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      Hi all,  I'm sure you've noticed some changes in the forums. We've again had to do some updates, so that's why things may look a little different. Nothing major should have changed.  Also, we are going to start adding advertisements sensitive to our community on the boards. This is something we are experimenting with, and we will certainly make sure they are in the best interests of everyone. We want to make sure our forums continue to stay accessible and cost free to all of our members, and this is a way to ensure this.  If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to privately message me or email me at Konnie@beyondindigo.com.  As always, we will be here with you, ModKonnie


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About Devianz

  • Rank
    Subject in Flux

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  • Website URL
    : https://twitter.com/xDevianz

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    : Midwest US
  • Interests
    I throw clay so that I don't throw people!
  • Loss Type
    . My 20 year old son Nathan
  • Angel Date
    : 07-25-2016
  1. Loss of an Adult Child

    Bob, What a beautiful tribute to Jake, it's very well done. I also got a tattoo to commemorate my son's passing and it means a lot to me. I see it all the time and it's a reminder that I carry him with me in everything we do. As parents we expect to mold our children into what we hope for them, and often we don't realize how much of an impact that child has had on our own life and personality. When a child passes, we know for certain because of the dent that is left in our soul where we used to carry them close. Dee, I feel that too, that Nate is always with me wherever I go. His impact on my life is a source of grief but also of inspiration and hope. He was always on me to be healthier, to eat healthier and to exercise more and I never listened. Now that he's gone I am making those changes and it's become part of my healing process. I get healthier all the time, and the ritual of running that I am doing often now has become my meditation and reflection time to start my days. Most of my running playlists have a song that Nathan liked in them, as a source of energy. I am running a 5k in Chicago for St. Pat's Day and a 10k with my sister the following month. It feels good to know that he's there cheering me on still. The moon was spectacular on New Years Eve, and the next day my family went to serve dinner at the soup kitchen near our house as has been our tradition since Nathan was young. We all stared up at the moon afterwards as a moment of silence just to hear him laughing among the stars as he so often does. Louanne, I am very sorry for your loss and the way you are being treated by your family. It's so hard to lose a parent, and it's felt pretty deeply for you since you also lost Kira and they just can't understand. It must feel very isolating, but I am glad that we are here for you to talk to. I can't imagine the pain you're going through, but I know that you can get through it. Sometimes we have to learn that just because we are related by blood, doesn't mean we have to put up with toxic behaviour and diseased minds. I've done really well once I have stop talking to certain members who would rather judge and condemn what they don't know rather than try to understand and sympathize. You simply don't have time for that in your path, it will only trip you up and drag you down. You do you, and don't let anyone dictate to you what you should feel or how you should act. Your boys will always hear things that they shouldn't but you raised them and a mother's love is stronger than any gossip or vitriol. Hugs to you in your time of added grief. I am thinking of you. Parker's Mom, I'm so sorry for your loss. My son struggled to find his footing for many years as well, and it was a very rough ride. It seemed like things were looking up and he was putting things back together when tragedy struck at only 20 years old. So young, and it's so painful to lose a child so suddenly. All your hopes and dreams for them, and their physical presence just gone in a moment. I am sorry you've had to walk in these shoes that we wear, but I am glad you came here to share with us and I hope we can be a source of comfort to you as we all share our stories. Much love to you in this rough time. Georgina, Those curls... you have lovely grandbabies. Thank you for sharing that story, it's beautiful. Glad to see you up to posting and I am hoping that 2018 brings you much health. Colleen, 10 years is a long time, to me it feels so far away from where I sit at the 1.5 year mark. I can't even believe it's been a year and a half. As a grieving parent, I feel like time sometimes isn't linear, it's a construct of emotions. Some minutes feel like days and some days flash by in a second. I wish you much joy and peace as you go into 2018.
  2. Lost Wife then Son then Fiancé

    Tonyjohn, Sorry I didn't see your post sooner, I'm sorry for all your loss. Grief is a really heavy thing, and your heart has a lot of things to work through. Take your time, one day at a time to process everything and don't rush into anything your gut tells you is wrong. As we grow older, we are taught to ignore gut instincts and intuitions about things. Don't be too hard on your girlfriend as she does not understand the pain you hold inside or how much we tend to just be paddling as hard as we can to stay afloat. She can feel sympathy for you, but can't empathize with you because she hasn't been in the same kind of situation. She might not understand how you can't just move on, and no one really will but you. When I lost my son, it was the loneliest thing I have ever felt in my life and I am married. We felt torn asunder and did not want to share with each other because we were both grieving. It was so difficult and we are just now getting to a place where we can be comfortable talking about everything and not feeling like there is a black hole in the middle of the room threatening to suck us in. And grief is like that a lot. People cannot put themselves in your shoes because it is often too painful for them to think about. It gets better as time progresses, but if you are feeling like you are not ready then you should follow your heart. Perhaps you can see a pre-marriage counselor or pastor/priest to work through the issues before you put it all down on paper so that you can find a way to connect and perhaps she can better understand what you are going through. Relationships are hard after loss because of the journey you are on, coupled with fear and anxiety of losing someone else that you love. It's a very rough road. If she won't go see a counselor or pastor (if you are religious) with you, then you can always go by yourself to talk through the issues you are having and to understand your doubts about rushing through things. It's all very rough, and you should be easy on yourself and try not to feel the weight of other peoples expectations of you as you walk this new journey. I am so sorry for your pain and loss, ~Margo
  3. Loss of an Adult Child

    It was nice to see everyone Trick or Treating this year. It was always Nathan's favourite holiday and he loved to decorate for it. Last year we didn't do anything, but this year my youngest son wanted to get dressed up and go trick or treating with his new little girlfriend. It's good to see him getting back to some normalcy and improving his grades and his circle of friends. They did trick-or-treating in two different towns this year, donating the candy to the Soldiers Angels program instead of keeping it all themselves. It's good to see that his hearts in the right place. Things are getting back on track with my husband as well, and honestly they might even be getting better than we were before Nathan's death. He is getting some help himself (which is awesome) and I've been working out and pulling myself together in several areas so I am generally getting better too. We are going for walks in the early morning to kick-start the day and we spend that time talking about our plans for the day or unresolved emotions. It's like meeting a new person and I'm just getting to know him. He says the same of me, and is applauding my changes as I make them. We finally feel less alone and more like we are in each others corner, so to speak. After my surgery it was rough for a few weeks, then I rounded a corner and I have more energy and no pain like I used to. I work out every day with aerobics in the morning and weights during my lunch period and now I am back at work full time in the office. It feels really good to be getting more done. I've been purging rooms in the house, cleaning up and getting rid of things we no longer need that were cluttering up our lives. That feels really good every time I take another garbage bag full of things to Goodwill or to different charities. I donated all the old kids art supplies (crayons, construction paper, scissors for little hands, paint, glue, glitter etc.) to the local YMCA here that has a child care center. They are always looking for donations because they mostly serve lower income families and the don't get a lot of funding. Winter Coats, Boots, Hats and Mittens went to the local shelters winter coat drive, and it just feels so good to know those things will get some good use instead of just sitting in my house. I'm also in the studio a lot these days, making and making and making. I'm usually there at least 6 hours a day on the weekends and on Monday and Wednesday nights. I'm really excited about my work and it's nice to be involved in the clay community more. I do have setbacks and bad days, and I think about Nathan a lot but I don't feel like he would want me to be sad all the time so I am trying to fill my life with kindness and positive activities as much as possible. The trial has been pushed to April or May of next year, which is really hard but we have no control over that. On one hand I want it over with, on the other I want them to take their time to lessen the chance of appeals or technicalities. He deserves to spend the rest of his life in jail. Georgina, It's good to see you, and I'm glad you are doing better. I was keeping you in my thoughts. I'm happy to hear that you are going to the CF retreat, I've heard wonderful things and hope you find some light and peace during your trip. Dee, It sounds like you had fun with your kids at school. Playing a witch is fun, I am sure that Erica was smiling down at you! I loved your poems by the way. So much emotion in them. Will send my thoughts of hope to Jim and Dianne. Susan, I will keep your cousin Janice in my thoughts, grace and light to you and your family. Kate, That poem was really beautiful. I love to read poetry and write some as well. I am glad you shared it with us. Dianne, I had the same experience, we were putting together a costume for my youngest son and went through the old halloween costume box in the basement and so many memories came flooding back of Nathan and of the two boys together trick-or-treating. Siblings have it hard on days like that, because they are witnesses in each others lives so often and now there is a missing spot. I could see my son going through memories in his head as well and he leaned down and gave me a solid hug. Lesley, Holidays are certainly different in different places. Here in the US, Halloween is a pretty big deal and you'll see a lot of children going door to door ringing bells and shouting "Trick or Treat". I especially love the little children in their cute costumes that don't know what to make of the holiday. Do you have any holidays that you really enjoy? Laurie, That is really amazing and makes you really think about the connections humans have. Often we ignore our gut instinct to talk to someone because they are "strangers" but it's funny how many inroads and connections you can make just by opening yourself up to conversations. What a lovely occurance. Louann, It's good to see you and hope you are doing well. I'm attaching some photos of my current studio work. I've been busy.
  4. Loss of an Adult Child

    Tinay, We waffle from denial to exhaustion to deep deep sorrow so much during the year/s following our child's passing. The denial is really common because it is our brains natural defense against the pain of grief. It's normal, and your reaction of throwing yourself into crafts and work is also really normal especially in the first year. I know that it doesn't make it easier, but please know you are not alone. It's good that you are coming here and sharing it with us, and that is better than swallowing it all down and never dealing with it for sure. It is hard to get out of bed still for me most days, but I am trying to do better a little bit at a time. I lost a lot of weight after Nathan was murdered because I found it hard to eat at first, and then just would forget to eat because I was preoccupied with different thoughts. So I am building on that slowly. Started with a walk for 5 minutes and each day tried to walk at least 5 minutes, finding it easier and easier to stretch it to 10 minutes, and then I was doing 15 and now I am doing 1/2 runs (2 minute walk 2 minute run) for about 30 minutes a day. I did the same thing with the elliptical, and with the gym. Slow mini habits at first, just as much as I could tolerate and started finding that I enjoyed it more and more. For me, walking/running put me in my own head space, away from the house filled with memories, away from work, away from my relationships and gives me time to work through my day in my head away from others. It's been really helpful for me. I was 286 lbs when Nathan died, today I weigh 203 and I'm slowly and safely going down. I feel like I have more energy now to spend on taking care of my other son, for work and for my art. It could be anything, something you used to enjoy even if they were things you liked to do with Kiona. Just dip your toe in first and then go slow, checking yourself and giving yourself a break. I tried playing guitar (which Nathan did often) and I found it too painful so I stopped. Perhaps I'll try again when I am more prepared, but if I never do then it's okay. But he also loved the beach and we live about a mile from it, so I often spend time at the beach looking out over the water, and that's helpful. I think as parents, we have certain expectations of ourselves that are often too hard to attain or too far to reach. We are human, and only build to handle certain things. We often push ourselves past the breaking point when we don't have the energy, and we should really learn to listen to our body more. If you need to sleep, then you should sleep. But if you are sleeping because of the grief and depression then you should listen and maybe try little things to make your sleep better or your waking up better. For me, I find the smell of coffee to be really enticing and wonderful first thing in the morning. So I started a habit of cleaning the pot and setting it up the night before so that at 5:00 am, the coffee starts brewing and I can smell it from upstairs. Find little bits that make you happy and make a habit of doing them as often as you can. It might help you as it did me.
  5. Loss of an Adult Child

    Lou Ann, thank you for asking after me. I'm okay. Physically I haven't felt this good in years after surgery. Interestingly though, once it was out of the way... I had to focus on healing the rest of my life and that's proving to be harder than the surgery and recovery. My relationships have changed, and I think that my spouse wants to leave as we've grown really far apart. We are such different people now than we were, and we are finding it hard to find laughter and smiles. I don't know how to get past that, and it's very troubling. I see the rest of my life with this man, and I'm not sure I can pull it through. He's really struggling, and we have both spent so much time trying not to burden each other that a lot of things have gone unsaid and everyone is walking on eggshells. It's no good. He's getting treatment now, so maybe it will get better but part of me thinks he'll just realize that it would be better for him to walk away. I just want him to be happy, so I feel like if that is what he needs than he should do what's in his heart. It would break my heart for sure and just thinking about it brings tears but I don't tell him that because I don't want to put that pressure on him. I will be okay if he goes and will heal, but it's not what I want at all. I think couples therapy would be good but I think he needs to work on himself a bit first and get to a better place. I'm patient and have nothing but love for him so I am trying to give him space without him feeling like I've abandoned him. It's a tightrope. So I'm a bit on edge. I'm in the studio a lot trying to work out some of that, and staying out of his hair. Also back at work just so he doesn't have to deal with me at home while he's trying to study and finish his doctorate. When you have a child die, you feel like nothing is in your control at all. And that's how I feel a lot right now. It's a hopelessness that is a very difficult space to live and function in.
  6. Image of chid's body on the internet

    Mark, First let me say that I am very sorry for your loss. Losing a child is the hardest thing anyone can go through, and I am very sorry you have to go through that. My son Nathaniel was murdered three weeks before his 21st birthday, and it also made the news along with pictures. No direct pictures, because he was transported to the hospital, and I can't imagine your pain at having to have those out there without being able to draw them back. It's a frustration that adds to the grief. There is a news article written about my son that had some lies and slander against him from a former landlord (scheister) and I attempted to have at least his words about the character of my son pulled from the article. But they would not do it, and it worries me in some way that a potential juror might have read the lies and had something against my son, who did nothing wrong. Journalists are a shady bunch sometimes, and they stand by the "integrity" of their stories and publishing instead of having some actual integrity and removing things that would hurt and cause pain. There is no benefit for having your son's picture exposed like that, and it is only causing you and your family harm. It's not right, and those kinds of ideals of "integrity" and supposed "ethical journalism" are a farce. I am so very sorry that you have to deal with that.
  7. Loss of an Adult Child

    Hugs to you Dee. All events where a love one would have shined the brightest are difficult ones. Take it easy, and know she is there shining her light on all of you. It's music that gets me the most too, I have made a habit of carrying a hankerchief with me at all times now. I just fold it in my back pocket. It's the presence of autumn too, for me. It's a season of big changes and it's always a reminder of things like big piles of raked leaves, and long mother-son walks in the many forest preserves here in Lake County. Happy birthday to your son, and I am glad to hear that both your son and husband are mending well.
  8. Tal, It's going to be very difficult for a long time and you have to take it one hour at a time at first, then one day at a time. For me, time moved very slowly at first, as if I was trapped in amber while the rest of the world was moving around me. Other women often didn't know what to say to me, and because of the guilt I felt at the time... I mostly stayed silent. I'm glad you came here to share with us how you are feeling, and that you were able to speak to others about it. Go easy on yourself and take time with your grief, it's heavy and difficult to manage but you can get through. There are so many people around you and I am sure that your boys see the same beautiful mother they've always known, whether you are happy and laughing or crying. Much love to you, Margo
  9. Tal, I am so sorry for your loss. I am so sorry that you had to make that difficult decision, and sometimes things like that are out of our hands. Sometimes things are just out of our hands, and the guilt can be so overwhelming. When I was younger, I was very early in my second pregnancy when the doctors found a severe birth defect in my baby's heart. It was not fixable by surgery and it was very likely that she would die before she was born and would only live a short while if she even survived delivery. I made the decision to keep going with the pregnancy, despite the fact that I knew I was putting myself at risk as well from complications. I knew there was no hope and she was stillborn at 24 weeks. For a long time I beat myself up wondering if she was suffering or in pain before she passed. I blamed myself for not taking better care of myself, I blamed myself for being selfish. There is a lot of guilt no matter which path you choose, and you have to forgive yourself. We can only make the best decision we can in the moment, and have to learn to grieve. Children born that young have very little chance of survival and when they do, often have lifetime disabilities and other health issues. There is no way you could know what the outcome would have been and you also had pain and hormones coursing through your body to confuse things. As mothers, we are hard-wired to protect and that is probably why you feel such heavy grief, but give yourself a little compassion. You are not a monster, you did the best you could in that moment with all the tools you have been given in this life. Don't judge yourself by others expectations and standards, you have done what you could. You loved your child enough to not let them suffer through the very slim possibility of living a life that would have likely been difficult. Nothing I can say will ease your pain. The pain of losing a child is a very difficult grief to bear whether the child is 20 weeks old or 60 years old. Anyone who tries to tell you what you should have done, or tries to judge you has not walked in your shoes and shouldn't be trusted as a compassionate friend. They don't come from a place of knowing.
  10. The loss of my 5 year old girl to cancer

    MiasMommy, I am so sorry for your loss, and know how hard it is to carry on with being strong for others and carrying on for your husband and children. It's difficult to have to grapple with your own grief and still have enough energy for others. Everyone grieves differently, and it makes relationships with someone you are close/intimate with even more difficult because there can be a lot of miscommunication and misinterpreted cues and body language. For my husband and I after I lost my 20 year old son, it was so difficult to ever find ourselves on the same page, we each expected the other to feel the same way that the other felt but we didn't talk about it so it was often wrong assumptions that kept us from talking. We grew very distant, and felt like we were both adrift on an ocean of our own sorrow. We continued this behaviour for longer than we should have until it felt so heavy we didn't even want to be in the same room together and ended up in a big argument. We yelled and we cried and we said things we'd been feeling for a long time, but we were both so afraid to hurt or burden the other. And then we went to therapy and that is helping so much. Everyone is so afraid to start talking, but once you do... you'll start to wonder why you hadn't done it years ago. It's important that you talk to each other, because you are both on different journeys and the path is laden with traps and forks that could take you further and further apart until you are both lost. I want you to know that it is okay to let it all out. It's okay to scream, cry and be angry and feel like it's all so very unfair. It's okay to share that pain with others and it's important that you understand that you have to give yourself a break, and that you can break. Don't hold yourself to expectations you can never reach or you'll end up bottling things up for later and have a whole shelf load of sadness and grief that will make you sick in the end. Sometimes just emotionally and mentally, but in a lot of cases physically as well. The loss of a child is possibly the hardest grief in life, and losing them when they are young is certainly heavier than most people can bear. It's an unending sorrow that you have to take one day at a time because there are little things that remind you of her at every turn. You expected a long life with a daughter you could share with and teach, someone who would look up to you and share a future with. You will have to expect there will be moments you will cry, at any given time. It could be a laugh you hear on the wind, or the bouncing curls of a child at the park and it will overwhelm you. It's okay and perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed. It's okay to ask others for help. It's okay to seek help for yourself, either in group therapy or individual therapy. The pain will never go away, you will always have it to bear. But you can find ways to cope and fill your life with supportive loving people who will be there for you. I found that some of the people I considered my friends couldn't handle what I was going through and didn't know how to connect. They don't want to think about what happened to your family and your child could happen to them, so they pull away. It's not their fault, they just don't have the tools in their arsenal to handle it. But you will find people who will step up as you go along, and find support in others if you just open up your mind to letting new people in. Your life will never be the same. You are not the same. It's so hard to pick up the pieces and try to fit them all back together, and it's instinct to do just that... but it never goes back to the way it was and you will end up frustrating yourself endlessly. Take each day one at a time, and keep the things that you loved from yourself and your life and rebuild around that, trying not to worry about getting back to "normal". There will never be the same normal as you had, everything is new in some way. I am so sorry that you lost Mia, and I know that her birthday is coming up and it will be a very difficult time for you. It's okay for you to not want to get out of bed that day. It's okay to take your time and do it in your own way, and to not live up to others expectations. No one has walked in the same shoes as you have, and their expectations come from a place of not knowing. It's not anyone's fault, it's just a matter of fact. Unfortunately for parents of a child who has died, we understand and we are here for you to talk to and share stories with. We love to hear stories of who Mia was and how she lived. We often share pictures and stories, and how we are coping with things as well. Our struggles, our failures and our triumphs. Come when you can and share what you want, we will not judge you and we get it. ~Margo P.S. This forum has been around for a very long time, and the majority of the people congregate in the "Loss of an Adult Child" forum, even those who lost a young child or baby. Feel free to join us there and tell us about Mia or just how you are feeling today. It's in this thread if you click on the link; http://forums.grieving.com/index.php?/topic/41-loss-of-an-adult-child/&page=2440
  11. Loss of an Adult Child

    Georgina, Sending you love and positive energy on this day and every day. Know that James is there with you in his heart and spirit and he channels that light through you to them. Let that light be a beacon and hold it in your heart for all to see. Much love to you, dear. Margo
  12. Loss of an Adult Child

    Dee, Prayers for your niece and her daughter. I hope they ride it out safely. The EDMR is going okay, it does help with the panic attacks though not with the anxiety. I think it's lessened the flashbacks somewhat but I don't think there is a magic pill. Wish there was just for ptsd, it's really frustrating and I want to be able to be around others without feeling the need to bolt or hide when that feeling of panic trickles into a waterfall. It's better now I think because of my surgery actually, that seemed to do more for me maybe than the EDMR. Perhaps it's the lack of the waxing and waning hormones but I certainly feel more stable and less wibbly wobbly all the time. I used to be a mixed bag and my mood could change in minutes, but now it seems so much more gradual. I thought at first it was because I was just too tired from recovering but I really think that perhaps with the lack of hormones, that my seratonin levels somehow evened out. Dianne, Hugs to you as well.
  13. Loss of an Adult Child

    Dee, Thank you for you lovely words. It sure is true that when you have a big trauma like you did with Erica and I did with Nathaniel, it opens up these huge chasms of pain and a lot of things kind of bubble up with it. Right away after Nathan's passing I started to see a therapist and have just recently started to talk about my past. I was angry and sad for a long time before Nathan's passing and refused to deal with it like your sister. Instead I found lots of people to "fix" thinking somehow if I didn't focus on what caused me such great pain, it would slowly disappear. it never does and in the end you start to feel so wafer thin that anything someone says or does to you is a wound that never heals. That's no way to live, and therapy has saved my life. I am working through the guilt and some days are better than others, but I'm building something new for sure. A world that I want to live in instead of the one I was raised in and it's making a huge difference. I grow each and every day, and it certainly helps. The pain doesn't go away, but we can learn to cope with it and create new things out of it. There are cloudy days though, and each day is a struggle to bring the right tools to do the job, and I still find myself falling into old potholes of trying to help others when I'm the one who really needs the steady hand up. I still find it most difficult to ask for help, and to forgive myself. I'm a work in progress for sure. The PTSD is the hardest part because it's a beast that I feel like I don't have control over sometimes. Having viewed the video of Nathan's murder, I have flashbacks in the most unexpected places and times. Even when I am sleeping. I am still doing the EMDR therapy and it is helping some with the visual triggers but some of the other triggers catch me off guard. I have my therapy and my art therapy that help a lot. For me, when I put on my headphones and I sit at the bench with 10 pounds of clay, the world and all it's troubles just disappear once the wheel starts turning.
  14. Loss of an Adult Child

    Thank you Dianne, Lesley and Susan. Susan, Having lived in Houston for more than 6 years, my heart aches for friends who still live there and have lost so much. The devastation is so huge, but it is good to see so many people coming together and helping on another out. I am glad that you and your family are well and safe, it does my heart good. Lou Ann, I wish we lived closer so we could have a cup of tea together. I too had a very rough childhood, with both adoptive parents being nearly completely absent from my growing up. One was an alcoholic and one was a workaholic and they were co-dependant and distant from us and from each other. There was abuse that was verbal and physical often from our parents, and being the middle child and adopted I took the brunt of a lot of that. There was also abuse to me by a neighbor for several years starting when I was 11 and continuing for several years, unnoticed because we were all trapped in the bottom of a bottle. But also I had to parent my younger sister, as well as work a second job starting at 14 just to earn money to buy groceries because the allowance that was given to my mother was spent on alcohol instead of food to feed us. It wasn't until Nathan passed and I started to go to therapy that all of these things started to rear up and the anger came out swinging in my time of grief. Of all the childhood wounds that caused me to be both an extreme caregiver (Atlas) to everyone around me and making bad choices. That continued for most of my adult life so far and some of the results of those bad choices were visited on Nathan as well, and it made his life rougher than it should have. That guilt is very hard for me, and it makes me sad most days. I was a single mother for years, and Nathan's birth father was not in his life and took his own life about 6 months before Nathan was murdered. Nathan struggled with bi-polar disorder, and it made me swallow my own pains and put them on the back burner in order to try and help him, but it's never good because it was just unhealthy. Nathan's life was mostly unstable because I was mostly unstable for him, and there is nothing I can do about that now. It's very painful and every day I work through that. I still struggle sometimes with feeling like I am not enough. Some days I don't feel like getting out of bed, and some days I don't want to live at all. I understand the guilt and pain we all struggle with, and if you ever need to talk please know that I am here and that you are not alone.
  15. Loss of an Adult Child

    Kym, I am so sorry for your loss. It can be really overwhelming and I want you to know that it's okay to have a complete break down. I spent one day just screaming at the wall in grief and anger until I was red-eyed, horse in my throat and fell asleep. I was sure that I was going crazy and that there were no roads back from where I was but once it was out of me, there was this odd calm. It was like I had screamed the heavy fog away that made me feel alone. I started reaching out for others, even complete strangers (like on here) and they started to reach back. And while some people don't understand and will judge or just not know what to say to you, there are those people who know loss like no one should and they will be there for you. What you are feeling is normal, and I am glad you have come here to share your journey with us, I'm only sorry for the reasons that brought you here. I have found that it becomes easier to share your story as the days go by, and I don't pay attention to the people who judge and don't know what to say and I focus on the ones who do. They need my compassion as much as I need theirs. Maybe not in this moment, but someday. I was always a tomboy and never had any female friends growing up or even in my young adulthood, but after my 20 year old son Nathaniel was murdered, I found grace in the sisterhood of friends I've made. Some who've lost husbands, parents, children... they took my hand and showed me a grace that I didn't expect and that I am now close to. It's really easy to isolate yourself and feel like you are alone in your grief and it's almost always tempered with guilt and shame that comes with being a parent... but all of us have been there, and we know. Unfortunate as it is, we know. Let the others judge you, you will find the good people who have compassion and strength as a character the more you share. And the more you share, the less alone you will begin to feel. You are not burdening others, you are giving them the opportunity to become more compassionate people. Grief is a burden that when shared, becomes a little easier for you to carry. It never goes away, but the weight can be unbearable alone. It's often normal for the spouse/partner/ex of someone who has passed to swallow their own guilt and shame as well and hide it in an envelope of anger and blame. They don't want to see the role they have played in the lost ones life, or how they could have done things different and they will often blame others for the problem so they don't have to look at it themselves. I am sorry that you haven't been able to see your grandson, but I am glad to know that you aren't letting that stand. Mediation is a good pathway, and the courts will enforce anything that is decided in mediation and it's a good tool to use if anything sours. A party unwilling to abide by a mediation agreement is always seen as wrong by the courts, and you have rights to see the child absolutely. Don't give up the fight. It sounds like the child would be better knowing you for sure. It is hard for children in grief, and it will be good for him and for you to know his father his whole life not only because he can have happy memories but also as a tool to shape his existence. ~Margo All, I'm sorry I've been absent, with all my illness I was feeling very overwhelmed and not strong enough to do many things at once. The good news is that I have turned that corner of recovery and am feeling really great this week physically. It does wonders for my mental health too. There were about 3 weeks that I was averaging 2:45 hours of sleep per night, and it was making me so weak. I lost 18 pounds (not that I can't stand to lose them, mind) and sometimes a bit of my sanity. But I'm back and I actually sat at the wheel yesterday and threw some beautiful pots quickly, so I feel like I'm back on track. My hands and lower back are a bit sore but it's a comforting feeling of being productive in my happy place in the clay studio. Here are some latte cups (no handles yet, the clay is too wet) and some beer steins (also without handles) that I threw yesterday;