Reflections of some moms about their thoughts, feelings and actions those first few months and years after the death of their child:
- "I don’t have any answers as to why she died, but I know that my life has been enriched and totally changed by the gift of her life. I thank God for allowing me nineteen years with her.”
- “I felt that I was the one who had to hold everything together and ‘make it better’ for everyone.”
- “I hated shopping; I got ‘stuck’ in the supermarket once. I froze at the yogurt section when I couldn't remember who liked which flavor and which ones I didn’t need to buy anymore. The desire to dump the carriage and run was overwhelming.”
- “I miss my adult son bounding through the door and saying “what’s up”… I was in a public the other day and heard someone say that and I froze, but once the chock wore off, it warmed my heart although the voice was nothing like his – the words made me smile
- “I miss the beautiful cards my son always gave me – even after he married, his wife would choose one from “them”, but he always choose his own for me for every special occasion – I’m so thankful I saved them all”
- “I miss the random phone calls from him just asking me about my day”
- “I missed the physical closeness I longed to stroke the funny way his hair lay at the back of his neck!”
- “School events are so hard - being so aware of other children moving on without my child.”
- “My daily schedule was totally foreign to me and I couldn't adjust; the little bell in my head still went off at 3pm although I no longer had a child to pick up from school.”
- “I remember being in the grocery tore after our 11 month old daughter died and putting her favorite foods in the cart – when I realized it, it took my breath away and I left the store in tears"
- "The first time I got into bed at night and realized I had not thought about my child all day – not once – totally paralyzed me with fear. I feared that I was forgetting who and what they were, it took me a long time to forget that day and that feeling and to stop feeling overwhelmingly guilty"
- "For me, I needed to talk about him continually; I couldn’t let a day go by that I didn’t bring up his name or stories about him in conversations – even though I didn’t do that for our living children; I think I was afraid if I didn’t do this everyone, including me, would forget him"
I’m sure you can relate to some of these and if you sent me your own (which you are welcome to do) I'm sure our list will become almost endless… and no matter how varied the thoughts, feelings, actions, deeds or reflections – they are all normal, and each is OK..
I hope you will agree with me, that each of these (some of which are considered grief triggers) but each is simply a result of our incredible love and bond with our children and for that we should never apologize to ourselves or anyone else but instead be grateful for our love for them and all they've given us from the moment they were conceived...
~ Cherie Houston