Jump to content
Forum Conduct & Guidelines Document ×

Recommended Posts

  • Members

I don't even truly know where to start. 

My son died two years ago. He was 13. When he was 6 years old he had a cardiac arrest and subsequent severe anoxic brain injury that left him fully dependent on me and my (now) ex husband for care for 8 years. 

We divorced shortly after his death. Death was February 2021 - divorced was finalized in July of 2021. 

We were very good at making life work and getting things done, but supporting each other fell to the wayside. Taking care of ourselves fell to the way side. 

I've never really had much of a support system myself to begin with. I grew up with a mentally abusive step father. I was never enough - never good enough. He left my Mom for a 'replacement' family when I was 11. My mom became mentally unstable at this point and tried to kill herself several times. Almost being successful the last time had she not been found. She wrote her suicide note to me, of which a copy of was given to me. She was not a secure parent from then on. I had my father, but she moved me away from him as a baby so our relationship was complicated by distance. 

She met my current stepfather when I was 13. I didn't like him, still don't particularly care for him, but he takes care of her which I am grateful for. They eloped on Christmas Eve when I was 15 an visiting my Dad. She told me Christmas night. My late teens and early 20s were riddled with admitting her to the hospital for mental health and being asked by both her and my current step father and my previous step father to take in my younger brother, who was 5 years younger than me.

I suffered 2 sexual assualts between the ages of 15 & 19. One of someone I knew, one of someone I did not.

I had my oldest child that died when I was 17. I finished high school and had a full academic ride to college. I graduated in the usual four years with my Bachelor of Science in Nursing. During this time I went to school full time and worked full time. I also met my now ex husband during this time. I graduated when I was 22 - we also got engaged that year. 

When I was 23, 1.5 years out of school, my son had his cardiac arrest.

I feel as though I've been in survival mode since I was 11. 

During the 8 years he was fully dependent we tried to continue our lives and keep things as normal as possible for him. 

We decided to have our own child in 2016 - she was born at 26 weeks at just 1.5lbs and was in the NICU for 3 months. She is now 6 and thriving.

We thought surely we could have another child without complication after that, which we did, my son - now 5. However, my oldest son that has now passed, was diagnosed with cancer the same week we found out I was pregnant. We spent that entire pregnancy in and out of the hospital and going through chemo with him as well as taking care of a 1yr old micro preemie. 

He beat the cancer - baby boy was born healthy.

My oldest's health began to decline on NYE 2021. His heart and lungs just weren't strong enough and we brought him home on hospice and allowed him to pass peacefully. 

My husband and I seemed to have lost each other - we quickly divorced without drama and walked away. Luckily we have become good friends and he is one of the only supports I do have. 

During the last 2 years I've struggled to cope. Struggled to find joy, happiness, pleasure, meaning. 

I feel like I have done all of the self help things I can do on my own, but I have no real concrete support system. No parents. No lifelong friends. No siblings. I don't know how to find support and feel that people actually do care and are there for me.

I recently admitted myself to the hospital for a mental health evaluation and they're pushing support groups pretty hard so here I am. Literally begging someone to care or to listen to my story.

  • Hugs 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

It's not uncommon for a marriage to go by the way following the loss of a child, I've had friends that happened to.  I am so sorry for your loss.  Keep coming here, someone will be along...

I care.

Grief Process

This is not a one-size-fits-all, what strikes us one day will be different a few months/years from now, so please save/print this for reference!

I want to share an article I wrote of the things I've found helpful over the years, in the hopes something will be of help to you either now or on down the road.


There's no way to sum up how to go on in a simple easy answer, but I encourage you to read the other threads here, little by little you will learn how to make your way through this.  I do want to give you some pointers though, of some things I've learned on my journey.

  • Take one day at a time.  The Bible says each day has enough trouble of its own, I've found that to be true, so don't bite off more than you can chew.  It can be challenging enough just to tackle today.  I tell myself, I only have to get through today.  Then I get up tomorrow and do it all over again.  To think about the "rest of my life" invites anxiety.
  • Don't be afraid, grief may not end but it evolves.  The intensity lessens eventually.
  • Visit your doctor.  Tell them about your loss, any troubles sleeping, suicidal thoughts, anxiety attacks.  They need to know these things in order to help you through it...this is all part of grief.
  • Suicidal thoughts are common in early grief.  If they're reoccurring, call a suicide hotline.  I felt that way early on, but then realized it wasn't that I wanted to die so much as I didn't want to go through what I'd have to face if I lived.  Back to taking a day at a time.  Suicide Hotline - Call 1-800-273-8255 or www.crisis textline.org or US and Canada: text 741741 UK: text 85258 | Ireland: text 50808
  • Give yourself permission to smile.  It is not our grief that binds us to them, but our love, and that continues still.
  • Try not to isolate too much.  
  • There's a balance to reach between taking time to process our grief, and avoiding it...it's good to find that balance for yourself.  We can't keep so busy as to avoid our grief, it has a way of haunting us, finding us, and demanding we pay attention to it!  Some people set aside time every day to grieve.  I didn't have to, it searched and found me!
  • Self-care is extremely important, more so than ever.  That person that would have cared for you is gone, now you're it...learn to be your own best friend, your own advocate, practice self-care.  You'll need it more than ever.
  • Recognize that your doctor isn't trained in grief, find a professional grief counselor that is.  We need help finding ourselves through this maze of grief, knowing where to start, etc.  They have not only the knowledge, but the resources.
  • In time, consider a grief support group.  If your friends have not been through it themselves, they may not understand what you're going through, it helps to find someone somewhere who DOES "get it". 
  • Be patient, give yourself time.  There's no hurry or timetable about cleaning out belongings, etc.  They can wait, you can take a year, ten years, or never deal with it.  It's okay, it's what YOU are comfortable with that matters.  
  • Know that what we are comfortable with may change from time to time.  That first couple of years I put his pictures up, took them down, up, down, depending on whether it made me feel better or worse.  Finally, they were up to stay.
  • Consider a pet.  Not everyone is a pet fan, but I've found that my dog helps immensely.  It's someone to love, someone to come home to, someone happy to see me, someone that gives me a purpose...I have to come home and feed him.  Besides, they're known to relieve stress.  Well maybe not in the puppy stage when they're chewing up everything, but there's older ones to adopt if you don't relish that stage.
  • Make yourself get out now and then.  You may not feel interest in anything, things that interested you before seem to feel flat now.  That's normal.  Push yourself out of your comfort zone just a wee bit now and then.  Eating out alone, going to a movie alone or church alone, all of these things are hard to do at first.  You may feel you flunked at it, cried throughout, that's okay, you did it, you tried, and eventually you get a little better at it.  If I waited until I had someone to do things with I'd be stuck at home a lot.
  • Keep coming here.  We've been through it and we're all going through this together.
  • Look for joy in every day.  It will be hard to find at first, but in practicing this, it will change your focus so you can embrace what IS rather than merely focusing on what ISN'T.  It teaches you to live in the present and appreciate fully.  You have lost your big joy in life, and all other small joys may seem insignificant in comparison, but rather than compare what used to be to what is, learn the ability to appreciate each and every small thing that comes your way...a rainbow, a phone call from a friend, unexpected money, a stranger smiling at you, whatever the small joy, embrace it.  It's an art that takes practice and is life changing if you continue it.
  • Eventually consider volunteering.  It helps us when we're outward focused, it's a win/win.

(((hugs)))  Praying for you today.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

This site uses cookies We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. and uses these terms of services Terms of Use.