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Loss of a Teenager


katebe

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I wish you all a happy new year though our children are not with us to celebrate the year 2005 with us. God's mercies are new every morning and indeed it is my sincere hope that HIM, alone, will come through for us & grant us HIS Mercies and the desires of our hearts. May the year be full of Joy

I want to share this wonderful dream I had on the 30th of December, In that Dream I was stopping a very big bus and when it stopped I asked the driver if he had seen Mpundu and she emerged from the back that she was there and promised to come home, after a while she came with two friends, I hugged her and held her very close to my chest, and I told her that I was missing her. As usual I asked her where she is and she said she was with GOD. I asked how it is there, one of them said it was okay, the other said something else and Mpundu said it was not a bad place. Then she said, I QUOTE, "Mom do you know that there is a secret gate that leads into heaven, its very difficult to find it, its only GOD who can direct you to find it, do you know that you friend (cant remember the name)could not find the secret gate so she was just roaming. By the way Mom, do you know that I am a teacher, very soon I will start teaching English after my induction". End of QUOTE.

When I woke up I praised and thanked God for the visitation.

I wish you peace and God's Light

Forever in tears Mom to Mpundu

Judy

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Hello Everyone... I've been reading all of your posts and feel for all of you - this is an unimaginable road and one none of us should EVER have to be on! It hasn't even been 2 months since I lost my one and only Jeff (14 yrs old) and some hours I’m ok, but some hours I’m so on the brink of LOSING it and it feels like I’ll be stuck in that mode for life....

I’m having such a hard time with going to work... It’s so hard because I work for a police department and hearing their radios, listening to the calls to 911, typing out the emergency reports, etc etc etc.. and each and every time it’s like an assault on me! Each image or sound brings me back to the closet where I found my beautiful boy dead, the paramedics and officers arriving, them trying to revive him, the ride behind the ambulance and into the hospital emergency room where the doctors tell me they can’t do anything...

The counselor states that I’m suffering from post traumatic stress and I’m on meds and in counseling... but I know deep down it’s just something that will always be there, kinda like on the side of my mind... poking through and sending me into a thought process that has me spiraling down and down and down...

I know it was an “accident”, that Jeff didn’t really mean to die, he just wanted the high from cutting off the blood supply to his brain for a few precious seconds... but all I see is my baby, who was my one and only, this special human being who was my child, my best friend, someone who “got” my humor, someone who brought so much JOY to everyone, who drove me nuts on occasion and enjoyed doing it....hanging by a belt in his closet.. how will this image ever go? I know... TIME is supposed to help, and I KNOW that it’s only been almost 2 months since it happened.. I KNOW I’m supposed to be grieving and I KNOW that it’s the process that we all have to go through to survive this unbelievable loss of our children.... but knowing all this doesn’t make it any easier...

Ok, I’ve ranted on enough.... thank you for listening... thank you for sharing your stories, sadness, wisdom, insights, hopes.... it’s a comfort sometimes to know that I’m not the ONLY one who knows what this feels like and knows what a road this is that we have to travel... I only wish none of us had to travel this.......

Thank you again.... Meredith, Jeff’s mom... forever

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Meredith, I so sorry you lost your beloved son. I feel you pain and Iam crying with you. You are traumatised by his death & your heart is sore and bruised and the lowest point ever. I too lost a daughter Mpundu 15 and it will soon be 15 months. She had pnuemonia and I was right on her bedside when she bade farewell to this world. A few minutes before she died she asked for my hand that I should hold her together with my sister and she asked me to pray. I couldnt utter a word, so I asked my sister to pray, and she said Amen. I was seeing a friend off when the nurses called me, at first I thought she wanted something and was shocked when I was told that she was dying, I called out her name she looked at me and said UUU MOM I called out her name again she tried to open her eyes, she failed, I held her chest there was no heart beat, I kissed her forehead, held her very close she was still warm, I cried, fell to the ground, screamed thinking she would hear me but all in vain she was gone in a split of a second. the nurses were so good they held me and asked me to pray for her safe passage into heaven. I looked at her, there she was lying lifeless on the bed, the nurses came with a trolleys from the Morgue, I screamed when her body was being wheeled into the mortuary, I asked God why it had to be her, not me or the other person in the street. My hopes, plans were shattered on the 26-08-2003. Its now the pain, the missing, the crying, the anger, the frustration. Nothing is there for me now, its only her name engraved on the tombstone that she once existed. The pain is so intense and overwhelming. I thought It would be softer in the 2nd year, No, not at all. I cry everyday, and it really hurts me when there is a new beareved parent, Another Mom/dad is hurting. My heart goes out to you. I agree with you it really gives comfort that you are not alone in this, there are so many of us here who are crying with you. I too do not know when the pain gets easier.

I will keep you and jeff in my prayers

Mpundu's Mom & Forever in tears

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hannahrosesmom

I survived the play, I survived Christmas, and barely survived Hannah's birthday. I cry more, feel more exhausted and there is no such thing as patience. I don't know how it's possible but why am I feeling worse than ever?

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Thank you all for reading my post and for responding! You\'re all just special people and I\'m so glad that I found this website! I\'m having a tough day today... well, I\'m having a tough hour at the moment, who know\'s what happens during the next hour! But THANK YOU again for all of your kind words, prayers, advice, etc....

hannahrosesmom - i\'m so sorry you\'re feeling worse than ever. There\'s nothing i can say to ease your pain and suffering, but I\'ll send out a prayer for your and send some virtual hugs... (((((((((hannahrosesmom))))))))

Meredith, Jeff\'s mom

Jeff\'s Memorial Site:

http://www.freewebs.com/jeffreypeak/

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KevinsMom4ever

Regarding the question about divorces after the death of a child:

In MY case, we had just filed for an amicable divorce (after 4 yrs of dating and 22 yrs of marriage) that we BOTH wanted just 23 days before my son died. So, the divorce was NOT related to the death. However, there is NO DOUBT in my mind that we most assuredly would have divorced had we not already filed. We were just SOOOOOO different in how we handled the grief. I wanted to talk and dig for "answers" about death and my ex wanted to hold it all inside and be angry. He provided absolutely NO assistance to me in the grieving process. I tried many times to help him open up but he wasn't interested. I can only hope he has found his own way to deal with it.

So, I can certainly understand how the grieving process can cause stress in a household that maybe had little or none before and reek havoc on a household that already had some issues to deal with.

Take care all,

Karen

Kevin's Mom 4-ever

11/11/90 to 10/28/03

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As I enter the 8th month of my new life after losing my son, I'd like to share my thoughts. I remember someone on here (Kirksdad maybe?) saying that the first year is hell, and the second year is worse. Ha! I can't wait.

But overall, I think I am doing pretty well. I feel OK, maybe a little bit numb, about 80% of the time. I feel really awful about 15% of the time, and I actually feel good about 5% of the time. I'm not implying I have any answers for any of this, but here are some of the tactics I have used to survive:

1. I try to stay very busy. When I'm working on something that requires my full concentration, my mind doesn't go back to the horror of the time when Kyle died and the aftermath. First I made a memorial garden for him. Now that it's winter, I've joined a group who makes quilts for all of the families of fallen servicemen and women. This is a BIG job because there are so many of them, and it makes me feel that my loss is not so unique and terrible.

2. We got a puppy. I know other people here have mentioned doing this also ... he provides a new target for the affection and care that we used to give to our son. He also makes us laugh, and loves us unconditionally.

3. I'm trying to move my life forward in positive ways. I've painted the house, rearranged the furniture, cleaned out the cupboards. I found a new job that I like better than my old one.

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Hello Everyone,

I don't post very often, but read your messages everyday and wish I

was stronger to post and/or reply more, but I just can't right

now...your stories of grief, inspiration, compassion, etc. help me

throughout my day and I just wanted to say thank you for that.

It's been just over 2 months today since I lost my beautiful

Jeffrey. How is that even possible? All those days w/out seeing his

beautiful face? My 14 year old son is gone and I'm having a hard

time even believing that this is real sometimes...

Anyway, I just wanted to share my website that I've just started

about my Jeff.. Pictures, his poems, artwork, music.. and I just

started my journal on memories that I have and what happened on on

that awful day and how each day it's a struggle just to breath... as

I'm sure you all know.

I think one of the worst things (well, out of the thousands) is

thinking that my Jeffrey will be forgotten! I just don't think I

could allow that to happen, you know?? He was just too special and

when I'm stronger I want to go around to schools trying to educate

people about this... It's so senseless, you know?

Thanks for listening and God Bless to you all..

Meredith, Jeff's Mom

Jeffrey David Peak

3/10/90 - 11/7/04

~~14 years just isn't long enough~~

http://www.freewebs.com/jeffreypeak

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Meredith,

I went to your son's website and was amazed how much you have accomplished in such a short time. You can feel the love you have for Jeffrey. I lost my 13 year old son 3 years ago and I can totally relate to your thoughts about people forgetting him. Basically, those who loved him will never forget him and unfortunately some people will... those who barely knew him. Of course, you never will and that's what counts.

As for rememberances, there are those who start memorial funds, scholarships, websites, and books. I have written a book because I was also afraid that people would forget. It's now online at www.evansearthlyadventure.com

I think that the way you live the rest of your life will be the most important memorial that you could imagine. True, some people will never connect the dots back to Jeffrey, but in the grand scheme of things, it will matter, and Jeffrey will matter because of you.

I wish you only the best in the tough road ahead, but remember there was a reason for you son's birth and untimely death. It will be a mystery for some and perhaps for you it won't be. You just have to try REALLY hard to find the answers that ARE available.

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KevinsMom4ever

Meredith:

I went to Jeffrey's site as well. You did an AWESOME job! What an incredible tribute to your wonderful son. There is so much love there. It's very obvious. My son died just before his 13th birthday in Oct 03. I miss him terribly. My son was quite an artist too. He had won many awards for his art, including several first place and 2 tri-colored ribbons just three weeks before he died. When I saw your son's picture of a character named "Kevin" it moved me greatly as my son Kevin had been drawing a lot of "flame" characters etc. just before he died. In fact, Kevin's dad had some of Kevin's flame artwork taken to a printshop and had decals made for his racecar.

Stay positive,

Karen

Kevin's Mom 4ever

11/11/90 to 10/28/03

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Hi, Im Stacie, my 15 yr old daughter, Jillian, died Feb 29 th 2004. As you all know there is no greater pain then this loss. I don't relate to normal life any more, I am a much harder person and the quality of my life is just not there. I just exsist. I have had a difficult life, the single mom route, but all in all we were very happy, but this we will never overcome. You learn to live with the pain. I know. I wish with all my heart I will see my daughter again.

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tigerlilly.

am so sorry. and yes the pain stays forever. my son lewis died sept 25 04. he was 15.

life will never be the same. i'm also a single mom. i have a 17 yr old. it's so hard for him too.

i keep trying to put it all into some kind of perspective but it's too difficult.

xoxoxoxo

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Tigerlilly68,

I am so sorry for your loss. I can't imagine doing this alone...Beyond Indigo has been a lot of help for me. Even though I am married, I have found that talking to outside support aids me the best. Please know that we are here to help out in any way that we can.

Peace to you, Tina

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I am sitting here reading this board after another sleepless night. We lost

our son Matthew on October 21,2004.He was 14. After 2 months we found out he had a heart attack. We are convinced that a stun gun attack at a party by a boy damaged his heart. He was stunned right at his heart. My husband found him dead on the bathroom floor while he was getting ready for school. He had been bullyed

by some boys for part of the school year and he did not know the boys were at

the party and they attacked him. I took him to the DR. and asked him if he needed to have his heart checked and he said no. We took him out of school and

moved him in to a charter school and he was very happy. He was such a good kid.

I am not in good shape. I am putting up a wall. My 17 year old is a senior in high school and wants to have his last year a great one and he even asked me not to be sad. My days are good and bad. The bad seems to be getting worse.

I don't want to see people I know. I am going to the dr. Tuesday. I feel like I am losing it. I know it takes a long time to even get some peace. I am trying so hard. I know he is alright in my heart. I just needed some support.

Ann

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Ann, I am so sorry for your loss. The circumstances you tell about have got to make you crazy. I just don't know how I would react given your circumstances. It is no wonder you are feeling the way you are.

Without the doctors looking into what was going on you must be wondering and the blame game starts to take over. It is a hard one to fight against. In the beginning with our son there was so many to blame, it took us a couple of years to even begin to come to terms with that.

Our daughter had a real hard time with school after our son's death. It took her almost 3 years to get things somewhat back in order, she was going into her freshman year, he would have been a junior.

Your son has his senior year and although high school is not the end of the world like some kids might think, the death of a child really is. The world as we as parents knew it is gone, that is just the way it is. It is hard to find the energy for anything.

I understand your son's wanting to have a good year, but he needs to understand that it might have to be up to him to make it that way. If he is strong then that could happen. Relying on you to make sure his senior year is good could cause some problems especially if you are feeling a little resentful for his feelings.

Kids approach this type of loss in so many different ways, he may be putting on a front and behind everything he is falling apart. Maybe it is time to have a sit down talk with your son and talk about, how eventhough you want his senior year to be good, you are sad, very sad, and nothing he can say or the situation he is wanting to put you in will make that change or go away anytime soon. You need to ask for his understanding and find out how he truely feels.

What was his relationship like with his brother? Our daughter's and son's relationship was touch and go at times, but she ended up having a lot of guilt about his death and how she might have been able to change the outcome.

There is a lot of emotional baggage for the kids and the emotional and physical pain we feel can be very overwhelming for an extended period of time. How long it takes for us to feel better is not negotiable, it happens when we are ready in our time. Jim

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I lost me beloved Tyler age 17 11/24/04 in a tragic car accident.He made

the mistake of hopping in for a quick ride with an under classman who went 2 miles out of town and came speeding back in.The driver had also done marijuana at noon.My son and another boy were killed and the driver walked.Since then the driver has continued to speed and drink.It is almost 8 weeks and we are still waiting for the Highway Patrol to complete their report so the County Attorney can press charges.My other son is in the same class with the driver who is showing no remorse.How do you help the surviving siblings who are confronted daily with the person who has altered their life forever?

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Tylersmom, boy, that is a real hard one. I have seen this happen before where the driver, who really shouldn't have been driving, causes such devastation. The fact your other son faces this moron everday in school is really outrageous, but the law works slowly and sometimes justice is blind in all the wrong ways. Many kids have to face such trials after the death of a loved one. I keep talking about our daughter's experience, it was bad. She had to face a real hard situation, but not like your son's which I can imagine is really hurtful. Have you talked with school personnel at all about it? Have they been supportive or tried to ignore what difficuties your son faces having to go to school each day in a hostile situation. I call it hostile because it is and no child should have to do that. Our daughter had to listen to this one jerk tell others that her brother deserved what he got, it is hard to imagine, but unless there is a good counselor, or an open mind about reaching out at your school, the harm that can be caused is great. Schools either hide their heads in the sand, or are really helpful, there seems to be no in between. You might talk to your son's teachers and counselor and see if they are helping in anyway. I am afraid that depending on the age of this kid you might be faced with seeing him for a long time. Driving and drinking and causing an accident where people die is beyond imagination for us when our kids are involved. Finding answers to what to do are complicated and very hard, and yes, very painful.

Just talking and showing support for your son helps, you might consider a professional counselor, I would definately talk to who ever you can at the school. I would also keep in contact with the County Attorney and talk with him about the situation. I would also get a lawyer if you don't already have one, someone you know that could give advise and possibly not subject you to a large bill, maybe a friend knows of someone. I wish I had an easy answer, but there are none. Just remember the siblings are hurting deeply, in many instances they feel they could have made a differene and it hurts. We as parents lose our world, in many ways they do to. Jim

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Ann, Tyler's Mom and Tigerlilly68, I am soooo sorry for your losses. I am walking with you, crying with you and I feel your pain. I have no words to express my sympathy, please accept my condolences.

I too, lost my daughter Mpundu (15) on 26-08-2003. The pain is as intense as it were when she died. My life changed in a split of a second as a part of me went with her. I hold her close in my heart and there she remains to walk with me through out my life until we meet again.

It will soon be 15 months and the second year is hell for me.

Peace unto you all

Forever in tears

Judy

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Tylersmom and Josmatt22,

I am so sorry for your loss. Please know that we are here to listen to you, grieve with you, and to share our own strengths and weaknesses through our grief.

I lost my son three years ago and I thought my world was over. I took every little step that I could to get me through the first two years- eating, sleeping, drinking plenty of water, walking (exercising) and talking to supportive friends. This all seemed so trivial at first, but it really had to be done in order for me to be objective about my life. Take the time you need and put your needs first- for now. Time will bring the next steps and you will know when you are ready to take them. Don’t let anybody push you to do something that you know you are not ready for. And, bring your thoughts to Beyond Indigo, where parents can share with you what has, or has not, worked for them. That really helped me a lot.

Peace to you, Tina

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What I find most difficult is the devastating effect on my other children

I have kids age 19,14,9 and 6.Tyler was 17.They all react differently but what is the concerning is my youngest and their bad dreams and their fears to be alone in the house and their fear of getting sick.When do you become concerned between normal grief and something else?

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Tylersmom, you have only been on this journey for a couple of month and I would expect your other children to react this way. After a year we had our daughter go to a counselor, it did help a little, but like us, she changed, also. If the nightmares continue I would suggest some help, but right what is happening may just be normal, if it continues and things don't get better in the next coupld of months I would seek out someone that they could talk to. You need to talk to them continuously, also. The siblings can have a terrible time depending on how attached and how unattached they were. Being really attached makes it very hard, but if the sibling was somewhat unattached then they could be feeling a lot of remorse for the distance they felt. The siblings that are close could feel that they should have been able to do something just like the parents have a tendency to feel. It is a long hard road, watch, listen, but don't ignore their symptoms too long. I will tell you this, it is hard getting them to see a counselor and harder yet finding one that has a clue what they are going through. I remember the first one we went to didn't have any idea. They had been dealing with older adults in rest homes. We meet them during our interview and then the second session they forgot our names and were late. When they showed up they wanted us to color pictures of what we were feeling. My only thought was "idiot". Jim

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I would like to share my thoughts with the new Moms here. When our 17 yr old son was killed in a car accident 4 yrs ago I went into a deep depression (I now know this is normal for greiving parents) I could not see the point of anything and doing my day to day tasks for our 2 younger daughters ( then 11 & 12) took more energy than I could muster to even get through the simplist of chores. Lack of ability to sleep and constant (nightmares when I did doze off) sapped my heart and energy further. Our younger girls did have nightmares and I would find myself walking them back and fourth at night to calm them down. We also have 2 adult daughters out on thier own at the time of Donny's death, both of them were devastated over his death but I could not fix it for them either, I felt very alone (despite husband at home) I tried antidepressants about 3 months later but it was too soon, at that point they washed away some of the shock and made reality too harsh, I tried them again later at about 9 months. I went to counseling tried 3 different counselors, the second was pretty good but was very focused on comparing my tragedy to 9-11, and constantly tried to convince me that my suffering was surely less than the families of 9-11, I will always agree that the 9-11 tragedy was a much larger scale but I also know I would not have grieved any differently had Donny been killed there or on the side of the road as he was. It was his sudden tragic death that I was grieving. I have since been diagnosed with post traumatic shock syndrome. The 3rd counselor prescribed fluvoxamine which is a drug initially developed for obsessive compulsive disorders, but has since been approved for depression treatment. The counselor recommended this medication because of the 2 approved uses it was ideal for my post traumatic stress ( I was obsessing constantly over the accident itself, I could not even begin to greive, I was always focused on that moment) and I have to admit, the nightmares went away almost instantly and I was able to get a full nights sleep. I do not intend to imply that everyone here needs psycho therapy or medications to get through thier grief but I do know that sometimes it is the only approach left make it through the day. If you choose to go to counseling you will know pretty quickly if that counselor is going to be able to help you as an individual, some people take a group approach such as compassionate friends or other such organizations to assist the grieving parent. The main focus that first year is really on eating , drinking and exercise, be it walking, joing a gym or some other outside activity. I took to gardeing mostly because the sweat and labor of it allowed me to work out some of my anger. I dug up every dandelion in our yard that first year, yes, I know they only grow back but the satisfaction I got from digging hole after hole was worth it. I had talked to a a Mother once who went to a tag sale, bought all the old dishes she could find, hauled them home then went out to the barn and smashed them one by one........ she laughs about doing that now but at the time she was so full of anger and pain that it was very healing for her. Hugs to all, Cindy D

( Donny's Mom FOREVER )

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Jim,

Do you remember the article you and I wrote on depression after the loss of child? I think it was for one of the newsletters here, I had actually forgotten about it then I was sitting here at the computer typing Donny's name into the yahoo seach engine and the following link popped up so I went there. It is our article posted on the web page of a funeral home in MN.

http://www.morrisnilsen.com/griefcenter/article.php/artID/200488/p/1

Actually it reads very well, I have no clue how we put that together back then (I think we were both pretty new to the loss of our boys at the time) I do think the article would make good reference for some of the new parents here, do you still do the newsletters? I haven't recieved any in some time. Anyway, just wanted to let you know that perhaps our grief will actually help someone else. CindyD

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Jan 23,2005 I lost my mom to a stroke. Myself and my three brothers were by her side till her departure. This coming March 2nd will be the third aniversary of the loss of my daughter to a skiing accident and to see my mom die of sickness and age was a natural prossess.And by this process I feel it has put balance to the sudden death and hardship that I felt when my daughter died. Her spirit lives on and I asked her to give a big hug to my daughter Lisa. she also joins her husband, my dad who was killed at the age of 37. A sad end but a rewarding peace for her, she has waited along time. judith

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Judith, it is hard going through what you have gone through within a couple of years. My wife experienced the death of her mother just a few months after Kirk was born and the death of her father a few months after Kirk's death. Life can be hard, but life can also bring us much joy. I keep trying to think about how death is a natural part of life, but I keep coming back to it being natural for a parent. It is hard to understand how a child should be put through it. I am sorry for the loss of your daughter it is a burden that we take on without without warning and one we deal with for the rest of our lives. I know your mother is with your daughter and giving her a big hug. Jim

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Cindy, you are right, it does read pretty well, but let's face it we were the experts then and we still are the experts now, just like all of us here are. I hope it helps someone to share in our experience.

As far as the newsletter, I still have been sending them out, but just once a month starting here in Jan. When all the changing took place about 6 or 7 months ago I think that some of the automatic sendings were messed up. If you want to get them again just go to the main page and sign up again. Jim

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I'm new to this website, I linked to here through the Children's Caridomyopathy Foundation's website. We lost our son Brian on October 1, 2004. He was 13 years old and died of heart failure. I have experienced the loss of my parents, but I must admit nothing could ever prepare me for what I am doing now. Each day grows longer and the nights seem endless. I miss him more than I could ever have imagined. But I can see here, so many of you are surviving and thriving through your loss. Brian’s life was far from normal, he was a medically fragile child and I devoted every moment of my life to his well being. I feel my life has no purpose now. Everything seems so meaningless. I try not to let my husband and son (Aaron age 23) know. I don’t want them to feel I value them any less. But from what I read, this is common for most parents dealing with the loss of a child. I am glad to read the postings here. It does give some meaning to what I am feeling.

Mom 4ever to Brian and Aaron

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Trubeliever, I am sorry Brian was taken from you. I teach middle school so I am around that age of kid every day and it hurts to have to see are children taken from us. It just seems like we live in a continuous life of wondering, why us?

I think about my son, Kirk, all the time. I remember in the beginning it was every moment, every day, every year for almost 3 years. It wasn't until the 4th year that I didn't feel guilty about not thinking about him all the time. He is still on my mind every day, so many times, but that every waking moment thinking of him has passed. I know how draining that can be. It is hard not to just quit on life, but for other members of our family we seem to work through as much of the pain as we can because we know they grieve in their own way, in their own time, just like we do. We try to be there for them, but even now I find myself less emotional about anything, except of course, when I am thinking about Kirk. Our son had ADHD, although it doesn't seem life threatening, for him it was. I know his death was in large part because of his disorder. I too feel that I spent most of his life watching out for him, trying to make sure everything would be ok for him. When he died I felt like I had failed him, it was very hard to take, hard to understand. As time goes along we are able to address much of the pain we feel. I still have a ways to go, but I know that time has been a healer in many ways. I still miss him, always will, but I know now that what happened wasn't my fault and that I tried my best to make his life a good one. I know you have done the same. Jim

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It has been 38 days since my 16 year old baby Andre' died from huffing gasoline. I never even knew that could happen. I keep trying to stop crying but the tears flow constantly. I really have no interest in anything and I go to work to keep busy. People keep telling me to hang in there and I am not sure what that means. Most times I would literally like to hang. I guess I am just reaching out to someone who can relate and maybe help me realize I can still go on.

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Truebeliever,

I lost my 15 year old son Justin from heart failure on January 9, 2004. He was also a medically fragile child. I spent his entire 15 years caring for him, loving him, and trying to help him have a happy, normal life. He was born with heart problems, and had a heart transplant when he was 7 years old. After his heart transplant he lived for 8 years with no complications. Suddenly in October of 2004 he got a mysterious stomach viral infection that attacked his heart. He was in ICU for three months fighting every day to stay alive. His body succumbed to sepsis in January.

I miss him so much, think about him all the time. I desparately wish I could change everything, but I can't. For several months I did not know what to do with myself because like I said I was his primary caregiver. I have a daughter that is going to be 19 soon. She doesn't need me like Justin did. I am still at this point a year later trying to figure out what I'm supposed to do with the rest of my life. I'm not sure I will ever figure it out. It all seems like a terrible dream that I can't wake up from.

I just wanted to touch base with you. I know exactly how you feel.

Justin's Mom 4-ever

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Dear Truebeleiver,

I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet son.

I, like Justin's mom, also cared for my son all

his life. He had Cystic Fibrosis but died in my

arms because of a medical mistake just 14 months

ago. He was everything to me..the light of my life.

My best friend.....everything.

He was my life and still is. I don't know how to help

you but to let you know that this is an impossible

journey with lessons that nobody should ever have

to endure.....but somehow we find a path....

I watched my child love a life full of struggle...

love life with such courage and grace...all I do know

is try to make him proud......and find some courage each

day.....try to find a way to build on his brilliant life,try

to find a way to honor him until the sweet day when

I will be with him again.

You are in shock......follow your heart......don't be

pushed by others.......you will know what to do as

each day comes to you.

In the beginning I wrote to Graham every day....I still

do. I put in a journal every little thing I remember him

saying every funny phrase...every little pattern...every

thing I never ever wanted to be covered by the fog of

grief.

Each morning I light a candle by a collection of favorite

photographs and talk to him. Each night I hold his pillow

and breath in deeply......and talk to him.....say good-night

like I always did....and wish for a dream to fill my sleep.

These little rituals may help you.......you do whatever you

need to do. You will find ways to touch him each day.

Again I'm so sorry......please know your on tender ground

and there is a path for you...you'll find it...give yourself time.

Take care,

Laura

and Graham's bright spirit....

Just because you can't see it...doesn't mean it isn't there

Just because you can't believe it...doesn't mean it isn't true

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I do appreciate everyone's kind words and wisdom. I have not found anyone yet who could even get close to the words of how I must feel, because I don't really know. Sharing here in our loss causes me to hope a bit more that I'm going to get through this. I made it through another Friday (Brian died on a Friday). This day is the hardest for me. Sunday is the hardest day for my husband. That was the primary day he took care of Brian. The weekends have become a game of trying to find something to do, but now it just is wearing us out. I'm just going to try to get through this day and tonight you bet I'll be back to this website........thanks

4ever Brian and Aaron’s mom

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Denandma, I am so sorry for the loss of Andre. The death of a child is hard to understand even harder for a parent to accept, no matter how that child dies. Trying to keep from crying only 38 days after a child's death is like holding back the waters in a dam that is ready to burst, not possible. As for ways to ease the pain I can only say time is the healer. I don't think there was any thing that could help those first years, it was like living in a state of shock.

You are so fresh into this journey that it seems like there is no way out, no way that life will ever be the same. Of course we all know here that life is never going to be the same, but I can say that with the help and support of each other we have come a very long way in our grief and pain. I feel so much better now than I did that first couple of years. I know that seems like a long time, but right now time seems not to have the meaning it once did. I really don't remember much of what went on in my life those first couple of years without my son, Kirk, but I do know that he wouldn't have wanted me or my family to dwell on his death with the pain we felt. That doesn't mean that I am not still very much effected, but I am trying hard to get my life back in order. It just takes time and a lot of strength. This is a good place to vent when one needs to. Again I am very sorry for your loss. We understand the pain and what you are going through. Jim

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Truebeliever,

Another coincidence in our pain. Justin also died on a Friday at 2:47 p.m. Just about the time he got home from school every day. For the longest time I had a huge problem with Fridays. I finally (don't know how) made myself stop thinking about time.

Take Care,

Justin's Mom 4-ever

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Mom of Justin

Yes, too much. Brian would usually get up around 5:45am. Now I get up at that time most everyday. But it doesn't seem to bother me much anymore. Just Fridays in general are a kind of milestone. Some are harder than others. It is like the first week after he died, playing over and over. I hope to get something to look forward to for the weekends. My husband's hardest day is Sunday. He used to take care of Brian every Sunday. (golf on Saturday) Now we just work hard to get through the weekend.

mb

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So sorry to hear of new losses and we are always thinking of all the children here that have past. My daugther Lisa died March 2nd 2002 (17 years old) to a skiing accident and it will be three years soon. I take every day as it is and release abit every day. Keep my hard days with less pressure of preformance and expectations especially days like birthdays and christmas. I am currently back to school as an adult and in a creative writing course. I have been painting, and working on a body of work called \'stages\'. This body of work expresses grief and what it means to me. I find that I deal with grief by releasing feelings, not only in words, Time does help, new begining help, change of schedual helps. but most of all giving time to grief is a must, we do not get to miss or skip these steps. Because all these steps create our lives as it is today and yes it is a tragedy. One that we all see here on the message board, we are not alone, and we all care for your well being.Physical walking is good for the body and releases pent up anguish, cleaning out the cupboards, pulling weeds all helps to churn our thoughts over, and over again. they adventually settle down to a dull roar, then they settle further when we are ready to comprehend the loss, one day at a time. And today is tuesday and the days are getting brighter with spring around the corner. judith

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Hi. My name is Lisa. My son Travis was involved in an automobile accident on November 13, 2004 in Gary, Indiana. We are from Westfield, In. He and 3 other friends were in the car. They were driving to Chicago to see the field house where the Indianapolis colts were to play on sunday the 14 of November. They must have gotten lost and took the Grant street exit in Gary, Indiana. Little did they know that they would hit a steamroller parked to the side of the road. My son Travis and his friend Kristin were in the backseat of the car. the other two kids were in the fronts seat. As the car hit the steamroller the airbags went off in the front seat and protected the driver and the other front passenger. The backside of the car was split in half and Travis and Kristin were ejected over 6o feet. They did not have their seatbelts on. Kristin died instantly on November 13. She was 16. Travis went to the hospital with severe head trauma, broken arm and ruptured kidney and spleen. He was also 16. He hung onto life as he lay waiting unconscious in the ER. We were called at 500 am and had to drive to Gary. Travis had to have emergency surgery on his kidney and spleen and also had bleeding in his brain. After his first surgery, he went to the Neuro ICU. He was still unconscious and was breathing with a ventilator. His first night was unstable, but by morning he became more stable.

The next morning his ct scan of his head remained stable. We had hope. Several families from Westfield came to be by our side. On monday, Travis's good kidney began to fail, he began dialysis. On tuesday morning, his platelets were not working properly due to dialysis. His ct scan of his head showed a blreed in the frontal lobe. The doctors gave a choice for him to die or to do a craniotomy brain surgery and remove the front part of his brain where the bleed was. If he had to remove brain tissue, then travis would not be able to use his right side or talk again. We chose the surgery and the surgeon came out with the news that he removed the clot and did not have to take any brain tissue. We were happy about that. The doctor had to remove a plate of the cranium and leave it off because of the swelling. That night the docs decided to remove all pain medications to see if he would respond. About midnight tuesday night, His nurse showed me that he had a gagg reflex and that was a good sign. He shrugged his shoulders. I was so excited to see movement. I went over to travis's bedside and started to talk to him. His eyes rolled around under his eyelids. I believe he heard me talking to him. I told him that I loved him and that all of his friends and family had come to see him. A tear rolled down his face and I wiped his last tear. That night we had hope. The next morning on wed. Morning we got bad news from the ct scan. The surgeons told us that there was more bleeding inside of his brain and that he had a stroke. There was no hope for his survival. We called all of the family and friends to his bedside and prayed for him. We knew that God was going to take Travis to Heaven. We had to make decisions whether or not we would donate his organs. We donated his liver, heart valves, corneas, sapheonous veins and femoral veins. They also took skin tissue to make grafts. They were going to harvest his organs on Thursday morning on Nov. 18th. The date of his death. We had to go back to Westfield and start making the funeral arrangements. It is very stressfull to plan a funeral of your child. Everything had to be done so quickly. His funeral was on Nov. 22, 2004. There were over 1500 people at his calling and funeral. HE touched the lives of so many people. You can visit his webpage at Traviswoerner.com. Travis was a blessing to our family and touched so many lives in our community. Please everyone drive cautiously and wear your seatbelts in all seats front and back. Please do not drink and drive.

Thanks,

Travis's mom, Lisa

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I'm so sorry for your loss. There is nothing I can say to make you feel better. I just lost my son Chris on January 22, 2005. The only thing that gives me comfort is scripture. Although I have always been spirtual I did not have a close relationship with the god until I was diagnosed with cancer in August 2004, just 5 months before my son died. I got closer to God when I got cancer and I feel that the reason for my cancer was to get me closer to God so that I could endure this loss. My son died of a drug overdose. His Dad found him and it was too late to save him. I just don't know how I can go another day but I do.. the night seems to be the worse.. with all the guilt of wondering could I have saved him???

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MomofTravis,

I am also very sorry for your loss. Two young children lost their lives and I am very sorry for that. Please know that we are here to offer whatever kind of support we can. I lost my son, Chris, three years ago (Jan 4, 02) and find Beyond Indigo to be very important to my grief support system. Just knowing that each parent here knows exactly how I feel when I explain my frustrations, makes it so much easier to communicate my needs.

Peace to you, Tina

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Well, it has come to the time of the year that I have my complete nervous breakdown. It is because of Science Olympiad. I just haven't been able over the past 4 times to get past Kirk's death and this competition. He was a member of the team for four years before his death. He started in the 6th grade when he was in middle school, and stayed with it while I coached into his freshman year. Every year he was on the team we took 1st place at our regional against anywhere from 8 to 11 other schools. Since 2000, the last time he helped me with it, it just hasn't been the same. I just haven't been able to muster up the strength to do well. The year after his death we took 4th place, then the next 3 years we did better, but I haven't been able to get that winning spirit back. This year things seem different and I am so hoping that the team does well. It has been pretty heartbreaking to watch things go from on top of the world to the pits, but that is kind of the way I look at it. Some of the kids over the past 4 years haven't seem to care too much about what was going on, but in retrospect I was the one that didn't have the strength to make it better for them. I think there were a lot of parents that didn't know how to handle my grief so they stayed clear of me and the team.

Now I am blessed with a good bunch of kids and even greater parents. My 7th grade students are all taking their parents over and that makes me feel good because that is the way it was before Kirk's death. I am hopeful of what is happening with the team, but it is very young mostly 6th and 7th graders when other teams will be comprised of 8th and 9th graders, There are other problems with the regional we go to, but I am just going to have to go with the feeling I have now, and that is that things are better, I am feeling good about those around me and I feel energized. It, hopefully, will be a start of a new beginning for team and I. Jim

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I dont come here to post much anymore, but I read the board almost every day. I have a question and mabey Kirk's dad might know. are there places to go to or find out where we ( surviving parents) could offer our stories for grief. For instance if some author is putting a book together aboout grief of the loss of children, where would they get their information? Iam ready to tell Kristen's story to someone who needs to hear it, This was such a freak accident,

if anyone has any ideas, let me know

Starla

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Jim,

I sounds like you are ready for a win now. I can only imagine how hard it was returning to all the kids after your loss. I can hardly face people at work everday. Sometimes I lock myself up in my office. I don't think that is an option for you. I'm sure the kids make it all worth while. I appreciate your guidance on my new journey in life.......

Brian & Aaron's mom 4ever

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am sorry to those who have joined this nightmare since i last came here xoxo

my son, lewis died sept 25th '04. heroin overdose. aged 15. i can't even figure out how long it is 'cos nothing seems real anymore. all i know is folks say when they see me crying, "you still doing that?"

i don't even respond just walk away. but i do find that the tears flow easier. now they just happen. does this make sense? are warm and come anytime regardless of where i am. it's hard to fight them back. the raw unending pain is now a boulder sitting where my heart used to be.

i no longer say, "thank god it's friday" i now hate fridays and saturdays.

the major problem i'm having is with guilt. can't get anyone to understand how guilty and responsible i feel. i was given this child and i didn't protect him enough and he was taken away from me. everyone says you did everything you could. there was nothing more you could do. it was his choice. so why do i feel so guilty ??? and others just looking in bewilderment as to how i couldn't know/where was i/how stupid was this kid?

and why can't i remember how long since his death? i remember the date/time/the events/the overwhelming grief. i just can't keep it straight as to how long, months/days/hours/. where do i count from the date 9/25 or do i count from the day of the week it happened, sat? he was pronounced dead sept 25 5:38am. it must seem odd that i don't know. i feel obsessive compulsive over this: i keep picking at it and can't get anywhere; i just can't get it straight in my mind. do you know what i mean?

love and hugs to us all ............. cal ........... xoxo

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Cal415,

If you need to cry...you cry. Too bad for those around you who think "your still" crying. You hurt... you miss your son. Crying helps! Only you know what your heart needs to heal... don't listen to anybody else.

As far as guilt (I just posted on one of the other boards about guilt), I think guilt is what "we" do to ourselves. It is a form of punishment. For what? I don't know. I think it makes us feel close to our children- because we still feel deep hurt. I think that deep within our Souls, we think that if we don't hurt, we have somehow managed to let go of our children on the other side. But, we all know that this is not possible. However, hurt creates the illusion that we havn't forgot them. This is something we have to work very hard at.

Somehow, I have managed to feel guilty for just about eveything from not cooking my son's favorite dish every night to saying "no" one too many times. I was very over protective and I still feel bad for that. I understand why and what you are doing. However, I have to share something with you- for everything you feel guilty about, you should try replacing it with a memory that you feel good about. I am sure you have a lot of memories locked away that would put a smile on your face. I know it's not easy, but you have to work at replacing your guilty memories with all the good memories. You know why we hang on to those hurtful memories? Because there are not as many to remember. We can day dream about a few bad memories all day... but we have way too many good memories to pull up on the drop of a dime. Thus, we don't pull those up as easy. If you want to bring some joy back into your heart, just think about some good memories with your son. I know it's hard... but what good is it doing you or your son to hang onto the guilt? That is not what your relationship was made up of.

Peace to you, Tina

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StarlaK, I don't know of any place to go. I know at one time Chicken Soup for the soul was taking stories about the death of a child, and I wrote a story at the time because I needed to. I don't know if a book ever came out and I never heard a word from them even acknowledging that they had recieved the story. Since that time I haven't looked maybe doing that isn't what I should have been doing. I wish I could give you some advice, but I really don't know. Jim

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and why can't i remember how long since his death? i remember the date/time/the events/the overwhelming grief. i just can't keep it straight as to how long, months/days/hours/. where do i count from the date 9/25 or do i count from the day of the week it happened, sat? he was pronounced dead sept 25 5:38am. it must seem odd that i don't know. i feel obsessive compulsive over this: i keep picking at it and can't get anywhere; i just can't get it straight in my mind. do you know what i mean?

love and hugs to us all ............. cal ........... xoxo

Cal,

I am so sorry to hear of your loss, and the losses of everyone else here - What a horrible club we've all had to join. But I do understand your obsession with counting; I don't know if it's healthy for us or not, but I need to do it as well (today is 50 days since my boyfriend was killed). So if all I can offer to anyone right now is help doing math, here goes:

It's been

134 days; or

19 weeks and one day; or

4 months, 1 week, and 4 days,

since you lost your son.

Again, I am so sorry.

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am sorry to those who have joined this nightmare since i last came here xoxo

my son, lewis died sept 25th '04. heroin overdose. aged 15. i can't even figure out how long it is 'cos nothing seems real anymore. all i know is folks say when they see me crying, "you still doing that?"

i don't even respond just walk away.

I cannot believe how unfeeling some people can be. I understand that until I lost my son 19 year old in a car accident on April 11, 2004, I never truly understood the pain that a bereaved parent goes through but I think I was more sensative then some of these hard hearted people are. I remember getting annoyed because some people thought my mother-in-law should be over the grief of losing her husband after 5 years and even then (before my son passed), I knew you couldn't put a time limit on grief. I guess we just have to do what you've done, Cal, just walk away.

I know what you mean about needing to know exactly how long it's been since your child passed...I feel the same way and then sometimes I've found that the 11th of the month has gone by and I didn't notice u ntil the next day...then I feel guilty again!

I have my bouts of guilt over my son's death as well. His auto accident was alcohol related and although he was smart and refused to drive, he still got in the car with his friends who had been drinking and was the only fatality. I worry that I impressed upon him the importance of not drinking and driving but NOT enough about not getting in the car with someone who had been drinking. Ultimately we only have a small amount of control to protect our kids but it still hurts.

You love your son and and what happened to him was not your fault nor was my son's death my fault. My son experimented and abused drugs on occasion as well...good kids do get into bad situations but that doesn't make us bad parents or them bad kids...it's just the nature of youth to feel they survive anything.

Hugs,

Sandy

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Guys, I need some prayers. One of our students was in a senseless sledding accident and now is in a drug induced coma so that the swelling and pressure on his brain will go down. He is a great kid, only 13, and his father was the person that called 911 the night Kirk was killed, he went out to check out the wreck and found him. I have always wanted to ask him about the accident, but was afraid of knowing the truth I guess. Anyway he needs our prayers, they are a really nice family that doesn't deserve any of this. I still can't believe the way it happened. Truck pulling a sled on a dangerous road after a big snow. Jim

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