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, August 24, 2013

A Free Magazine In The Mail- BOOM!!!

Yesterday a sweet mama friend received a copy of Teen Vogue in the mail addressed to her daughter- who died two years ago. What was meant to be a marketing tactic to reap new subscribers to a magazine, brought that volcano of unexpected emotions to my pal.

Isn't it hard at times to conceptualize that the world has moved on without them?  Our world stopped suddenly with our loss. It is another layer of the many layers of our loss and grief. 

After Logan died, I was surprised how many phone calls that I received from military recruiters. It shook me to have a telephone call with a person requesting to speak to Logan. Each time, I caught my breath and told them- "I'm sorry but he died."  I always felt bad for the person on the other end of the phone - who was apologetic and horrified.  Each time this occurred, I politely asked for him to be removed from the list. 

Two years after the death of Logan, I was stunned but puzzled when Logan was selected to appear for jury duty. This was less shocking because i was more concerned that someone had stolen his identity. When I called the courthouse, the woman was very apologetic and stated that she would remove him from "the list."  I thanked her but I really wanted to understand how this happened. She said "did he have a drivers license?"  I replied that he did not. This was actually a painful question because I had lost his birth certificate and I had just received the replacement-- So he had not had the opportunity to apply for his drivers license. Then she asked if he had registered to vote- in which I replied that he died at the age of 17. THEN she asked if he had paid taxes.  Hmmmm. YES!  Logan HAD paid a tiny sum of $100 taxes while he worked at the ice cream store. THEN I had this thought that I blurted out loud... "Let me get this straight.  He had no drivers license and had not registered to vote and was called for jury duty?"  She quietly said "yes." 

I then said "seriously?  A person without a drivers license, who hasn't registered to vote and barely paying taxes could be a jury of MY PEERS?!"

She quietly said "yes."  I started laughing hysterically. That poor gal on the other end of the phone now thinks that I'm crazy. Maybe she's right!  Ha!  

In times of stress, I am now finally able to occasionally use humor to defuse the intensity of my own grief and others reactions. Anyone else do this?  Unless a person knows me, my humor often falls flat.  Ok-- even if they know me it falls flat too!  :)  

There is nothing humorous about losing a child. There is nothing funny about being in the pit of darkness when you cannot see any light. But.... Once you've been shrouded in the heaviness of dark, torturous, and lonely grief... Then when you finally see sparks of light and joy... THAT can make you CRAVE more joy. At least that's what has happened to me. 

Where are you in your journey?  Can you see any sparks of light?  Can you see hope for tomorrow?  My girlie girls....  There is hope. There is life beyond the darkness. Hold tight to these truths. The rest of the world will not understand these eruptions, but the rest of the mamas will empathize. 

Hugs to each of you as you endure these surprising eruptions. Hold on girls.... You can do this. We are in this thing together.... 

Pamela Parker


Monday, August 12, 2013

My "Smell Memory"

This weekend I was at a friends house and I was hungry.  As I looked through the freezer, I noticed frozen breakfast pizzas.  This is not a normal item at ALL in my diet, but I was hungry and it sounded good.  As the smells wafted from the microwave, I began to have surprisingly strong but pleasant memories of my Logan. The smell made me smile.  At one point, he was obsessed with these breakfast pizzas and would eat several a day, if I didn't watch him!  This "smell memory" was very powerful.  It was pleasantly nostalgic.  Almost comforting.  I really had forgotten about this little piece of powerful trivia until I experienced this "smell memory."
The most powerful memories are associated with our senses.... what we see, hear, taste, feel, and smell.  Negative memories as well as positive memories.  As a person who has experienced great loss, initially I most commonly felt the pangs of the negative memories associated with my child's death.  I refuse to say "time" makes it better - because "time" alone does not create healing.  "Time" plus doing your grief work is what allows true healing to occur.
After the passage of July... the anniversary of my child's death... I am once again able to focus on the positive memories of my child.  Of his life.  Not just his death.  The way that he died no longer defines my son.  The way that he LIVED does... FINALLY, again. 
We can easily associate a negative memory with each of our senses.  My challenge for you today is to look at each sense and remember a positive memory of your child.  Now you know my "smell" memory! 
Girls... please be kind to yourself and remember that grief is a process. It is perfectly acceptable and natural to have our thoughts remain overwhelmingly toward the way that they died for a very long time.  I'll say this again... Grief is a PROCESS!  NOT an EVENT!  Recognize each little milestone along the way as you slowly see light along the journey. 


The Dash – by Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
From the beginning..to the end.
He noted that first came her date of birth
And spoke the following date with tears, 1964-1994
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time
That she spent alive on earth..
And now only those who loved her
Know what that little line is worth.
For it matters not, how much we own;
The cars..the house..the cash,
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard.
Are there things you”d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left,
That can still be rearranged.
If we could just slow down enough
To consider what”s true and real,
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger,
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we”ve never loved before.
If we treat each other with respect,
And more often wear a smile..
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy”s being read
With your life”s actions to rehash..
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?