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

My child's stuff... What is the right thing to do with all of it?

My friend Betty Ann wrote this in a note to me recently. Her brother Keith died in 2004. As a sibling, there is sooooo much that they are faced with, regardless of the age. With her permission, I share this note...
Keith died in 2004. After he died we went and collected his things. Perry took a few things, my kids took somethings, Beth took an elephant ring, Davey some clothes, (Davey wore a pair of his boxers until I had to throw them away), I took somethings, (The shirt he was wearing the last time I saw him, shirts that smelled like him.) and Mom took everything else. Shirts where Keith had cut off the sleeves, just "junk" I guess.
This past weekend she finally told me why she kept everything...
She told me she needs to keep Keith's things because they had "value" to him. She explain that if he thought these things had "value", that she had to show Keith respect by doing the same.
I never thought of it that way. I see Mom walking around boxes of "junk" in her room just so she can get in bed.
Now I know better...
My response: Thank you for your words. Tremendously. I have Logan's dirty clothes in space saver bags. I haven't gotten rid of a thing. At first I just couldn't. For the past few years I've been keeping them just to be obstinate -- for all of the people that told me I should get rid of them.
I agree and understand your moms statement. They aren't a burden to her. They are comfort.

To everyone else:
When I divorced and sold my house three years ago, I was panicked to think of packing up Logan's stuff and I couldn't possibly part with any of it. I packed up his handmade wooden toy box filled with memorabilia and gave this to his father. Logan's great grandfather had made this as a gift for him. When it came time for the clothes to be packed away, my dear neighbor came over and offered to do this for me. WHAT A GIFT! The emotions that I was feeling while packing up the house was overwhelming and I couldn't possibly deal with this as well.

Now I live in a condo with two separate garages. Some of Logan's clothing is upstairs in the closet in the spare bedroom and some of the clothing is downstairs in the garage. I would like to make the spare bedroom into a craft room, but I cannot eliminate his stuff. I'm getting closer, I think.

Now lets add some logic to this... I also do not desire to eliminate my living childrens belongings as well. The books that they loved and their trophys. It represents to me the family that we once were and their LIVES. Because I am an empty nester now, I enjoy reflecting on the past. Logan's belongings do not really make me sad now but reflective.

There was a time that I would wear a shirt of his when I was feeling very sorrowful. I can't remember the last time that I did that, but it brought me comfort when I NEEDED to feel his clothing close to me. Logan had this Marvel Heroes Chess set with little spiderman characters, etc. He loved that thing. When I moved, I became panicked one night when I couldn't find it. Full panic... heart racing, short of breath, rapid frightened thoughts that I had lost it. I burst into tears of joy when I found it. I can look back and think..."How silly! It is just a THING!". But these "things" connect us in a small way physically to the person that we cannot touch any more.

Bottomline... My Personal Advice
Keep whatever you want and get rid of nothing. Or pack and give it all away. Do whatever FEELS best for YOU! Let no one pressure you into whatever decision that you make about eliminating belongings. What you may find is slowly over time you may feel fine with giving small amounts away at a time. You may also find daily comfort in having it surrounding your world. There isn't anything wrong with keeping stuff or getting rid of stuff!!  There isn't a right or wrong decision! 

Here are suggestions from one child--DO NOT shut the door to their loved ones room or favorite place. Let it be a gathering place to share, cry, sit and stare... whatever. Don't give any of their things
away at first. Don't give anything away before asking the children. Their loved one's room is where they were happy when they were living. Let it still be a happy place or one to remember.

Textural things are healing, so many people will have a quilt made with their loved ones tshirts and clothing. Wrapping yourself in their clothing can be healing. Some people find comfort in sharing their loved ones clothing and belongings. Shortly after Logan died, I was quietly offended when a neighbor asked if she could have one of Logan's shirts. Now I know that it was a sweet compliment but at the time I thought - "Are you CRAZY? That's all that I have now!" I have known people who left their children's rooms exactly the same with the clothing on the floor as well.

Any comments or suggestions?

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