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

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Life's tragedies continue.... What NOT to say

This has been a devastating weekend for our local Indiana community. In one accident, four young people slipped away quickly. This is tragic and had shocked any of us. 

I have several close friends who have lost loved ones very publicly.  What do we do?  What do we say?

Read these very insightful words written by my teenage friend Alli. Alli's brother Garrett was suddenly ripped from her family's life a few years ago. I am so very proud of her as she has worked very hard to deal with the challenges that were suddenly tossed in front of her. 

Allie has a solid grasp on knowledge that we can ALL use.... The top ten things Not to say!   I honor Alli for who she is and how she has been redefining normal in her life!  

Hugs to Alli and each of you!

Alli writes:

Time heals everything 
Your loved one is in a better place 
I know how you feel
Everything will be okay 
It all happened for the best
It's time to put this behind you 
Be strong
Move on 
At least he or she didn't suffer 
Don't cry

That is my top 10 list of things that I hate to hear. A lot of people do not know what to say when someone close to you dies. It's hard for teenagers to hear these things. My brother past away when I was 13 and he was 17. There are a lot of things people told me that I did not want to hear and it hurt me to have people saying them to me. 

The one thing I heard the most is that time heals everything. I have to say that  time does not heal everything. My brother passed away on June 23, 2010. It's been 3 years since the accident and time does NOT heal everything. The past 3 years have been the hardest years of my life. 
In these last 3 years I have learned more about myself then I ever have before. 

Time does not heal everything but time DOES make things easier. In the last few months I have been learning what my new life looks like without my brother. Redefining a normal life without one your loved one can be really hard and a lot of work, but it is possible. 

When someone tells you,  "It's time to put this behind you," it's hard  to hear. When you are ready to move on then you will. Don't let other people make that decision for you. You will never completely move on, but you will learn how to cope with the loss of your loved one.

I want other teenagers who have lost a loved one to know that they are not alone in this long grieving journey and that no one has the right to tell you what you should be feeling.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

New Twist on Holiday Magnifying Glass

A few years I wrote this article.  As I looked at some of my previous notes, I found the following email that I wrote a few years ago.  It is good advice and hits the spot for myself as well. As for me--  today is a new day and I believe that I have turned the page. I'm blessed with love around me and I am trying to find the positive in this season.  Here it goes.....

So I have had a lot of thoughts, as always... this is what is most recently on my mind.  

Last year-- the day before Thanksgiving, I wrote this and put it on Facebook.

"The holidays are a big magnifying glass. When you have a "perfect" feeling family, it feels joyous. When you have that crazy aunt or uncle that annoys everyone, this crazy feeling is magnified. When there is a death in the family and that loss is there, that loss is magnified. When there are unmet expectations in life, such as divorce and loneliness, the feelings associated with that event is magnified. Holidays magnify the best in us, such as our charitable side. Holidays also bring out the worst in us, such as when we see life's disappointments.

Humans disappoint us because they are human. Sadly, when life has dealt trauma and drama and permanent separation of normalcy as well as grief, the holidays have a flavor of sorrow.... Reflect on what this holiday magnifying glass shows you personally this year.  Blessings!"

That was a few years ago. The following note was a few years down the road. 

My first Thanksgiving and Christmas without Logan are still so painfully memorable... for someone who was in a fog. Those that know me well know that I grieve many different things during the holidays. The loss of your child is the "Primary Loss." It is the "Secondary Losses" that I grieve now.

In speaking with many of you recently, I have noticed that many are feeling "anger" right now. Like I have said before, NONE of this is "Normal" but all of what we are feeling is "Natural." I think that it is "natural" to feel anger when there is the empty chair at the holiday dinner table and no one will mention our child that isn't here. I think that it is common for the BIG invisible elephant in the room to be in the room.

Often people are fearful of mentioning the absence and loss of our child (every day but especially on a holiday).  This makes many of us angry at times!  Why wouldn't it make us angry?

But... when looking at their side, they don't KNOW what to do or how to support us. If this is your first holiday season without your child, you will probably notice people whispering in the background - "How is she doing?"  If this is NOT your first holiday, everyone is still wondering how to respond.  Before my Logan died, I had no idea how to support people who were enduring the very long process of grief. I THOUGHT that I did, but I failed miserably. When people ask "How are you doing?" Answer them honestly... "Today is hard for me. Thank you for asking."

Know that this is a time of MUCH emotion and that we are oversensitive to people's actions and words right now. Protect yourself by taking care of YOU and your family. But mamas, YOU are the backbone of the family and you must MAKE yourself relax. Carve out time to have a long bubble bath. Maybe go have a massage or a pedicure. Lay down and take a nap. You don't HAVE to make dozens of cookies.... cut down on the "celebration" part if you need to.

BREATHE.... relax those shoulders down...

One of my friends who lost a child several years ago - him and his wife went to the movies on Christmas. "Some things you cannot do again." It was too painful to "go thru the motions" for them... but now that there are grandchildren, they are trying Christmas again.

So to wrap this up...

- You are oversensitive

- You may feel anger... try to not let it get so big that you BLOW up

- Protect yourself

- People do not know what to do to help, so TELL them

One more thing... During the holidays it is especially important to "count" your alcoholic beverages.  In the past you may have been able to handle a few alcoholic beverages, but now you are in danger girlies. Count to one and (at the very most) two on special occasions. Cut yourself off.  Be aware that this is a pitfall that you do NOT want to fall into. Statistically, one year after the death of a child, 40% of parents have a drug or drinking problem. (Compassionate Friends data obtained from the book *Surviving the Loss of a Child*)

As always, I am open to hearing your thoughts, suggestions, and writings. If you have something that you would like to share with this growing group of mamas, please email it to me! You made it through Thanksgiving... One down and one to go. You can DO IT! Keep putting those feet on the floor... it will get better. :). I'll end with a positive note... THIS is what I try to focus on during the holidays. I focus on the incredible gift the birth of Christ was for us... and now that I have a child in Heaven, it means even more to me. This gift was sent to us so we will be able to have an eternity with our children one day (as a reunited family).

Now--  today, I celebrate Christmas future. This new season in my life is filled with contentment and joy. When I think of Logan, I think of his LIFE.... Not as much his death. I know that Logan would be proud of me as I believe that I'm

finally learning how to grieve forward. Deeply thankful for our loving Gods continuous gifts.   

Hugs girls....

Pamela Parker