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, May 20, 2017

Escaping from Alcatraz

Five years ago, my folks and I went on an adventure to San Francisco. It was the second time that I have traveled with my parents all alone as a grown up daughter on a trip.... Just me as a grownup and them as my parents. This is personal time that I will treasure for ever. 

During this trip to San Francisco, we visited the famed Alcatraz. Alcatraz is an old prison known for being a tough horrible place. It has not had prisoners in many years. It is a huge tourist attraction because of the historical value. It feels like stepping back into time...

We had been in SF for two days before our scheduled trip to this famed island. For these two days we could view this landmark from almost anywhere in the area. By the time it was "our turn" to jump onto that boat carrying us out there, we had viewed it from many vantage points in the city- From the Golden gate bridge...From the pier...From the top of the city.

As part of the Alcatraz  tour, they described how torturous it would be for the prisoners to hear "normal" life on the busy piers occurring as the breezes carried their voices to the island. Those prisoners could hear "life" going on-- just outside of their reach-- but they could not participate.

No one asked to go to Alcatraz. It was a prison and they had been sentenced. Eventually, some of these prisoners served their sentences and left that island.

I began to see that grief has many similarities to Alcatraz. No one asked to go to that prison. It was a dark and lonely place at times. From the island of grief, we can see the rest of the world that goes on around us. We are JUST far enough that we sometimes cannot participate.

Also, I began to think about how we escape from grief. How do we try to leave that island? What are our individual coping mechanisms?  Because we are humans, our individual responses will be different.

-Sometimes we make huge life changes quickly to escape the island of grief.  

-If our spouse dies then we may jump into a relationship quickly. Quick escapes. 

-Alcohol is a frequent escape that many use to try to leave the island of grief.

-Maybe we move. Change jobs. Anything to try to relieve the stress and try to ESCAPE.

Allow me to tell you something else new and interesting that I learned about Alcatraz. It is a really beautiful but rocky island. When it was a prison, the warden, guards, and their families actually lived on the island. They were able to fully use and enjoy the island of Alcatraz. There are exotic birds and flowers. It was a great and happy place to these people who were not sentenced to live immobilized behind the bars of the famed prison.

When I was first sentenced to the island of grief. I was afraid. I cannot say that I have completely served my sentence... I am uncertain if the sentence is ever completely over. I CAN tell you that I am no longer confined to the prison walls and I can see the quiet beauty of the island.... Today and most days. Although for everything there is a season...  

Do not try to prematurely escape from your Alcatraz. You will eventually have more freedom from your grief. One day you will look over and realize just how far you have come. 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

And so it goes... another birthday soon

So- I essentially suck as a blogger. I am not totally technologically dumb but I am now forced with a new learning curve. The iPhone app for my blog is now too old and could not be updated. I had to find a new one. It recently published an old blog I had been reading. Sigh. So-What's been going on?

I could feel it trembling from inside. It had been a long time since I have felt this vulnerable and afraid. As I laid in bed, exhausted from a week filled with meetings and life, it was now Friday evening. As I sat in the silence, I could feel it coming. I have finally taken "control" in my life and now I am about to let it swallow me? I was sobbing. Blah. This is far from control. 

Now it is Saturday. No plans are made and I am anxious. My significant other asks if I would like to come to his house. Well- no. I want to stay at my house. I like my little respite house. My perspective is limited to only mine. I am tired and frustrated. I just want to scream... and I cannot exactly tell you why. But I am tired. Why do I feel this bad?! I have been a faithful person doing my grief work!!  

How do you celebrate the 10th anniversary of your child's last birthday? What makes this one so special?

Over the last ten years, one thing that I have become good at is understanding predictability. At least I thought.... ha. 

I always advise for mothers to prepare for triggers and important days. I realized this about five years ago when I tried to work on Logans birthday. Certain this would be fine... I was very wrong. Example: I needed to call report on a patient, so I called three different telephone numbers before I landed on the right unit. Our brains needs a little lag time on these special days. 

So, currently, I am practicing the art of patience. I am rereading my own words of advice. I am crying... a lot... surprisingly. I even cried during my mani and pedi. I finally decided to go stay at my significant others home on Sunday. We did life together that day- which included grocery shopping and planning. He noticed my sorrow and constantly tried to make me laugh - without tremendous success. I did feel much better with his ever present support. I love him for many reasons- but his unconditional support has extra value. 

So- just a few days until the "big" day. Interestingly, I wonder if Logan were alive- would even notice that his 27th birthday would be a big deal? To a mother whose child has been ripped from her, it is a big deal. I am glad he is at home in Heaven, but redefining normal is apparently a continuous process improvement. 

Hugs to each of you as we continuously strive to redefine normal.