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, February 13, 2016

Stop the clocks!

When Logan died, the sound of the bird's twittering was painful to me. How could birds continue to sing when everything stopped?  I still received a daily newspaper in my driveway. How could they continue to produce a newspaper?  How could the sun continue to rise and set?  My world had stopped. Why was time still moving?  This time meant that the distance between having Logan here was growing longer. That thought made me very anxious and confused. 

 

Logan died on the most beautifully perfect day.  Sunny and clear with bright beautiful flowers and grass. All of this seemed so odd because my life had stopped.  How could I continue to breathe without ALL three of my babies here?  I couldn't remember how to be a mother to my living children or even how to be a person. I was lost and afraid. I was in survival mode- and I was failing. I wanted the old "me" back. I was constantly nauseated and nothing in life made any sense. I sighed a lot. I would sit in any chair and slowly rock-- not even realizing this. Subconsciously, I think I was trying to comfort myself. Eventually, one day I was rocking and one of my friends quickly said "stop!  Please!"  My friends were overwhelmed with these changes in me. It was disturbing to them too!!  I wanted me back too!!

 

I did not know how I was going to get out of that place, but I knew that I could not live in this place forever. I eventually committed myself to the phrase "grieving forward."  I had no idea the path that I would take, but I knew that I needed to attempt this journey. 

 

Fast forward eight years- I can now say that I deeply feel great contentment and peace. I probably laugh more than the average person.  Deeply, deeply thankful...

 

Yesterday I shared with several other healthcare providers some of the lessons that I have learned about grief.  Afterwards, one brave person told me about the loss of her brother when she was a teen. She shared with me a poem that has been impactful to her life. 

 

These thoughts are natural.  Yes--  I am sharing these thoughts so you can know that these thoughts ARE natural. I hope that this can give you a tiny spark of hope and strength as you continue the journey towards healing. 

 

Hugs to my mama friends.... Pamela 

 

Stop All The Clocks

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,

Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,

Silence the pianos and with muffled drum

Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come. 

 

Let the airplanes circle moaning overhead

Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,

Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,

Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves. 

 

He was my North, my South, my East and West,

My working week and my Sunday's rest,

My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;

I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong. 

 

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;

Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;

Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.

For nothing now can ever come to any good. 

-W. H. Auden

 


Thursday, February 4, 2016

Shared Code of DNA

My friend Michelle has paved the way for many grieving mothers. It has  been 21 years since she lost her daughter. She has been a light and guide for many people. Read her insight about the shared code of DNA.  

      Over the past twenty-one years since my infant daughter’s passing, I have come to recognize that when it comes to grief, expect the unexpected.  Not just in terms of the emotions felt, but also in the processing and understanding of these emotions.  I recently experienced something that illustrates this well, at least within my own heart. I will do my best to explain.
Early within my grief process, I was able to quickly identify situations that unearthed painful sensations.  At first I avoided funerals mostly out of fear.  After all, Samantha’s had been the hardest ever.  When I did start back, the first few were quite tough. Initially, I confess, I found it impossible not to reflect extensively on my own loss.  Over the past ten years I have been able to focus on the person and family.  As such, attendance has yielded more healing than pain so I no longer hesitate to be present.
When I had heard the news last October of the passing of young man I knew, I instantly planned to attend his services.  I met him when he was about fifteen years old.  I volunteered with a wonderful organization that organizes an annual camp for kids.  Over the three years I was a counselor, I was blessed to know him.  He was 19 when he passed.  
The service was very well attended.  The funeral reflected his culture, faith, and community.  Although different than my own, I found his life celebration to be a beautiful tribute to both him and his loved ones.  Near the conclusion of the services, his mother approached her son for a final viewing.  She expressed her grief openly: raw, pure, and without form.  I was unprepared for what followed.  Her wails pierced my very soul.  Instead of identifying with just my own loss, as I had done years before, I shared her loss.  This is not to say my grief for her son equaled hers.  I knew without words the loss she endured.  I felt an understanding and connection beyond my rational mind and beyond my emotions.  It was as if her wails had activated a shared code of DNA.  We were the same. She had lost her child.  It doesn’t matter whether that child was in her womb, in her arms, holding her hand, or pushing her wheelchair.  Age is irrelevant.  She had lost her child.  
This is a group I wish was closed for membership, but it isn’t.  I offer this reflection because this is part my new normal.  I never would have thought I could feel so much, love strangers so much, cry so much, and yet be able to grow because of it.  For this I am thankful.