificate “and Memories That Remain.

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Lucy Cleary July 27, 2014 at 8:28 pm

Thank you so much for sharing your blog about your son with us. I don’t know how it feels to lose a child. But I know how it feels too lose a sister. My sister was abducted when was an infant by my mother’s friend. I watched my mother struggle day to day with the pain of loosing a child. I know that nothing can ever take the place of that lost, but you can always hold on to the precious memories of your child. My mother didn’t have those memories that’s why I chose to write and share her story.
“All I Had Was Your Birth Certificate “and Memories That Remain.

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Bonnie Goodwin February 21, 2015 at 2:47 pm

My 22 year old son Eric died of Lymphoma in 2002. I am still so very sad. I work and carry on in life, but I am depressed. I act like everything is fine and I do my job and socialize but I am so sad inside. I am not thinking of killing myself but I want to be dead.

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Rebecca February 23, 2015 at 6:59 pm

I’m just joining, my first meeting will be March 19, 2015. My son Robert was 47 years old, he passed away on Jan 7, 2015. I don’t think he was sick, but I’ll never know since his wife did not want an autopsy. The entire “event” if that is want one wants to call it was just different. I have gone over these events a million times in my mind and I’ve come up with different answers. Bottom line, Robert spoiled me, calling all the time so say hello and tell me he just wanted to hear my voice. I still find myself waiting for the telephone to ring and let it be him on the other end of the call. Its only 6 weeks since he died and every day I still feel the pain of not having him in my life. I am thankful for the recent books I’ve been given and the support from my other son, friends and family members. I think not knowing what really happened makes this difficult; yet knowing will not change the outcome.

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Rebecca February 23, 2015 at 7:18 pm

Hello Bonnie

My name is Rebecca. My son Robert recently passed away. I know just how you feel. I feel depressed and very sad, there isn’t anything or anyone I want to be with right now. Most people who have NOT lost a child do not understand the inner pain I feel. I recently read 2 books that somewhat helped. I read them twice. Both books were written by a Rabbi Harold S. Kushner; The Lord Is my Shepherd and When Bad Things happen to Good People. I’m not Jewish I’m Christian. I don’t even know how Robert passed. If I knew, would it change the outcome, probably not. It seems I feel sad almost all of the time. I’ve changed and I know I will never be the same person again. I have 2 other sons yet my grief for Robert is overwhelming. At least you are working, I have to get a job just to keep my mind from wondering and asking myself all these unanswered questions.

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Bev Rowe March 20, 2015 at 7:11 am

Hi everyone my name is Bev (Brisbane, Australia). My husband and I lost our Son Brad on 21 December 2014. He was 30 years old. The 21st December was the worst day of my life so far. I nursed my Son at home for the final weeks of his life. It was his wish to die at home and we wanted to do that for him. We also wanted to spend as much time as we could before the inevitable hit us. We knew the end was coming but it was still such a shock when it happened without any real warning. He just stopped breathing. Watching the funeral director’s people take my Son from our house for the last time was heart wrenching and I can still see that picture and feel the pain every time I think about it.
Even though I know it’s real I still feel that this whole thing is unreal. I find the nights the hardest as this was the time I was with Brad myself especially while he was very sick. I know that my life will never be the same again but I am trying to at least do some “normal” things each day to keep me going. Some people are trying to be supportive but sometimes I just don’t feel like talking and I feel that they don’t really understand what is going on inside of me – an emptiness and sadness that just stays there even when I am trying to do “normal” things.

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rebecca March 20, 2015 at 1:15 pm

Hello Bev Rowe, I know just what you mean – that feeling that takes over. No words can describe exactly what the “feeling” means. I find sleeping almost impossible, especially during the night when I wake up. My Robert died Jan 7, 2015, as far as we know he was not sick. He took 1 week off for vacation, had breakfast with his best friend, drove home, sat in his chair and 2 hours later was found dead. There was not autopsy, so what am I left with…lots of unanswered questions. Robert was a great guy, just like your Brad, like all these other parents who have kids who passed on before the parent. Like you when death took my Robert, something inside of me changed. I can’t tell you exactly what changed, its something I feel. The journal helps, but most of the time its not enough. Other people who still have their kids or never had kids are compassionate but they really don’t understand when you talk about “feelings”. The last day I saw my son was 1 day before he was cremated. I ‘ll never forget his eyes, his lashes, his lips and everything I loved about this guy. Its a picture memory that flashes before me every day and every night. I am a Christian and I’m reading lots of good books. One that might help you is When Bad Things Happen To Good People. written by a jewish rabbi… who also lost his son…
my best to you, its good to talk to people who are in your same shoes. bless you
rebecca

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Bev July 5, 2015 at 6:45 am

I’m having one of my many down nights and was drawn to this page. I am still feeling very much alone. Even going to Church I feel that people expect that I should be “getting over things” more now but I feel no better than I did months ago. I just have to look at Brad’s photo on the wall and my mind goes through so many things. Brad had a sad life even though he would put on this brave face and many people did not know of his struggles. He suffered with anxiety and depression for many many years. His mental health drove him to alcohol. He didn’t drink nearly as much as I have heard other people have drunk and still survived but there was something wrong with his liver which did not allow it to recover even though he had stopped drinking. I am a Christian. Brad had been a christian and then became angry with God for a time but before he passed he had given his life back to God. I have a second Son who is almost 2 years younger than Brad and I know that I need to get through this for him as well but at the moment life feels like it has no purpose for me. I do things mechanically because they have to be done but none of them seem to have a purpose. I realise that grieving does not have an end date but tonight I need to put my thoughts and feelings on paper so to speak

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Rebecca Carranza July 6, 2015 at 4:41 pm

Hello Bev All I can tell you is for me everything is one day at a time. I no longer think of next week, vacations or plans my son and I used to talk about and make. I haven’t slept a full night since Robert passed Jan 7, 2015. There are days I feel sick, lonely and even though I get up, get dressed I find myself taking naps and wanting to sleep more that before. I pray and I talk to people who love and support me. My daughter in law has been zero support, actually after Robert passed she turned out to be a very evil person which also hurt and shocked me… so loosing Robert and then getting kicked in the butt by my daughter in law was a double whammy. I force myself to do things and I allow myself to cry when ever I want to. I am thankful my youngest son lives nearby and he offers the comfort and is a good listener. I am not interested in opinions because it seems everyone has them. Find a good listener this might help. My prayer and communications with Christ is vital-this does not mean things are different but I still need this communication – its something just between the Lord and me. Grieving sucks it really does… there are lots of moms and dads who are grieving just like you and me. Each of us feel this tremendous loss where its difficult to find the right words. You are not alone in what you are feeling. A fellow griever told me to not focus on what happened after Robert passed, to not allow my daughter-in-laws behavior to play a role in how I felt. He and his wife focus on every recollection about the son they lost. Focus on the day he was born, the growing up stuff, birthday parties etc. I tried this and its helpful …sometimes… When I look at my sons picture I talk to them and I cry and this is ok too….. Rebecca Carranza

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Zoe July 24, 2016 at 7:51 am

We lost our daughter a little over a week ago after a six year battle with breast cancer. She was 31. She died hard. I just found this website & will read it over. My heart goes out to all of you.

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