Dear Grieving Parents

This page was originally posted on my blog on February 1, 2009. 

You’ve arrived here for a reason.  You’ve probably lost a child in recent history, or even, in the distant past.  It doesn’t matter when you lost your child, your children…it only matters that we’re all in this thing together.  This blog is not the answer.  This blog is not a cure.  This blog is nothing more than a venue, a place to share this amazingly deep loss, this thing we could have never anticipated, but this thing we have in common.  All of us have lost one of our children, and in some instances, we’ve lost more than one – as unthinkable as that is, to lose a child (we rehearse it and pray it won’t visit our households), none of us can imagine losing more.  

If you’re an English professor, you will find this place a place of solace – for you will be able to correct my grammar, my punctuation, my syntax, and forget…for just a moment, that your son or daughter is still missing, or found dead.  My son’s body was found four days after he went missing, floating in a river, dead from an “undetermined cause” and we will never be the same.  Your story may be similar.  

Your child may have been found in a ravine, a car, the woods, a friend’s bedroom, your garage, or in some other place that would seem innocent on any other day.  But, that did not come to pass.  Your child may have died from an illness, long-term or sudden, and you’re here with us, wondering why him? why her? why us?  And, you are searching in the day or night for answers that may never come to pass in this lifetime.  I can only offer this: welcome.  

We’re here together.  We’re searching together.  We’re experiencing our losses privately, but our family and friends experience the loss of our children as they will, and the loss of us…as we allow them.  We’re lost in our grief, and we can’t speed it up, we can’t change the things we cannot answer, we can’t make it not so.  I can guarantee you this, and only this – we will miss our kids until our last breath, because we made him/her a promise when we gave birth (men and women alike) — we will protect you, we will guide you, we will teach you, and we will love you forever.  All of that came true, and is true into the future. 

So, here, friend…welcome.  There has to be a place (and if you’re very lucky, many of them)…where our sadness is captured and held in a container of hope and wellness, where grief is not a thing to be ignored or denied, and where we’re allowed to share our memories, the sound bites of our kids’ voices, and the freeze frames that wake us in the night and greet us in the morning.

I can’t imagine a life without the freedom to talk about our years with Owen.  I’ve heard of other families who take the position that talking about the lost child(ren) is forbidden.  I can’t imagine, I never could.  I only know that I’m one of the lucky ones.  My friends and family acknowledge Owen’s passing as a loss experienced by all of us.  They wouldn’t dare deny me the unique experience of parent loss, though if it would make my pain less, they would take it from me like a thief in the night.

Thank you, my precious family and friends.  I love you forever, for you have helped me survive the unthinkable.  We’re all still here.  We’re all still feeling the loss of Owen.  And, we’re all still finding our new selves in this post-Owen world.  We’re all still finding our new selves each morning.

Song for the night:  We Will Rock You, Queen (hitch up your pants, grab your boots, and rock our world, like your kid rocked yours)


81 Responses to “Dear Grieving Parents”

  1. It feels so unreal, me searching for blogs and web pages to find parents who lost their beloved children because they are the only ones who can possibly understand my deep agony and endless sorrow.
    My nearly 4 year old son died on the 6th of January 2009. A few hours before I was going to fetch him from visiting his father (I’m a single mom) he drowned in their swimming pool.
    Right now, all I really want is to have my child back. Nothing else.
    Thank you for giving me a place where I can tell people about my loss, where I can say with safety how broken I am, that I cannot imagine myself ever being happy again.

    • Alison, I am SO sorry for your loss. I did the same thing too…searched the web to find others who could understand my pain when my only child was killed July 22, 2006. She was 26, only a few days from her 27th birthday…her presents were sitting on my dining room table. She was killed by a careless hiker who went off trail, slipped, kicked some rocks which killed her instantly. Our hearts are forever broken. You will forever hold your son in your heart throughout your life. All of us would given anything and everything to have our child back. Even though you will forever have this pain in your heart, I do want to offer you hope. I felt the same as you. But as time has passed, I have become more accepting of my loss. And while I will grieve forever, I have found laughter and joy once again in my life…as our children would want. I know how dark your days are right now…but the sunlight WILL come again. You will be living in a new world…a different world. I continue to live because my daughter can NOT live her life…we must live our lives for our children. Hugging you tightly!! Feel free to contact me. There are a few internet sites that help. I am member of Daily Strength (screen name lanag) and there is a big group of us on facebook. Contact me through DS and I can introduce you to all the other grieving moms. We walk together and hold each other up. love, lana

  2. Oh Alison,
    how I remember the emptiness, the longing, the yearning and most of all the pain of losing a part of yourself. My little man was 7 when he was struck by a vehicle and killed instantly, almost 9 long, yet short years ago. It’s still as if it was yesterday, the moment our lives were changed forever.
    Greiving is such a lonely path that we as parents endure, but know that the pain, although still very, very raw for you at this time, eases. As each birthday, christmas, mothers day and memorial passes, it slowly eases. There is no magic that can take away the pain but time and only time.


  3. Alison said it best—–“ENDLESS SORROW”, “deep agony”. I lost my 24 y.o son David in a car accident christmas eve 2007.It has been 16 months and sometimes it feels like it happened just yesterday.We still can’t believe it happened. He left to go to work that morning and we never saw him again. He was killed instantly and pronounced at the scene. He was never able to realize his dreams, a life cut short. He was such a good kid, would have graduated from college the following spring, he was so happy,full of life. He loved music,played the guitar,was very kind, always saw the best in people, was very close to his 3 younger brothers. I wonder if he just left home a few minutes earlier or a few minutes later would he still be with us, or is it fate! Thanks for this place where I can see I am not alone.
    There are other parents out there who have lost their child and are surviving.

  4. When God sends forth a spotless soul,
    To learn the ways of Earth,
    A Mother’s love is waiting here,
    We call this wonder ~ BIRTH.

    When God calls home a tired soul,
    And stills a fitful breath,
    Love Divine is waiting there,
    This too is Birth ~ not Death.

  5. Thank you for your beautiful and heartwarming site for those of us who have had to endure the unendurable. I lost my only child in a tragic hiking accident. The police have lied to me and refuse to return my inquiries into the accident report. A young man threw a rock over a cliff and it killed my daughter instantly…she was almost 27. She was on the last part of her PhD in mathematics and was a 2.0 handicap golfer. She was just beginning to live her dreams…all cut short by a kid who violated the rules and went off the trail. My heart will forever be broken. Bless you for reaching out and helping others. Lana

    • We lost our only child, Kevin, 17 on July 4, 2011. He was murdered on the beach where we willingly sent him with 5 friends after the small town fireworks. Had we known that a lunatic teenager named Jake Malachek had been drinking on the beach all day, we would have made our precious son and his 4 friends hang out in the backyard. Instead, Kevin was punched in the head less than 1//2 hour from the last time we saw him. Where this rage came from, we will never know. Our precious son did not know this boy and noone is able to explain his hostility. Kevin was our life, our world, our universe. He was going into senior year at an all boys Catholic high school. He was on the honor roll and played varsity baseball and soccer. Our lives ended with his on that night. We love him and are unable to function without him. We are actively seeking guidance from anyone who can help; priests, therapists, books, prayer but we are so very sad and despondent. In addition to having to grieve our beautiful son, we also have the legal aspect of his murder to endure. Our sadness is beyond measure. Thank you for letting me share

  6. I am leaving a response I wish I did not have to leave. I am 8 mos. into this horrendous loss…my son died under suspicious circumstances on March 6th 2009. They classified his death as suicide. It was all so easy to do…as the sheriff was under investigation for corruption and arrested along with his cronies. The “grieving widow” and his “best friend” were present at this “suicide”…they didn’t let his ashes cool before they had moved in together. In our grief, we had the audacity to question the detective who conducted the investigation. It was more about him being “right” then justice being served. He was rude and insolent…and we were broken and crushed under the weight of this burdensome ruling and death. We were invalidated as the overwrought, sorrowful, parents in denial that such a thing could happen. It has been a journey into hell. I would like to set up a website such as this to warn parents in this situation as to what to be prepared for and yet, we are new to this…we hardly know ourselves what we should do. God be with us as we make our way into this pit of uncertainty and hard hearted so called investigators who just don’t care. I am ranting to anyone who will listen. Thank you so much. Perhaps you already know from your own experiences what lies ahead for us as we pursue the case to be reopened. God bless you. Dale

    • I have gotten nowhere in my investigation. But I am not going to let it rest. I have some friends out in Colorado who are helping me. Praying that you can find the truth and that you can find peace. My heart goes out to you. Lana

  7. I’ve been listening to Precious Child by Karen Taylor-Good for at least 2 hours straight and browsing sites of other parents that have lost a child. Our 22 year old son Richard was found dead on May 28, 2009 – his sister’s 25th birthday. It wasn’t a fun call to make, telling her that her baby brother was gone, on her birthday. And nothing has seemed fun since that day. Thanks to all that have traveled this path before us. We wish you didn’t make that journey, but thank you for sharing your stories.

  8. As the one year anniversary (if you can call it that) draws near to Amie’s death. I’m still drowning in sorrow. How could it be? How does time travel so quickly?
    I’m sorry for all of us in this stupid club! I wish it could be different.
    Thank you for sharing and caring.

  9. Hi, Linda. I’ve been searching the web to find some solace, or at least a place to talk a little. It’s amazing how people just don’t want to talk about this, or don’t know how to. Will they make us sad? Will they make us cry? No, we’re sad and we cry anyway. But I understand; I was there just three months ago. That’s when (September 20, 2009) my oldest daughter Melanie, 31, was found unresponsive by my other daughter Jennifer, 27. Mel died an hour later. The monster that plagues so many of our children today, addiction, overpowered her. And it’s got Jenn by both feet now also. So at least I know what killed her, if not why. I’m so sorry for you, Linda. Even in my now foggy mind, I can see how those unresolved issues could deny you the closure, if there ever is succh a thing. I just pray that you don’t hurt any more than Brenda and I do. My faith tells me that we deserve nothing but for the grace of God. Yet I truly could not wish this on my worst enemy. I haven’t had a chance to read much of your blog, as I just found it and I’m at work. I’ll read more, and perhaps I’ll find some hope in it. But if not, I won’t be surprised. I don’t see any in my world.

    God bless you,


    • Now it is June 1, 2012. It has been over ten months since my second daughter, Jennifer, then 28, died on July 16, 2011. Now both Melanie and Jennifer are gone. I didn’t think anything could hurt more than losing a child. Losing both of them does.


      • Dear SoSadDad, my heart grieves with you and for you. There are no words that can be said to take away your pain. I lost my only child but i do believe losing two children is even worse. Just know you are not alone and I am there holding your hand in that dark tunnel…reassuring you of hope yet to come. Praying for peace and God’s strength to carry you through these dark days. Please free to contact me:

      • Dear Ernie,

        I am so sorry to hear that you and Brenda have lost Jennifer, too. I can’t quite imagine having lost both of your children, and in such a short timeframe – all the more powerfully painful, I’m sure. With Melanie gone less than three years, I just can’t imagine.

        Today is the 5-year anniversary for us. We have had several close family and friend losses since Owen, and they seem to compound the grief and come as reminders each time, even in the midst of the new grief. If there is any good in this awfulness, it is knowing that at a certain point, you may be able to be of service to others who have experienced similar losses. Projecting this, for myself, was of little consolation in the early years, but it is, indeed, getting softer with time.

        Hold on to yourselves and whatever beliefs you have that get you through to the softer times. And, remember the gentler times of all of your lives together.


      • Ernie,

        I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my only daughter on June 23, 2010. I am a single mom, her dad didn’t even know she died. She was everything to me, so I can’t even imagine what you are going through right now. For those of us who have no children left, it seems almost a cruel cosmic joke that is too painful to live through. And you are right, people don’t understand, even the people at support groups that I’ve been too. I know what you mean about people not wanting to talk about it, my own family avoids the subject, which is just making us all be in more pain. I feel like we’ve all just fallen apart since Betsy died. Some days I don’t even want to keep living, but I keep talking to my therapist, taking my medication, and trying to put one foot in front of the other for my daughter. I guess that we all have each other here, so that is at least people to talk to. Sending you love and hopefully peace,

  10. Thank you for a place to share my story. First, let me say my heart goes out to everyone who has lost a child or children. May GOD comfort you as no other can. I lost my 24 year old son on June 10, 2007. He was riding his motorcycle (going a bit fast) on a back country road on a beautiful sunny Sunday. A young lady pulled out in front of him. He tried to avoid her but hit the car two times and then went airborne about 30 feet (I hope I said that correctly). I found out by several state troopers showing up at my home to tell me. I later viewed my son’s autopsy photos as I had to know what happened to him. I also reviewed the autopsy report and tried to make sense of it (I am not a medical person). He was literally beat to death. Let me add that his father (whom I was divorced from) died in 2002. My two daughters who are now 23 and 16 have suffered a loss not once but twice. Trying to help them is hard also. There are no magic words or actions to help someone whom is grieving. My son had a daughter whom will now grow up without a father. This is hard – it is very hard. I can say this – that GOD’s grace will help you through. We may never ever understand why – maybe it is best that way.

    I also want to add that a child going missing and then being found dead has to be severly traumatizing. My situation was extremely hard but I can not say I know how you feel. May GOD bless each and everyone of you.

  11. It has been almost a month since my son Bryan Passed away. He was a beautiful old soul of 29. He died of a cancer that only ‘old men’ get. I am now in a strange land. After the blessing of Hospice, and a 6 week struggle, he received his peace. He was telling his friends and family, nurses and doctors alike, “don’t wait to go for what you want; don’t worry about making a mistake; at least you will have tried to go for what will make you happy”. He did that, and he imparted his wisdom to many souls, and they listened and were made better. He always seemed liked an old soul trapped in a young boy’s body. At the end of his life, he said, “I feel like a 29 year old trapped in an old man’s body”. His Spirit grew too large, and his body grew too weary to contain it any longer. I pray that his energy is flowing all around us and is allowing him the Ultimate Freedom.
    I realize that the time I shared with my son during the last days of his life, on up to the last breaths he took, were a blessing. I know that he said what all of our sons and daughters would say to us if they could, “I love you Mom, and I’m going to miss you. I will come around you somehow, if it is possible to do so. I want you to be ok and go and live a happy life. Just make it your Best Life.

  12. Thank you for your thoughtful, original writing.

    Shakti, an amazing writer who lost her daughter this year, blogs:

    If you’ve ever taken an introductory psychology class, you know that most people believe there are 5 stages of grief. They are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Denial is the obvious one anyone will experience first. “This can’t be happening.”

    … Instead of stages, I’ve come to think of the experience of grief as a spiral. When loss happens, like when a loved one dies, the world shrinks down to a tiny pinpoint that consists only of that loss. And you go deep into denial. The way your body puts you in shock determines how you respond.

    When I went into shock, I could barely move. I couldn’t cry, couldn’t scream. I slowed down more and more to the point where I nearly passed out. I was told my blood pressure probably dropped.

    Eventually, you’re forced out of that tiny spot. Or you experience serious mental illness, I would think.


    She blogs of trying to move slowly outward from that point, along a winding path away from the center. Who knows where it will lead?

    Maybe her journey will help someone else.

  13. I too have lost my child. My only child. As a single parent who’s world simply revolved around my daughter I am at a loss as to what I should do with whatever time I have left here. She was 1 week away from her 14th bday when she passed. She feel into a coma just 3 weeks before on MOTHER’S DAY of all days! This was last year. This mother’s day will be the first without her…and a painful reminder of what happened on that day last year when she and I were supposed to be at the spa having pedicures and manicures done together. Instead I painted her toes and nails while she lay with a breathing tube down her throat on life support! A seizure from a brain defect we never even knew she had is what took her from us. She was fine the day before. She was full of life!

    I read your story and my heart just broke. I hate that we are all a part of this “group”. I hate that anyone of you has to feel what I feel on a daily basis.

    I found some interesting similarities in your story that struck me as odd. The day your son went missing is the day my daughter passed…May 29th. The day we buried her was June 2nd…which is when you said the authorities found him. Strange coincidences like this make me realize I did not just “happen” upon your site accidentally. We are all put in one another’s lives to try and offer some support for those who have also endured this…and some HOPE for those who are to come.

    I want to offer my support to all who read this…my email is Feel free to write me at anytime. I find it is helpful and healing for me to help others. You would not be a burden but a blessing!

    Jennifer Seal

  14. Jennifer, I am so sorry for your loss. It is horrible to lose any child but to lose your only child…well there are no words. I, too, lost my only child on July 22, 2006…she was 26. She was my best friend and buddy and she was all I had left in this world. Know that you are not alone…there are so many of us who walk with you…understand your pain…and will always be there for you. Lana

  15. I started crying reading this blog, and was then started to see my blog mentioned above. I can’t stop thinking of my daughter today, and it pains me to read all of the other stories here. There is some small solace in knowing, being reminded again, that there are others on this path who’ve managed to stay on longer than I. Thank you for your blog.

  16. I lost my 20 year old son on a Thursday morning .May 14 2009.He was found floating in a swimming pool he had drowned.My son was a good kid he was in college he was going to China this fall to study..This is the hardest and worst thing I have ever had to deal with in my life.Sadness is my constant companion.I think about him ALL the time..When I go to bed when I wake up..The torment never leaves me for long..I have woke myself up in the night crying..I pray for peace for myself and all those that have lost their children..

  17. I am also a grieving mother…and my world and life as i so often say is divided into two parts….my life before stephanies death and my life after stephanies death. Stephanie choose to end her life on July 21st, 2003 and my journey has been hard but I feel I have finally come to a place where I can enjoy life…smile and move forward. But it did not come without great pain…months of therapy, and a period of self harming to myself due to the unbearabe inner pain I felt inside. I have started a memorial outreach in my daughters name. Thru her death, so many people are touched each year by her spirit that remains here on earth..and so many are saved and brought to a peace that surpasses all understanding. And that is how I survive,,,,to know that she lives on thru my actions.
    Bless you and prayers for mystery owen and everyone who stumbles along on this path and perhaps your words impact.
    Mary Reeve

  18. I lost my only grandchild Christmas Eve. 2002 to SIDS her name was Ariauna she was 2 months 2 days old, Then on July 18th 2003 my daughter Bobbi Jo(Ariauna’s mommy) was killed in a car accident she was 20 years old. My life will never be the same the friends I once had I no longer have mostly my own doing I have found that the only people I can talk to and relate to are people I have never met, they have lost a child too. In 2008 my baby neice was born I got to be there when she was born Her name was Loyce she was always such a happy baby she came to our house every Tuesday and stayed till Friday, On August 12th 2009 she was murdered by her mothers boyfriend, Loyce was 19 months old. Now I don’t want to get close to anyone Everyone I Loved Dies. so I sit in my computer/bedroom 90% of the time.
    my daughter,granddaughter and Loyce’s website is at

  19. Hi Everyone,

    I’m sorry to have to meet you like this. I wish we could meet under some normal circumstance. However, perhaps we can help each other, or find our way through our grief through words and with each other.

    My daughter, Betsy, died in a car accident on June 23, 2010. It’s hard to believe that its almost 6 months. I’m still in a daze half the time. She was my only child and I’m a single parent. She was 21 years old, had graduated from college and was getting ready to begin graduate school in August.

    Interestingly, I’ve begun a blog too, but i don’t have too many posts to it yet, but sometimes I post, the writing helps.

    Take care everyone…


  20. Cindy, would you share your blog? I’m finding a lot of comfort in reading the thoughts of other mothers grieving their children. I am sorry for your loss, and unlike probably most people in your life, I (and the others here) CAN imagine what you’re going through.

    My blog is if you’d like to check it out.

  21. Shakti,

    This is my blog address:

    It’s not as extensive as this one, but I’ve begun to start writing when I’ve felt the need to do so. I’m sure that it will evolve into something else as time goes on, but it is a way to help me deal with my feeling and share my daughter and maybe help others too.

    Thanks for asking!

  22. Hi Everyone, as we all know, it is the holidays, it’s these times that make our grief and sadness even worse. I too have lost my only child, Nick, he was 22 years old and I can’t believe, January 31, 2011, he will be gone 4 yearss. It just doesn’t seem possible. My child died from an accidental overdose. of perscription drugs.
    The pain of losing my best friend is a pain and sadness i will live with for the rest of my life. Not a second goes by that my child isn’t in my thoughts. The sadness and grief is to the core of my being. I don’t think it gets any easier, I think it gets worse, because I haven’t held my child in 4 years, or talked to my child in 4 years, or kissed Nick on the cheek, or hugged my child in 4 years. How can this get any easier? It just doesn’t, I cry all the time, I died when my child died. The core of who I am was taken from me, and I really don’t know how I make it through each day, I truly don’t, but I do. Nick was my every breath, my child who I nutured and took care of and traveled with and laughed with and cried with, he was my world. I miss Nick terribly that my heart aches, my body aches, my soul aches. The saddest thing to me, is I know that when I’m crying, Nick is crying with me, for he would have never wanted this to happen, never would have left me, or left his son and girlfriend or friends, his father or his grand parents. I know he is with my dad and my brother in heaven, I glad they are their for him. I truly beleive that God takes the good ones, the gentle, kind souls. the dreamers, the beautiful ones, for that is what Nick was and my father and my brother.
    I really don’t know how we all do this, all of us mother’s who have lost our children. I know we all ask why? why my beautiful child? This is just crazy, life isn’t suppose to happen this way, we’re suppose to go first, not our child. But we will never know the answer and that’s what makes grief of our lose so difficult.
    I am glad I came across this blog, hate it for the reason, but glad that I am not alone, when sometimes I feel alone on my journey. A journey of not knowing where I am going or where I am headed, my journey is a mystery to me, for it’s a life I have to rebuild, find peace, find my way again. All I can do is take baby steps, that’s the best I can do and move through life at my own pace, no one to tell me how I’m suppose to grive, but the way that I need to grieve. I pray that we all get their at some point, the point of “peace”, knowing that on our journey, our children are walking right beside us.
    I thank all of you for letting me write a bit about Nick. I will keep all of you in my hearts, and may we all find peace from an unthinkable grief! Kathy

    • Kathy-I am so sorry that you are suffering so from the terrible loss of your son. I’m sorry that you have lost your son. I’ve lost my daughter this year, its not been easy at all. It’s really been like a bad dream, so I understand what you mean. I do understand how devastating it can be, I’m a single parent, Betsy was my only daughter. I try to take solace in knowing that while neither of us would have wanted this to happen, I have to be strong and not disappoint her. While there is much in my life that is unclear, I am trying to keep some of our goals so I can make her proud of me. Yes, I do have to figure out my place in the world as a childless parent and that is hard, my daughter was 21, so there is no hope for grandchildren or anything like that for me. However, I must be here for some reason, I have to figure that out.

      I hope that you can find strength to be strong for Nick. We will always mourn our children, but they are always with us in spirit. Perhaps, he will help you figure out what you can do.

      Peace to you and love,


    • So sorry to hear of the loss of your beautiful son, Nick. I lost my son, Benjamin, on December 8th, 2010. He died of an accidental overdose. He was 23. The days following his death are a blur. I was totally numb. My mind refused to wrap itself around the idea of never seeing my child again. I have written poetry since childhood and I wanted to put something into words to convey the immense loss that had engulfed me. I knew the words would come in time. On Christmas morning, a time usually spent alone with Ben, the words came to me. I posted them on his memorial page on
      Finding friends to understand is difficult. This pain can only be fathomed by those thrust into it’s depths. I feel a kinship with others who are carrying the same load of grief. These sites are a Godsend in the wake of a tragedy. Just to know that others share in what you do is such a ray of light in a dark time. Keep posting if it helps. I intend to do the same. You are not alone.
      Nick is very much alive in your memories of him. Hold onto those.
      They are the most precious gift you will ever be given.
      God be with you on your journey toward peace.

  23. Kelly, I am so sorry for your loss. Losing an only child is so tragic. Losing any child is tragic but losing an only child causes us to lose ALL our dreams with no possibility of ever achieving them. I will never watch my child get married. I will never be a grandmother. But mostly the worst part is that our child will never have the life that he or should should have lived – an my heart breaks for that reason. It is SO difficult when others talk about their grandchildren and I know that i will never experience the joy of being that doting grandparent. But as Cindy says, we must continue and we must be strong and live our lives for our children the best way possible. Our children would be so proud of our strength and courage when we do that. I am convinced they know our sadness but they would want us to be happy just as we would have wanted them to be happy if something had happened to us. I did find relief in taking anti-depressants. It doesn’t take the grief away but it does make life more manageable. I can now get through many days without crying and I can laugh and smile. Do I feel the same as I used to? No! But I can hold my head up with courage and make my daughter so proud! We are all hugging you tightly and holding your hand on this difficult journey. It has been 4 years for me also and no, it doesn’t get easier but we have the strength and courage to go on and one day we will find hope, joy, and peace again.
    love, lana

  24. My 27 year old son was found dead at his home on November 10, 2009, under mysterious circumstances. After several weeks of being in shock and searching for answers (there are “friends” of his who know) I finally started to put some pieces together after searching through text messages on his cell phone. We prepared a transcript of the messages and along with other anecdotal evidence I had discovered, we took them to the detective investigating the case, but he seemed eager to “await the coroner’s report” rather than investigate my findings which clearly laid out what most likely happened. I kept pushing for the police to investigate, but frankly, they didn’t seem to want to take the time and effort. Finally, I let it go since they stopped responding to me and this nightmare had to end so that I could move forward in grief. My son was the light of my life. He made some bad choices in friends, but he was a kind, sensitive and compassionate person. Like all of you here, my life will never be the same and though the pain ebbs and flows, it will never end. Thank you for letting me share my story here. I am sorry that each of you has suffered this devastating loss, as well. I wish all of you much peace. Anne

    • Anne,

      I’m so sorry for your loss. And your pain. Your son’s love and life will live on in you and those whose lives he touched. I also belong to Compassionate Friends, a member was telling those of us who a new members that they are often stopped by people who remember their children. That is one of my biggest fears, that people will forget my wonderful daughter. Although, I know those she touched have reached out to me at how she affected their lives, I don’t know how I can ever think they’d forget her. But you know, time moves on and you become afraid that they will be forgotten.

      I would say, don’t give up your search for answers, if you feel that someone isn’t doing the right thing. But also don’t make yourself crazy either.

      Peace and love to you,

    • Anne, thank you for writing. How many of us have “let go” of the official police investigations? It is now three and a half years since we lost Owen, and I still hold out hope that someday, someone, will come forward with the truth. Realizing that this is an unlikely eventuality, I, too, move forward. But, on those days/nights when I wonder (and they happen often, still), I can’t discount human nature and my trust that people can only carry tragedy for so long, and then, they must share it.

      I am so very sorry for your loss of your son. What was his name? I find a great deal of peace in saying my son’s name out loud (or in writing) – Owen. If you are comfortable with it, please let me say your son’s name out loud. I am happy to light a candle in his name.

      With love and peace in my heart,

    • Odd I lost my son 21 years old found in his home on Nov 10, 2011. I can’t write about it but same story still waiting. My son also made bad choices in friends. His heart was made of gold.

  25. I am so sorry for your loss. Our son’s name is Jason. He and his best friend were broadsided on March 3, 2002 by a drunk driver going more than twice the speed limit. Both of them died instantly. Jason was a wonderful young man. I miss him and love him with all my heart.

  26. Rebecca- I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Although I am still early in this journey, I am trying as hard as I can to live as I know my dear Betsy would have wanted me to live. She died in a car accident on June 23, 2010. My life is not the same, although I have to say, my experiences in it have been much more important and richer since that time.

    I’m sure, like me, you spent much of your early time in grief, but I am trying so hard to make goals for the rest of my life so I can live a rich life that is somehow fulfilling and in someway really fulfills my destiny.

    All of our children are so wonderful and special, they live on in us and in those who knew them and loved them.

  27. My son Tyron died in a diving accident on July 15th 2011 and we are waiting for the inquest. I read through the sad and brave stories on this site and my heart is somehow joined to all who have lost their children as I now have. I am in a state of disbelief and some days I find myself waiting for my son to arrive and surprise me as he always did or ask me to help bandage his latest scrapes, or just join him in a coffee while we watched the sea outside our house. It is only a few months since he died but I am in a strange world where I cannot face the reality that he really has left this world. He was 37 and his birthday was just this month -November- so I especially spent time remembering his birth and his early childhood with me as I had to leave a violent marriage when he was only 3 and my daughter was 5. I feel that our relationship is still going on somehow and my mind cannot go back to when there was a funeral for him. I cannot face it and my mind skips to him in any other way but that he is no longer here.I now write a daily diary of my feelings and in it I write all he was to me and things he said and did especially when we were so close and he depended on me so much. I feel in some way so alone so having this space to share that I have now found has helped me to feel a kinship with others like me who are so sad at losing their beloved children.
    Yvonne, New Zealand. November 30,2011.

  28. Yvonne, I am so sorry for your loss…it is still so fresh. All of us at this site understand your pain and agony. Even 5 years later, I still could write your words. And in so many ways, when we open ourselves up to it, we find our children right there with us…now and always! Sometimes I see her name, sometimes I hear her voice, sometimes I feel her brush against me. I see her in the skies, the lakes, the rivers…..she is not here but she is everywhere. so hold onto those precious memories ….and know you are not alone. We all walk with you. Sending you gentle hugs and lots of love! Lana

  29. Dear Lana
    I thank you so much for your comforting words and I so feel for you for the loss of your beloved daughter. This morning your words have helped me to get through the rest of the day as I continue to feel my son’s warmth and love and, as you say, his presence everywhere. I find words won’t come when I speak to people but somehow it is a little easier to write perhaps because the loss and pain is almost beyond the spoken word and even my tears choke in my throat. Thank you Lana; I feel your gentle hug and return it to you with love Yvonne

  30. Thank you Rebecca from the bottom of my heart. I just wonder when and how I am going to accept my lovely son has gone and I won’t smile and laugh with him again. I have switched into automatic gear to get through life to avoid thinking of how unbearable it is. I really appreciate your words of compassion which have found a sweet place in my heart. Thank you again Rebecca – it really means so much that you share my sorrow. Sincerely Yvonne

  31. Thank you Rebecca. I have now read through your blog pages and I can see how the grief I feel for Tyron has a name: it is unendurable. I can see that finding it hard to put the pain into words is normal and that reliving the moment my daughter came and told my husband and me that her brother had died is part of dealing with this terrible and overwhelming grief. I try to write a little each day in a letter to my son because somehow it means he is still here with me and I feel it is like a shield from the world. He was a slender young man, the smallest in his diving group, and one day, maybe next year at the inquest, we will find out how he and his friend drowned. But whatever the answer, and however it turns out, I find I am refusing to replace the smiling boy I loved with the one who died. After reading your story of loss and great sadness and the stories on these pages, I realise I, too, am not alone in my unbearable loss and that numb as I am, there is a place I can find solace and it is with others who have also lost their beloved children.

  32. I lost my son, Adam, on November 9, 2011. He was 21. He lost control of his motor cycle and crashed. He died of blunt force trauma when he was crushed between the bike and a concrete pole. I wanted to die to join him. I still do. When i lay down to bed, i thank God for getting me through another day and pray that I won’t wake in the morning. Thank you for creating the site. It’s good to have a place to share. How are you now? Do you know more about Owen’s death?

    • Dear Juliana
      I read your great pain and grief with heartfelt sadness and want to share with you my loving thoughts at the loss of your beloved child, Adam. There can be no greater pain for a mother than the loss of her child as I have found to my agonising pain. I also read Lana’s reply and it is a truly beautiful response. I have found since July 15th 2011 when Tyron, aged 37, drowned in a diving accident that it is one day and sometimes one hour at a time. I go to bed and my thoughts are of him and I wake and he is my first thought. There are so many memories of Ty in the streets we drive, his music that we might hear suddenly on the radio, the young men who dress like him – but there was only my boy for me as there was and is for you – your unique, wonderful son, Adam. May these few words from me in New Zealand find a place in your heart where you feel comforted as I have been by words and hugs, letters and cards from people who cared and tried their best to convey their caring. Yvonne

  33. Dear Juliana, I take each day…one day at a time. God does get us through each day. It helps me to remember the rest of my blessings. Nothing can replace our child…we would gladly give up EVERYTHING to have our child back. But we are here for a reason. Our job here is not complete. We might be here to learn more about ourself or to help someone else. Our child had completed his/her mission. I feel like my mission is to shed the light of God in the darkness. I have been there in the darkness. I have walked that walk. And the pastor’s sermon on Christmas day 2011 helped me to realize that even though I reside in the darkness, that I am still here to reflect HIS light. Does our heart hurt less? NO! But sometimes it does help to know that we are not meaningless in this world but that we are helping others. So, while I do not understand why our child has left this world, I do know that we are not without purpose. We are still here to do God’s work. I am praying that I am reflecting the light of God’s love back to you. You are only in the beginning of this grief work. I have been doing it for 5.5 years now. It does NOT get easier. And it helped me to realize that fact. Expecting to feel better when I do not does not help me at all. I now get through the days with a smile on my face but with an unquenchable ache in my heart. But I know that Alicia is well aware of this and she is so very proud of me!! And God has given me 7 rescue animals to love and to care for…and they are so very happy with me! They give me hope and joy! And they help to fill the void created by the loss of my only child.

    And when I am quiet and still…alicia comes to me in spirit. She sends me the message that she is doing well in heaven….and she reminds me to try to find the joy that is in this world. She knew that joy…even though she died at age 26. God has blessed us with this life…and no matter how hard it is, we need to do our best to find our purpose in this life. Soon enough we will be back with our children and experiencing joy that cannot be described in this world. And we will be proud of all we gave to THIS life on earth …and our child will be proud of us too.

    Hugging you tightly. Feel free to write me at There is a large group of women on Facebook who have lost our child. The group’s name is For Mom’s Only. And you will be embraced and carried by this courageous group of women. We are right there with you…try your best to remember that. We all walk together…giving us each strength, hope, and joy.


  34. Dear Lana
    Thank you for your words of consolation which helped me too. I agree with you about the love of animals helping in our grief. My husband and I have great comfort from our rescued animals who needed so much love and they have given to us so much, especially since Tyron drowned. Our little cat Chrissie seems to know when grief keeps me from sleeping and she lays her little paws on my face then lies close by me. It makes me feel less alone that in her wordless way she can share my sadness. When it was my son’s birthday in November, we decided to make an extra donation in his name to the World Society for the Protection of Animals for their campaign to rescue beautiful gentle Moon Bears from cruel bear baiting and life in tiny cages. This seemed to us to be a positive thing to do as we could not have a birthday party for Tyron and buy him presents. He loved animals and we have his cat Ginge as a continual reminder of that love he poured on his animal friend. No matter how many days go by, or years, I know that the love I had for him will endure as will his for me, his sister and his stepfather Colin who loved him for 25 years as his own son. So I thank you, Lana, for reminding me of the positives of life as today was one of those days that we all know hits us from time to time when I succumbed to desolation. Yvonne

  35. Today is 6 months to the date since I lost my only child, Kevin, aged 17. He was killed in a random act of violence by someone he never met on the 4th of July. He was a beautiful, funny, sweet, sensitive boy with a sense of humor that kept everyone happy. I can honestly say that Kevin never had a bad day – life was to be lived. He did well in school – honors in an all-male Catholic high school, he played both varsity baseball and soccer, he had a summer job and a million people who called him their best friend. He was my husband and my best friend as well and we miss him so very much. The pain in our hearts is unbearable. I read in a grief book a line which said “…how broken does your heart have to be before it stops beating?…” Each day that passes without the love of our life breaks our hearts a little more so that hopefully, soon, our hearts will stop beating. We don’t know how to live without him. He brought such joy and happiness to our now cold and lifeless home. Senior year, college plans, just plain living, all wiped out in a single and random act of rage by another young man hell bent on hurting someone. It is hard to understand this world anymore. Life used to be so good and we were so very grateful for what we had – now we have nothing; no hope, no dreams, no joy, no laughter and I keep asking “why” even though I know I will never receive an answer. What a senseless waste of a beautiful, spirited young man. The name of the boy who killed my son is Jake Malecek. he resides in Chicago and his parents have hired many lawyers to try to persuade the courts that “he didn’t mean to kill my son” or better yet, to make sure that their son doesn’t have to suffer the consequences of his actions;. Hopefully, most people raise their children to accept the consequences of their actions and to stop and think before acting. I miss my Kevin so very much.

    • Oh, Jean…I am so sorry for your loss…

    • Dear Jean
      I read your comments today about the loss of your only child, Kevin. He was so young and to lose him is a terrible tragedy for you and your husband. I know how it is to lose the love and beautiful energy of your son as I lost my boy too last year in a diving accident. In July it will be one year but every day without Tyron is a day without his smile and his funny sense of humour. Your whole life has been changed in the most sad way as ours was too so I do know how it is to feel utterly lost, sad and bewildered by the pain that swamps us suddenly and threatens to rob us of our sanity. My son had three children and each one he called their middle name “Jean”. this was because of his love for my mother whose name was Jean and Jean is also my middle name. Even his son had his middle name Jean. I know no words are adequate to express my shared sadness for your loss of your beloved darling son but I hope I can let you know that your feelings are understood. I tried gathering photos of my son and bought a beautiful album but I only got so far and could not do it any more as his lovely smile just broke my heart so many times but one day I may return and complete it. There are hundreds of photos of his life as he was 37 but we were so close as a family. I did find a book called Solace: Finding your way through grief and learning to live again by Dr Roberta Temes, and that has been helping to make me understand that whatever way we grieve is OK. I find it hard to cry so I find I might cry when I am outside in the garden or just sitting alone in the car. Everywhere we look are memories and the loving thoughts of our sons and I share that with you and your husband. Sometimes I feel I want to go and live away from all that reminds me of Tyron but something keeps me here too. Your son was so young and such a wonderful companion it must be heartache of the very deepest kind and my heart goes out to you. Please know I care very deeply for you and your loss and I pray the loneliness and despair will lift as time goes by. Love never goes away. That is something that helps me to endure through the unendurable pain of loss. Yvonne

    • Jean, I am so sorry for your loss. Losing any child is horrific and it takes great courage and faith to continue. Losing an only child or all of your children is unthinkable. But it happens. My daughter was killed by a 14 year old who chose to disobey the rules of the park. He went off trail to the top of the waterfalls and kicked a 15 pound rock. My daughter was below him. She was killed instantly . The sheriff ruled it an accident when it really was irresponsible behavior. I never ever heard from the family. The boy received no consequences and I lost my only child. All of my dreams have been shattered. But it has been nearly 6 years now. The event falls into the past but the emptiness of losing a child is never far away. But I can feel Alicia’s spirit – she is with me always. I now can laugh again and I can find pieces of joy in my life. All is not hopeless even though we feel that way. Just know you are not alone. We are all hugging you tightly and keeping you in our prayers! Contact me if you wish:

  36. I am in search of families in my area who would like to share this pain. I have searched… Beaufort, SC My home is open and your welcome!

  37. Im so very lost and am looking for any answers that may help me with the loss of my 20 year old son.Tyler …he passed 6/25/2011 of a sudden heart attack ….he was loved by all and his friends and family are still in shock from the loss ..we all seem to not be able to move on ..any help you can provide will be appreciated.

  38. Thanks for your blog, it’s been seven months since we lost our son and we (probably by the grace of God,as someone said…) have been going on. I can see by the comments that we have a long road ahead with no apparent light at the end of the tunnel. All I say anymore is Why? The pain is so great who can endure this loss of a child? It was hopeful to read that we are not alone on this agonizing journey.

  39. I’ve been reading your blog and everyone’s comments. My 23 year old son was killed just 8 weeks ago and I feel desperately sad every second of every day. I can’t imagine how I can move forward without my treasured son. It’s unimaginable! My husband and daughter are equally bereft.
    I’ve added your blog to the site that I’ve put together for parents who have lost a child. I read everyone’s words, hoping to find a sliver of peace.

  40. I forgot to provide a link to the site:

  41. I am so sorry for your loss. The pain is greater than anyone can imagine. It has been 6 years since I have lost my only child…she was only 25. It is a long road ahead but we take just one little step at a time. Know you are not alone and that, in time, you will see light again. I don’t believe we ever heal but we learn to live with the pain and our child lives within us each and every day. We cherish the memories every moment. Love never dies! Sending you gentle hugs and prayers for peaceful moments. love, lana

  42. These stories are so heartbreaking! I feel your pain and understand where each of you is coming from. On October 22, 2012 it will be one year since we lost our oldest daughter Penny. She was 23 years old, and she was found on the bathroom floor of her apartment. Doctor’s tried to get her heart to beat again, but could not. Earlier in the day she talked to me about not feeling well, but I couldn’t convince her to go to the hospital. I am living with such guilt now. It has taken almost a year to hear back from the coroner and we were told she died from swellling of the brain, probably from a viral infection. Rather than feeling like I have some closure in knowing what killed her, this has made me feel worse than ever that I didn’t make her seek medical attention. I miss her every minute of every day and I’m so sad that she never had a chance to experience all of the wonderful things that life offers.

    Thank you to everyone for sharing. I feel comfort in knowing there are others like me who are struggling too.

  43. Dear Lynn I can understand how you feel about losing your beautiful daughter Penny. She was so young but it is not your fault she did not seek medical attention and the guilt you feel makes me feel so sad. But I do completely understand how you might feel so lost and are blaming yourself in these ways because it continues to be like that for me too. After I lost my son, Tyron, just over a year ago, the questions, the blame, the guilt and the sadness kept piling up so that I could not face talking about losing my son without also feeling “if only I had talked to him the week he died; “if only” and over and over again I would say “if only” and the blame would be on myself for failures in everything and even I would ask myself about his childhood – did I always do right by him, did he feel I loved him enough? My son drowned on July 15, 2011 and I still cannot accept he is really dead and won’t come home again. My mind is in a rejection of the truth that he is gone so I understand how hard it must be for you after losing your precious child. All our children are precious, and after my son died, I realised that they are on loan to us only and that their soul is eternal but oh, how I miss his company, seeing him, talking with him as you must too. We are still waiting for the coroner’s verdict which was in August this year and I don’t know how I will feel when it comes but I do already know that missing our children will last forever. Our pain might lessen but our hearts are forever linked to those we loved and lost in this life. I so hope that this message goes some way to bringing some healing to your sad heart dear Lynn. Your daughter took with her your love and love lasts forever. People writing to me on this site helped me so much and I hope I can reach out and help you too.

  44. My daughter died almost 9 months ago in a car accident…the car she was driving hit a patch of “black” ice and went off the road into a ravine. She was 16 and just a lovely girl — literally a ray of sunshine. I am so surprised some days at how the grief just roars back at me…for no real reason, really. Today is one of those days. Finding this blog and reading these stories is comforting in a strange way. You wouldn’t think that reading about such tragic losses would comfort you..but it does. We are not alone..although there are days I am convinced that absolutely everyone else’s lives are perfect, unlike mine! But the reality is that there are many of us who have lost children too soon. I am grateful for the internet in allowing us to connect in a virtual way. As a relatively new member to this “club”, it is comforting to read the posts by people who are surviving the unthinkable. Thank you for sharing your stories, and for showing us that we too can survive. It gives me hope.

    • Stacie,

      I’m so sorry about your daughter. My 23 year old son died unexpectedly 24 weeks ago today. Every day is a new day of shock and disbelief and sadness and grief. I don’t know how any parent ever gets used to a world without his or her child.
      It does provide a little comfort to read the words of other grieving parents because they are the only ones who truly know and understand what a cataclysmic, earth shattering event losing a child is. Other people seem to think that we’ll just get better or get over it.
      This is one of my favorite blogs (I’ve read all the way back through all the posts). I’ve included it in my site, which is a compilation of blogs, articles, videos, and more – all by and for bereaved parents.
      I hope you find some additional words to make you feel less lonely.

  45. Hello Stacie
    I am so sorry your lovely daughter has passed away. Losing our children is so painful, so deep and so unreal – we feel that we do not believe it is true, we cannot absorb it all and certainly not at once. I could not talk about my son to anyone the way I wanted to because I could not get my feelings to line up with my thoughts of the loss and I could not and did not want to believe it was true I would not see him again. The loss is so sudden and we cannot prepare for the devastation and the total loss of equilibrium. To lose our children is to lose a part of ourselves we never imagined would not be there within us especially when we are the mothers. We have carried them, nurtured them, fed them even before they were born so that after we live with them, bring them up, learn about them and never doubt they will live with us as long as we live, it is a terrible shock to lose them -our precious babes. I still think of my son as the baby he was, and throughout those years, the person he was and even though it is over a year, I really struggle to believe he is never coming home. Stacie it is good to write here I have found as we can really feel part of the group who have suffered the pain of losing children. I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet daughter and send you my loving thoughts which I hope might be of comfort. We are not alone and that remains a great blessing to me to know the feelings and sadnesses that sometimes seem as if they will never go away are also the feelings that others have so I am reassured as I go through the day that yes we do share this pain and that we can treasure our memories of our beautiful children – our gifts of love.Love to you Stacie.

  46. Stacie,
    I am so very sorry for your loss. My 21 year old daughter died 2 years, 5 months ago in a car accident. She was my only child, I am a single parent, not that it makes any loss any different, but she was my whole family. Nobody is sure what happened, but it appears that she fell asleep while driving. It’s been quite a struggle for me. For the first year, I believe I was in complete shock and disbelief. I did take a year off work, but returning to work was horrible, I had a really bad time with it, was very emotional, and didn’t perform very well. I thought this year would be different, it began well, but then things changed one day when I felt attacked and knew that the boss was going to go after me again until I was fired. I lasted another day and then had a complete breakdown and wound up in the hospital for 1 week. I can’t say that the loss of my daughter is my only issue, however it is an enormous loss for me, as it would be for all of us who find ourselves in this horrible group of people. Compounded with other issues that I’ve ignored for years, have made living and handling my life impossible for now. I really don’t know how things will turn out for me. Not a minute goes by that I don’t deeply miss my Betsy. But the deepest pain is having to act like I am not thinking about her all the time. People avoid talking about her and change the subject if I bring her up. So I’ve learned to hide it inside of me, and it’s killing me. I hope you find a way to find support for yourself.

  47. Dear Cindy
    I am so very sorry for the loss of your Betsy. You truly loved her and continue to love her and it is so very hard to accept that you no longer have her to talk to and enjoy her company. You have been through so much since Betsy passed away and yet you have survived the hurt, grief and pain of her loss. You tried to re-enter the workforce and though you did not manage to stay there for long, you showed enormous courage and strength to even go back. If your workplace had only been able to support you through your pain, you might have been able to keep on there. Perhaps if you think of yourself as a strong woman who did try to regain a your job as it had been by re-entering the same workplace, you might see just how strong you were and are. Being a single parent and losing your only darling child is a loss that is truly hard to bear alone but you have made it through to here and are offering support to others who also have lost children as I myself have. This is an incredible act of love and understanding as well as a reaching out. You are most welcome to email me if you feel you would like to share how you are feeling in private. I am still waiting for the results of the coroner’s inquest into my son’s death after he drowned while taking part in a dive school exercise over a year ago. As you say, the loss throws us into disbelief and shock. I myself have to cocoon myself by looking at the flowers in my garden or holding one of our pets or just reading but it can be hard to concentrate because thoughts of Tyron not only as an adult but as a baby and a toddler come back. I like those memories but they also make me sad. We will always have their memories in our hearts and minds to treasure but we will also always have their loss to cope with in some way. Somehow life goes on but as we know, it is not as it would or could have been with our beloved children with us in our passage through life but this is what we have to bear. It is helped by others sharing and being willing to listen and I hope you have friends who are there for you. With my very best wishes. Yvonne

  48. Yvonne,
    Thank you for your caring response. I am so sorry for your loss, it is terrible to have to wait for a report. I wish the coroner had done an autopsy on my Betsy, we might have had an answer. They just drew blood for alcohol and drug tests, which were negative. I knew those would be, just knowing her. But it is horrible that those things take so long. I understand what you mean about the memories, they are like sweet torture. And not knowing the cause of an accident is just horrible. The thoughts you torment yourself with about their last moments is just terrible. Other people (family included) tell me to think of the happy moments, but I can’t always do that. They don’t understand how much June 23, 2010 is burned in my memory in ways they can’t understand. My entire being is altered and everyone else just goes about their business. Intellectually I get that, but I want them to see me and my pain and not ignore it and tell me how strong I am.

    I have been keeping a blog on wordpress, called Mama Deafy, that’s what Betsy called me because I could never hear her mumbling. That does help me get my feelings out even if it’s never read. I learned a long time ago that writing can be therapy. Right now, my entire life is crumbling around me and I need to repair my soul before I can rebuild my life. So I’m taking a break from everything to try to fix me.

    I understand your need to hide away, I do the same. Grief seems to be one of the most forbidden feelings, others shy away from it I think because they know they will face it too, but we need to learn how to handle it and be able to help each other not avoid it.


  49. Hello Cindy,
    Thank you for sharing. The date your daughter died will forever be engraved in your mind as the time of unbelievable dismay, disbelief, shock, pain and an indescribable terrible collapse of all you ever knew. It was this way for me and probably for all of us who have suffered the loss of our beloved children. I cannot look at photos of my son without my breath feeling like it will stop and a pain goes across my chest with the memory that he is never coming home again and never going to look at me the way only he did, with a funny little smile and a twinkle in his eyes. You are right that others even with the best intentions cannot imagine your pain. Like you are doing, I withdrew from going out unless it was to places where I felt I didn’t have to say much to anyone but I am finding a new person inside me is arising because I took time to be kind to myself and avoid people who did not and perhaps could not understand.Writing is therapy and I do it too but I find if I read it back, the pain of my deep hurt comes roaring back and I am not ready for it so I have written heaps but never read it. Tyron died on July 15th 2011 and he was 37, still a young person for his age, a beautiful free spirit. The strange thing was that in January he had looked into my eyes and said that he only had six months of life left. The way he said it frightened me and he also told me that I should believe it and be prepared but I was not of course and did not really think he could be right. I often think of that and wish I had been able to see more of him but he was learning to dive and busy as young people are and I did not see him again. My daughter knocked on the door that rainy cold night he died and told me and I just fell down.
    I am truly sorry you feel your life is crumbling around you but reaching out in this space is a place where we can share. I find some days are worse than others but my pets help as they need love and one in particular always knows when I am at my worst as she comes to me and looks as if she understands. My husband, Tyron’s stepfather, spoke at the inquest but he said although he is a lawyer he was not there as one but as a representative of our family who had loved Tyron as his own son for the past 25 years. It was so hard for him to do that and I drew strength from his compassion and his solid questioning of all the witnesses. However, the inquest made the pain drag on as there are so many unanswered questions still like you are suffering from. The inquest was televised and written up in the papers and it made it even more public and traumatic because I still did not want to believe it really happened that my son had drowned. I was coping by denying it and by being numb. I asked the coroner if my son had suffered 150 feet below the surface and he said no but it did not really make it any better as I keep thinking that with asthma he must have panicked and had so much fear as he was tangled in a rope and could not get back. Somehow I manage best if my memories are of my lovely boy, not so much as he grew older and I can smile at his childhood antics and replace the sadness sometimes. Your mind may be like mine – imagining the moments before your daughter died and it is just torture but we can not know for sure how those last moments really were for our darling children. As mothers I think our instinct is to protect them and this was denied us and perhaps this is what intensifies our grief. I know for me I thought if I could only get to my son I would bring him back to life but my daughter kept saying she had seen him and it was not possible. Cindy I really hope you find healing and strength to go on in the space you are giving yourself to grieve. Thank you for writing back to me and sharing with me as we both traverse this lonely and deep heartache that words cannot really express.

  50. I just came across your page as I am supposed to be sleeping but haven’t been able to get there get. As I read about your Owen and the Petalune River I thought, “Surely it can’t be the river here in Sonoma County.” But alas, it is.

    My daughter passed away a year and a half ago. She lived 33 days. She lived a lifetime faster than we celebrate our summer vacations, we will never know why. I love her and miss her and think about her always, and life continues to go on. I read a couple of your posts and the song, “If i did Young” came out around the time of our daughters passing and these lines will forever stay with me,

    “Lord make me a rainbow, I’ll shine down on my mother
    She’ll know I’m safe with you when she stands under my colors
    Oh, and life ain’t always what you think it ought to be, no
    Ain’t even gray, but she buries her baby”

    We have survived this although at times i still cant believe this is our life. I don’t have anything to offer other than I am thinking of your family tonight. Lots of love to you.

  51. Amie~I’m so sorry for your loss, but am glad you’ve found us. Somehow life does go on but it is not easy at all. I’ve heard that song since my daughter died on June 23, 2010, it brings me to tears everytime I hear it, but makes me think of all of us who have had to bury our children, not just me. I think no matter how old or young our children were, our lives are changed forever. I’m still struggling to survive her loss, it is causing me to make some big changes to my life. I wish you peace and happiness in your life.

  52. Please let me first say that I am so sorry for the passing of your son. Everyone’s process of dealing w/a child’s death is unique and I want to congratulate you on such a wonderful idea as to blog/share w/other parents who have suffered this ultimate loss. I was looking for support groups for my mother…two years ago she walked in my brother’s bathroom to find him dead from a self inflicted gun shot wound. My brother was the last person we would have expected this from, however, he was suffering terribly from a disorder where he developed blockages in his intestines on top of M.S. He had released himself from the hospital that morning saying he had had enough treatment. He was 27. My mother was once a very outspoken, sociable woman and now has resorted to sitting in her living room day after day…we convinced her to get professional help and she admitted herself to a hospital for two weeks. I don’t know if she doesn’t know how to move forward , has become so “comfortable” with her depression…like I said, everyone’s process is unique. I mentioned your blog to her hoping she will at least browse it. Thank you again for your courage in starting such a wonderful source of “recovery”.

  53. My beloved 38 year old daughter died on the 18th of January 2013. I have found the support and friendship in the cyberworld to be healing. Thank you for your blog.

  54. […] Owen Riley at  is a blog that gives one a glimpse of how these parents are coping with their journey of […]

  55. I have nominated you for the Best Moments Award. I hope you will accept. –

  56. I lost my only child, son Andrew. He died in his sleep we still do not know why. He suffered a lot with depression and drug addiction. He was a fighter, a good boy 23 years. Did everything to do the right thing. Had a deep faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He was my pride and joy. I am a father and I am lost on what to do. Our last text was that we loved each other. All this happened march 14, 2014. I feel for all of you here and ask God that he blesses you..there must be a reason for all of this that we do not understand.

    • Dear Beto, I am so very sorry you have lost your only son Andrew. It is truly the deepest pain and I can understand how it is that you are lost on what to do now without your child sharing your world. In time you may find out why Andrew passed away in his sleep. I believe you when you say he was your pride and joy and I can only offer my sincere and heartfelt feelings that you will find your way through this grief and loss. It takes time I know because it is now getting on for three years since my darling boy Tyron drowned and I am not there yet to saying that I understand or that I accept. I read in a book by Professor Alfred Killilea whose daughter died aged 16, the following words – “there is one power that can stand up to death, and that is love”. I read these words again now and again and find them comforting and I offer them to you in the hope that you also will find them helpful.I will be thinking of you as you traverse this deep time in your life and wish you the healing power of love and kindness from others to help you through. I found writing helped a lot – most of it I have never read again but just the action of writing thoughts down and memories of my son helped. with best wishes Yvonne (New Zealand)

  57. Wow, thank you for taking time to write back to a stranger. I am with you on the loss of your child, I am sorry … really no words to express the pain. Thank you for your kindness and for reaching out. I agree Love conquers all but I feel this will not bring my boy back. In all honestly I wish I could go soon so that I do not feel this pain and with the hope I can see him again, but then again I do not want to be selfish and this needs to be the will of God. I find that sharing and putting pictures of angels, dark forrests, etc. help express how I feel, how my heart feels. I feel like I failed as a father and every day I wake up hoping this is just a nightmare but then I see the candles and his pictures and realize I will not hear his voice again, share a moment with him, tell him to come home early, you get it…you are probrably in the same situation. God Bless.

  58. I so understand how it is wishing to see your boy again. So much time has gone in my life since my son was here in this world with us and still my heart aches. I find there are times I cannot bear to look at his photos. When he first passed away, I refused to believe it and it is still like this sometimes because it is too hard as you say to realize we will not see his face again or hear his voice. Sometimes, the pain is a physical pain and I find I cannot cry because I am afraid I won’t stop. I understand what you are saying when you say you would like to see him again because I feel that too, just to know where his soul has gone and if he remembers my love for him. Sometimes it is such a longing that my heart aches. Yes, we are no longer strangers when we share such pain as the loss of our children. It is a pain beyond a name. I do not think we fail as parents when we love our children so much so may I say to you that you would not have failed as you have written in your note. I also asked myself many times where did I fail and could I have done more with the time I had with Tyron but my answer was always that I did what I thought best and he knew is as I am sure your dear son knew too that he was loved by you.I send you my most sincere hope that as time goes by, you will find comfort and love in your most precious memories of your boy. I do thank God for the time I had with my son although I miss him more than words can ever say. Blessings to you also.

  59. Hi my name is Cindy, well were do I start? As many of the other greaving parents have said, I have been looking for something like this were I can talk openly and know that people understand and have been or are going through similar to me, I’ve been to many councillors and nothing helps, coz they dont understand, I lost my 19yo son Dylan on the 24th of September 2014 one month and 4 days after his birthday, 4 days after mine, it happened in a buggy accident in our back paddock, I am having so much trouble with my greaf I even tryed to take my own life just to be with him, to maybe hug him one more time, it was silly and I know that as I have 4 other children that need me, but I’m not sure how to cope with this overwhelming pain and emptiness and I’m petrefide of loosing one of my other children, my eldest stepdaughter has headed to drugs, she is 20yo and she won’t let us help her, she looks worse everytime I see her, if anyone knows of something I can do please I would love the advice. I miss my son so much, he had the biggest heart and could always make me smile, no one in my family will speak about him much, I cry so much as im sure all the parents here have and do, I sometimes feel disconnected from what happened, like it was all a bad dream, but I know it did happen and then I go through shock all over again, I get anxiety everyday and can’t seem to stabilise it and back flashes of the day it happened, I was I guess wondering if there was anything I can do to maybe pull myself together a bit? Or is this just the possess of greaveing? Sometimes I feel like I’m going crazy, my heart goes out to all the other greveing parents xoxo hugs to you all

    • Dear Cindy, I realise that the pain you are suffering is like mine was when my son Tyron drowned and the emotions you are going through are so painful to read about but the emotions of loss come and they are hard to stop because I think they are natural. I feel that the crying is a good thing to do because otherwise the shock and hurt is too great to keep in your body and soul. I could not cry for a long, long time because I was so afraid I would break down completely. The grief you feel at the loss of your darling boy Dylan at the tender age of 19 is beyond any words I know. His loss is so deep and we feel so lonely that no one can reach the pain we feel. It is now the fourth year since Tyron died and it is the same still for me now that I wish he was here and I want to tell him things like you do with Dylan. Your fear of losing another of your children is natural I feel because you have suffered the worst loss a mother can ever endure and so you live in a state of worrying and imagining that the worst will happen again. It is probably a good idea to continue with looking for a counsellor who will listen and who will allow you to share the heavy burden of loss. Your grief is intensified as Dylan died so close to your birthday. I understand that you did try to take your own life and it is a miracle that you did not succeed. You will survive this sad, sad time in your life that seems like a bad dream. You will have flashes back to the day it happened but slowly when you are able, when your own self comes to that point, you will recover. I did not think I could go on and I felt so much guilt for some of the times I did not have time for my son but slowly I realised I had done all I could for him and that I had truly loved him as a mother. Slowly it came to me too that he had loved me and that though he was gone and my heart was breaking every time I thought of him, his smile and his laughter, so many things about him, I came to accept that for the time we had that was so short, we had known a shared and special life together. Perhaps that was all the time allowed for us to be with our precious children. Our memories of them will live on and we will never be without their love, just as they took our love with them and it will still be with them wherever they are. Love never dies. Love just grows. Dylan would want you to live a life full of love and the blessing of his love will always be with you. For most of the years since Tyron drowned, I refused to believe he was never coming home and I would not look at his photos and sometimes it helped me to talk to him in my mind but now, as I am sure it will be for you, dear Cindy, I am able to begin to heal and to allow the light of the love we shared as mother and son to come back into my life. I send you love too.

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