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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.

As of January, 2009, this message board will become "Read Only" and will be closed to further posting. Please join the NEW Dr. Phil Community to continue your discussions, personalize your message board experience, start a blog and meet new friends.

January 20, 2009, 7:05 pm CST

LIL JOE MY ANGEL

Sorry I had forgotten to tell you he had passed in 1977 then got this news from this witness in 2006 also to let you know the STATE does have a COLD CASE OPEN but has not done anything at all all the invetagating I have done on my own with my FAMILY I never ever even hear from them THe story has hit many LOCAL newspapers recently but as I said the STATE is not doing any work on it You could only imagine how I need to push them to get something done so he can rest in PEACE and I can know I have done everything to solve this .again THANK YOU for listening remember we never forget our angels and this man will suffer someday like we both are doing now
 
January 22, 2009, 9:35 am CST

Coping with the Death of a Child

Quote From: tami3428

  I LOST MY DAUGHTER FIVE YEARS AGO THIS FEB 8, 2007 SHE WAS 10 YEARS WHEN KILLED IN A CAR ACCIDENT DUE TO ROAD RAGE I DEAL WITH THE LOSS OF MY CHILD EVERY DAY.  I COPE WITH THE LOSS BY BELIEVING IN GOD AND ENJOY EVERY DAY WITH MY SON THAT IS NOW 6 YEARS OLD I LOOK AT THE FACT THAT MY SON WILL NEVER HAVE HIS BIG SISTER TO GUIDE HIM.  THANKS TO THE MAN THAT CAUSED THE ROAD RAGE THAT IS IN PRISON AND WILL BE OUT IN 4 YEARS.  I FEEL FOR MY SISTER EVERY DAY WITH THIS LOSS ALSO BECAUSE MY DAUGHTER WAS IN THE CAR WRECK WITH MY SISTER.  SHE HAS A HARD TIME WITH IT, I ASK MYSELF ALL THE TIME WHY DID IT HAVE TO BE MY CHILD BUT I WOULDN'T WANT ANYONE ELSE TO HAVE TO LOSE A CHILD EITHER ITS THE WORST THING THAT COULD HAPPEN TO A MOTHER.

I came to this site looking for a few words to put on my friend's angel snowglobe we're getting in rememberance of her 10 yr old daughter that just died a few days ago. Your story caught my eye because like your daughter, Hailey was 10 yrs old, a 14 yr old boy on a motorcycle ran over her while she was riding her bike. It is just so terribly sad, it's unbelievable the heartache one feels. The mother is in her final week of nursing school and although she has a step-daughter, this is her only child. Of all the words you must have read, if there are some with a tender message that we might give to our friend to read always about her precious little girl, it would be appreciated. With heartfelt thanks, P.
 
January 27, 2009, 1:58 pm CST

Coping with the Death of a Child

I never thought I would be a member of this club but I am.. I lost my beautiful daughter Feb 6 ,2008.. I can not believe it has been almost a year.. She was only 25 years old.. I have a younger daughter and thank God for her.. She's the only thing that keeps me going.. I will never get over the loss of my child and I believe that no one really does.. We have no choice but to go on. So we will always live with the pain and yes sometimes you will be happy, but it will only be fleeting...
 
February 16, 2009, 11:20 am CST

My Angel Brianna

 

I am a 33 year old single mother of 4 children. My daghuter Brianna entered into heaven and became a angel on Feb. 28th 2000. I still cry every day. I don't know how to move on and I am stuck in the grieving process. They say she passed away from SIDDS but I do not believe this. I can't move forward because of that very reason. I don't know what went wrong and would like help with the moving on process. I am hopefull that i will get answers but that hope fades every day.

 
March 2, 2009, 7:01 pm CST

MY ANGEL DESIREE

HELLO. MANY YEARS AGO, WHEN I WAS MARRIED, I GAVE BIRTH TO A BEAUTIFUL BABY GIRL NAMED DESIREE ON CHRISTMAS EVE BUT SHE DIED OF CANCER AT 22 MONTHS OF AGE. SHE HAD A RARE FORM OF BRAIN CANCER CALLED ATYPICAL, TERATOID, RHABDOID BRAIN TUMOR. SHE ALSO COULDN'T EAT OR DRINK BY MOUTH DUE TO THE LOCATION OF THE TUMOR. SHE WAS THE YOUNGEST INFANT TO ENDURE BRAIN AND SPINE RADIATION. THOUGH SHE DIED MANY YEARS AGO I AM HAUNTED BY HER DEATH ON A REGULAR BASIS. 

 
March 24, 2009, 8:32 pm CDT

My beautiful son Cameron suicided the day before his 15th birthday

My name is Tina and i was at work doing night shift, all was good, Cameron was going to a new school, was very popular being the new kid and everything seemed to be fine.

I came home from work this evening late 3rd may early 4th may, when i couldnt find my son anywhere.

I then telephoned my dad telling him i couldnt find cameron anywhere, then while i was on the phone i realised the garage light was on.

I opened the garage door and to my horror i found my son hanging from the ceiling.

I screamed at my dad "Oh no he has hung himself". I didnt know what to do, when my dad told me to cut him down. I ran and got a knife and cut through the lounge cover that he tied himself up with, and we both fell into the garage door, he was so heavy and limp.

I miss my son every single day, and the thoughts left in my head seeing him like that haunt me everyday.

I still don't know to this day and i guess i will never know why he did it, all i know is he left me a beautiful letter saying i was the greatest mum he couldve ever had.

I miss my baby boy, and those around me havent a clue what is going through my head every day.

A fake smile here and there, but deep down it is killing me .

 

 
March 31, 2009, 2:59 pm CDT

Parental Grief from a Sibling's Perspective

My heart goes out to you all as parents having to cope with something that is almost impossible for most of us to understand.   I have never been in your shoes and wouldn't presume to tell you how to grieve - not even for a minute - but I do have a unique perspective in this regard that might be of some use.

 

When I had just turned two, my sister died unexpectedly of an undiagnosed genetic heart condition.  She was eighteen and the firstborn.  I am the youngest (by a wide margin) of five siblings.  Prior to her death (and my birth)  another child was lost during childbirth. 

 

Needless to say my parents were devastated when Ann died.  My brother (sixteen at the time) began to act out and wound up in juvenile hall for some period of time.  My remaining sister has cerebral palsy and took it extremely hard, requiring hospitalization.  The loss of my sister signaled the death knell for my family - culminating in my father's death from a broken heart six years later (heart attack). 

 

I am looking at this situation now through the long tunnel of fifty years and have gained the perspective I didn't have as a two-year-old:   While I can't say I felt any immediate grief at my sister's death, in fact, I barely remember her, I can say that my early years were horrifically impacted by my parents inability to reach out for help with their grief.  Of course, times were different then but even today many people still feel that there is some weakness in seeking the help of a professional.  In the few short years that my father lived after Ann's death, my parents dealt with their anguish by aiming it at each other.  The fighting and horror that I witnessed were just awful.

 

After my father's death, my mother began a slow decline.  Instead of effective treatment, she chose options and ways of coping with her pain that were less than healthy.  I'm sure that she'd had all she could take and on some level, was really done living - if there's such a thing as a "living" suicide....  My childhood was effectively ended on the day my father died and I became the keeper of my mother's emotions. 

 

 I sensed that I couldn't do anything to upset her or rock the boat any more than it already had been so I just stopped having needs.  I was nine.  When I grew up (or thought I did), I married my way off one sinking boat on to another (twice). 

 

 I never got to know myself because I was too busy being worried about a grief-sick mother and a disabled sister so I made all the classic mistakes.  I dealt with my problems and my depression the way I had been taught:  deny them, stuff them, inebriate them, blame them on others - anything but FEEL them. 

 

With the help of my brothers and sisters in ACA (Adult Children of Alcoholics), I am finding a way back to the child who was abandoned first by her parents and then by herself. 

 

My mother's pain was immense and I don't blame her for anything as she truly didn't mean to hurt me in any way.  She was an incredible person and my biggest hero in many ways.  The immensity of her undealt-with-pain is what hurt me. Unfortunately whether she meant to neglect my needs or not - the end result was the same. 

 

By relating this, by no means am I trying to admonish or chide.  I am trying to present the point of view of a child of grieving parents:  Especially one so young that I didn't even have a context for grief.  Rest assured, I did have a context for fear of my world collapsing, which is what my parents devastation represented to me.

 

 Please don't praise your remaining child(ren) for being "no trouble" or for being your "rock" or being "so dependable".  They may need to fall apart too and if they think you're depending on them, they will make your their "job" and turn away from their own grief. 

 

Don't go to the opposite extreme either.  I often heard my mother lament "that she just couldn't take any more"....  In my mind this translated to "Don't need me - I can't be a mother any more."

 

Talk about you grief in a healthy way.    Don't try to hide your emotions, to them it will become a "mixed signal" and they might assume THEY are the reason for your sadness.

 

Don't over-emphasize your grief by catastrophizing everything or becoming melodramatic - your remaining child(ren) need to feel that there is still stability underneath your grief. 

 

Encourage your children to talk about their grief without pressuring them.  Keep bringing up the subject gently over time.  Don't assume that they're all right just because they say they are or because they "seem" happy.  Children grieve differently than adults.  In some of my darkest moments, after my dad died, I clearly remember drawing,  playing and laughing.  It might be tempting to assume they're all right and that, in fact, may be what other people seem to want to hear, but they are not okay.  How often have you heard this:  "Oh, she seems to be doing so well, children are soooo resilient."  

 

 It may be convenient for everyone to believe that the grieving sibling is okay, but that just CAN'T be true.  Children are often complicit in this, as they want you to be okay and they don't want to burden you with their grief AND/OR they are desperately trying to not feel their pain.  They may be focusing on their biggest fear - that YOU will fall apart and they will be truly lost.  They will do anything to insure that you are okay - you represent survival to them.

 

 

Please get professional help.  Please Please Please.  It is the responsible and most healthy thing you can do for your children whether they are here in your heart or in the flesh. 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 
April 27, 2009, 2:42 pm CDT

My Bruce

I lost my son Bruce last August 23rd of 2008; which is also my son Quinton's birthday. I had class that day and got home around 3pm. The last time I saw or spoke to him had been the previous night around 11pm; he had gotten paid on the 22nd and was out partying for a while like most 25 year olds normally do . He had done it a million times before and always woke up the next day. On this particular day, I was getting things ready for Quinton's 28th birthday party and needed a lighter to light the candles. The coincidence was I had stopped smoking a year before so I no longer had one of my own. While Quinton who is an LPN was getting ready with his friends. I knocked on Bruce's bedroom door; when he didn't answer, I opened the door. What I saw, was very strange. He was laying on the end of his bed still wearing the clothes from the night before. As I walked closer. I noticed his body wasn't moving and he didn't answer my call. What I saw next was so unreal that I can't even bear mentioning the picture. After repeated attempts to wake him I noticed that he was cold. I screamed for Quinton who was by that time already kneeling next to me starting CPR. After about 15 minutes, Quinton looked at me with tears in his eyes and said Mom, he's gone. My baby was dead, and part of me still couldn't believe it. My mind was somewhere else, and suddenly I started seeing flashes of Bruce's life in my mind. The next thing I realized was that I would never hear him call me mom, or laugh or even smile ever again. The pain started to set in and I couldn't breath. "OH god" I began to think, how will I live without him.Since then, I have returned to college finished my AAS in Business and I am currently moving on with my bachelors in Human resource management which will take a year and a half.  I also spend lots of time with Quinton when he's not busy; he's currently working on his RN and is almost done. BLess his heart he has been the main source of my strength among Bruce's Friends. They have been a Godsend for me. I am currently meetingwith a counselor but I feel If I had someone that Identified more with my situation. It would be easier. There is a big difference between losing a child at birth and losing one after you have had them around for 25 years. I am not saying that the pain is not as great and my prayers are with any parents grieving children at any age. I believe that this pain will never leave me completely and hope that someday it will get easier to get through each day without my Bruce. I love you baby.

 
April 27, 2009, 5:31 pm CDT

I lost my best friend too

2 years ago I lost my only son, he was 32, he was my strength and my life.  My life is changed forever, I have been down so low that I couldn't imagine being able to function again.  And just when I thought nothing could be more devestating they took my only Grandson away from me. I was helping raise my grandson with my son because he had custody and the mother did not want to be a part of his life. From the moment my son died I fought with every thing I could to hold on to my grandson. finally last year the courts ruled that he go back to his mom who he barely  k new. I see him once a month for 2 days now. Because they said my grief was hurting him. That was so hard on him and me. But this is not  a post about doom and gloom, I want everyone to know that life goes on, there is a hugh hole in my heart, that will NEVER go away. but I have gone to counsling, read everthing I could on loss/ grief, been to seminars etc. And now I can laugh again, find joy and peace in my life. By no means is my life the same or better, but it is different, and bearable. It took sometime but now i am a casa volunteer Because of DR. Phil. I am also a big sister.  I also took classes to become a foster mom. I am not sure if anything I have said will help anyone but my point is life can be good again. If I had my druthers i would want it to be how it was when my son and grandson were in my life everyday, but thats not going to happen in this life anyway, but thanks to God, my family, and friends there is life and a purpose out there. And  I'm am going to give it all I got

 
April 28, 2009, 5:16 am CDT

coping

Quote From: mkj279

2 years ago I lost my only son, he was 32, he was my strength and my life.  My life is changed forever, I have been down so low that I couldn't imagine being able to function again.  And just when I thought nothing could be more devestating they took my only Grandson away from me. I was helping raise my grandson with my son because he had custody and the mother did not want to be a part of his life. From the moment my son died I fought with every thing I could to hold on to my grandson. finally last year the courts ruled that he go back to his mom who he barely  k new. I see him once a month for 2 days now. Because they said my grief was hurting him. That was so hard on him and me. But this is not  a post about doom and gloom, I want everyone to know that life goes on, there is a hugh hole in my heart, that will NEVER go away. but I have gone to counsling, read everthing I could on loss/ grief, been to seminars etc. And now I can laugh again, find joy and peace in my life. By no means is my life the same or better, but it is different, and bearable. It took sometime but now i am a casa volunteer Because of DR. Phil. I am also a big sister.  I also took classes to become a foster mom. I am not sure if anything I have said will help anyone but my point is life can be good again. If I had my druthers i would want it to be how it was when my son and grandson were in my life everyday, but thats not going to happen in this life anyway, but thanks to God, my family, and friends there is life and a purpose out there. And  I'm am going to give it all I got

Dear Coping,

 

Thank you for such kind heartfelt words. I recognize the pain of the whole in your heart and soul. I am so sorry that you lost both of them. I have no grandchildren yet but still hoping for some some day. Keep up the good work and know that I am listening. Most of all, thank you for sharing your pain with me!

 
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