Welcome to Hope for Grieving Mothers

If you are new to this club (that no one asked to join- the one where your child has died), it is best to start by going to the BOTTOM RIGHT and look at the "Pages" section. Under this section you will find resources for mothers who are grieving the loss of their child. Resources to help your children deal with grief are also grouped together.

Next, feel free to look at the "Blog Archives." There are many topics that you may have an interest in reading. As you girlies know, we now have Teflon brains and often cannot have the focus power that we have had in the past. Feel free to come here often and hopefully you will FEEL the loving support that me and other mamas are sending. Hopefully you will begin to see sparks of hope for your future...

Hugs... Pamela

Friday, August 31, 2012

Labor Day weekend and doubts all over the place

August 31, 2012--  Labor Day Weekend and Doubts all over the place
Today I was at work and I was pondering over whether to send this or not and one of the mamas said she was in a funk... THEN I remembered that it is a HOLIDAY weekend. I HATE holidays! Holidays remind us distinctly what has changed irrepairably in our lives... I really like to spread pieces of sunshine but I also like to be real... ACTUALLY, I ONLY KNOW how to be REAL! So here it is.... It isn't totally sad, but I think it is real. What do ya'll think? Feedback is always appreciated... :)) You girls are much chattier in person... Just saying...

Tricia wrote me the following words recently. With her permission, I am sharing portions with all of you....

"I am still such a work in progress always wondering what GOD has in store for me... the next good bad or what terrifying thing will be coming my way. I try not to ask why, but the last week or so have been filled with "why" questions. Why are babies ripped from their mothers arms... why do dads have to pretend not to cry... and why do siblings have to learn at such a young age to understand death, when we as momma's can't understand it. I feel GOD tugging at me to do something... but what I don't know. It's not like I can fight Satan off or even understand myself. I just spoke to my cousin tonight and he told me of a employee of his who has a baby in the hospital right now as i am typing this that isnt expected to make through the night. My heart just aches for those parents.... Not sure really why I am ranting other then every week we hear of another mother we could add to our group. The numbers are staggering-- so many in pain. I hope we can help them to know they WILL survive but by GOD it will be the hardest thing they will ever have to do!!! I pray for all the momma's daily and for you and I but especially you... that the words will come. That we can all be an example of survival and demonstrate that life does go on after losing a child... To have a meaningful happy life"

Doubt and insecurity clouds all of our minds. Fear of tomorrow and of the NEXT bad thing happening. We hovering over our children and others and worry worry worry. Frustration often fills our thoughts...

Losing our babies is NOT NORMAL but these reactions ARE natural during this horrible crappy process called grief!!! BLAHHHHHHH. It makes me rip out my ugly word vocabulary!!

This TOO shall pass eventually.... It is a SEASON in our life. An important season with MUCH to learn.

I may sound happy and chipper-- and I AM most of the time now-- but I'm not going to lie, I have my moments of deep reflection. It's different now because I know that I'm not going to be "down" as long... Or go as "deep" as before in sorrow. See--- sorrow doesn't scare me at all! It isn't part of my daily life at all now. Slowly the daily sorrow WILL lift!! Slowly. With your grief work....

I thank Tricia for her daily prayers as all of you do! My words aren't special! I just say what I think and have experienced (both as a previous hospice nurse and as a mother who was thrown into the depths of grief unexpectedly)... Right or wrong. Correct me when I'm wrong, girlie girls!!

I've actually struggled with starting this mamas group. I've struggled with even writing to mamas. WHAT do I have to say of VALUE?! I read and reread the words that I write. I just want to be REAL! I'm not a sugar coater of anything in life... But it's my desire to show others little sparks of light in the darkness. Also... To let them know the pitfalls so they can avoid them. God knows that my family has hit most of those stinking pitfalls!! I NEVER want to misdirect anyone and as a disclaimer I state... This ain't counseling and I ain't no counselor! :). Seriously.... The purpose of this group is to SUPPORT each OTHER. To lead and guide new mamas as they are walking scared, frightened, and feeling alone.... Counseling is an important part of your healing. It was an important part of MINE!
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On a very serious note...
Thinking of Nora and her family tomorrow during Nathan's burial... Hugs to you dear friend as you have waited a long long 105 days for this to happen. I'll be there my friend... I wonder what is most appropriate, the rain or the sunshine? Hmmmm
Hang in there ladybugs! Put those feet on the floor this weekend but also allow some time to rest of your body as well. Don't be afraid of those memories of the past. Wrap yourself up in them...

I'm always here.... (hey! I don't have a social life! Really I don't... The sad pitiful truth!! Text any time).

Pamela

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Looking back at ourselves and writing

August 28, 2012  Looking back ourselves and writing advice for others

This has been an interesting week with a LOT of reflection personally for myself. Last weekend I was a nurse at Camp Healing Tree and had a BLAST! Truly, it was so much fun to laugh and play with the kids. I also carved out quiet time for reading and prayer. I reflected sooo much!! Mostly reflected Friday before camp and Sunday after camp... I played most of the weekend.

Monday I found out that a friend of a friend in Dallas lost her child to cancer. I was asked to send the notes that Tricia and I have written on how to survive your child's funeral-- to help other families.

Today- Wednesday- I found out that a teenage friend of the Fulkersons died last night.

All of these children's deaths--- what a strange world that has been revealed to us all! ...where children die and the children left are exposed to extraordinary grief at an entirely young age... Where our babies were ripped from us and we stop being who we were... Where families that were once intact struggle to super glue the pieces back together.... Where people feel hollow and lost in this dark foreign land where they don't speak the language.... Where our faith is questioned and strengthened and everything that is important in this world is back to the basics.... Where we lay in bed at night and wonder - is this a nightmare?!

At least that's how I felt for a LONG time.... I still do at times. I've said for years that if there is a DNA changing event or a fingerprint changing event, it is what happens when your child dies. Girlies... My Logan's death shook me to my core. I didn't sleep for nine months and people couldn't look at me because they couldn't stand the sorrow on this normally perky face.

It took a LONG TIME and a LONG journey and LOTS of grief work to arrive at this comfortable content place that I live in now (MOST of the time). Everyone has a DIFFERENT way out... The only promise that I can make to each of you is... Where you are now, you will not always be.

One BIG part of my own personal journey was helping others. I have started a fund at the Hendricks Community Foundation. The Logan's Legacy Fund. In the beginning, helping disadvantaged children gave me such great pleasure. It still does. NOW I don't NEED that specifically. Someone else is actually managing the inner workings of it now - I'm TOO BUSY at the present! Tee hee hee!! Anyway, the point that I'm trying to make is that reaching beyond our grief to help others gave ME IMMENSE pleasure. It STILL DOES...

So this is important girlies.... In your mind, go back to that HORRIBLE day of the funeral or visitation and remember. What did you NOT have that would have been helpful? Look at the following document. This is something I would like to share with NEW MAMAS when asked... Only when asked. To help them as they start this journey... To hold their hands.

I remember getting dressed for that visitation and I was so very afraid. I had not been to many funerals in my life and I had no idea what to do... How I was EVER going to make it.... Much less what pitfalls that were ahead of me. I sadly didn't even think about preparing my children. I was in my own fog and shock and didn't even THINK about my children. That's embarrassing to say.... Yep. I failed. Many times. Hindsight is 20/20.

So look back in time and think about how to HELP OTHERS.... New mamas. This is an important piece of information girls...

Email me back with ANY suggestions. Seriously. I want WORDS! Not "looks fine... Blah blah blah". Think about yourself and what would have improved that horrible day. Let's make it better for those that follow us girlies.... Let's take a leap and try to Grieve Forward....

Hugs to you my friends...
Pamela.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Ohhhh THAT DAY

August 19, 2012  Ohhhhh THAT DAY
Marlena wrote a post on facebook that all of us can relate to. Not all of us are on facebook so I thought that I would share it with you...
Hunter~~August 18th, 2012...Today...Today, for most people is just another day in the craziness of life. We USED to be people like that & sometimes we still are. But not today. Today is the 18th. The 18th of _____. The month doesn't matter. It's that number. The 18th.
The date on the calendar that silently screams out the memories. The date that continues to torture your Daddy as he replays the events of THAT day ~~the 18th, over and over and over. It doesn't matter that this one happens to mark the passing of 19 long, hard, horribly painful months without you. It might as well be the 1st one. The hurt is just as painful and sometimes more so than it was back then. At least at first we were in shock (a wonderful thing that God designed our bodies to do) and weren't expected to be "better", "over it (IT??!! really?), "moving on," and all those other things that we are supposed to be ... NOW... 19 months later.
While most of the world continues on in its hurried state, we are still a few steps behind. Trying our best to keep moving forward (on our "good" days) while grieving, remembering, hurting, yearning, screaming & crying (inwardly and outwardly), whining, arguing, questioning, being grouchy & hateful to ones we most love, giving thanks, being grateful, blessed, loving, ... and at the same time celebrating and rejoicing with you and for you as we are certain that Heaven is where you call home.
The bad days?? Those are the days that just getting out of bed and possibly brushing our teeth can be counted as a victory.
The holes that are left in our hearts... "heart holes... Hunter heart holes" can never be filled this side of heaven. The constant battle of our minds as we try to process the "forever~ness " of our earthly lives without you... weighs heavy on our souls.
As another 18th of the month closes it's sad door, I pray that God gives us strength to grieve well.. love more and find peace in our journey. I love you my little Miss Malynn and I thank God for you. I'm so glad that He chose me to be your crazy mommy.
Wow! Truly a beautifully stated note that at least expresses how I have felt many many times! I honor Marlena for how she is educating others that grief is NOT an event but a PROCESS that takes a long long time. Hunter is proud of you Marlena!!
Now let me tell you my perspective on anniversaries... I will say that the everyday pain DOES gets better all the time. This mommy just had her five year mark since my Loganmoved to Heaven. Anniversaries always stink... The days leading up to the anniversary always have been very very hard for me, starting with my birthday, July 18. Logan died five days after my 40th birthday... This year I was sadly and dramatically reminded that July 18 wasn't MY bad day at all. The focus of my day was no longer about me and my sorrow and loss of my Logan, but about someone else's loss and the beginning of their dark painful journey. Now, don't get me wrong, I picked up my heaviness and fogginess for Logan on Sunday and Monday, the day before and the the anniversary of his death. The part about the anniversaries for me, is that as the day begins to end, the fog and the heaviness begins to lift. On the average day, I never ever dreamed that I would FINALLY be living at this place of peace and contentment. There is hope.... just keep grieving FORWARD. Anniversaries do stink... I will never look at the 23th without thinking of my Logan. This is NATURAL and NORMAL! These children of ours didn't just slip into our lives and disappear... We are their mamas for eternity.
So the bottomline for me... I KNOW what a bad day looks like! We all do... There will come a day when a you will have a renewness of what a GOOD day looks like... it will slowly slip into your existence and live and stay and you will change. All of the changes that happen after the devastation of losing a child isn't bad... but it takes a LONG time and LOTS of grief work.
When springtime comes to you - and it will - it will burst forth with the light of sacred awareness, a renewed sense of God's presence, and an awakening of hope for your next step. Scripture reveals a comforting truth: "You are my lamp O Lord; the Lord turns my darkness into light." (2Samuel 22:29)
- An excerpt from Grieving Forward
I have a lot of thoughts about how I see this Mamas Group... I want each of you to think about this before our next meeting... what kind of "needs" and guidance did you have when you first were thrown into this club that no one wanted to join. (I don't mean the Mama's club either! The crappy losing your kid club!!) I would like to spend a few minutes sharing some of these thoughts with you at the next meeting.
Enjoy this day... Another change of seasons is approaching. Time can slowly move along.... Keep putting your feet on the floor and know that I am here-- we all are actually for each other. :)) Text or email me...
Hugs.... Pamela

Sunday, August 12, 2012

School is starting and I feel the big ole BLAHHHHSSSS

August 12, 2012 -- School is starting and I feel the big old BLAHHHHSSSS
Tonight I'm sitting here thinking of all of all of the mamas. School is starting---- this is a challenging time for everyone. Ya'll know me... So let's just put it out there....
If your child died as a grownup, we think back to those "starting school moments"--- These are precious but painful memories that create stabs in our heart.
If your child died as a teen or a preteen, we are feeling that painful longing for their presence. We miss what we SHOULD be experiencing. Taking them to college and settling them in the dorm room, taking the first day of school pictures, and meet the teacher night. This is just a smidgen of what we miss.
For those who have lost babies, it's actually just as sorrowful because it's a time of new beginnings in school and family presence. There is the constant "what might have beens" that are being felt.
So as y'all are reading this email, you are thinking, "Thanks Pamela for the uplifting message! Like WE didn't KNOW this!!"
Actually, the point behind this email is to recognize that this TIME in the year is HARD! It's not a holiday but it's important to know why we may be in a funk.
Now we all know.... Who WANTS to grieve?!?! Not ANYONE!! As a reminder, there is grace and healing to be found in these points of sorrow. Know that our lives are filled with points of sorrow and we should LEARN from them. See-- our children didn't just breeze in and out of our lives without an impact! WE of all people know this!!! Their impact has VALUE!!! Don't just pretend that this time of the year doesn't happen.... Recognize that it's ok to remember and to cry and think. Journal all that you are thinking because that's what is important..... One day it won't hurt quite so bad.... This I promise. At least when you do your grief work.
After you spend time reflecting on your child and what is missing, spend time reflecting on your blessings. Look at the simple pleasures that are around you. Breathe deeply. Stretch your muscles and your body and take care of YOU!
I'm proud of EACH one of your for getting out of bed and continuing to move -- even when you don't want to. This time of year too shall pass.
We can't lay down and give up because people and children are counting on us... Actually it's my personal belief that we CAN'T lay down because we MUST carry on at the VERY LEAST for our children that aren't living on this earth any more.
Heaven is a real place and I am thankful every day for this truth.
One more note... From the book Grieving Forward:
One of my favorite sayings is "It’s hard to see God’s perspective when your heart has been plowed by pain. But broken fields are where seeds of hope grow best. As they grow, one day you will realize that your sorrow has not escaped God’s watchful eyes - and that "heart-shattered lives ready for love/ don’t for a moment escape God’s notice." (Psalm 51:17 The Message) As you journey toward healing, embrace His reflections of grace as a reassuring message that He is still in charge, still on call, and still listening to your cries for help. You are not alone as you step into tomorrow. "He sees everything I do and every step I take." Job 31:4 NLT I hope that you feel the promise of life.
Blessings to each of you... Text or email if you feel like it...
Until our next mamas meeting...
Pamela. :))