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

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Michelle's perspective.

When we begin a journey, we want to know the destination. This is especially true for those who are walking the journey through grief. Often people ask where they will be in a few years. How will life look then? How will they react to trauma and drama? How will this change everything in their future? This is journal entry from my friend Michelle. With her permission, I am sharing this with you so you can see one positive and possible destination as you work through your grief and redefine normal. One thing is certain, where you are now, you will not always be.

Thanks Michelle!!  Pamela :)

From Michelle...

Today my seventeen year old son Matt is preparing to attend his first prom.  Energy is high.  Flowers are ready. Tux is in the closet.  He has showered and shaved without complaint or prodding.  He’s happy and I’m happy for him.  And yet….there’s something missing.  My thoughts drift to my daughter, Samantha. She was born eighteen years ago.  She died of SIDS when she was eight weeks old.  She’s not going to prom.
Time.  It’s a funny thing.  I used to dread milestones like this; always unsure how I would cope: mild sadness and still functional versus total meltdown, shutting the world out, alone in my room.  Unpredictable.  Today I’m good; reflectful mostly.  While ironing a shirt I started to wonder, “What is it really about these moments?  Why are birthdays and rites of passage so important?  And therefore, so painful to miss?” 
They bring joy and happiness. Birthdays-presents-activities. Seeing a smile.  Hearing laughter.  Receiving a hug.  But what motivates us?  Simple really.  LOVE.  I love my son and so many of my actions are an extension of that.  Same holds true for my daughter.  I’m motivated by love.  Even though I may not be shopping for a prom dress, I still love her.  When I dig deeper I discover it’s not the shopping and prom that matters.  It’s the love. That realization, that awareness, is the biggest gift of healing. LOVE NEVER GOES AWAY. Not one little bit.  
So, I as watch several prom couples around town and see smiling faces, I’ll think of Samantha.  The love I have for her.  And I’ll smile.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Journaling from a year and a half ago. Gulp.

Any of you read about my thoughts of therapeutic journaling? I decided to pull up some of my journaling from almost two years ago. This is some of the journaling. I hesitate in showing you my personal thoughts. It was many months ago and not yet tied up in a bow or Easy to read. Losing your child sucks. Sometimes I read my thoughts and think--- really?! It's horrible for every member of the family. Every single of the family becomes lost. Some handle the changes better than others. Basically differently- based upon where they are growth and developmentally. So here is journaling- unedited. Sighhhhh.

All lessons come with a price...

I find that when I tell the story, that I struggle with telling it how it deserves to be told. How can I possibly tell just a part of the story without telling the story in its entirety. How can I possibly tell the story and negate any portion of that story? Certainly the fact that Logan ate a grape popsicle and regurgitated it in my mouth has little consequence to the person who hears the story, but in my opinion, the story loses values when it loses the human touch. The fact that I cannot --after four years -- stand the taste of artificial grape without my stomach churning doesn't really affect the story, but instead affects the value of the story.

So many different people can learn from the story. There is the part of the story that is learned about grief. All that I thought that I knew (For I was a self proclaimed expert!) because of working with hospice patients was pretty much useless at the time of my severe darkness. The things that people say. The actions of people immediately following a loss. The responses of people to you. How I comforted them... because it was my role. What actually DOES help... How people avoid you. How people stop asking "how are you today?"what is the appropriate socially acceptable answer. But theres so much to be learned and that I am still learning about this. How grief is truly always walked alone... you can at times share portions of your grief, but it is not something that you can do with another person. It is like the interstate in East Tennessee... that moves east to west. You can moving along towards the east and the other side of the interstate disappears. You know logically that it is there but you can't see it. You can't hear it. But it is there. Maybe farther separated by those east tennessee hills, never the less parallel. Once in a while, you will see the other side of the interstate again, but then it disappears again. That was unfortunately the prelude to my divorce.

Who else can learn from the story? Definitely physicians. It is important to me that practice changes occur and that Logan's story is impactful in having that occur.

Nurses... Because the commitment to OWNING your nursing practice is so very important in the type of care giver that you are and in the type of care that you deliver to your patients. Making a commitment to not taking shortcuts. This new generation has a different work ethic. Impacting them on the REASON that we are nurses isn't just because it is a decent profession monetarily.

So I need to sort out my goals and objectives on what I want to say. How I want to say it. Who I want to say it to... What is the MESSAGE that I want to deliver...

And how I can possibly write this story and learn to leave out crucial parts... like the grape popsicle. Because although I may be thinking that these details help impact the reader, do they get stuck on these details and not SEE the story and not HEAR the point. When all they can think about is the grape popsicle regurgitating in my mouth during CPR.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

That Crazy Bird... I can relate to the "crazy" part!

While laying in bed on my day off, outside of my bedroom window I hear the birds twittering. The sun has reappeared and its beginning to feel like spring.... Outside!

Yesterday I was concerned for a robin that was continuing to fly into my glass door. I would chase it away and when I left the room, I could hear that "thud" every fifteen seconds. It was driving me bananas but also I was worried for the bird. I googled this bizarre phenomenon and learned that this bird is fighting the bird in its reflection.

I began to think... How often do we "fight" ourselves in ignorance, just like this robin? Doesn't this bird understand that it's spring? It shouldn't fight! It should be flying around and twittering and it should be "happy."

While in the smoky mountains recently I saw a sign that said "We don't laugh because we are happy. We are happy because we laugh. - William James".

We have been experiencing the quiet dark winter. The world around us is feeling springtime. It is easy to be that robin who unknowingly fights itself. We may not FEEL like its springtime. We may not feel like laughing.

There are hundreds of people who are reading this blog. We are all in different places in the journey and process of grief. Some just recently lost a loved one. For others it has been a while. Regardless, attempt to "take a break" from the physical part of your grief and attempt to laugh. "Fake it till you make it." The theory is that one day you WILL make it.

Find something to make you smile. We sadly now truly understand the definition of a bad day. On the flip side, try to find the blessings and joy in THIS very day.

Don't do this because the "world" around you wants you to be happy. They won't understand. Try to see the gifts around you because you CAN see them-- and they are gifts. That first spring after my sons death, I surrounded myself in the peace and quiet of my flower garden.

It may not be the spring that we have had in the past or desire, but take some deep breaths outside and try to feel the warmth of the sun on your skin. There is hope for a better tomorrow... That can slowly quietly creep back into your life when you allow it.