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

Preparing for your Child's Funeral - The Day of...

The day of the funeral:

Segment your day
Don't think too far ahead.  Segment your day and BE IN THE PRESENT.  Think only about the tasks that are in FRONT of you. If you feel that panic sensation occurring, BREATHE.  Stop and breathe.
-First you need to focus on being "present" when you see your child. (See my note about dividing and conquering. 
-Then you need to focus ONLY on the people in the visitation.  I could not go look at my son during this period because I needed the strength to get through visitation.
-Then you need to focus on the funeral.  Focus on what the minister and people are saying as if you have a test to take afterwards.  Take mental notes.  Try hard to be in the present.  FOCUS
-Then you must to to the burial. 

Make certain that your physical needs are being met.
-You will need a chair to occasionally sit in.
-You will need LOTS of water continuously.
-Put hand sanitizer on the table when people sign in.
-You should think about having a mediator - this may sound silly, but
someone to stand behind you and hand you water and recognize when you
look tired. Then THEY can tell people "they are going to sit for a
few minutes now" Don't feel guilty because it will be EXHAUSTING!

When there are children involved, your living children need to know options
of what they can do.
-They can stand by you in the line and greet people or they can wander around.
-They have never had this "role" to play before and may be puzzled as
to what they are supposed to do.
-Maybe bring some activities to keep them busy during the visitation.
It will be a long time for them.
- Prepare them for this event that they will remember their ENTIRE life.  Read the resource "Preparing your children."
Eat a few hours before you go.
-It will be a long time before you eat and make certain that you eat
some things with protein so you don't have low blood sugar.
-Peanut butter or almonds are excellent.
- Yes, dear.  Your tummy hurts and you do not feel like eating.  Have someone pick up Gaviscon for you to take but you MUST eat.  Focus on protein

People may put things in the casket.
 You may be surprised that people will place things in the casket. Just know that you can take anything out that you want to take out before they close it.

Focus on the EYES of the people coming to see you.
When people come visit you, look them in the eyes and soak up the LOVE
that they are sending you. They will say ALL of the wrong things but
understand that it's the intent you need to focus on. The intent to
give you comfort. Allow this comfort to soak in and give you fuel for
the future.

Plan Your Exit
Have a designated person take you and your family to a quiet room at the end of the viewing. You will be very tired and then EVERYONE will want to linger and stay there until the end. The room will begin to clear quicker if you and your family aren't there. After the the room starts to clear, you can once again PRIVATELY go see your child.

Make your visit personal with your child.
I didn't want people to "watch" me grieving over Logan. It was personal. When people were around, I found it my JOB to talk to them... it was my FOCUS to focus on ANYTHING other than what was in that casket. The LAST thing that I wanted was to be on display. You already are on display-- its the circus that invaded your life (it'll calm down eventually) MY private grieving time in front of the casket was before and after the viewing. Without an audience. These are my personal feelings... everyone is different. 
Focus on something. 
I had always heard that you could see your own funeral. So I focused on thinking that Logan could see me. That he would be proud of me and would feel comfort... because I wanted him to be at rest in Heaven and enjoy being there and know that I was going to be there soon. In some ways, I was strong for MY CHILD. So he could see that I was going to be OK. I had no idea how and didn't think that I was going to be OK.... but I wanted him to feel comforted. Make sense?
Other things to focus on... 
Focus on people's eyes and the love that they want to show you. Soak in this love!! They have SO MUCH LOVE to show you... that they feel for you... but many won't know how to say it.
Another focus that I had... I focused on GIVING comfort to the people around me. Especially the kids. I wanted the children and teens to not be afraid. His death is going to impact them forever... I said to them, "Thank you so much! It would mean so much for you to write down a great memory of him!" FOCUS ON ANYTHING OTHER THAN WHAT IS IN THAT CASKET in public
Practice your words
You are going to have TONS of people there that you don't know... These are things that you can say... Practice it.
"Thank you so much for coming. It means so much to us" I said this hundreds of time.
"He loved being your friend. He would be so happy that you are here"
"Thank you for remembering him."
Think about this ahead of time... it will make it easier when you are at tired. If you have someone that you want to spend time with and tell more to, invite them to come over later. There are TONS of people to talk to... There will be a huge line. The longer of a time period that you spend with individuals, the longer that it will take to get through seeing all of the people in the line.
What I am going to say now is upsetting... Prepare yourself and your living children. It may sound obvious and horrible to say this but your child is going to be dead in a box. That sounds horrible to hear and even to write, but when you see him or her, it will be shocking. It isn't normal and he or she wont look like what they usually look like -  because facial expressions will not be there.
EVERYTIME that you see your child it will be upsetting. EVERYTIME. It is not normal and doesn't make sense. It is horrible... you WILL get through this but it is absolutely devastating and unfathomable. It Doesn't Make Sense!!!!

Divide and conquer... maybe
In our family, it was best to divide up. My husband saw Logan before me... then when I saw Logan, he could be there for me. IT IS SHOCKING. For instance...when I saw Logan I moaned that horrible wailing noise - then my knees gave out under me and I fell on the floor. Be prepared to be shocked. You will NOT be prepared... just know that it will feel shocking. My daughter was surprised that Logan's hand was cold. It was upsetting to her.... My daughter has advised others to "remember to breathe" when you are upset.
It will be a long day... YOU WILL GET THROUGH THIS... Soak up the LOVE that people are giving you like a sponge. Soak it up... Let it give you comfort and strength.
You WILL live through this... and you will be redefining normal soon. It doesn't seem like this is ever possible... but I PROMISE. Just do what is in front of you

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