Crisis, Grief, and Healing => Child Loss => Topic started by: John-Danielle Marie's Daddy on February 19, 2007, 06:57:12 AM

Post by: John-Danielle Marie's Daddy on February 19, 2007, 06:57:12 AM

As I sit in the dark of my family room looking around at the many things that remind me of my beautiful daughter Danielle Marie, the tears are flowing hard and fast. I try to catch my breath, as I feel so lost, empty and alone. It has now been 1 year since the horrible accident and my daughter's death. My wife and I now find ourselves basically alone in our grief. I know that we are NOT alone with all of you by our sides. At the same time we feel a somewhat silent pressure from others to "get over" our loss and get "back to normal". "After all, it's been a whole year". In the beginning we were able to, and we did, openly cry and mourn our daughter's death without any concern or worry of the impact on those around us. In fact, people expected us to be emotionally upset. They supported us and shared our grief.
I remember telling my wife after the first couple of months following our daughter's death that at some point soon, we would be grieving alone. The same loved ones that stood by our side and mourned with us would eventually move quickly forward with their lives much sooner than her and I. We agreed that we could not expect others to feel as we do. How could they ever feel the loss and the pain that we feel? How could we ever expect them too?
Now, one year after the death of our beloved Danielle Marie, we find that some of our close friends and family members still have a concern for how we are doing. Some have made us dinner on occasion. One dear neighbor and friend is making us dinner tonight. And then there are those who appear to be avoiding us. We expect that they probably feel uncomfortable being around us. It is apparent to us that it has become a taboo subject to most others. One that is best left alone and not mentioned. If we begin talking about our daughter or the feelings we are experiencing, there are those who will listen and provide support any way they can. Then there are others who appear uneasy and will quickly look to change the subject. It is so unfortunate to us that people do not realize that we need to talk about our daughter and our grief. Yes, it may hurt, and yes, we may become misty eyed. Why wouldn't we, or better yet, why shouldn't we? We understand that it may be very uncomfortable for others. We realize that the sudden death of a young child is unnatural and many people do not have the ability to express themselves regarding this type of loss because they have never experienced it. The loss of a child is a much different kind of loss. The impact on a family is profound. And that impact is felt across the entire family, friend, neighbors and anyone else who knew our wonderful daughter, Danielle Marie. The emotional pain that comes with the loss of a child is very intense. It is obvious to us that the people that supported us in the beginning do not wish to relive that pain or the memory of that pain.
We expect and accept our ever-changing levels of grief. We also expect and accept the limited support we receive from those close to us. The keyword in both sentences is "accept". We no longer live our lives based upon expectations. Since losing our daughter, we have restructured our lives based upon acceptance. What we work at diligently is learning to "accept" all that comes our way, be it good or bad.
We know that the pain of losing our daughter will never leave us. We know that there are many memories of Danielle Marie that bring joy to us and there are some memories that bring tears of anguish and sadness. We are working together to find a way to live with our grief yet not let it consume and ruin our lives. Nothing we do will ever change what has happened or bring our dear daughter back. All of our energies must be spent in staying healthy and supporting each other and our son, Jonathan and living our lives in the best way possible until the day comes when we are reunited with our beautiful daughter, Danielle Marie in heaven.
In ending, I can honestly say that we will never, ever "get over" the loss of our daughter. In fact, the statement is offensive to any parent who has lost a child. However, we are not necessarily destined to becoming life long victims to grief. What we will, and are doing, is searching for the ways and means to "live" with our enormous loss.
Thank you for allowing me to tell of my experience as well as express my feelings.
You ALL have NO IDEA how strong, comforting and supportive you have been to me over the past year. I share all your pain, anguish, grief, and at times the lighter side of your lives. ALL of your beloved angel sons and daughters are in my thoughts and prayers each and every day.

Post by: Marianne on February 19, 2007, 07:16:35 AM
Dear John,

Wow, how can it be a year?  I am so sorry.  As I sit here and look at the wonderful picture of your beautiful daughter, I feel tears falling down.  I also find myself thinking that your little Danielle Marie is truly blessed to have parents like you and your wife.

God Bless you today and always.
Post by: Karen Paul on February 19, 2007, 07:33:14 AM
John - thinking of you and your wife on this very sad day... Danielle Marie's first angel date. There are not enough words to express the sorrow felt for you and all of us here. I remember seeing this poem a couple of years ago and it really expressed what I think we feel at some points on this journey.. to others so much time has gone by and yet to us it is sometimes that very first day... that changed our lives forever... holding you in my heart today and your sweet Daniell Marie.. and hoping you feel her close by you both... where I know she is...

I Lost My Child Today

I lost my child today
People came to weep and cry
As I just sat and stared, dry eyed
They struggled to find words to say
To try and make the pain go away
I walked the floor in disbelief
I lost my child today.

I lost my child last month
Most of the people went away
Some still call and some still stay
I wait to wake up from this dream
This can't be real, I want to scream
Yet everything is locked inside
God, help me, I want to die
I lost my child last month.

I lost my child last year
Now people who had came, have gone
I sit and struggle all day long
To bear the pain so deep inside
And now my friends just question Why?
Why does this mother not move on?
Just sits and sings the same old song
Good heavens, it has been so long
I lost my child last year.

Time has not moved on for me
The numbness it has disappeared
My eyes have now cried many tears
I see the look upon your face
"She must move on and leave this place"
Yet I am trapped right here in time
The songs the same, as is the rhyme
I lost my child.........Today

~ c Netta Wilson  1996 ~

luv and many hugs, Karen
proud aunt of Christopher

Post by: Dottie (Tammie's Mom) on February 19, 2007, 07:43:52 AM
Dear John,

I know how very difficult facing that one year date is. It seems impossible that it could be a year yet it seems like forever since you last saw them.::
I am so very sorry.

Your letter was so beautifully written and expressed so many feelings I myself have felt and still feel. Others do not UNDERSTAND we don't get over "IT" EVER.  :'(

Please know you and your family and especially your sweet Danielle Marie are in my prayers today.

KAREN; The poem was so beautiful and TRUE::

Dottie Tammie's Mom
Post by: Donnys Dad on February 19, 2007, 08:10:28 AM
John, please know I am thinking of you, your wife and Son on this painful day.  These anniversaries are so very hard.  Anniversaries use to be a time of joy and happiness, now they have become a day of tears and memories.

It is amazing how all those people that are there in the beginning disappear.  My wife and I have found the same thing.  Our good friends, we thought, are gone now as we are definitely different people.  How are you as a loving parent suppose to get over the loss of a beautiful daughter

Thinking of you and Danielle
Post by: quint906 on February 19, 2007, 08:13:22 AM
Hi John.

Your letter says it all so well.  We will never move on.  The one statement that drives me absolutely mad is "I know how you feel".  Unless you've lost a son or daughter, you "don't" know how I feel.  I've been thinking lately the same thing as to how people are moving on and I'm still where I was 1 year ago.  My son was a piece of a puzzle that made my life complete and now I feel I'm a shadow of myself.  I know we will all "adapt" to our "new" selves but the emptiness will never go away.


Many times I've said exactly what that poem is about.  Even though it was a little over a year ago, it seems like yesterday, last month or last week to me.  Time stood still for me and when I have to think that it was a year ago, I get overwhelmed at how fast time is going by.  


Thank you for the compliment on Cory's picture.  It means alot to me.

Thinking of you all and our precious children.

Post by: SueH on February 19, 2007, 08:48:47 AM
Sorry it's the way it is.. but it can change too. It's how you set your mind to change.
Right now I'd think you are still in a shock phase.. it took me 2 years to come out of that shock. Now it's over 5 years... and I still feel that it was only yesterday that Sara passed. But I am feeling a bit different now than I thought I would. I'm reading a fantastic book that is helping me, Called: Life After Death by Deepak Chopra, and it really makes one think of what is really going on in this world.
I hope you get some moments of peace... some of happiness... some of strength.. and just take it one moment at a time.
=) Sue *Sara's* Mom
Post by: marie on February 19, 2007, 09:56:57 AM
JOHN I know what your feeling. I cant believe it will be a year Patrick died on the 22. JOHN please know I am thinking about you  I read your letter and every thing you said is true, not only I lost a son I lost my best friend.My prayers go out to you, your wife and son GOD BLESS LOVE AND HUGS MARIE
Title: (((John & Family)))
Post by: Penny - Sean's Mom on February 19, 2007, 11:29:02 AM
This time warp we live in is just so unreal sometimes.  I'm sitting here shaking my head because while I know we met shortly after Sean's death and I'm beginning to wrap my brain around the fact that he's been gone over a year, it simply doesn't feel like a year since we met you and your family.

As usual you've done a beautiful job expressing yourself as well as the feelings of so many of us here.  I've discovered on this journey the souls that I actually want supporting me on this journey.  The others just aren't ready to deal with me and/or my loss.  That may change someday but in the meantime I'll hold those dear souls that continue to show up - even when they don't know exactly what to do or say - very, very close to me.

Wishing you and your family peace today and always...
Post by: Jeanneb on February 19, 2007, 12:57:33 PM
Dear John and family,

I know how hard everyday is but today especially.  Just doesn't seem like your beautiful little girl has been gone for a year.  Yet, I am sure in other ways it seems an eternity.  Friends come in and out of our lives at times when we need that particular person.  How I know of the pain, we thought the person would be there for us forever.  You are so right in learning how to accept what we have been handed.  To learn to walk with our grief for a part of that grief will be for the remainder of the days we walk this earth.  The hole that cannot ever be filled but the softness that will come in time as we walk this journey.

I hope that you feel Danielle Marie surrounding you, your wife, and precious son with all her love.  May you find a memory that brings a smile even for just a moment.  What a precious gift she is.

Love and hugs,
Post by: Kathy on February 19, 2007, 02:14:21 PM
Dear John,

Your post says so much. I remember the first anniversary of my son's death as if it was yesterday. The pain still so great that as I write this I am trying to take deep breaths and type through the tears.

Please know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers today.

Kathy (Don's Mom)
Post by: CRCmom on February 19, 2007, 02:34:08 PM

it is so so hard for me to believe that it has been a year.  My silent scream wails for you.  It will be two years next year that I lost my son Christian and I try so hard to move on move on but get so stuck sometimes.  You are absolutely right,  we will NEVER get over our grief having loss one of the most precious gifts we ever been given, but I pray that God gives us the strength to live with the pain and to help others somehow. 

Tears flow as I write this, knowing so well the deep agonizing loss. 

I hope you see Daniele Marie in every sunrise, sunset. rainbow, tear or whatever brings thoughts of her to you.

Love to you
Post by: Maureen, Traci's Mom on February 19, 2007, 02:52:28 PM
Dear John,

I am thinking of you and your family on this precious day of your daughters 1st year anniversary.

I was very moved by your letter, and of course I am sure it pertains to all of us.  I actually quit talking to my so called best friend after losing my daughter.  I still do not talk to her and it has been almost 2 years losing Traci (March 7, 2005).

I love seeing her smiling face every time you post.

Many hugs for you,

Maureen, Traci's Mom
Post by: laurasmom on February 19, 2007, 06:55:47 PM
You and Bernice and your son are in my thoughts today.  I love seeing Danielle Marie's beautiful face, and I have to smile each time I see her engaging smile.  You will never "get over it" and you will never be the same person you were just over a year ago.  I have friends who have been with me through all of the last 3 1/2 years, and I have friends who I never hear from anymore (their choice, not mine).  I lost a very good friend of over 20 years, who has not spoken to me since Laura was killed, I am guessing he just could not deal with it, so he chose not to, and that was his decision.  As we  have all said many times, no one could even begin to imagine what we feel unless they have lost a child.  On the 1st anniversary of Laura's death, I stayed home alone, and put messages on my phone thanking anyone who called out of concern, but asking them to understand that I just wanted to be alone and not talk to anyone that day.  Since it was June, I spent the day outside working in Laura's memorial garden that I had just started that spring.  I hope whatever you do today, just remember that there are many of us here that are thinking of you with love and understanding.
Post by: Lori, Alex's Mom on February 19, 2007, 09:17:44 PM

Much love and prayers to you and your family.  I pray the Danielle speaks to you in all you experience today and always.


Alex's mom
Post by: Lonnie on February 19, 2007, 11:38:05 PM
John: I just wanted to say that your precious Danielle Marie just shines!!! There is so much life pouring through her eyes and her warm smile. Everytime I see her picture, I feel a combination of  overwhelming sadness and awe. Such a lovely angel with energy and excitement written all over her face. Just wanted to let you know that I have read your story over the past few months, and have been so touched by your insight, faith and compassion. It is so wonderful to meet a man who can truly express his feelings so deeply. You have been a blessing with all that you have shared, and may God bless you and comfort you on this journey. Hugs-Lonnie (from the main board)
Post by: Debh on February 19, 2007, 11:57:34 PM
Thinking of you and your family.

We never do get over it, but somehow time passes on and I am sorry it is without Danielle and our children that are so loved and missed.

Post by: Valerie (Kyle's Mom) on February 20, 2007, 05:09:11 AM

Sorry I am a day late on my post...It's hard to belive it has been a year!
Your post hit home for me, alot of your thoughts and feelings are what I feel as I approach Kyle's 1st angel date.  On March 02nd it will be 10 months since Kyle became an angel, this Friday it will be a year since Mom left us.  I have heard from so many on the board that the time leading up to our child's angel date is more emotional and full of anxiety as the day it's self.  When I heard that, I couldn't see what they were talking about then, but now as I am living it, I few more irriatable and unstable.  I can't wrap my brain around the fact that Kyle will be gone a year in just two short months.
I feel like I have been on this grief journey for ages, maybe beause I have had to deal with so much since the beginning of Mom's death and right after, losing my son.  Know one EVER mentions Kyle name, I do, all the time, there are a few people who will ask, "are you doing alright", and that's it!  Then they will ask "How is Philip".  What do they expect me to say, NO!  or do they want to hear how I REALLY am doing?  I don't know why people don't know how to comfort us parents who have lost the most precious person in our lives, but I do know that if someone else down the road that I am close to ever has to go through what we all have been through, I will be the first and the last person to be by their side, talking about their loved one and never forgetting how they lived and loved and how a big part of their life was taken away.  I am a better person because of Kyle, not just because he died before me, but how he showed me what it was like to love so unconditionally when he was alive.  There is no greater love than loving our kids.  Your Danielle is the sweetest little girl, her smile shows her happiness and her zest for life, I'm trully sorry that she is not with you, although I see her lighting up the heavens with her love and laughter....Take care!  Valerie (Kyle's Mom)
Post by: JenKellisMom on February 20, 2007, 06:20:53 AM
As usual, John, you have expressed yourself so well and spoken for so many of us.

I'll never forget what Kelli's pediatrician, who had lost a child at 4 months old, told me at Kelli's funeral "You'll never get over losing Kelli, you'll just learn how to live with it."  I'm not sure what I'm doing now would be termed "living", but I always try to remember what she said when I have to deal with anyone who gives me the impression that I need to move on.

I hope you were able to get through this very difficult day while feeling Danielle Marie's beautiful spirit all around you.
Post by: SueH on February 20, 2007, 09:55:37 AM
So sorry..... my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Sue *Sara's* Mom
Post by: Johanna on February 20, 2007, 01:22:22 PM
My thoughts are with you and your family today John.  It was less than a month ago that we were at Micheal's first angel date, and I remember so very well how painful that day was.

Wishing you a little bit of peace, a moment of comfort and that you feel Danielle's presence all around you today.

Love and hugs,
Johanna, Micheal's mom
Post by: shelly Tristans mom on February 20, 2007, 08:16:40 PM

Everything that you said is so true.

You, Danielle Marie, and the rest of your family are in my prayers tonght.

Shelly, Tristan's Mom
Post by: Judy Mwenya on February 21, 2007, 07:00:05 AM
John, though belatedly I wish you peace, I feel your pain and your cry as I walk down memory lane when it was a year on 26 Aug. 2004.  The river of tears I cried, the pain, the missing.  My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Sending love, hugs and strength to you and  your family across the seas and oceans from the continent of Africa.

May the peace of God fill your heart today

"Forever in tears"

Judy - Mpundus Mom
Post by: ~Dee on February 21, 2007, 07:46:06 AM
John, I'm not here very often, but, I have read some of your posts.  I wish I could reach out and hug you.  I also wish that I could tell you that the pressure to "get over" your daughter's death and get back to normal will lessen, but, as time goes on, it gets worse. 

We are coming up on 10 years since we lost our daughter, Mel, to an accident.  The pressure to move on was both immediate and intense.  As time went on, we were left behind with our grief.  Even close relatives don't understand, and make no pretense at understanding.  As you said, it becomes a taboo subject, and those who do listen to you are being politely tolerant until they can change the subject.

At first, I became angry over this.  I ranted quite freqently on this board about this very subject, in the first few years.  There is something wrong with a society that pushes people to get over their individual losses and pain, yet glorifies and encourages what I call "mass mourning" for celebrities that you have never met personally.  I am also offended by the idea that you "get over" the loss of your child, and, that, you are suffering from some "disorder" because you haven't.  Again, I blame our too fast, quick-fix society.

After a few years, I stopped caring what people thought.  If I wanted to talk about my daughter, I did so.  I stopped apologizing for how grief has changed me into a different person.  My daughter, and my grief at losing her, are part of me.  You either accept that part of me or you don't.  If you don't, I won't waste my time on you.  It's that simple.

You are not a "victim" of grief, and, although your life is profoundly changed, you will find ways to live your life that always, always, include Danielle Marie.

Hugs to you,

Mel's Mom