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Messages - SarahW

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Child Loss / Re: New TV show -Resurrection
« on: March 28, 2014, 04:58:57 PM »
Did anyone watch Resurrection? I didn't. I wasn't sure I could handle it emotionally.

I felt the same way and didn't watch, but I am curious. 

Child Loss / Re: Christina and Adam (ABCD Forever)
« on: March 28, 2014, 04:54:05 PM »
Adam's long time gf is getting married today. I'm OK with that however it just brings up a reminder how other people in his live move on, get older and he can never.

I know the feeling.  Several of Vince's friends have recently gotten married and had children - I am happy for them, and loving seeing wedding and baby pictures, but it is bittersweet.

Child Loss / Re: loss of adult child
« on: January 29, 2014, 10:34:10 PM »
I have lost a newborn and a 35 yo daughter. losing the adult child was much worse because she was in my life a long time. the baby had potential and was wanted and I grieved, but often forget his birthday. but I remember odd days because my daughter did something funny, or important, or memorable on that day. it's been 7 years and the grief is still sharp and painful. have others experienced this too?

I never lost a newborn - I lost my son when he was 29.  He was my only child.  My other losses - my husband, many years ago, my parents - were hard, but nothing like the loss of my son.

It will be 5 yrs in July (I cannot believe it, not really, not in my heart), and most of the time, it is like it was yesterday.

No, there is no getting over it.  There is just getting through it.  Every day.

Child Loss / Re: a picture of CANDI & HER SON AT THE SAME AGE
« on: January 29, 2014, 10:31:29 PM »
What a beautiful boy - looks so much like his beautiful mom.  Thanks for sharing the pictures.

Child Loss / Re: Happy Heavenly Birthday, Vincent! ((Sarah))
« on: January 20, 2014, 08:03:29 PM »

Happy Heavenly Birthday, Vincent!

(((((((( Sarah ))))))))

Thinking of you today on your beautiful Vincent's heavenly birthday. I hope this special day brings warm and very special memories for you. :love9:

Love & Hugs,


Had a busy day on Vince's birthday, but I still thought of him a lot.

Added another foster daughter the week after Christmas (the 11 yr  old sister of the two teens I already have), so life is very busy.  But Vince is always on my mind -forefront or back, he is always there.

The 14 yr old hates to wear a coat, and I was having quite a time getting her to wear one on cold days - until I remembered an old coat of Vince's that I was sure she was going to like.  I showed it to her and it did the trick.  She likes the "tomboy" aspect of wearing a man's coat, plus it is a cool, kind of beat up, coat.  She was thrilled that I would let her wear it and kept asking if it was really OK.  I assured her that not only I, but Vince, would be glad to have her wear it - he was big on recycling and hated things to go to waste.

So now, she wears a coat, no problem, plus she feels special doing it.  And I feel good just looking at her.

Thanks for thinking of Vincent.

Child Loss / Re: 2014
« on: December 31, 2013, 11:21:01 PM »
Happy New Year to all.

Have added a new foster daughter to the mix here - the girls that I have had for 2.5 yrs now have a younger sister, and she has now joined us - they are 17, 13, and 11.  So I am very, very busy, which is good.

The older two, who have been with me for so long now, really seem to think of Vince as the big brother they never knew, which is I find very sweet and comforting somehow.

Here's to a better year for all of us in 2014.

Child Loss / Re: Holidays
« on: December 17, 2013, 01:05:30 PM »
Starting to get Christmas cards, but it has been long enough now that everyone knows Vince is gone, so I no longer get cards that are addressed to both of us, or ask how he is doing, etc.  So I can open them more joyfully these days.

But looking through the mail Saturday, I saw a legal-size envelope with the return address of the cemetery where Vince is buried (across the state, near his father's grave).  What a start it gave me!  I stared at it and felt it - seemed like it contained just one piece of paper, a letter of some sort. 

It just froze me - body and mind.  Then I opened it and read it really quickly - it was about a funds drive they were having for their arboretum. 

It was just one of those stomach punches, you know?  The years just don't protect you from them.

As always, thanks for listening.

Happy Holidays to one and all.  I know I am not around much any more, but it is always good to know this place is here.

Child Loss / Re: Anniversary
« on: December 08, 2013, 09:34:58 PM »
Today, December 8, 2013 marks the one year "anniversary" of the death of my son, Stephen.

This is not an anniversary that you celebrate.
It’s the kind of anniversary that you sit quietly and reflect.
Today I go through pictures, listening to Dave Matthews and remembering…

It cannot be possible that time has marked one year since I last heard your voice –
I clearly hear your “Hey mom” on the other end of the phone, sounding tired and not like you.
I never dreamed it would be the last time.

Today, I look at your smiling face in so many stages of life;
From baby pictures to adulthood, I have collected your life in front of me
I sip wine from the crystal glasses you bought me one Christmas, not so long ago.

To honor your life and love of Christmas
Another child’s day will be fuller and another mother’s heart lighter
Because of the gifts we give in your name

There comes an inner peace now
Although the tears remain ever ready to emerge
And my love and loss are always present.

Thanks for sharing this.  I find it helpful as I wind my way through the holiday season.

Child Loss / Re: Holidays
« on: December 02, 2013, 08:31:52 PM »
Happy Thanksgiving and Thanksgivingkah to all who celebrate.
I know firsthand how difficult our lives have become however I am blessed to have been Adam's mother and to receive his signs.
I am blessed with a loving husband, 3 other children, loving family and friends.
I am blessed to have a roof over my head and food in my belly.
I am blessed to have found this board (TU Tom) to express my innermost feelings here where I feel the safest.
I am blessed to have found Terry!
Love & Hugs to all who come here. I hope that today you can count your blessings too.
XO Paula

Thanks for this great post, Paula.

I did pretty well this Thanksgiving; had a big crowd here and still have my two foster daughters so that helped.

So far, have managed to stave off the holiday blues.  Had a couple of really rough weeks early in Nov - not sure why.  Just thought about Vince a lot and cried and had a couple of melt downs.  But it seems to have subsided for now.

Best wishes to all for the holiday season.

Child Loss / Re: Going through the motions
« on: October 13, 2013, 12:42:41 PM »
It has been almost 6 months since i lost my beautiful daughter Stephanie and a part of me can not accept that fact. I see her pictures around the house and i think this can not be true, my baby girl can not be gone forever. I get up and i go to work monday thru Friday but i am just doing what i have to do, i am just going through the motions. I come from work to an empty house, i used to come home to my girl and my dog looking out the window for his mama, i would walk the dog and then we always had some girl talk before dad came from home from work. Today i come home the dog is in his crate, the house is quiet, i walk the dog, feed the dog and I pour myself a drink to dull the pain of my loneliness and wait for my husband to come home. He comes home and realizes that i am quiet with not much to say and asks.....whats wrong? Really do you have to ask? I wonder in my head but say ....nothing is wrong. I cook supper and clean up the dishes and continue going through through the motions. I go to bed and usually wake up in the early hours thinking about my daughter, missing my daughter, wondering how could this have happened to me? to her? I am just going going through the motions of life, i petend i am strong for my family, but i am weak. I break down when i am alone, i miss my girl so much and i feel like nobody understands, everyone has moved on it seems, but not me.

Six months is a very short time for a loss this devastating; it is not at all surprising that your pain is still very fresh and intense.  It has been 4 yrs since I lost my son - and I still can't type that without tears forming in my eyes.

I was still having major breakdowns daily (sometimes more than once a day) at 6 months.  I think it was over a year before the daily breakdowns started to lessen.  I still have them . . . maybe monthly or so, now.

Everyone goes at a different pace.  Grieve at your own pace and don't be too hard on yourself; be good to yourself.

When you feel up to it, try to find something you like to involve yourself in . . . maybe volunteer work at a pet shelter, or take art classes, or whatever you like.  This kind of thing has helped me, though it surely involved, and sometimes still involves, "making myself" do things, dragging myself through it.  But it doesn't always involve that.

Some days or some times of year are harder than others, and I suspect they always will be.

I have a counselor that I see weekly, and that helps too.  Just last week, I told him that even after 4yrs, and all the things I've done and involved myself in since I lost Vince, I still always feel "right on the edge," like I could "slip back into the deep dark hole" any minute, and I often felt like I just wanted to let go and let myself slip away.  He said this was normal after the loss of a child and that keeping myself busy and active and involved in the world was the best thing I could do.

It's all day to day, moment by moment.  Times when I feel like I'm "just going through the motions" are interspersed with times that I feel more engaged and involved.  I am probably at about half-and-half on that right now- half the time, I feel like "I'm going through the motions," and half the time I don't.  I hope to tip the balance soon.

But it will never be the same again, I know that.  And part of me will always "not be here," I know that too.  And the pain will never really go away.  So it's all about learning to live with this new (it still feels so new!) reality.

I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your Stephanie.  I send you all the best as you move forward from your loss.

Child Loss / Re: Making others uncomfortable
« on: October 08, 2013, 09:26:57 PM »
Has anyone else experienced the feeling that you are making others uncomfortable by bringing up your child?  Every time I mention Stephen around friends or co-workers, they get very quiet.  No one ever brings him up - I'm sure they think it will upset me.  But as long as I'm the one bringing him, shouldn't that signal to them that it's okay to talk about him? It's really starting to bother me. I want to keep him "alive" in my memory and want others to know it's okay to talk about it with me.

I definitely experienced this.  I just keep talking about Vince anyhow.  Something will remind me of a story about him, or some characteristic of his, and I will say, "That reminds me of the time Vince . . .," or, "Vince was like that, too . . ." or whatever.

I just ignored the silent stares or the looks people tossed each other, and talked about Vince whenever I wanted to.  Eventually, it was accepted by close family and friends, and now, after 4 yrs, people are much more relaxed and some even join in.

And I'm with you - I liked being able to talk about Vince, and I want to keep him "alive" in that way.  People didn't understand that at first.  I never explained it, but  with time, persistent, consistent behavior from me helped family and friends to be more comfortable.

If my own talk upsets me, I cut it short.  I know people are uncomfortable watching me cry about Vince, so I don't take it that far.  But more often than not, I have enjoyed talking about Vince, and the crying happens later, when I am alone.

In the beginning, I wanted to talk about Vince all the time, and I did have to watch not to overdo it.  It helped to talk to someone who felt the same way I did - I was lucky in that my mother-in-law felt the same way I did and liked to talk and talk about Vince (who was her only grandchild; they were very close).  Early on, I thanked her for being someone to whom I could "talk about Vince as much as I want," and she knew just what I meant.

I don't know if you have someone like that in your life, but if you do, take advantage.  It also helped that I had a counselor I saw once a week and could talk and talk to him about Vince (it helped me not overdo it around others).

Anyhow, your desire to talk about precious Stephen is 100% normal.  And know you are welcome to do that here.  Want to tell us some stories about Stephen?  I'm sure I speak for others here when I say "we're all ears."

All the best to you!

I'm not one to read instructions so I'm jumping in not knowing if I'm doing this right or not.  I got this web-site from a book written by Elizabeth Edwards called "Resilience" which my therapist recommended.  So if I get nothing else from her book, at least I made a connection with others who have lost a child.

Glad you're here, and I hope we can help.  I found this site helpful after I lost my son.

And by "child", I mean a young man.  My son, Stephen was 29 years old when he died.  I've been instructed to say "die" not passed away, to make it more real.  He died 2 weeks before Christmas so we are still fairly new to the grieving process.  Stephen was my only son.  He and I had a special bond since I was a single parent to him for the 1st six years of his life before I married his step-father, Daren, who was the only father Stephen ever really knew.  Steve lived 6 hours away from us in Iowa City, Iowa.  He was a fun-loving guy who liked to drink.  I'm not going to sugar coat anything here because I feel I can be very honest since none of you know me.  He wasn't married; he lived with 2 roommates and held a good job.  But he liked to drink.  He was the life of any party.  He could make anyone laugh. 
When the 2 police officers came to our door that Saturday evening in December, I couldn't even fathom what they were telling me.  Did I have a son in Iowa City? This was the part of their job they "hated".  They had to inform me that Stephen had passed away - they didn't use the word "died". He died in his bed, alone and I'm assuming in pain as his liver was shutting down and he hemoraged (can't spell that).  I feel incredibly guilty over his death.  I should have known he was in trouble.  As his mother, I should have known.   

My son was also 29, and my only child - and because my husband died when my son was a baby, I raised him alone also.  I know the pain of your loss.  My son died of a sudden illness - a flare up of an ongoing illness, really - and I felt a lot of guilt, also.  His death could have been avoided if he'd sought medical intervention sooner, and I have had to deal with the feeling that I should have checked up on him more, I should have stayed after him, I knew he had recurring problems, I knew he was too careless with his illness, etc.

It's been 4 yrs now, and I can tell you that the rawness of your pain will ease, but it will never truly go away.  You can survive it though, and learn how to manage the pain.

It all takes time and people go at different paces; different things help different people, etc.  Let yourself grieve and be very good to yourself.  Know you are not alone in what you are feeling.

I am so sorry to hear of the loss of Stephen.

Child Loss / Re: Introducing Our Precious Children
« on: October 07, 2013, 07:53:10 PM »
My little Emily Alice, the light of our lives was born on July 10, 1998. We were all so pleasantly surprised to have been gifted a little girl. I have two sons, who are now 18 and 20 years old. The adored their little sister. We have a strong, supportive, loving family - many of whom were at the hospital and able to meet Em shortly after she was born.
Emily brought so much joy to our family. She was the type of person who lived in the now and got joy from whatever she was doing and whoever she was with. She was just so non judgemental and loving. She was the person I wished I could be. Em was a very good student. She was a leader and involved in everything. Her passion from the time she was 7 was to ride horses. She tried her hand at both Western and English style riding - eventually settling on mainly English. She loved jumping her horses. My husband and I are not horse people but were happy to lease a horse and have Emily involved in the lifestyle. In September of last year we bought Emily her own horse and boarded it at the stables she had always been a part of. It was her second home and having her own horse was her dream. They were beautiful together.
Just this June I began to notice that something was up with Em. She seemed preoccupied. I discovered that she was 'cutting'. She told me she did it because she was numb. I got her into counselling quite quickly but thought it might just be a phase she was going through. She was a popular girl but also often drawn to other kids who had problems, she was a helper and very empathetic. Now I see she probably understood them in a different way then what I thought.
Emily's counsellor at Mental Health got her in to a psychiatrist  at our local hospital quickly as she believed that Emily was suffering from clinical depression and that it was serious. He agreed and started her on medication in early July. We spent the summer together in close contact - I was worried and keeping her close and she just seemed to want to spend lots of time together. Now I think that was her gift to us. We went on three holidays this summer and had a great time. She told me she was feeling much better - lighter she said. We returned from our last 10 day trip to our cabin on a Northern Lake on August 21st. We had an amazing trip - Emily had brought a friend with her and there were lots of laughs and days of relaxation. She came home and began excitedly shopping for her new school clothes.
On Saturday, August 24th I got up to run some errands. I was getting ready in the bathroom and Emily had left all of her hair products out. I went into her room to give her heck and instead found her. I screamed for help and unfortunately everyone was home and so not only did my husband and I see her but so did both of her brothers. She had hung herself. I thought I could save her and got her down and gave her mouth to mouth while the boys were calling 911. My husband tells me now that he knew we were much too late. He was right. Emily left several notes. Two for my husband and I, notes for her brothers, notes for her close friends and even a note for her horse. All of them had the same theme - that she loved us all a ton and that she was so sorry. She said she knew she could have come to us but didn't think anyone could fix her brain or her thoughts which were so dark. She encouraged everyone to be kind, to love and to live their lives fully. That may be the part that I now have trouble with.
I miss you Em. I love you Emily...

What a beautiful girl, and what a tragic story.

I am so sorry for your terrible loss.  All of us who have lost a child know how truly horrible your pain, but we know too, that it can be survived.  It takes a lot of time and a lot of tears.  Let yourself grieve and reach out to those who can help.

Nothing will ever make this alright, but know you are not alone in what you are experiencing.  Much love to you.

Child Loss / Re: 15 years gone by
« on: September 22, 2013, 08:37:54 PM »

I always post on Tim's day of passing but a strange thing happened this year.  I had been ill for many weeks and was finally feeling somewhat better.  We went to dinner that night and I wanted to post that evening.  But as we were leaving the restaurant we saw an accident on the highway.  We back tracked and found two young girls barely 20 who were not hurt but badly shaken up.  One friend re-ended the other friend's vehicle on their way back from work.   One car was total. 

One car stuck in the fast lane of the highway with darkness approaching and a storm moving in.   We kept calling the police until an hour later, someone finally showed up.  By then it was pouring down rain, we were soaked to the bone, no jackets or anything.  Two weird guys had stopped so we were glad we stayed with them until the police and their rides came.   The officer and girls thanks for helping.

I thought to myself, how fitting on this night of nights to be there with these young girls who were so glad we stayed with them.  As the rain poured down on us, I thought let it be a healing rain for all.  Can't believe my son passed at the age of 15 and now it is 15 years later.  As time has gone on, we have learned to live with his absence.   But still miss him so deep in our soul.  His leaving did not break my heart,  he just left this beautiful imprint of his soul that I carry with me.  My heart is not broken, it is just enlarged with a great capacity to love.  That I still have to give and share as I did this night.

I still live with the profound emptiness that exists for every lost moment of a future we would not share.  With losing my only child that hole has become so much bigger these 15 years later with all the losses of his friends we would not meet, his wife, his children, his care and love expressed to us.  His life experiences we would have shared.  None to be had. A new reality to face, leaving behind the wanting of what was so that we can accept what can be. His father and I still are working through this together. 

And as I am aging I have found I need to be even more caring and gentle with myself.  And how the impact of the many years of taking for my son with his health issues did take a toll on me.   I never faced how it felt to be that caregivers and what I had to see and go through.  I sort of tucked it way and now it is affecting my health.  I just have faith that this is the right step.  So I can let go of the heaviness of the experience that is no longer necessary to carry.  Who knows what I might find underneath it.

Tim always was happy and lived his life to the fullest.   He never complained about living with his heart and lung defect.  Faced so much in his young life with a spirit of love and joy. I saw this quote and thought of him: "The value of life lies not in the length of days, but in the use we make of them; a man may live long yet live very little.  The truth is that you can spend your day anyway you want, but you can spend it only once."  Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

Thank you Tim for showing me life is a gift and so are you my sweet one in my life. I like it when you pop in and say hello in my dreams or a special memory comes up.  We still love and miss you so much. 

Mom and Dad

Thanks so much for sharing this, Ramona.

I lost my only child, my son, a little over 4 yrs ago.  He was 29, also plagued by health issues most of his life and never married, so no grandchildren, etc.  I feel as you do about Tim - i.e., that he helped me learn to live and love.

The pain of missing him is forever, but I've found solace in doing for others and trying to honor my son by trying to live my life as well as he did.

I was just now feeling a little down and came by to check this board - it helped to read your story.

Many good wishes to you and yours.

Child Loss / Re: Face Book
« on: September 15, 2013, 10:29:07 PM »
I would like to know what anyone who has lost an older teen/ young adult child thinks about Face Book...... Have you deactivated their page following their death? Have you kept it activated as a place to visit for yourself, freinds and family?

I deactivated my son's facebook page. 

Some of his friends "friended" me, I think as a way to keep their connection to him, so I put a photo album with pictures of my son on my page.

I don't think there is anything wrong with keeping the page.  Facebook has a procedure for memorializing a page:

Here's some more information about it:

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