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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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