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Steve Cavanaugh

Does having a child help after losing a partner?

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I am really sorry but I really did have to ask this. For those of you, who have lost a partner but have a child from him/her, does it get any easier knowing that you and your partner have something which is "yours" not just your and his/hers? 

I was wondering about it today and just thought would things have been better for me if she and I had had a baby together. It's really funny isn't it? We'd been dating since we were 16 but she was always rather afraid of intimacy. She was against the concept of marriage and kids because of the divorces she had seen. No shame in admitting this but the first time we did sleep together was when we were 23. Sex wasn't as important to us and it is to other couples because as I mentioned earlier, we were best friends first. and she was getting more open to the idea of being married and being a mother and us being "parents". Now that we were ready for it, we were going to get married, such a thing happened.. but I just wonder now if I had had a baby with me right here, a junior Steve or a junior Soph with her features or just with her blood running in its veins, would have I felt better? I would have had a sense of purpose. My aim would've been to live for our baby. I would have had to be strong for our baby but now I have nothing which pushes me to be strong.

 

So really, does having an offspring from your love make things slightly easier??

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fzald   

I didn't get to have children with my love, and there are others on here who will probably be able to fill in more. But, I do know I have asked myself exactly the same question over and over.

My situation does seem to parallel yours a lot. She was never against sexual intimacy but having kids and raising a family scared her. She was never sure whether she actually wanted to do it. But in the last few months she was alive she started mentioning off the wall things that made me wonder if she was changing her mind. For one thing she said she liked that her dog loved children, and added "well because you know, someday..." and trailed off, I teased her about it for a while.

I didn't even get to keep the dog,her family made all the decisions without me, long story, so her dog was adopted out by a shelter and I never had a chance. 

I feel like I have nothing to live for because all of her is gone except a few possessions and her memories. If we had had a child I would have the child to live for, I would have someone who she lives within, someone to raise the way she would have wanted. I have nothing now. I don't feel I have any purpose anymore.

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Francine   

Steve

They say babies are a testament to your love together.  I don't know if having off springs would necessarily make things easier; they would make things different. Some couples are unable to have children, but their love is endless.  If a child is produced from a union and one of the parents pass away while the child is young, I think it would be devastating for the child.  I think younger children would have a more difficult time in accepting their loss and often think they are at fault. My heart goes out to all those on this website who has lost their significant other with younger children to raise.   They not only grieve for themselves, they must grieve for their child as well.

 Charles and I had two children; they are both grown now and my daughter has children of her own.  What they both have been is my strength in getting through this nightmare.  While people will go back to their lives, my children are constant.  Their father would have been so proud of them both; I know I am.

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Whenever our little girl (she's three) gets picked up by her grandparents on the weekends, I'm left alone and I go into very dark places with my thoughts. I contemplated suicide and actually thought the whole thing out only to realize my life insurance policy wouldn't cover it and also I still have her. Having her and being able to kiss & hug her brings me comfort. 

It's heart wrenching to hear her asking about daddy. They were inseparable. He was the greatest daddy I've ever seen in my life. That's the hard part. I just wish we could have froze his sperm and have a sibling for her as I am not going to remarry or have anymore children. I've been in several relationships and he was the one I wanted to be with last for the rest of my life. But he left too soon. I can only wait to be reunited with him in the afterlife. Hopefully I wouldn't have to wait too long. 

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KayC   

It's so important not to act on our suicidal thoughts (and yes they still come to me sometimes when I'm feeling overwhelmed and being alone gets to me) because otherwise it doesn't give us any hope for anything to ever be better...the being better part is so subtle as to not be noticed sometimes or so fleeting to not seem to make a difference to our everyday existence, but we still have to live for these moments...plus what it would do to our families.  And then there's the spiritual beliefs of some that believe that'd have a detrimental affect on our afterlife, even if we don't think that way, what if we're wrong, I wouldn't want to gamble with "forever", so all of these things considered, plus my dog and cat that need me...I don't act on these feelings, but gosh I know them all too well.  I'm glad you have your daughter.  My kids are grown, I don't get contact with my daughter and seldom my son, I miss them beyond belief.

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Marcel   

I don't have a child of my own, but I still live with my stepdaughter, now that my wife is gone.
It's doesn't make the grief and pain any less but it gives me a focus and reason to try and learn to live again. My stepdaughter has been abandoned by her real father so I need to be there for her. Maybe without her I would just let myself go. But we support each other and talk about her mom often.
I still don't know how to cope with my wife's death but I have something to hold on to while I'm trying to figure it out.

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fzald   

It's so hard to be "selfish", or to take care of ourselves, in the midst of this grief.

I bet it's like this for many of you. One thing I miss the most is just being there for my love. Doing things to make her life more amazing. Going out in the cold to get lunch so she can stay warm in the office. Picking up some groceries for her so she could sleep in a little later. Going with her when she had to go to stressful meetings or appointments of any kind. Being available to her whenever she needed me and my support.

I do wish often that I had had children with her. Because even though I would never be able to be there like that for her ever again, I would be able to be there for our kids. I could channel that love, affection and caring into what would have been left of her. We truly do live on in our children, so it is so tragic for me that she never got to have children and live on through them. It feels like she is just gone forever now. Her biological existence is over and there is nobody to carry it on. Nobody for me to love the way I loved her, to look after and take care of in her absence.

I had hoped to adopt her dog, but her family got it adopted out before I had the chance to argue, and her family probably wouldn't have cooperated anyway because of the issues we had. Even if I'd had her dog, it would have been SOMETHING, some part of her to give myself to, to care for and love the way I loved her.

It is such an empty feeling now, to have nothing left of her to care for. Nothing. She just passed out of this life. Her family still won't acknowledge me, so I can't even care for them and help them out. I basically am alone, I have so much love to give to her and nowhere for it to go. 

I try to channel my caring and compassion into other things and it just doesn't work. Nothing feels right. I always was compassionate and loving towards everyone I was close to, but without her, it's like I've lost so much of me. I can't give the same way I used to, to others. I am so paralyzed with the grief of losing my love, and all of the unfulfilled promises and dreams, and all of the lost present, that I can't find the energy to channel my compassion into others. People have asked me for help with things and I find myself thinking on the inside "oh, you just want ME for what I can give YOU." I try never to outwardly say this to people because I know it's not their fault, but I used to be there for everyone in my life when they needed, now I can't even be there for myself.

I wish children had happened for us. I know she was considering it. Of course at first when we dated she was 17, so we already knew it would be a while. But by now, we had started to stabilize. We weren't ready just yet, but the conversation was on the table. If she had been here a couple more years I'm pretty sure we would have. 

 

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KayC   

I don't think self care is selfish, I think it's necessary.

fzald, I'm sorry her family didn't put the DOG's best interest at heart, that's what she would have wanted!  The dog knew you, it undoubtedly would have been happier with someone familiar rather than a total stranger.  

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Gonz   

I've been wondering about this myself.  My girlfriend and I never had children, despite being together for 11 years.

My sister lost her husband to cancer a few years ago, they had a daughter who was 2 at the time.  I know it's not helpful to compare my situation to anyone else's, but I can't stop myself.  I saw how hard it was, how hard it still is sometimes, for my sister to keep it together for my niece's sake.

Part of me feels it's easier, not being responsible for anyone but myself.  I don't think I could manage this while taking care of a child.  Hell, I can't manage it without a kid.  But, at the same time, I think about what a comfort it would be to have a mini-Jessica running around.  To feel like there was some small part of her still alive.  It would be harder, a lot harder.  But I think maybe it would be worth it.

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Andy   

I can only speak from my perspective. My daughter is about to be 21, and her sorrow and grief is as every bit as deep and painful as mine. She has had the realization that now, when SHE gets married, when SHE has a child of her own, when SHE graduates, her mom, her protector and confidant, the one she would have turned to for that "motherly" advice, will not be there for any of it. And after you have a child, your reality changes, the child is now a defining aspect of your life together. The focus, the worries, the hopes and dreams, they tend to gravitate towards your little one. So the question of whether it's "better" or "easier" is actually impossible to answer. I cannot, in a million years, imagine life without our baby girl, so it's a non starter. I thank GOD everyday that she's here, that my wife was able to have that in her too short life. I don't know what I'd be or how I'd cope with my wife's loss without my daughter. She's been simply amazing throughout this ordeal, better than myself in many regards. Yes, I suppose it IS better, not easier, but she brings so much comfort. However, nothing is more heartbreaking than seeing my daughter sobbing over the loss of her "mommy". Agonizing over her need for mom to hold her hand, to kiss her, to hug her. It's nearly crippling to witness, but I can't envision life without her. She is a living testament to our life and love, BUT, she is her own person, not a monument to which I lay my burdens or expectations on. She's an individual, who, like myself, lost someone VERY crucial to their existence, and I'm thankful we have each other. I'd give and do anything to spare her from this grief, but there's nothing I can do, other than show her that we WILL live, we WILL continue to move forward. Mom is counting on us to not stop living, she didn't marry me or give birth to her to see us lose hope. Her energy, love, and time will not be wasted on us. 

 

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My son is a Jr. Splitting image of his Dad its ridiculous. I would always tell him, this is your child lol bc he so planned it by himself lol for 8 years until I gave in. N now its just my son and I. I can't say if having a kid makes it easier. I cry for my son and I cry for me. N its unbearable. Truly. I can't express in words how everything he does would be different if his father were here. I have guilt, bc I'm in so much pain, I can't be the mom I want to be. It has its downs but it has its ups as well. I think if you and your wife had a child, it wouldn't be easier. None of it is easy. N nothing makes it easier. in time u will live and function with the pain, but it never leaves you it just becomes easier to manage. What I know is, when it hurts u just wish you had everything with them you never had. But u have to focus on what you all had and keeping those memories alive. 

 

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KC81   

5 months ago, my wife ended her life when our baby was 2 months old. 
She had severe postpartum depression and anxiety.

I'm grateful for her for bestowing me our baby.
Initially the baby was a major trigger for me, especially his cries. 
But as he grows and becomes more interactive and fun, I find myself gradually bonding with him better.

Our baby offers me a "distraction" for my grief; his existence and presence allows me to refocus my energy and attention.
My love for my wife was partially redirected to the care of our baby. 
Caring for him Is caring for her.  My major purpose in life now is to make her proud, to raise him to be a good man.
There are many examples of kids from non-traditional families who grow up doing great things.
It is my duty to him and to her, to survive, to choose life, to seek help, to pursue happiness - for how can I be a good dad if I'm miserable, depressed, and let myself go?

I believe she's but on the other side, existing as pure positive energy.
I believe she's still watching over all of us. 
I believe I'll be with her when my time is up.

I know how fragile life is. 
I know with a simple movement of my finger on the steering wheel, I would quickly transition to the other side.
I know I can go to the bridge, like I did the night following the funeral.  I could easily follow her, as I always had in our 6.5 years together. 
The leap can be liberating. 
But my time is not done yet.
There are still things to do. 
There are stories to tell, of her, of us, of my grief journey.
There are people to save, those who suffer from mental illness and especially postpartum depression
There are people who love me, and I do not want my pain to pass onto them.
I need to help my son. He already lost his mom.  I must survive for him. I must remember her for him. 

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Meesh   

TO ALL, our grief i think is helped by our other focuses, whether it be a child that needs looking after, pets to look after, other family members that need us, even our jobs can help to a certain extent to keep our mind focused. Mine is a slightly different senario, me and my boyfriend didnt have children together, he had 2 daughters and i have a daughter and a son, his daughters have children, they were our grandkids we used to love looking after them together, i love them kids like they are my own that is without a doubt, since my partners passing i avnt seen much of them little boys and i have felt a great loss there aswel as my grieving, my stepdaughters have been good to me, they always ask if im ok and i the same to them, its just i dont think it comes natural for them to ask me to babysit and so thats how it is i have to not have them in my life anymore much either and i have to get used to that, i am gonna always keep in touch tho, buy for there birthday etc because i love them so much but its not the same anymore. Good news tho for me weds nite my daughter told me she is going to have a baby, my first biological grandchild, and guess what, the due date is nov 20th, the anniversary of my partners accident, maybe im being silly but im seeing that as a sign, i am overjoyed but saddened also that we cant be grandparents together, il have to do it on my own, but all i know is that i am sure the little bundle of joy and love is going to surely help my grief. Love to you all x

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KayC   

Meesh,

I'm sorry you've having the secondary loss of his grandchildren.  That happens a lot, unfortunately, in blended families after death.  I'm glad you have your daughter's new addition to look forward to.  My daughter announced on Christmas that she is pregnant...since then she lost it and has avoided family since, I haven't been able to talk to her and it's breaking my heart for her and my son-in-law.  My son had a baby the morning I found out about hers so it was a mixed bag of emotions.  I don't have little kids to distract me but I do have two grandbabies from him that give me something to look forward to, even though I only get to see them once a month because of distance.  I'm going to see them tomorrow.

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Meesh   

Kay c, i am sorry for your daughters loss, shes obviously having trouble dealing with it, and that makes it hard for you being her mum, lifes full of ups and downs and its more than cruel sometimes, its nice that you have your sons kids, children are a joy, they bring so much happiness  

  thankyou yes i have somthing to focus on now with the baby news, i'm not entirely happy with her choice of boyfriend, hes got a bit of a reputation but i hope he does right by her, there gonna look for a home because at the moment shes living with me so im happy for her she seems to be happy with him so we'l see how it goes. Sorry about the box in the middle of my message, i dont know what i did wrong for it to be there and dont know how to delete, take care kay c and enjoy your grandbabies x

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KayC   

Sometimes it puts stuff there from before, usually if you click on it, then hit delete it'll go away.

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