griefHaven Forum - Where hope resides

Find Us On Facebook
April 19, 2014, 10:56:03 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: FIRST TIME REGISTRATION MADE EASY.  Just follow each step below, and you will be sharing on the message board in no time.

1. Go to this link and fill out the brief form. http://www.jotformpro.com/form/11745848669
2. We will receive your request via email.
3. Depending on the time of day, your request to become a member will be approved anywhere from 15 minutes to 24 hours.
4. There is no need to send more than one request. Just wait for your approval notification.
5. You will be notified via email when you are approved (to the email address you provided us) and sent your password.
6. You may also email our webmaster directly at deborah@qwsseattle.com if you need help registering.
7. Please note that the normal registration button has been disabled. You must use the link above.
8. Go here for help on how to use the forum: https://griefhaven.org/griefforum/index.php?action=help
9. Watch an overview video on how to use the forum: http://www.griefhaven.org/forum-video.html
 
   Home   Help Search Login Register  
Pages: [1] 2   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Are there any other mothers who've lost their only child here?  (Read 6640 times)
Shelley
Jr. Member
**
Posts: 30


View Profile
« on: May 20, 2011, 06:07:52 AM »

I am sure we all have many things in common, mothers who have lost a child, but sometimes I really want to talk to someone who has lost their only child. When I'm feeling really bad I have a hard time hearing about people who have lost a child but have others. I know it is painful for them and I feel for them, but sometimes it just hurts. And it is hard to communicate with them. Not always, just sometimes. I don't have a future that I can look forward to, no grandkids, no other family members. I sometimes feel completely overwhelmed with feeling alone. Does anyone here know of other mothers like me, childless mothers is what I've heard it referring to (not meaning people who haven't yet had children). Thanks.
Logged
SusanW
Global Moderator
Jr. Member
*****
Posts: 27


View Profile
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2011, 01:35:02 PM »

Dear Shelley,

I received your email regarding the message board, so I'm glad to see that you signed up and were able to figure out how to log in.  I am also the founder and president of griefHaven.  I also lost my only child, Erika Whitmore Godwin.  She was 32 years old when she died of an extremely rare sinus cancer that metastasized to her liver.  She died as I held her in my arms, surrounded by her husband, father, and mother-in-law.  I always tell people that no matter how our child dies, the end result is the same, and there is that one moment in time when we are all left with that gut-wrenching pain when we realize they are gone from this world and we will never touch them, listen to them, call them, or just be with them again.  Many people feel or even know for certain that they will, one day, be reunited with their child again, and many, many parents have shared profound experiences they have had with their children ater their deaths. Still, we all feel that despair that makes us feel there is no possible way--no way--never will happen--that we will ever know another moment of joy or happiness again.  What IS different, however, between each of us are the memories with which we have to learn how to live surrounding our child's death and our child's life.  Those would include regrets we have, things we might have witnessed surrounding our child's death that continue to bombard our minds with those painful memories, moments we shared with our child if they were ill for a long time, dealing with a sudden and completely unexpected loss, and all of this depends upon the relationship with had with our child as well.  Because I was young when I had Erika, and because she grew to be 32 years old with a life of her own, we were always very close and best friends.  So I not only feel as if I lost my only child, but I also lost my best friend.

With an only child, you put it quite right, and that is that there is no one left to call you Mom or do something as a Mom for Mother's Day or walk into the future with you as you begin to bring grandchildren into your life, visit your child in his or her life, grow to love a sister- or son-in-law, etc.  Everyone whose child dies experiences a hole and an emptiness that we who have lost an only child experience, because 100 children couldn't fill that place that child once held, but it's the life after an only child dies that makes our journey different.  On the other hand, with all of the people with whom I counseled, those of us who have lost an only child don't have to deal with the difficulty parents have who have other children who need their daily attention, love, affection, and basic needs met when those parents are in so much grief they don't have anything left to give their other children, yet they have to at least try and muster the strength to provide daily needs, and sometimes they don't do a very good job because they just can't.  So they are dealing with some very difficult things we don't deal with.

I have an article about losing an only child that I would love to send you.  Please go to the front page of the website and click on  the green button to order a free Packet of Hope.  I will send you everything that goes with the free packet and include that article.

Of course, I could go on and on about this subject, and I will make it priority to write more about this in a future newsletter.  What I have found to be very helpful is to reach out and be with other parents who have lost a child, especially if you can connect with those who have also lost an only child. There is an organization that specializes in that, and the info. is in the article I will send you. Also, I beagn creating a while new family for myself of close and dear friends, sort of preparing for my future without Erika and grandkids, and that has helped a lot. Also, helping others in my shoes has given me a new purpose to my life. Before, all of my love was poured into Erika, and, when she died, I suddenly found that I had all of this love but no outlet. So finding a new outlet will be essential to you. Also, practicing the compassion meditation Emory University has been studying will help all of you. More about that in our July newsletter.

I'm so sorry you are having to endure such loneliness and suffering. We are here for you--all of us on this board are on this journey together, even though our situations or circumstances might be a little different.  We all get it, and here is where you can know you are not alone.

LOve,
Erika's Mom
Susan Whitmore
Logged
Shelley
Jr. Member
**
Posts: 30


View Profile
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2011, 02:24:36 AM »

Thank you Susan! We really do have a lot in common, not only losing our only child but losing them when they were 32... and having them when we were young. So, yes, I'd like to hear more about your journey. I'm looking for role models. I have begun to create a new family of young people (not sure why so many in their 20s are interested in hanging out with me) and babies of my son's friends. But friendships in Europe take a lot longer to build than they do in the US... so creating a "new" family is even harder. I'm committed to it. I've found some creative expressions that help me stay close to my son Shaka, and in fact feel like I am his legacy in doing things that he would have done and had done. That is strange and it has come about naturally and without thought. I've written a screenplay (that I started when he was 10 years younger) where there is a character based loosely on him. I wrote it when he was the age to act in it but dusted it off to finish once he was gone. He was an actor and sometimes supported himself as a private chef. I started a secret restaurant in my home in his honor because we so loved to cook together and meeting strangers and cooking somehow keep me going from week to week (www.nomadchef.com). I also just finished shooting a documentary and about to edit it. It is about a 3 week road trip I took to trace his footsteps and find my own. Hope to finish editing it in the coming months. I also wrote a book about the first year after he died; not published yet, but hoping to do so around the time I finish the documentary. And then I just write and write and write. My other blog, www.bruisedandbattered.com, I write to pep myself up and hopefully it helps a few others as well. So new to this journey I haven't yet been able to get back to my normal business... I lost my company 10 months after my son died. But I hope that somehow, sometime I will find a way to make a living again. That has been the next hardest thing after losing my son, feeling at the edge of a financial abyss and knowing that there is no one who would be there for me in case I fell... My son would have been, but...

Thanks for starting and managing this forum. I do need it.

Shelley
Logged
Loraine
Full Member
***
Posts: 53


View Profile
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2011, 04:56:29 PM »

Shelley,

I wanted you to know that parents who have lost their only child have a special place in my heart.

My son died almost 6 years ago at age 26 years.  My surviving children were 13 and 35 years old.
My daughter was young enough that I had to prepare meals, etc. so it took a tremendous will to get up each day and earn a living as I was a single parent with no financial support.  It is my opinion that my life might be very different today if it were not for having to care for my youngest child.  My eldest son lives on the other side of Canada and is married.

However, in the circumstance of only children passing on, it must take a tremendous brand of courage (this  is not the correct word, but I can’t think of anything appropriate) to make it through a day and I just wanted to recognize your particular situation and all other parents who have lost an only child.

Thinking of you and wishing you all the best in your future.

Loraine
Campbell’s Mum
Logged
Shelley
Jr. Member
**
Posts: 30


View Profile
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2011, 05:23:49 AM »

Thank you Lorraine. It does mean a lot to have people recognize this strange new life I am forced to live. I would not wish any of this on anyone.

Shelley
Logged
Peggi
Full Member
***
Posts: 58


View Profile
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2011, 04:19:57 AM »

Yes, Shelley, I am so very sorry for your loss and I am relieved that Susan sent such a thoughtful reply and one you can relate to.  I also appreciate that Susan mentioned that those of us with surviving children may also have some unique challenges; having a surviving child or children may not always be an untarnished blessing.  Another aspect that I see rarely written about is parents whose surviving child is a difficult or troubled child.  When your own personal resources are so debilitated by grief, it can be very hard to find the energy and motivation to continue parenting in a helpful and supportive way your surviving difficult child.  I gather from your original post that you struggle with all the losses of your "future"...the things you can no longer look forward to.  I think that is very, very hard and those of us with troubled children don't have much to look forward to either and that is perhaps a pain we share with you to some extent.
Logged
Loraine
Full Member
***
Posts: 53


View Profile
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2011, 07:24:18 AM »

Peggi,

Your posting gave me some insight (a  light bulb went off) and I do remember along with the grief, I also had some very difficult times in my relationship with my daughter and family members and friends who did not give any credence to the grief that myself and surviving children were struggling with.

I did not mean to minimize the circumstances of parents with surviving children when I posted and realize that whether we have one child or more, we are all trying to survive in the misery and challenge of finding a way to go on.

Thanks for posting your reply, you have given me a lot to think about.

Loraine
Campbell's Mum
Logged
Peggi
Full Member
***
Posts: 58


View Profile
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2011, 08:50:54 AM »

Lorraine, I did not find anything in your posting that made me think you might be minimizing the circumstances of parents with surviving children; I thought your posting was wonderful.  I just wanted to bring up the subject of "special challenges" when the surviving child is troubled...I know so many people (not grieving parents for sure) who seem to feel I should want to get on with things for the sake of the child still living and I just don't think they can understand how hard that is when that child is so difficult to parent even under less tragic circumstances.  I'm probably not expressing this very well, but it is something I wrestle with constantly. 
Logged
Loraine
Full Member
***
Posts: 53


View Profile
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2011, 11:50:24 AM »

When I read your message, I realized I had been amiss in not recognizing that in the midst of grief, parenting difficult children can bring you more anxious/depressed times. I did not think you had taken offence but to read your reply was a learning experience for me and thank you. 

It has been almost six years since my son passed but thinking about these years, the hell of the first three were definitely made worse by friends and especially my twin sister who disagreed with my handling of my daughter who was having her own issues during this time.  (She was 13 when her brother died).

Shelley wrote about a “herd instinct” but I would be interested exploring if it is common for family members / friends to be relentless even cruel in their belief that grieving should be over in a year and effectively write you off for not being able to do that? Our tragic circumstance of being parents who have lost a child effect us in many unconscious and conscious thoghts and reactions for the rest of our lives.

I believe we all do heroic jobs in just waking up and trying each day to get through it.

I would not consider suicide but there were times in the early years that I used to think if there was a door marked “no more of this pain”, I would have jumped through it but unfortunately, there is no easy option but just to keep on doing our best and know  that the very bad days will also start easing off when we love and be kind to ourselves.
Our children see our suffering and are sending us love, hope and signs.  They wish only the best for us and are so proud to have been our child. 
Loraine
Campbell’s Mum
Logged
Peggi
Full Member
***
Posts: 58


View Profile
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2011, 03:06:40 PM »

"I believe we all do heroic jobs in just waking up each day and trying to get through it."  Wow!  AMEN!  AMEN!  AMEN!  Thank you, Lorraine.
Logged
LLLMom
Newbie
*
Posts: 2


View Profile
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2011, 02:50:40 AM »

I thought I was alone. I lost my only child, my son Sean, New Year's Day of this year (2011), he was 21. He died of complications with Type I Diabetes. His father and I have been divorced for 4 years now. He lived in Reno, NV with his father for the last few years because of medical insurance. He father (and his soon to be new wife #2 since our divorce), didn't want Sean living with them any more because he drank the last of the juice, or ate the last of something, I don't know. Let me back up a little and give you a little history without boring you.  Sean was diagnosed with diabetes at age 10. He was doing ok, but the older he got the worse the diabetes got. Freshman year he was missing  so much school his father and I decided to home school him. He graduated 6 months early because he had such a wonderful teacher. Sean couldn't work (tried many jobs, but only lasted about 3-4 months before he got sick/hospitalized). When his father and I divorced, Sean wanted to stay with his dad. I moved back to California. The last 5 years or so of Sean's life, he averaged 3-4 hospital stays a month. He was up to 8 shots of Insulin a day. This was NOT a person who should live on his own.
So, back to the story, new wife to be had other idea's. Sean moved out into a shared rental with 2 roommates. He didn't inform either of them about his medical history and should be watched in case he got sick. Well, he went out New Year's Eve, had a great time, we talked at 2:30am New Year's Day. That was the last time I heard his voice. He died, at home, alone. His roommates were gone for the weekend. I tried calling him all day, the next day and finally on Monday his dad called me and asked if I had heard from Sean. I hadn't and was very concerned. It wasn't like Sean to go that long without talking to me. His dad also had not spoken with him since New Year's Day early morning. He lived just down the street. They also talked or saw each other daily.
I still have so much anger and hatred for his father and new wife. If Sean had been still living with them, well, things may have been different. 2011 was suppose to be the year he came to live with me, his mama. I miss him so much. Sean was my best friend. We texted each other every night just to say "good night" and "I love you". No matter what. It was our way of staying close since we lived so far apart.
I'm sorry this turned out to be so long, but it really needed to come out. Thank you for being patient with me.
Sean's mama
Logged
Peggi
Full Member
***
Posts: 58


View Profile
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2011, 01:52:50 PM »

I have also just learned of a very fine small organization called Alive Alone, Inc. Their email address is alivalon@bright.net. They publish a newsletter, I think four times per year.
Logged
chrismom
Jr. Member
**
Posts: 19


View Profile
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2011, 09:19:02 PM »

I have lost my only child and not only miss the unconditional love I have with my son and just him being here to hug, love, talk to, laugh with, etc. I fear the future also, no grand children, and who is going to think for me if I can't think for myself? My son would have done that, he had a heart of gold and we were extremly close!

Missing my one and only awesome son, Chris
Chris' MOM
Logged
Shelley
Jr. Member
**
Posts: 30


View Profile
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2011, 09:28:32 AM »

Hi Chrismom and ll - moms who have lost their only children. I am so sorry you have to be here. I am just passed the 3 year mark. It is still unbearably hard, but I feel I see a little light from time to time. It is not a straight tunnel out of this place, and it may get very dark again for me but I have had some good times. I hope you will too. Here is a video about a documentary I'm working on: http://vimeo.com/32466187 Maybe it will encourage you. I hope so. Please come back here.

Shelley
Logged
chrismom
Jr. Member
**
Posts: 19


View Profile
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2011, 07:25:16 PM »

Thank you Shelley! It is so good to hear from other people who understand. I wish so bad that we had joined a different kind of club. Today is 3 months since I lost my son. I am trying to work which is very hard. A friend of mine told me yesterday how she should be seeing improvement each day and she doesn't feel she has. I said I think I am doing good to put one foot in front of the other! People that haven't experienced this do not have a clue!  She was with her only son on Thanksgiving. It is a wonder we are not in a mental institution. She lost a husband & tries to compare how that went. Love her but she doesn't have a clue. Have started trying to avoid her so I don't have to here how I should or shouldn't be doing things.

Chris' mom
Logged
Pages: [1] 2   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!