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Topics - Terry

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Child Loss / "Close Call"....feeling grateful
« on: March 06, 2009, 08:05:40 AM »
Popping in to say hello and to let you know what has been happening, and for a reason.
Last Friday morning, I collasped and was rushed to the hospital. I don't remember much. I woke up in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit of our local Trauma Center. They were wonderful.

Backing up a few months to November and when my body goes through so many changes and this year I have never 'bounced back' from one date after another. I'm getting older. My heart is tired. And, I knew...I just knew that this year, this time around....I was going to pay a price. I just felt it.

After my last meltdown, or should I call it....bout of deep sadness...I returned to work and all has been well. BUT, the damage was already done. To my heart. To my body.

And last Friday, I wasn't feeling well. In fact, a couple weeks before I couldn't sleep because my heart was beating so irregularly that it felt like 20 people were IN THERE trying to get out. Went to my Cardiologist. Had tests. All normal. Dr. did tell me I was under too much stress. (ON, REALLY?????????...what a GENIUS he is, hugh????)
Sarcasim aside, he asked me what was 'bothering' me, other than what he was aware of. He already knows about Dad, as he just put a stent in him 3 months ago. He saw how he was in the hospital and the hard time I was having with him. My Dad, bless his heart, he can't help what is wrong with him, anymore than WE can help feeling the way we do, experiencing symptoms at times that are foreign, upsetting, due to the many life changes we have gone through since our children died.

While in the hospital, I had a Heart Cath done...normal...arteries wide open. In fact, all test results were normal. The only problem I had while in there was from the amount of steroids, pred, and ben. due to the fact I am allergic to iodine, and that had to be injected for the Heart Cath., so I had to be pumped up with these drugs hours before.

End result, while in the hospital, my Dr. sent in to see me....a Phychiatrist. We talked for 3 hours, a very long time for a hospital shrink. I bared all. Starting with princess Michelle, then my Jeff. And, caring for Dad and not really having any private time to be with my thoughts, my memories.

I think I depressed her. She told me she probably wouldn't be sitting there talking to me, had she lost even ONE child. She couldn't bear the thought. She had one child, a daughter and as I spoke, I watched the life run out of her face.

She continued talking with me, asking me the things I did on a daily basis regarding exercise, diet, etc, etc, etc.
I explained that I walked a lot but stopped around November....crawling into my cubby hole and just hiding from the world. She answered.."Understandable."

Her prognonis was that I was a strong woman who was dealing with extraordinary circumstances and doing a very good job with (my) coping skills and setting short and long term goals and she had nothing to add regarding a 'treatment plan.' She would report that to my Doctor.

Today is my birthday, I am 56, and last week, I didn't think I'd see this day so I feel extremely grateful. Blessed!

And, I've started walking again, full time and am feeling better. I have to remind myself, and probably more often, that the loss of a child is life changing, regardless of how we go on with our lives. The choices we make from the very beginning are very important, and with my Jeff, I didn't make the best choices for my health. I never got the proper rest I needed or excercised the way I should have, but that's OK, because I am now.

I can't change the past but I can sure do something about my future.

I know I haven't said anything that everybody doesn't already know. I just wanted to share this as this experience has opened my eyes, just a bit more.

And, for all who are new on this journey, gee, I wish I had some good advice to offer, but we have to make our own way, find a 'new' way to live after our children die. I know the things I 'wouldn't' do again: I wouldn't surround myself, or should I say, expose myself to people who were not compassionate. I wouldn't give in to demands that I ALLOWED others to pressure me with. I wouldn't have let myself get so run down that when a date did come around, I didn't have the strength or the common sense to care for myself.

I would have 'held' myself more. Been kinder to myself. Rested more. Excercised more. And, I would have taken off this 'cape' a lot sooner....gotten rid of this 'superwoman personna' that has been the reason I am in the shape I am in now.

Strong I am, I have never been able to deny that nor would I ever want to. I am not ashamed of that, although others would like to dig their claws in because they are not able to handle what I have handled. I now stay away from these people. They are poison!!!!!

I don't know if there is a lesson in this message. I just know I needed to write it. So, maybe someone will find a 'thing' or two that they can relate to and maybe avoid mistakes, choices I have made. I don't know.

I DO know that it's very difficult to make choices for ourselves, when we are in so much pain. The pain fogs our view and it takes an enormous amount of focus and discipline to be able to STAY focused, so that the pain at times, doesn't choke the life out of us.

I'm off to work. You are all in my heart, as are all of your beautiful children.

My Love....Terry

Child Loss / My Jeff's Birthday Today
« on: February 19, 2009, 05:34:02 AM »
Today is my baby Jeff's Birthday. He would have been 35. I have been very busy with work and was very anxious all week, not knowing how hard I was going to get hit.
Today I have to be in court for a friend and I don't know how much I'll be able to help her, in all honesty. I didn't want to get involved, it's a civil case, but I was dragged into it. I have to be honest and let the chips fall where they may.

I am making Jeff's favorite dinner as I do every year. His daughter will be here and my DIL. My sister picked up my Dad and he'll be staying with her for a few weeks. I miss him already, although I need a break.

I feel Jeff with me, even now as I write this and know I will be OK when I go into court. Jeff was always there for me when I needed him. He was not only my son, he was my best friend and my greatest support.

Happy Birthday my darling, precious, beautiful child. I miss you more than I could ever put into mere words. I hold you close to my heart and more than anything...I Thank You for loving me.

Dinner's at 7!


Child Loss / Thinking of you Rebecca
« on: February 10, 2009, 01:10:35 AM »
Knowing how hard these next few days will be for you, missing your darling Jason.  Especially today. I'm so sorry and just know that you will be in my thoughts and prayers to feel him close to you.


Holding you close to my heart and sending my Love & Understanding,

Child Loss / I've DONE IT....again
« on: January 22, 2009, 09:03:15 AM »
I've taken on more than I can handle, emotionally. I've committed to helping a friend and I'm already feeling knocked-down and it's getting harder and harder to bounce back.

This past November, of course, is when my nightmare started but usually after Christmas, I start to poke my head out of the ground. Not so this year. I'm not coming back up. I'm just a mess. And, I can't SEE where it's all going to end. There's absolutely no end in sight. No reprieve. Nothing. Just getting worse.

I'm fearful now because I am usually in control, for the most part. I run my business well and also run a very unstable household. My Dad, my precious and wonderful Father has advanced, and has been, in his AD and he is very difficult to manage. Now, that is. I usually have no difficulty dealing with his extreme highs and extreme lows. But the problem is that I AM too low to deal with him and although I do have people that come in twice and sometimes three times a week so I can work, even that is not working because I'm unable to get myself up and out and do what needs to be done.

I'm in that place where I am crying all day, all night. I can't sleep and I'm not comfortable in my skin. I'm fighting to break free of this grip that will not ease up on me....too much pain...more than this body, this mind is able to handle.

Maybe I'm just tired. So tired of the pain that seems to get worse and I don't seem to be coping well. I'm miserable and although I'm fighting to get back into life....I'm loosing. Terribly.
And, I'm scared. That I have to admit. I am really scared. Where is my strength and where is my reserve????? Where did it all go????

I hesitated to share this as I never want to discourage the newer ones on this journey, but just know that this is an individual problem. This is my life that's falling apart. And others on here further along also, seem to be coping well. Draw strength from them and not hopelessness from me. Please!

This is a place I have not been to yet. One where I see no windows, no light, just walls closing in on me. I've lived most of the years of my life grieving, missing, longing and I'm so SOOO tired!
And this is the only place I have to come where I know others will understand that sometimes this life get's so ugly with the pain and our world get's so disoriented that sometimes reaching out is the only real way to keep..holding on. I'm trying so hard to fight this and hold on tightly to hope and I pray that the strength and the love and the hope that has seen me up to this point, somehow resurfaces.
It's all I have left to hold onto. I'm in dark waters with no shore in sight, desperately waiting for a life preserver. And, I wait.

Child Loss / Setting up times for Chat
« on: January 14, 2009, 05:04:32 PM »
I'd like to throw an idea out to see how everyone feels about someone being in CHAT most of the time. Or at least to have "SET" times where one knows that there IS a place to go and that someone WILL be there.

I am on the East Coast, EST, and I will offer to be there on the weekends which would include Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights between 10PM to 12PM. And, longer if need be.

Along with this "SET" time, I will also 'check-in' during the day on these days.

Terry: EST - Child Loss

     Friday 10PM-12PM
Saturday 10PM-12PM
   Sunday 10PM-12PM

If we find that there is a great enough interest/need for CHAT to be available and on a consistent basis, I'll collect the information from the rest of the posts and post the CHAT schedule in it's entirety. This way we can all have a print out of the schedule.


Child Loss / 6 years today that I lost Jeff
« on: January 12, 2009, 07:37:46 PM »

And it is still so unbelievable. All last night, I was just lost. Couldn't stop crying. All day today I was a mess.

This afternoon, family and some friends and of course Jeff's beautiful daughter were here and we planted a Magnolia tree outside of my bedroom window. This area is Jeff's Memorial Garden. It's the last thing I see when I go to bed and the first thing I see when I get up. Her and Daddy used to work in the garden, she always dug the first hole and was insistent today, even when one of Jeff's friend's wanted to help her, she wouldn't hear of it.
"It's me and Daddy's Garden and I'm digging the first hole for him and me. My Daddy....she said over and over, crying. I just couldn't hold back the tears. No one could.

My heart is sore today from breaking. My eyes are practically swollen shut and I just want to sleep for a week.

I wanted to share this picture of Jeff and his little girl as it is her favorite and is on her dresser and also in wallet size that she keeps in her little purse.
She adored her Daddy. I adored her Daddy. So much love and so much pain.


Child Loss / Sharing 'My Children'
« on: January 01, 2009, 02:54:59 PM »
Last night I went to sleep and had a really restless night. So many memories just flooded my mind. I was back there in their hospital rooms. I could smell Michelle's Jammie's, although her room in Children's Hospital was decorated with all of her furniture and all the clothes were hers. But, that smell. And, I tried to look at it like, she was with me, near me. Then, the same with Jeff's ER experience, when I walked back and pulled that curtain aside knowing it was going to change my life forever.

With Michelle, I knew when she was born that she wouldn't be on this earth long and I said it to many others. They attributed it to my losing Sal, my baby boy, and I was feeling anxious and fearful that I would also lose Michelle. But, that wasn't so. She was perfect and in every way. I can't really fully explain how I knew but it was something like someone gave her to me and said...This is your gift, learn from her, learn love, from her. And a love I had only dreamed about experiencing. She was my teacher, in a sense, and I did learn from her about total and unconditional love and also, unconditional surrender. Because she let 'me' go long before I understood the meaning.

I didn't grieve for Michelle or Sal the way I am grieving for my Jeff. There was such a peace, something spiritual with Michelle and that peace has always stayed with me.

With Sal, we knew there were problems during my pregnancy and although I was hoping that everything would be alright and didn't expect anything to go wrong, he graced my life for mere days before he flew away, such an angel, to Heaven.  I miss my baby so much. I miss that he didn't have a chance to grow up and know his Momma. My only memories of him were him lying still, as I only held him in my arms, once. But, I was with him everyday and I touched him everyday. Leaving the hospital alone was devestating. Walking into his beautiful room where he was to play and grow and live....was more than anyone should have to bear.

When I drove out of state to get Jeff's belongings, 3 weeks after he died, and I still don't know how I did it and can't remember half of it, as he was living near my sister, his room still had all of Michelle and Sal's special gifts. The stuffed animals and toys from the room that Sal never slept in and Michelle's drawings....he kept them with him always.

Over the years I held onto Jeff tightly but never believing, ever, that something would happen to my Jeff. When everyone got the call that he had been murdered, no one else believed it, either. All I kept hearing was, how could this happen again, how?

Everyone thought that Jeff's death would be the 'death' of me. And, in a way, it was. But, in another way, I learned, and all over again, how to live. And I do this in their memory, because of the great love I have had in my life that will carry me throughout the days of my life. At the end of my life, my thoughts will be of them. Their beautiful faces smiling on me and letting me know that my life was rich and full because they were in it.

I have to remind myself, and often, that nothing in this life is permenant. Change is the only constant. And love is the only thing that lasts.

Today, I own my own business and after some struggle, I am doing very well. Even at the 4 year mark of Jeff's death, I didn't know if I was ever going to find any peace or live my life and really enjoy it. But, I can. And, I'm glad I believed in myself, kept my faith/practiced my faith, and refused to allow the pain to determine the rest of my life. But, that doesn't mean that I don't still scream out in pain, because I do.

I have purposefully set forth, but not without struggles, to find my place, once again in this world. I won't veer off of this path, although I will slow down at times. This life without my children has taken its toll on my heart and at times, my will. But, both remain strong. I've beaten all of the odds that others have believed I could not. That, in itself is an achievement.

I wanted to share my children today for all those who do not remember me and do not know my story and who some recently, have asked me to share about them. The last time was someone in 'chat' a few weeks ago and I couldn't share my children. I just shut down and I'm sorry and the reason I'm writing this today.

This Holiday Season has been the most difficult but I'm surviving it. It helps so much to come here and know, even though some do not reply, I know you understand. That's enough for me. It's very comforting and I thank you all. And, I thank you for reading.

A song that I love, "There are Angels among us" and I cry every time I hear it. Well, I believe a lot of those angels are right here and more times than I can count, you here have helped me make it through the night, and for that, I do call you 'my angels.'

I love you all very much,

Child Loss / Wish it WERE a celebration
« on: December 31, 2008, 07:26:43 PM »
I want you all to know that I wish you peace and love and everything good to come your way in 2009. i just read "John's" post on Depression and the New Year and ways to cope and I couldn't even respond. Thank you though John for caring so much to post this.

I can't bear all of the phone calls tonight wishing me Happy New Year. I hate this time of the year and I just can't stop crying. I just want it to be over. The lights, the music, the hurtful comments.....everything, just gone!!!! JUUST GO!!!!

Why, oh why???? Every time I feel my heart has healed a little more, just a little more, these Holidays with all my kids birthdays and Jeff's 6 year coming up and all of these days before, all of this remembering. I'm so tired of remembering. So tired of the hurt. The missing. And I miss my Mother so much and what I wouldn't give to be able to crawl up in her lap right now and fel her arms around me.

There's no one here, well, my Dad, but he's really not here. He doesn't even REMEMBER MY chilkdren??!!

i'm sorry for all this. I just need to write this down and know, really know, that someone is listening.
I'm going to bed soon, sleep, my only rescue.,sleep. love

Child Loss / Happy Heavenly Birthday "Wesley"
« on: December 29, 2008, 12:41:43 AM »

I will be thinking of you today and holding you close to my heart, as you gather with family and loved ones to remember your beautiful and precious "Wesley" on his Birthday.

"Happy Heavenly Birthday, Sweet Wesley"


Child Loss / Thinking of you all
« on: December 24, 2008, 04:27:35 AM »
You are all in my thoughts and in my heart today, tomorrow and throughout this Holiday Season.

I hope that we all find a special place with a special memory to warm our hearts, while missing our children so very much.

We all have 'good' memories, too and I have one special memory that I am going to stay focused on:
I'm kneeling in front of 'a' Christmas tree and my babies are all around me and laughing. They are SO happy!

I will be remembering them, this way, when I grow weary.....and I know their Love will 'see me' through.

This is my wish. And.....for so much peace for ALL of us.

I Love You all,

Child Loss / Just For Today
« on: December 16, 2008, 11:53:57 PM »
Just For Today For Bereaved Parents

Just for today I will try to live through the next 24 hours
and not expect to get over my child's death,
but instead learn to live with it, just one day at a time.

Just for today I will remember my child's life, not just her death,
and bask in the comfort of all those treasured days
and moments we shared.

Just for today I will forgive all the family and friends
who didn't help or comfort me the way I needed them to.
They truly did not know how.

Just for today I will smile no matter how much I hurt on the inside,
for maybe if I smile a little,
my heart will soften and I will begin to heal.

Just for today I will reach out to comfort a relative or friend of my child,
for they are hurting too,
and perhaps we can help each other.

Just for today I will free myself from my self-inflicted burden of guilt,
for deep in my heart I know if there was anything in this world
I could of done to save my child from death,
I would of done it.

Just for today I will honor my child's memory
by doing something with another child
because I know that would make my own child proud.

Just for today I will offer my hand in friendship
to another bereaved parent
for I do know how they feel.

Just for today when my heart feels like breaking,
I will stop and remember that grief is the price we pay for loving
and the only reason I hurt is because
I had the privilege of loving so much

Just for today I will not compare myself with others.
I am fortunate to be who I am
and have had my child for as long as I did.

Just for today I will allow myself to be happy,
for I know that I am not deserting her by living on.

Just for today I will accept that I did not die when my child did,
my life did go on,
and I am the only one who can make that life worthwhile once more.
~~~~Vicki Tushingham

Child Loss / Regarding #8 in the "Mourners Bill of Rights"
« on: December 14, 2008, 02:44:49 PM »
I apologize for that ridiculous symbol, which is supposed to be the number '8'.

I have no idea why it is on there and when I tried to remove it, in modify, it shows up as the number '8' and not the symbol.


Child Loss / "PLEASE"
« on: December 14, 2008, 02:36:51 PM »

PLEASE donít ask me if Iím over it yet. Iíll never be over it.

PLEASE donít tell me heís in a better place. He isnít here with me.

PLEASE donít say at least he isnít suffering. I havenít come to terms with why he had to suffer at all.

PLEASE donít tell me you know how I feel, even if you have lost a loved one.

PLEASE donít ask me if I feel better. Bereavement isnít a condition that clears up.

PLEASE donít tell me that at least I had him for so many years. What year would you choose for your loved one to die?

PLEASE donít tell me God never gives us more than we can bear. Please, just say youíre sorry.

PLEASE, just say you remember my loved one, if in fact you do.
Please, mention his name.

PLEASE, just let me cry.

~ Anonymous

With love,

Child Loss / "The Mourners Bill of Rights"
« on: December 14, 2008, 02:35:05 PM »
Feel free to print out the "The Mourner's Bill of Rights" and "Please."

After my Jeff ..died.. I found these invaluable as I was in a dark place, very frightened and felt very alone. I came to learn that there were many who were with me in my grief, as they truly understood. I also came to realize that through my grieving, I still had rights! No one could take away my memories or deny me the right to grieve, in my own way.

I also made copies of both and gave them to family members and friends and they let me know how helpful it was as they just didn't have the right "words" and needed to know that it was not only OK to speak his name and often, but it was like a "song to my heart" whenever someone spoke of him.

The Mournerís Bill of Rights ~ Alan D. Wolfert, Ph.D

Although you should reach out to others as you do the work of mourning, you should not feel obligated to accept the unhelpful responses you may receive from some people. You are the one who is grieving, and as such, you have certain ďrightsĒ no one should try to take away from you.

1) You have the right to experience your own unique grief. No one else will grieve in exactly the same way you do. So, when you turn to others for help, donít allow them to tell you what you should or should not be feeling.

2) You have the right to talk about your grief. Talking about your grief will help you heal. Seek out others who will allow you to talk as much as you want, as often as you want, about your grief. If at times you donít feel like talking, you also have the right to be silent.

3) You have the right to feel a multitude of emotions. Confusion, disorientation, fear, guilt, and relief are just a few of the emotions you might feel as part of your grief journey. Others may try to tell you that feeling angry, for example, is wrong. Donít take these judgmental responses to heart. Instead, find listeners who will accept your feelings without condition.

4) You have the right to be tolerant of your physical and emotional limits. Your feelings of loss and sadness will probably leave you feeling fatigued. Respect what your body and mind are telling you. Get daily rest. Eat balanced meals. And donít allow others to push you into doing things you donít feel ready to do.

5) You have the right to experience ďgriefbursts.Ē Sometimes, out of nowhere, a powerful surge of grief may overcome you. This can be frightening, but is normal and natural. Find someone who understands and will let you talk it out.

6) You have the right to make use of ritual. The funeral ritual does more than acknowledge the death of someone loved. It helps provide you with the support of caring people. More importantly, the funeral is a way for you to mourn. If others tell you the funeral or other healing rituals such as these are silly or unnecessary, donít listen.

7) You have the right to embrace your spirituality. If faith is part of your life, express it in ways that seem appropriate to you. Allow yourself to be around people who understand and support your religious beliefs. If you feel angry at God, find someone to talk with who wonít be critical of your feelings of hurt and abandonment.

8) You have the right to search for meaning. You may find yourself asking, ďWhy did he or she die? Why this way? Why now?Ē Some of your questions may have answers, but some may not. And watch out for clichťd responses some people may give you. Comments like, ďIt was Godís willĒ or ďThink of what you have to be thankful forĒ are not helpful and you do not have to accept them.

9) You have the right to treasure your memories. Memories are one of the best legacies that exist after the death of someone loved. You will always remember. Instead of ignoring your memories, find others with whom you can share them.

10) You have the right to move toward your grief and heal. Reconciling your grief will not happen quickly. Remember, grief is a process, not an event. Be patient and tolerant with yourself and avoid people who are impatient and intolerant with you. Neither you nor those around you must forget that the death of someone loved changes your life forever.

With love,

Child Loss / Sending Love to Jackie, Kyle's Momma
« on: December 02, 2008, 01:50:50 PM »

Thinking of you today. Hope you are well.


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