Moving Forward after the Death of a Child

toy left at grave siteThe death of a child is one of the most difficult and traumatic events that a parent can encounter, one that will shape emotional experiences over the lifespan. Parents will encounter a wide range of emotions that will, in most cases, fundamentally change who they are. They will experience not only intense grief but also regret, remorse, and guilt about not being able to protect their child.

The emotions experienced by parents with regard to the loss of a child are due, in large part, to individual and social beliefs about parenting and the roles of parents. The death of a child erases what many parents view as a fundamental certainty: that they will outlive their children. Although there are no certainties in life, the assumption that a parent will outlive his or her child is one that is clearly taken for granted. Further, because a parent’s identity is integrally tied to his or her child, the death will alter the way the parent looks at and experiences the world. Children change the way parents look at the world and themselves. A child’s identity often becomes an integral part of the parent’s lived experiences, views on life, and personal understanding. Thus, when a child is lost, a significant part of the parent can be lost as well.

The death of a child, to many, may seem like an insurmountable event. Parents may experience extreme difficulty in moving on and may, for a long time, be unable to connect with others. Parents may choose to isolate themselves and, for a time, this may be helpful. However, parents are social beings who sooner or later will need to reconnect with the world around them, either through work or through their community. When this does not occur naturally, help and support from a counselor may be needed to help the parent come to terms with the loss and to begin the healing process.

The healing process may also include other activities that are integral to the well-being of the parent as part of a larger social community. As a parent begins to heal, he or she may seek out relationships, and, in time, may decide to marry or have additional children. For some, the prospect of having another deeply emotional relationship may seem too difficult. For others, these relationships may provide an important support for coping and healing. The decisions made by the parent should be respected, as each person will need to come to terms with loss in his or her own way. By enabling parents to grieve in the best way they see fit, true healing can occur.

The decision to marry following the death of a child is one that is deeply personal and requires the parent to consider his or her emotional state and readiness for this transition. Again, it is important to remember that each individual grieves in his or her own way. Some parents will be ready and able to move on with their lives before others. Accepting this and recognizing differences in grieving will help parents and their supporters to come to terms with personal decisions made following the death of a child. No matter what decisions are made, they must be respected by others and viewed as part of the healing process.

Parents experiencing emotional distress or uncertainty after the loss of a child should seek the help of a professional counselor to help them understand their emotions and to make positive choices moving forward. The help and support of counselors should also be sought if the individual is experiencing emotions that are detrimental to personal well-being and health (such as suicidal ideation, depression, etc.). The decision to marry following the death of a child carries with it the possibility for additional loss through divorce. Therefore, making this decision with proper support is advisable.

© Copyright 2014 GoodTherapy.org. All rights reserved. Permission to publish granted by Michael Clatch, PsyD, therapist in Glenview, Illinois

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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  • Courtney

    Courtney

    June 4th, 2014 at 1:25 PM

    There could be nothing that I would imagine would be any worse than losing a child. No matter how old they are this is till your baby and to lose that pasrt of you would create a void in your heart that could never be filled. I did not fully understand this until becoming a parent myself, and now that I am, it would devastate me to know that my child was gone and that I would never see that sweet little boy again. I guess that over time you become a little more accepting of the loss but never ever would I think that you would get over it and forget the heartache that you felt when he went away. Too sad for me to even contemplate.

  • Sam

    Sam

    January 16th, 2018 at 9:24 PM

    I lost 3 children 10 years ago.. They where 5, 4 and 2 not only my children but i lost my wife also. Over night my whole world fell apart .. To make matters worse our home was gone and everything in it.. One day woke up and i was left all alone with nothing but the clothes on my back. I went back home to stsy with my mom.. I really didnt know how to cope.. 2 years later she died.. For the past 10 years i feel like i have been walking around in a daze and acting a role .. Just enough to navigate with out loosing it.. I really dont believe i will ever recover

  • Ilada

    Ilada

    April 16th, 2018 at 9:54 PM

    Sorry to say I know what you are feeling. Three years ago I lost my only child she was 19. My whole world and out look on life have change. I’m fighting everyday to live but I feeling like dead woman walking. I can’t seem to find a way to bounce back.

  • Tom P

    Tom P

    February 13th, 2018 at 8:10 AM

    My 26 year old son was killed on his motorcycle. Wife and I are devastated right now. 2 weeks ago since. This is the most horrific thing trust me to go thru.

  • Kameron

    Kameron

    June 4th, 2014 at 3:43 PM

    Is it really moving forward or is it simply learning to put one foot in front oft he other to exist again?

    I saw what a toll this took on my parents after my brother was killed, and truly it broke their hearts beyond repair. I don’t know what they would have done without such great friends and family because it literally tore them in two. I don’t think that I have ever seen them like they used to be, now their lives and all of us for the most part are divided between how were were before and now how we are after.

  • Pricilla

    Pricilla

    July 12th, 2017 at 8:56 AM

    My 7 year old passed away 08/29/2017. What you said about your family is exactly how my family is feeling. My
    husband and I are torn in two, and my other three children are trying their hardest to move forward.

  • larry t.

    larry t.

    June 4th, 2014 at 4:06 PM

    Losing my son was the hardest thing I have ever faced I don’t wish it on anyone

  • Evelyne R.

    Evelyne R.

    June 5th, 2014 at 2:18 PM

    Larry , I am sorry about you losing your son. I too lost two sons each at the age of thirteen months. I lost Bryan almost eighteen years ago and just lost my sweet perfect Oliver on May 22, about two weeks ago. I am lost and confuse and feel such guilt.

  • lillian

    lillian

    June 5th, 2014 at 3:21 PM

    This is such a difficult obstacle that so many have unfortunately lived with in their lives. I have known so many people who have lost a child over the years and you are so right in that there is nothing like it, and nothing that can make it any easier to live with.
    Time often heals wounds but something like this, I will tell you that this is a wound that is too terribly deep to ever heal.
    I would encourage anyone with a loss like this in their lives to seek out and attend support group meetings for parents who have lost children. Talking with others who know that pain and and who have experienced that same kind of loss can do so much toward helping you understand and process your grief, as well as a way to meet others who have made it through that darkness to the other side.

  • seth

    seth

    June 6th, 2014 at 4:15 AM

    I have some very good friends who lost two children last year in a car crash together and they are still struggling daily with what it means in their lives to have had two children taken from them all at once.

    I go over and help them do things around the house and they haven’t changed a thing in the girls’ rooms and I don’t know that they will ever be able to do it. They cry every day, even though they still ahve to maintain some sort of semblance of life just to pay the bills.

    I often wonder if the two of them together ate going to make it, if somehow they remind each other too much of the pain and loss that they have experienced together.

  • Cal

    Cal

    June 7th, 2014 at 12:38 PM

    Why are we always setting these timelines in our head and thinking that by this date or that someone should be over their pain and loss. With something as large as losing a child or any family member for that matter there is no way to judge how quickly someone will be able to move on or even if they will ever be able to do that. This is going to be a journey that is very deep and personal for nayone experiencing this kind of loss and we can’t go putting our own strictures on how someone else chooses to manage their personal pain.

  • Tobias

    Tobias

    June 10th, 2014 at 3:59 PM

    there are going to be many parents who will not seek out help because they will feel like they are spreading their sadness or being a burden to others

  • Cheryl

    Cheryl

    June 20th, 2014 at 6:11 AM

    I lost my son to a drug overdose on February 23, 2014. The pain I feel in my heart is constant and unrelenting. I keep picturing him when he was a baby, wondering how it all could have actually happened. What happened to that sweet little innocent toddler who used to fight with his siblings? There is definitely a hole in my heart that can never be healed. I don’t have the urge to go on, except I have 3 other adult children that still need me. I really just want to lay in bed and cry all the time.

  • Amy

    Amy

    December 2nd, 2015 at 5:14 PM

    Hi. I’m Amy. Let me just say I’m so sorry about your loss. My heart goes out to you. I just lost my 20 year old son 7 weeks ago. He was a recovering addict, almost 6 months clean. We won’t know the cause of his death until the autopsy comes back. I am lost and I know you understand. I feel I can’t move on and like life has been sucked out of me. Any advice you could give me would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

  • Janica

    Janica

    December 3rd, 2015 at 4:50 PM

    I lost my only daughter on November 6th and I am an emotional wreck. I’ve lost 20lbs, my hair is falling out.

  • Darrel

    Darrel

    August 15th, 2016 at 10:04 AM

    I totally understand your pain…We lost our 30 year son June 2015 accidental prescription drug od and the pain is still there almost everyday but still wondering why didn’t we see it coming and all the other obvious question any parent ask when dealing with loss of a son/daughter. I just hope and pray we can get it together to finish our lives for our other son/wife and family members because it changes everything you thought you would have in your life going into your retirement years ..

  • Robert L

    Robert L

    April 30th, 2015 at 2:11 PM

    My daughter was 2 months away from 9 when we lost her to an undetected AVM brain bleed. I just cant seem to let go of her. I dont feel much different now then 2 years after it happened. I just assume this is as good as it gets.

  • lisa

    lisa

    September 5th, 2015 at 8:39 PM

    I need help bad!! I have know clue what to do and how to start. I live in Independence MO.

  • Sam

    Sam

    January 16th, 2018 at 9:36 PM

    At first i would try and tell people about what i was going through.. By everyones response i knew they just couldnt get it.
    No one will ever understand your pain.. Its all yours.. I just stopped talking about it .. Its kinda like overcoming drug addiction.. Its allways there.. All you can do is go one day at a time .. Life goes on .. But i never forget .. I rememner my children like it was yesterday .. And somtimes i just want to reach out and hold them so bad . that’s when i know I’ve gone to far and need to go back to reality

  • rosemary

    rosemary

    October 13th, 2015 at 7:31 PM

    You never get over the loss of a child. But you will go on.

  • Janica

    Janica

    December 3rd, 2015 at 4:55 PM

    I have 3 other children but the pain of her passing makes me wish that I’m never became a mother

  • Danielle

    Danielle

    February 22nd, 2017 at 10:08 AM

    I feel the same way… I lost my son 4-16-16.. He was 22 years 7 months… I have two younger children and I am only goin through the motions…. I feel horrible for my girls, but I just can’t….

  • Michelle

    Michelle

    October 23rd, 2015 at 5:45 AM

    It is approaching the second anniversary of the loss of my only child.. She was lost in a tragic car accident. I can say, the pain in my heart is still quite fresh and thoughts of her accident and the first days after her loss come to mind frequently… I don’t understand why that is???
    But each day on this new life journey I have worked through my grief by being the person that I am now. So this journey has allowed me to experience wonderful tools which I believe are to help me. My faith has always been great,so truly I believe I will see my daughter again, great friends and yoga are helping me laugh, and grow in getting to know me better.
    I can say, trusting in God is definitely the foundation that keeps me moving through this grief and not getting stuck in this grief. Will it ever go completely away??? I don’t think so, but I Will go forward and be the best me I can until I see her again.

  • Ms N

    Ms N

    August 18th, 2016 at 2:57 AM

    I lost my 7 year old daughter 5March2016, such a beautiful soul to have. I feel guilty about everything because I was the driver. Am really torn deep inside

  • Karen

    Karen

    March 10th, 2016 at 12:55 PM

    I just lost my son due to being murdered, I never thought. I’d ever lose either of my children. I honestly feel like I am waiting for this nightmare to be over & wake up with his big grin looking at me saying I love ya mom.

  • The GoodTherapy.org Team

    The GoodTherapy.org Team

    March 10th, 2016 at 1:31 PM

    Dear Karen,

    The GoodTherapy.org Team is not qualified to offer professional advice, but we strongly encourage you to reach out to a professional who is qualified. If you would like to talk about this or any other concern with a mental health professional, please return to our homepage, https://www.goodtherapy.org, and enter your zip code into the search field to find therapists in your area.

    Once you enter your information, you’ll be directed to a list of therapists and counselors who meet your criteria. From this list you can click to view our members’ full profiles and contact the therapists themselves for more information. You are also welcome to call us for assistance finding a therapist. We are in the office Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time; our phone number is 888-563-2112 ext. 1.

    Kind regards,

    The GoodTherapy.org Team

  • Nancy

    Nancy

    March 26th, 2016 at 9:56 AM

    I lost my son on 11-12-13. He had just graduated from high school. I’m having a very difficult time with it all. I don’t even ask why. I just suffer through each day. I dread everyday.

  • GoodTherapy Admin

    GoodTherapy Admin

    March 26th, 2016 at 12:59 PM

    Dear Nancy,

    If you would like to consult with a mental health professional, please feel free to return to our homepage, https://www.goodtherapy.org/, and enter your zip code into the search field to find therapists in your area.

    Once you enter your information, you’ll be directed to a list of therapists and counselors who meet your criteria. From this list you can click to view our members’ full profiles and contact the therapists themselves for more information. You are also welcome to call us for assistance finding a therapist. We are in the office Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time; our phone number is 888-563-2112 ext. 1.

    Kind regards,
    The GoodTherapy.org Team

  • Susan W.

    Susan W.

    April 4th, 2016 at 3:57 AM

    First, I would like to say to everyone here how sorry I am for all of your losses. Our 18-year-old son was killed in an accident early Easter morning. Full of life and a promising future, everything was wiped out in a matter of seconds. It’s so messed up that you can be here one minute and gone just like that. I am out of my mind with grief. Sobbing as I am typing. To add to our suffering, we lost an infant son 22 years ago. We have a 21-year-old daughter, and we know we have to go on for her, but it’s just so hard. I’m afraid that I won’t be able to and it will be as if she lost a mother as well. I am hoping this is a horrible dream or someone’s idea of a sick joke, but I know it’s not. I can’t believe I will never see his beautiful face, or ever get hug or kiss him, or hear his voice, his laugh. I miss him so much. I would give just about anything to have him back. I love you, Mikey.

  • sarah

    sarah

    April 8th, 2016 at 5:03 AM

    thank you for your site. i lost a daughter, a miscarriage, a year ago. my relationship ended shortly after. i cannot imagine the pain of losing a child you had known for years! especially while feeling this grief that just never seems to end for this spirit that was with me for such a short while. it’s a loss that does seem like it has no bottom, just when i think it is through, it comes back again. i would like to try again but the grief is still standing in the way of meeting a new partner . . . i know i need to let go and try again but i am trying to be patient with myself and trust god.

  • Steve

    Steve

    July 12th, 2016 at 12:14 PM

    I lost my 30 yr old son 2 and a half years ago, he collapsed in front of me and never came to, I froze in shock , didn’t react lIke I believe a parent should and I live with that guilt everyday, the coromer said his death with inconclusive. The pain never goes away, it’s just as raw today as it was then

  • tunisia

    tunisia

    September 13th, 2016 at 4:49 PM

    my son was killed 8 weeks ago and im totally dieing inside… im so sick… idk what to do any more … he was 20 years old and at home. out the way not hurting anyone and some so called friends tried to kick his door in to robb him and my baby was fighting to keep the door closed and he was shot threw the door in the head and left for dead… the worse day of my life.. i so wish that i could die for him… i need him in my life so bad i truly need to feel anf touch him… i have other children to live for but i dont know how much of a mother i can be when all i do is think of him… i need help

  • Marie

    Marie

    October 31st, 2016 at 11:19 AM

    October 21, 1989, and after both myself and baby flat-lining many times, I was blessed with my son Cody Lane Motto. Then in May 2009, Cody had a skateboard accident which resulted in emergency brain surgery with a 50/50 chance of survival. Had the surgery not been performed, he would not have made it at all. On April 21, 2016, Cody was on his way to work, but drifted off of the road and hit a parked vehicle and was taken from this life. He was gifted with so many talents; artistic in so many ways , music, writing, mechanical, sports.. He suffered from seizures which were increasing in numbers weekly. Even though he suffered he reached out to others. Many people told me he saved their lives. My heart aches, my insides shake. I find myself thinking about how the higher power tried to take him from me twice before and the success of this third time. He is no longer suffering from his seizures, no longer here to light up our lives and to give so much of himself. We all miss him. Bless all of our children who are here with us and departed. Bless all of us who have lost our children and those who have not yet! There are zero words to describe how this walk is!!!!!1

  • Bavesh

    Bavesh

    November 7th, 2016 at 10:47 PM

    I lost my son to leukemia .He was diagnosed when he was at the age 2 and half years old.After 4 years of treatment finished he got completely cured of disease.just 15 days after he passed away because of relapse .happiness of cure last only 15 days.his fight against the disease and the happiness of cure and the final loss haunts each and every minute.

  • Bavesh

    Bavesh

    November 7th, 2016 at 10:55 PM

    It’s been almost 17days without you, and I miss you more each day. You breathed your last breathe on my lap.I saw your cute eyes closing and smiling tired face, I saw your spirit go,” Your sudden death has me confused, and still asking myself if your departure is real and forever. I ask myself: “How can it be that we are separated?”, “How can it be that you have left?”, “How can it be that I have to live without you?”

    You were the purpose of my existence .I passed all my painful fearful days by seeing your smile and care . On our family trip to pondichery we took you for a speed boat ride to Paradise beach during sunset. As you enjoy the sun, the waves and great company , breeze splashed on your face and flowed through your hairI. I got immersed in the beautiful smile on your face and I was looking forward to watching you grow, and continue giving you all the love and happiness you deserved more.Immediately after we returned from pondichery i booked air ticket for all of us to go to Munnar and Kodaikannal. Now that you are gone.My life has changed forever, but I cherish the 8 years we had lived together as a family . This experience has made me realize that nothing in life is guaranteed, and that your entire life can change within seconds. The only sure thing is that one day we will all die, and the rest is a mystery.Death and loss are inescapable part of life experience.

    Every day I feel the pain of missing you. I know that one day the mystery will be solved, and hopefully it will mean that we are together forever in a better place where pain does not exist and where happiness is guaranteed .

    Its been almost 60 days without you and i miss you more each day .your class mam celin gave you the trophy for the speech on your favourite game .you delivered the speech irrespective of your physical pain in the nurse room.You practised and learnt the one full page speech in just four days.How did you do that in such a physical pain?You asked us to permit you to go to school just for one day on July 15th 2016.We agreed with one condition to leave the class once after you delivered the speech.I still rememeber the releif you felt and how you looked at all of us when u left to school with your Dad and brother.on july 16th we all left for hospital as everyday.I never know u will die before we close our house gate.
    t is the worst possible thing for a parent to see thier loved ones going in front of them and i saw it with helplessness.It may be true that our family had a tough time but that was not the only thing we had.Initially i was angry with everyone god,your peadiatrician ,my fate and so on….

    When we are angry we carry a huge burden on ourselves.I have already forgiven everyone.The disease ,the doctor,my fortune,everyone ,including myself.I learnt to forgive others not because they deserve forgiveness but because you deserve peace.

    Remember you as a child who had lived less in number of years but not in moments.My son will be remembered because he was the happiest soul and made his family, friends,teachers,neighbours ,maids happy too.

    When i look back into my life It’s like peeling, open an onion;the more we peel back the layers,the more we cry.And we are not going to get anything out of it.We dont know why this happened to our family .But when things are beyond our control we are not supposed to think much about it.
    Always your’s who can’t accept losing you.MOm
    Life is like a race.Birth is the starting point and death is the finishing line. You have run faster than us and so you have reached your destination faster than us. Though we are slow we will definetely reach the destination and meet you again.
    vignesh, your loving brother

  • Stacy

    Stacy

    November 9th, 2016 at 5:03 AM

    My heart aches for all of you. I lost my 20 year old son on June 8 2016. He was always so reckless and never listened. He passed away from a drug overdose. Omg I can’t believe I’m living this nightmare I’m losing my faith and that’s a terrible thing to lose. He was my only son and purpose in life. I’m so angry . I feel cheated . He always told me he didn’t want to lose me and I end up losing him. I’m a shell of the person I once was. I don’t care anymore about much of anything. The only reason I haven’t taken my own life is I don’t know what comes next. I don’t wish this pain on anybody. Sometimes I can’t breathe. I miss my Frankie so badly and just wANT to hold him one more time. How I wish it was me and not you.

  • carmel

    carmel

    May 20th, 2017 at 2:15 PM

    I know how you feel I lost my son Nov 22 2016 from the same thing . I feel so stupid I didn’t know he was using . And I blame my self for not seeing the signs he was my only son . I cry every day sometimes on my to work or on my way home. I don’t understand why this happen. I can smell him sometimes when I come home it was just me and him in this house . I thought about selling and moving cuz its so hard to live here and know he died here. I relive it all the time I found him now I’m alone here and don’t know what to ? I have also thought about killing myself and very much like you will I see him again if I take my own life ? I pray every day that god will help me and show me what to do but no answer so I too question faith . I’m so deeply sorry for loss I will pray for you and your son

  • The GoodTherapy.org Team

    The GoodTherapy.org Team

    May 20th, 2017 at 8:34 PM

    Dear Carmel,

    Thank you for your comment. We wanted to provide links to some resources that may be relevant to you here. We have more information about suicide at https://www.goodtherapy.org/therapy-for-self-harm.html and additional information about what to do in a crisis at https://www.goodtherapy.org/in-crisis.html

    Warm regards,
    The GoodTherapy.org Team

  • Marie

    Marie

    November 10th, 2016 at 8:20 PM

    To all of you, let there be some light in this darkness.

  • Renee

    Renee

    March 24th, 2017 at 12:35 AM

    I am so sorry. For all of you. I wish there was something I could do to bring your children back. I’m so sorry.

  • Stacy M

    Stacy M

    March 24th, 2017 at 1:29 PM

    Pepple have told me it gets better with timw. That is not tŕue in my case i feel worse than june8 my heart is bŕokèn i feel like the walking dead i miss him so much

  • Danielle

    Danielle

    March 24th, 2017 at 3:35 PM

    I feel exactly the same… my freakin mother in law said that to me ,I almost lost it… The only good thing about another day passing ,is its one daycloser to seeing my son again.. blessings💙

  • Stacy

    Stacy

    March 26th, 2017 at 6:23 AM

    Thank you. Nothing brings mehappiness or smile the inly reason im not with my son is m afraid we wont meet again

  • rain

    rain

    April 27th, 2017 at 12:36 PM

    losing my child has been awfully difficult , as I want to move forward so much , it is so painful and so hard, words can not even start where I want to explain the emptiness I live in , and though I have other children , I find myself sad always and looking to fill that sadness, not even my husband can, nor having another child at the moment . just so pain full .

  • The GoodTherapy.org Team

    The GoodTherapy.org Team

    April 27th, 2017 at 2:40 PM

    Hello Rain,

    It may be helpful to consult with a mental health professional. Please feel free to return to our homepage, https://www.goodtherapy.org/, and enter your zip code into the search field to find therapists in your area.

    Once you enter your information, you’ll be directed to a list of therapists and counselors who meet your criteria. From this list you can click to view our members’ full profiles and contact the therapists themselves for more information. You are also welcome to call us for assistance finding a therapist. We are in the office Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time; our phone number is 888-563-2112 ext. 1.

    We wish you the best of luck.

    Kind regards,
    The GoodTherapy.org Team

  • Colette

    Colette

    June 14th, 2017 at 10:58 AM

    I have recently lost my gifted 4 year old son. My son Jace, was murdered by my twin brother. The hate and betrayal I feel every day is beyond words. Just to think, my own brother. All my son wanted to do was grow up and be a man. He was reading at a fifth grade level and doing so many incredible things. I was so excited to watch him grow up and succeed, but instead I didn’t even get to see him graduate from kindergarten. Jace was a very sweet and emotional boy. He loved everyone including his own murderer. I miss him each and every second of every day. I miss the way he made me laugh and the way he used to laugh. I miss his hugs and his kisses. I miss the way he would justify everything he did. I miss his voice. I miss everything about him. For now, I’m living out the rest of my sentence here on earth until I get to see my sweet Jace again. My life no longer has meaning. I don’t even know who I am anymore. I’ve lost everything including my parents who were both there at the time of the murder. Why didn’t he just kill me instead? Maybe because he knew by killing my baby he would kill both of us. He killed out of jealousy.

  • Johnnie

    Johnnie

    July 6th, 2017 at 5:07 PM

    I lost my son the day before Father’s day just a few weeks ago on 6/17/17 he was only five and so full of life he was our little man. I had the pleasure of having my boy with me for those five years and we went everywhere together I was blessed with being able to take him to work and all the errands required of me. He was my little helper and so much more. for these brief years three generations worked and played on the same land my grandfather worked. but a tragic accident happened on that Saturday and now my whole life seems in a constant fog. He was fearless and so smart, but still a five year old none the less and looked at the world with so much wonder and amazement. That fateful day he was excited to be going fishing and camping for the first time and was so happy we had no idea it was going to be his last. My wife and I are a strong team and have learned that the indescribable amount of emotions and grief that loosing our boy has brought tends to hit in waves and we have been able to bounce off each other in a sense. when one of us is on verge of near collapse the other has a brief moment of strength just enough to get us both through. This ballet of support and sorrow has been rather effective for us in such a trying time. Seeing so many others on here and being able to read all the support that there is has also helped us and we just wanted to share our comments, and hope it may help others as all the other comments have helped us.

  • vergie

    vergie

    July 18th, 2017 at 8:53 AM

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  • Wendy

    Wendy

    July 21st, 2017 at 11:11 PM

    I lost my beloved Benjamin (19 y.o) on November 28, 2015. He overdosed on heroin, a drug I had no clue he was using? He didn’t want me to know. He was sneaking around, out the door before I could talk to him on a daily basis. I knew he was using drugs, but he told me he was smoking spice, when I later found out he had progressed to shooting heroin, Items from my house were missing (including money from my purse). It all happened too quickly. He was in trouble a lot, and had many court dates and tasks to full ill in regards to judge orders (community service, weekly and random drug testing, etc). I simply could not keep up with his troubles and scheduled everyday. I was a single Mom with two children and a full time job. I raised Benjamin to be a responsible person. With the drug problems he was going through I placed him in rehab two different times.After the first rehab in Albion, Michigan, he actually got kicked out. He was a manipulator and was always trying to find away out of rehab. He finally go his wish. It wasn’t one week later that I feel confident that he was back to using drugs. Then, he hit a median with his car on school property. He would have gone to jail, but the judge let him go to rehab instead. The only problem, the rehab that I had found in Palm Springs, CA was for only 30 days. I’d tried to find the best dual diagnosis program that I could find form him. He called and told me, “Mom, I know you tried to find a really good rehab for me, but this place is a joke. I can leave here anytime I want.” After rehab of 30 days, he was discharged and sent home with Xanax and Ativan on the plane, of which he took plenty of until he passed out sleeping. The air marshall had to awaken him when he arrived in Louisville. He was slurring in the car and said he had to take the pills as two people were arguing and he was sitting in between them. I’d tried desperately to get the rehab facility to fax all notes and his record from the rehab to his psychiatrists’ office for contuination of care. It never happen. Benjamin told me that he wasn’t ready to come home, but that the rehab center felt he was ready. He got home dizzy on drugs from the flights from Palm Springs to Louisville, KY. He was just as anxious as before, but did have more confidence in himself. He was good for a while until an old scum-bag friend came knocking at 11 p.m. one night. Benjamin felt sorry for him and let him in. One thing led to another and he was drinking and taking drugs. He got into his car that had just been given to him that day ad drove it in first gear all the way to the first store he saw. He totally stripped the gears and was running around like he was crazy. The police were called and he and his friend went to jail. This was the night before the morning of my birthday, which I had looked so forward to sharing with my son. His sentence was 40 days in jail. He got out the weekend before Thanksgiving! As soon as he got out I took him to Crackle Barrel for blueberry pancakes. He was thrilled to be out of jail. We got home and he said that he was tired. So, I covered him up with a blanket on the couch for a short nap. i went in my room for a cat nap too. I awaken to my Mom yelling, “Ben, Ben!!! What’s wrong with Ben”? I immediately ran to his side and noticed he appeared passed out on the coach.It also appeared to have snuff under his lip.I ran into the kitchen and noticed that 3/4 of a bottle of wine was now gone. I thought it must be the alcohol. We finally woke him up and he was very angry. I din’t know that person. He seemed very mad at us for waking him. I didn’t now what to do. I told Mom not to say anything to Dad, as Dad was mad enough at him already. He was showing signs of classic heroin use, but I had no idea that he was using heroin!!! Two days later, his best friend died sober in a fiery car crash. the driver veered off the road to miss a deer and crashed into a tree when the car caught fire . Marcellus’ leg was pinned in the car by the crash impact. He burned alive while screaming for someone to get him out of the car! He literally died such a horrible death. The only reason Benjamin wasn’t in that car, was at the last minute he chose to stay with another friend until they all returned. Benjamin had a girlfriend and wasn’t interested in going to see girls late at night. I was so upset and shaken to the core at the death of Marcellus! First of all, he was doing so much better, going to NA meetings and church every week. He was proud to be getting back on the right path. Then, tragedy had to come along and steal him that way. It was especially devastating to Ben, as Marcellus and he were recovering together. They needed each other. I was really shocked when Benjamin stepped up to the plate and stated that he wanted to speak at Marcellus’ funeral and he did not want Marcellus’ death go in vain; Benjamin was going to completely stop using drugs! I hated that it had to be that way…that someone had to die for my son to open his eyes!!! It could have been my son in that car too. I was beside myself. I knew that I had to work the Saturday of Marcellus’ visitation. But, I was able to get someone to work for me on Sunday, the day of Marcellus’ funeral. I knew Ben would need as much support as possible. I’d planned to even stop by the funeral home on my home from work on Saturday. When I left that morning Ben was in the kitchen, up at an odd hour. He said that he was fine and that Kelsey was in the basement. He explained that she was drinking a bit too much and stayed over. I said to him, Leah (Ben’s girlfriend) won’t like that! He said, “Kelsey is just a friend.” I went back to finish getting ready when I heard Benjamin stumble down the stairs. I yelled down the stairs, “Are you alright”? He said, it was my flip flop that got trapped on the carpet, I’m fine Mom.” I didn’t go downstairs to see him because I was running late, and didn’t want to make Kelsey uncomfortable, and that I trusted Ben. While at work that day I called Benjamin that morning, no answer. Then I got very busy and finally called again around 1 pm. Still, no answer. I was beginning to get nervous. I thought, he must have stayed up all night and is sleeping super late. I called my Mom and said, “Mom you have got to go check on Benjamin, I cannot get him to answer!” She agreed and left immediately for the 10 minute drive to my house. In the meantime, Peter (Benjamin’s younger brother who was also in the house).stated that Ben had been snoring in the bathroom a little while ago. Peter took a coat hanger under the door to try to pry him awake; to no avail. He would not respond to voice or painful stimuli. Mom was calling his phone and heard it ringing behind the bathroom door. She called my Father and my Brother and they rushed to my house! My brother busted through the bathroom door to find Benjamin propped up against a wall. He was unconscious and not breathing! His face was blue and his body was still warm. They pulled him out into the hallway and started CPR immediately. dad got on the phone and called 911. CPR was in full swing the whole time that Benjamin waited for EMS to save his life. EMS arrived and seemed to lack the urgency of the situation. They parked away from the house, and slowly walked into the house, all the while my Dad screaming and pleading with them to PLEASE HURRY! They asked that everyone move away while they began their work. My family moved away in shock and crying out loud. By the time I arrived, Dad met me at the car and stated, “He’s gone”. I screamed umpteen times in disbelief. Then ai proceeded into the house. I’d assumed that everything had been done. I am an Emergency Room nurse and knew the paramedic and EMTs that were there and trusted them whole-heartedly. Then Darrel (the paramedic) came to me and said, “We were just talking about your son this morning, you and I”. He then proceeded to pull the EKG strip from his pocket that showed ventricular fibrillation at first moving to upwards flowing systole. I saw it! He was trying to hide the vfib part. And then, he said, “And his pupils while shaking his head side to side ‘no’. Esentially, he had called Benjamin’s death on the criteria that the monitor showed systole and that his pupils were dilated. However, later the EMS report said that once EMS arrived it was reported that the family stated that he had expired (which was NOT the case at all, instead CPR was in full swing! Then, the report shared that Benjamin’s body had lividity (pooling of blood), which was not the case at all. He hadn’t laid or sat long enough for that to take place. Darrell lied to save his own skin!!!!!!! Benjamin should have been given Narcan immediately. CPR should have continued per EMS, and an IV placed, and a breathing tube placed and he should have been taken to the hospital emergentley! Instead they let him lay there dead, which kind of makes me almost feel like he died twice! Things could be SO much different right now.

  • dick

    dick

    June 29th, 2018 at 1:37 AM

    Having lost my Mum in 1976 to an NHS bureaucratic directive, i am past anger when our beloved daughter of 46 years age died 2018/03/01, of intestinal cancer – having been (same NHS) misdiagnosed for 3 years before the correct (2016) diagnosis, by then of STAGE 4 intestinal cancer – after which she fought, bravely, but her body relented from 2 years of pain 4 months ago.
    Our FAITH enables us to trust in her salvation, but our hearts are SO SORE with no diminishing of the pain-of-loss. My beloved wife and our daughter, Sarah, were SO CLOSE spiritually (almost like twins) that our loss is difficult to compare (father and mother).
    I have a 23 inch screensaver photo that I took of my wife and our daughter in a Lincoln cafe (June, 2017) with both smiling their enjoyment of the occasion (through the pain).
    It will have to serve me best until we meet again – face to face – in all eternity, BUT IT STILL HURTS.
    Please pray for my wife, Margaret, she’s really struggling and I need inspiration how to help her best.

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