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Topic : Coping with the Death of a Child

Number of Replies: 757
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Created on : Friday, September 15, 2006, 03:28:03 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
Losing a child is especially traumatic, share your memories, stories and support with others here.

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October 28, 2006, 3:14 pm CDT

lost son on labor day also

My only child, jamie died on 09-04-06 due to suspected methadone overdose, waiting on tox. i wrote dr phil a little over a year ago pleading for help for my son, to no avail. now my son is dead and i still would like his help. got a petition going around nc for tougher sentencing for drug dealers and people who sell their meds. please help. see www.hantekcomputerservice.com for a picture of my son along with the petition to sign. look under drugs and their is also a post on their that says wall of pain for you to enter your loved ones name. contact scott baker on site. dr. phil, please, please help us, we need help for our grief and to toughen up laws. with much hurt in my heart, mary haynes
 
November 5, 2006, 9:48 am CST

Can you grieve too much?

On October 14 of this year, we lost my 7 week old great niece, apparently of SIDS.  The entire family was and is grief-stricken over her death. Though she's often in my thoughts and prayers, I'm wondering if it's possible to grieve too much, for too long. I'm concerned for my niece, the baby's mother and for my sister who is the baby's grandmother. It seems like every time I speak to one or the other or see them, they're talking about our poor little baby, or going through photos, crying (which -  I'm no monster, I've cried plenty too) and I'm worried that they're dwelling on this. My sister's latest endeavor is a memorial on a website and though I think it's a nice and loving gesture for her granddaughter, and after crying my eyes out when viewing it, found it disturbing that my niece's 8 yr. old son "lit a candle" on the site, asking his baby sister to please come back. 

 

I feel it's time to pick up and try to begin healing and moving on. The baby has an older brother and sister who need their mother's time and attention. My sister's health is poor due to an aortic aneurysm and she's not supposed to have any stress, though this whole ordeal has been very stressful.  I hate to see her add more stress by concentrating so intently on the why's, how's, what-if's and so on.  My niece had been battling depression before the baby, lost her uterus after delivering and is suffering from post-partum depression as well.

 

Is there a right time to move on and start living again or is it up to each of us individually? I realize we'll never ever get over the loss of little Gabrielle, but I also don't see anything good coming out of letting her loss consume my sister and her daughter.

 

I'd appreciate all feedback. Thanks.

 

Auntie Debs

 
November 7, 2006, 12:15 pm CST

coping with a loss of a child

Quote From: collen40

 I also lost my daughter on 2/2/05. She was 20 years old and 33 weeks pregnant with my granddaughter. My daughter started experiencing major headaches and went to the Dr. only to be diagnosed with a viral sinus infection. Laster that evening she started to have convulsions with 911 called and she was taken to the local hospital ER. I was like a nightmare to hear your daughter had a 50/50% chance to live then later to find out the % was reduced to 10%. The emergency doctors completed a spinal tap and found she came down with bacteria spinal menegitis. It is such a feeling of disbelief and feelings that this is not happening to us. This is something that only happens in the movies.

The delivered my granddaughter by C section and she was transported to another hospital with a neonatal unit. A beautiful 4lb 14oz baby girl. She was so beautiful and perfect.

 

In the meantime, the doctors placed my daughter on 2 extreme doses of antibiotics and we hoped for the best. You know, you talk about how mothers know things. As everyone was trying to maintain optomistic, I could look at my babies face and see she was gone. All I could do is pray that God's will be done. Well, after 24 hours, we were informed she was brain dead. It that time, we were intruduced to a nurse that discussed organ donation. My daughter was only 20 and had so much more life to live. Her time was over, it automatically decisioned the right thing to do was to donate her organs. Out of that decision, wonderful miracle have occurred. A 21 years old girl can now live, laugh and breath for the 1st time since she was 14 due to the donation of Stephanie's lungs; her heart was motorcaid and flown a great distance to save the life of a 22 year old college student. It was a matter of life and death, what a blessing; her left kidney went to a local man that is also doing very well; her right kidney went to another gentleman that I hear is doing OK. The gebtlement that was going to receive her liver became ill at the time of the surgery so the transplant did not occur. Her pancreas went to Miami for iclet (?) cell research hoping one day to find a cure for diabetes. So far I have heard from the lung recipient, left kidney and heart recipients. 

Each of these recipients lives continueing due to Stephanie's gift of life has been faith inspiring and healing. Although not a day or hour goes by that I don't miss my little girl. For the first time in my life, I now know what a broken heart means. I have always been one to feel with my heart.

 

My granddaughter...prior to my daughters death, my daughter asked me to help her raise my granddaughter and my immediate response was Yes. Upon my granddaughter birth, I was by her side everyday waiting for the day to bring her home.

Well, Grandparents do not have rights to love, raise and fullfill her childs wishes. According to Flrida law, the father has all riights. This father was not capable of raising my granddaughter so he gave partial rights to his mother (the other grandmother) This whole matter has been a challenge and heart breaking. If it wasn't for God... The father has taken no interest in the baby and the other grandmother is not well. Here is sit watching this little baby go from here to there and have no stability. My heart breaks for the day I see my daughter again to tell her I did not fullfill her wished.....As you can see, this has been traumatic on us all. I will never be the same person again. But, I have to move on. It has affected my spirit, health, happiness and marriage. (another topic that I could use Dr. Phil for... 

 

   I lost my daughter -my best friend Sept, 2 2005.  She had just given birth to a beautiful baby boy . He was 2 weeks old and was born on my birthday.  hes now 14 months and the most precious thing in my life.  The dad is in another country and has not even seen his son. I hope you get the pleasure of raising your grand daughter it will help with the greif a bit.

Sometimes life just kicks you.

 
November 7, 2006, 8:24 pm CST

Dealing with the death of a child

My son was killed in a car accident when he was 16.  In a few short months, I will be facing the 16th anniversary of his death.  Knowing, without a doubt, that he is in heaven celebrating his life and accomplishments, makes the days easier to face.  There isn't a day go by that I don't think of him and thank God for sharing his beautiful soul with me.  I was blessed with 2 children after being told I would never be able to conceive a child.  If that alone doesn't make a person believe in a higher power, nothing will.  The message I would like to pass on to anyone that is interested, our days here are numbered and we must make the most of our lives. The lives we touch on a daily basis are not accidental, they are planned.  It is the choices we make that make the difference.  We can be kind and loving or hateful and impatient.  We can make a difference in peoples lives whether they are acquaintances or strangers.  One of my son's baseball team members told me several weeks after his accident that it was my son's positve attitude and kindness that convinced the young man to leave the life of drugs and bad behavior.  I strive daily to make a positive difference in the lives of the people I come into contact with , acquaintances or strangers.
 
November 9, 2006, 8:16 pm CST

Coping with the Death of a Child

Quote From: angelmichael

I do understand your pain.  It is tough to lose a child...at any age.  I was thrown back at your statement that it is the hardest thing to lose an adult child.  Not to be hurtful or to take away the grieving you need to do, but a child lost at any age is painful.  There is no comparison of age when  it comes to burying your child.  I volunteered in the local newsletter for Compassionate Friends  a few years after I lost my 15 year old son to an accident.  A mother called me up crying, wanting to submit a memorium for her daughter.  Her daughter was only 3 months old.  She told me that her pain was more than mine because I knew my son.  I heard his voice.  I laughed with him, I sang with him, read to him, played ball with him...all things she will never do...so in everyones perspective, it hurts just as equally so at any age. 

My thoughts go out to you as  your grief is fresh.  God bless Isaac in heaven and to all the parents who have lost a child at any age.  It hurts no matter what!  Helen

 Thank you for your comment.  Those words I wrote about losing an adult child were words I had heard from someone else.  As I recall, it was something said in passing in one of my nursing school classes, that I remembered hearing after my son died.  I did not intend to diminish anyone else's pain.  I think anyone can find a reason why their pain may seem more intense than others', and with good reason, because they are the ones experiencing it.  Which is greater, the pain of remembering experiences lost, or the pain of not having had a chance to experience them?  Pain is subjective.  What will completely devastate one person will be a bump in the road to another.  I remember one patient I took care of when I was a senior nursing student.  She was relatively young, I think about 28 years old.  She lived in the country on a farm, and was a very tough willed person.  I met her when she was one day out of a radical mastectomy on her right side.  She simply said, " I am still me, and  I need to get home.  There's work that needs to be done."  She may have, and probably did, go home and cry her eyes out.  But I doubt for very long.  When I want to give in and give up, I try to remember her.
 
November 9, 2006, 8:49 pm CST

Coping with the Death of a Child

Quote From: ddebss

On October 14 of this year, we lost my 7 week old great niece, apparently of SIDS.  The entire family was and is grief-stricken over her death. Though she's often in my thoughts and prayers, I'm wondering if it's possible to grieve too much, for too long. I'm concerned for my niece, the baby's mother and for my sister who is the baby's grandmother. It seems like every time I speak to one or the other or see them, they're talking about our poor little baby, or going through photos, crying (which -  I'm no monster, I've cried plenty too) and I'm worried that they're dwelling on this. My sister's latest endeavor is a memorial on a website and though I think it's a nice and loving gesture for her granddaughter, and after crying my eyes out when viewing it, found it disturbing that my niece's 8 yr. old son "lit a candle" on the site, asking his baby sister to please come back. 

 

I feel it's time to pick up and try to begin healing and moving on. The baby has an older brother and sister who need their mother's time and attention. My sister's health is poor due to an aortic aneurysm and she's not supposed to have any stress, though this whole ordeal has been very stressful.  I hate to see her add more stress by concentrating so intently on the why's, how's, what-if's and so on.  My niece had been battling depression before the baby, lost her uterus after delivering and is suffering from post-partum depression as well.

 

Is there a right time to move on and start living again or is it up to each of us individually? I realize we'll never ever get over the loss of little Gabrielle, but I also don't see anything good coming out of letting her loss consume my sister and her daughter.

 

I'd appreciate all feedback. Thanks.

 

Auntie Debs

  Are you saying it has not even been one month since this baby died?? Egads.  If you have lost a close family member, and you think a month is long enough to grieve, for gosh sakes, get over it, YOU are probably stuck in denial somewhere from something. Pardon the strong response.  When I first started reading you rletter, I was thinking, how long has it been, one year? two years?  Intense grief at one month is entirely appropriate, may be even more so than when the child first died.  That is because at  first,  there is shock and denial, and the need to deal with immediate issues.  The burial/cremation, news report, informing family and friends, etc. Plus,at first, there is a great deal of help and support from those family and friends.  After a couple of weeks, that all wanes away and reality sets in.  Your continued support and prayers  are most valuable now more than at first.  The time to pick up and heal and move on is an individual one, and depends on many factors.  How much support is given  by friends and family, how much the death affected other factors of life, how mentally healthy the mom/daughter were to begin with.  Some people never recover, and understandably so. Nobody ever "recovers" completely from losing a child. Just remember, when you are giving support, to meet them where they are at,and while not enabling them to wallow in misery indefinitely, use your good senses with regard to their feelings as to how and when to gently encourage them to move forward, even if only a little tiny bit atime.
 
November 9, 2006, 9:28 pm CST

Coping with the Death of a Child

Quote From: mandyland

I experienced a loss of a child in a different way- miscarriage.  I was 12 weeks pregnant and on top of the world when it all came crashing down.  I miscarried on August 28, 2006- my 21st birthday.  I don't know how to move on and have no one to talk to about it.  My husband is dealing with it in his own way, quietly and solely.  I would be 20 weeks pregnant today if I hadn't miscarried and can't stop thinking about my baby that died.  Does anyone have any advice on how to move on?  I have wanted a baby as long as I can remember and this just seemed like the right time and I feel like my body has failed me. 

 

Amanda

 Perhaps the greatest of every pregnant mother's fear, among many others, is losing the child before it is born.  Unfotunately, some people don't even think of it as losing a child because it wasn't born yet.  I am assuming at least most of those people don't even know anybody who has lost a child that way. If you encounter that nonsense, don't let it get to you, those people are just VERY ignorant.   Your loss is still very recent - only a few months. And to rub salt in the gaping wound, it happened on the day that traditionally declares your adulthood.  As long as your husband is moving through his grief and not getting stuck in it, he is doing what men typically do.  If you can, try to find a support group in your area.  Other moms feel the need for support like you do.  Another woman will probably be more able to give you emotional support than a man.  Not all men are that way, but most just are.  You would probably benefit from some one-on-one counseling with a therapist, but that can be expensive if you don't have coverage, and most plans that do only provide for 20 visits. Check your medical plan if you have one.   That may be all you need, anyway.  Person to person interaction is best, but if you can't do that, try finding an online support group.  You can find local places online. This strange culture of ours is very weird about death.  Even "healthy" people don't often like to talk about it. I have had to deal with a great deal of grief in my life, and if you want somebody to email to,  you are welcome to write to me any time.  I don't check my email every day, though, so it might be a few days before I respond.  Take heart. As I have told my son about his brother's death, it will never be the same  (without him) but it will be less miserable (as time goes by) you can email me at:  starfish6193@yahoo.com  My name is Eve..
 
November 10, 2006, 8:14 pm CST

Nothing helps

My beautiful, talented 17 yr-old daughter ended her own life on New Years Eve 2005.  My life ended that day too.  Only I have to keep existing day after day after day with the empty space where she's supposed to be.  Nothing makes it better.  Time doesn't help.  I'm just waiting to die.
 
November 11, 2006, 8:01 am CST

Coping with the Death of a Child

Quote From: esaubrowne

  Are you saying it has not even been one month since this baby died?? Egads.  If you have lost a close family member, and you think a month is long enough to grieve, for gosh sakes, get over it, YOU are probably stuck in denial somewhere from something. Pardon the strong response.  When I first started reading you rletter, I was thinking, how long has it been, one year? two years?  Intense grief at one month is entirely appropriate, may be even more so than when the child first died.  That is because at  first,  there is shock and denial, and the need to deal with immediate issues.  The burial/cremation, news report, informing family and friends, etc. Plus,at first, there is a great deal of help and support from those family and friends.  After a couple of weeks, that all wanes away and reality sets in.  Your continued support and prayers  are most valuable now more than at first.  The time to pick up and heal and move on is an individual one, and depends on many factors.  How much support is given  by friends and family, how much the death affected other factors of life, how mentally healthy the mom/daughter were to begin with.  Some people never recover, and understandably so. Nobody ever "recovers" completely from losing a child. Just remember, when you are giving support, to meet them where they are at,and while not enabling them to wallow in misery indefinitely, use your good senses with regard to their feelings as to how and when to gently encourage them to move forward, even if only a little tiny bit atime.

I don't think I'm in denial. It was a sad, sad thing that happened to us all. I was very attached to the baby. Maybe because I'm not "that close" of a relative, I'm able to view it differently as in "getting over it". It feels to me that much more time has passed than actually has.

 

I have been supportive of my niece and my sister. I guess maybe since I want to try to move on and try to get over it, I think they should do the same? I don't know. After I posted my message the first time, I realized how short a time had passed and that some people grieve deeply for years. It has barely been weeks in our case.

 

I suppose I just see my niece's other kids needing and wanting their mother's attention. And I see my sister suffering and stressing and I don't want anything to happen to her.

 

Hmm. Maybe MY way of grieving IS to move on and get over it. I dunno.

 
November 13, 2006, 3:54 pm CST

A supportive site

Quote From: gojenn

My beautiful, talented 17 yr-old daughter ended her own life on New Years Eve 2005.  My life ended that day too.  Only I have to keep existing day after day after day with the empty space where she's supposed to be.  Nothing makes it better.  Time doesn't help.  I'm just waiting to die.
There is a supportive site at www.suicidediscussionboard.com (soon to be www.suicidegrief.com). It is specifically for those who have lost friends or loved ones to suicide.
 
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