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Daughter passed 6 months ago 
Started by Marti
09 Apr 2012, 6:32 PM
My daughter passed away 6 months ago this month.  I'm finding it very hard to get through the day without tears.  She had cerebral palsy and several other medical conditions.  She never could walk, talk, play, see or any of lifes meaningful gifts.  I know in my heart she is in a better place now where she can do all the things she never could here on earth in her broken little body.  She would be 16 on May 1st and i miss her terribly and sometimes have guilt that i did all i could for her in her short lifetime.  It's hard to get through the day at times.  Has anyone else lost a child that has gone through these emotions?
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Reply by NatR
09 Apr 2012, 10:48 PM
Dear marti

My heart breaks for you ,  you have suffered a terrible loss.  It is not natural to watch your children pass before the parents.  It is not natural, and it tears at your heart.

I have not lost a child as you have - but I do have a grandchild with a rare genetic disorder.  She is a teenager, but total care - like a baby - and Is 24 hr care, 7 days a week.

I have met and had the pleasure to get to know many children with the same disorder who have passed away too young!

I do feel that my perspective  is close to what you are dealing with now.  I am presently a full time caregiver to my grandchild and very close to her.  I also carry the geneticdisorder that she has - the only difference is that I am balanced, making me normal - so to speak.  The guilt that I feel passing on the genetic material is hard for me to deal with.  But at the time of her birth we didn't know about the disorder and could not have done anything to change what happened.  I also worry about her care on a daily basis as she cannot speak and is vulnerable.  

I feel so much for you in your position - having lost your child far too soon.  But I have to say that you have no doubt given so much to your child, quality of life, thoughtfulness, love, being her protector, on and on. Please know that I understand that you gave your all - 24 hrs a day.  

I want to suggest a survivors group - some kind of support local to you where you can get your feelings out - and know that you could not have done more.

In time you will come to terms with the fact that you did all you could.  It is something I still am working on - it's not easy!  Bul in time you will understand that it is okay to move on, to have memories - and let go of the pain.

Your child is no longer suffering, or in need of round the clock care.  You know that nothing will ever hurt her again.

The only part that really hurts is the loss and your heart ache  I am there with you.
Life comes with so many challenges and lots of lessons.  I have a feeling that you learned a lot from your child - about  unconditional love.  I know that love with my grandchild.  Those of us who have been touched by special needs children  do learn a lot about protecting, loving, not judging others, and that old line " walk a mile in my shoes".  I feel I am walking behind you - and I can learn from you. 

Please let me know how you are doing - it is a lonely path, grief and loss.  We all go through it in so many different ways.  I know it will be a hard step for me when Ilook back and wonder - did I do enough, could I have done more.  

Try to let go of some of that guilt.  Remind yourself that you were a wonderful parent and advocate.

I do hope I have been some help as you look for responses that will help you to move on.
Without knowing you - I do feel I understand what you are dealing with and what you have gone through.

My sincere sympathies to you.
Give yourself a hug and know you made a difference in your daughters life and I believe  you will use what you have learned to help others going through similar situations 
Sincerely
NatR


 
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Reply by Cath1
10 Apr 2012, 5:29 PM

Dear Marti:

Please know that just reading your letter about the death of your precious daughter and the unfathomable grief you are left to carry, I too feel heartbroken. Since last night I have struggled with how I could possibly say anything to help you, but I cannot get you from my mind so I am writing to you now, all the while appreciating that I am dwarfed by the magnitude of your sorrowful heart and your courage to share it here with us.

I am a mother. Every mother reading your story can imagine and empathize on a very instinctual level the relentless pain you are suffering.

I feel endlessly sorry that your daughter died so young, and even though in her brief lifetime with you she had to deal with many physical limitations, your motherly love saw her through each moment she lived and you enhanced her quality of life through your daily devotion to her and your constant love and acceptance. Please never question if you did enough for your daughter as I am certain you not only did enough, but much more than most mothers are ever expected to do.

While your daughter's life was burdened by challenges of a medical nature, she came into your life for a reason and undoubtedly by loving you, and by you doting on her, she gave you and your life deep meaning and significant joy that many people will not be able to fully understand if they have not had the same kinds of experiences. Please never doubt that most people have compassionate hearts and feel deeply for your immeasurable loss. I am amazed by your heroic spirit as you put words to the unspeakable torment you are dealing with and I know I and others weep with you.

You are missing your daughter every day, every waking moment I'm sure and I believe you will feel this intense sense of loss and lonesomeness for some time to come, and while the intensity of the suffering you are going through now will lessen in time, you will always miss your daughter in your life. You will, with help and support, learn to cope with the vast void in your heart she has left behind and which you cannot possibly ignore. You are naturally grieving profoundly and your mind, body and spirit is going through a colossal and complex time of adjustment.

Please give yourself a big hug from me and know that we all at Virtual Hospice are with you, to listen to you and to care for you as your sorrow painfully ebbs and flows through you. While no one will ever replace your daughter or make up for her absence, I believe you will find a way to accept it all and to live without her just as she would want you to, and just as you did as you bravely faced down each day, each fear and gracefully accepted each difficult challenge when caring for your sweet little girl.

I know your daughter would not ever want you to suffer such desolate and despairing feelings. It is in our nature to protect those we love, and yet when death separates us from a loved one, no matter how one may wish to protect another or to be protected, there is no escaping the hurt and the emotions we must feel and endure when the precious life of a loved one ends, and there is especially no greater heartache for a parent to bear than to bury a beloved child.  

Your daughter's situation required of you both immense commitment and the nature of the love and the lives you shared together are deeply attached by your souls. I believe that the soul never dies and the attachment you feel with your daughter, the special mother-daughter bond you have with one another cannot be damaged by death. Your love lives on in her just as hers for you lives on within you. I believe this to be true with all my heart and soul.

Death, to me, is like a mysterious veil between this life and the next where we cannot see through it until our time comes, but those on the other side, I believe, have total peace, no more suffering or worry. I also believe they give us strength and increase our faith miraculously in ways we cannot always understand. Your daughter is loving you just as closely today as she was in life and though you can no longer see one another her love for you and yours for her is an eternal embrace, I have no doubt. Love lives. It will always live.

As May 1st approaches and you remember your daughter's past birthdays, the joys and celebrations you happily shared, please know that she will be celebrating her sweet 16th as an angel and knowing always that you are and will always be her angelic mother.

You have a special angel watching over you, Marti, consoling you and helping you to heal. Accept and trust that the love you and your darling daughter experienced together in this life continues in the hearts and souls of you both eternally.

With much affection for you, Marti, and blessings to you as you find your way through your heartbreak to find comfort and healing. I am sending you perpetual hugs so you will know always that you are cared for in your time of sorrow and beyond. xo

VHcath

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Reply by Nugget
10 Apr 2012, 10:29 PM
My son would be 16 today.  He died at 3 month and 9 days old. 

My heart goes out to you in your loss.  You never get over the loss
but you learn to live with the loss.  I found today particularly difficult even
though it has been this long since he has passed.  I welcome the opportunity
to engage in discussion of the paths that we have taken.  I pray for guidence and
uncommon peace that will help you look forward as you look backwards.

Charles             
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Reply by Cath1
11 Apr 2012, 12:36 AM
Dear Nugget - Charles:

Thinking of you today as you remember your dear little baby son on his 16th birthday. I hope Marti sees your response and that it will open a doorway for expression of her hurting heart and yours.

I agree with you that we never get over the loss of those we love but we do discover ways to live with the echo of pain we feel. You have been touched by an uncommon peace and it is beautiful how it has guided you here to share its secrets with others in need.

Thank you for sharing and take care. xo

VHcath
  
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Reply by moderator | modératrice
11 Apr 2012, 6:40 PM
hi Marti,

I see you tried to post today. Please email me at colleen [at] virtualhospice.ca if you are experiencing technical difficulties.
Colleen 
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Reply by may.k
12 Apr 2012, 1:59 AM
Marti, I am also a bereaved mom (for almost 2 years).

The tears, missing them immeasurably, difficulty getting through the days, and feelings of underserved guilt are all very common (maybe universal) reactions to losing a child.

I'm not sure if you're experiencing how sometimes people shy away, but if at all possible try to find avenues of support.  Other bereaved parents might be the most helpful, as the experience is beyond imagination, but your family doctor can also help with medication (for example if you find yourself feeling suicidal at some point). 

You mentioned that your daughter's 16th birthday is soon.  Milestones like that can be extremely difficult, particularly in the weeks and days leading up to them.  Some people find ways to mark those dates which is helpful to them (gatherings, balloons, planting a tree, etc.).  So far I tend to seek even more quiet time on hard days, but that might change. 

If you are looking for specific supports in your area, just let me know and we could seek those out.  You are welcome to stay in touch, also.

Big hugs xo.
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Reply by NatR
12 Apr 2012, 6:10 PM
Hello Marti, MayK, Charles - Nugget, and VHcath

I hope that the past few days are going well for you all.  Just wanted to let you know that you were being thought of today.

If today is a hard day remember that you can post a msg and get a reply, that tomorrow is a new day and hopefully the pain will be a little less.

I lost a brother at the age of 39, many years ago.  It was almost 20 years ago actually.  That loss hit me hard.  It came over me in waves when I didnt know it was going to do so.  I also have had times when he didnt cross my mind for days, weeks, months.  But it is different for us all.  Whether it is a child, a sibling, a parent....grief is different for each of us, and connected to the relationship we had with that person.

Honestly...I had a very bad relationship with my father and when he passed it was harder on me than I thought it would be.  The reason for that...I told myself, was because I was no longer going to have any possibility of mending or repairing the bad relationship.  It was over.

I think often of that line...be kind to those you meet - for they are fighting a hard battle.  I dont have the words right...and I think it was Plato.  But it is true.  We have smiling faces on our profiles..but our hearts at times are breaking for one reason or another.  Despite loss, grief, heartache...here we all are, trying to uplift each other.  We all need to carry on.  Life without love is a desert.  Life with love brings endings and beginnings - and we learn so much from love, from relationships.  

For that reason, I am glad to be one of the participants here on VirtualHospice.
I may be a caregiver, always looking to help someone...but the day comes now and then, when I need all of you...to help me heal too.

In a way, all of us have found each other because of loss, grief etc.  And look at what we find?  Enriching conversation, support, understanding and connections.

Thanks for listening,
NatR 
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Reply by may.k
13 Apr 2012, 6:05 PM
Thanks, NatR.  

Yes, while there are significant differences in grief re: losing a child and other kinds of losses, I've found sharing and connection to help bear the unbearable.  

I lost my mom a few weeks after my son (my dad had already passed away when I was young), and selfishly wish that she was still around to listen when most can't handle it and stay away.  Hopefully by the fall I'll be in a group (am on a wait list). 

Hang in there xo. 
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Reply by NatR
13 Apr 2012, 6:58 PM
Dear may.k,

I m so sorry for the double loss you had to bear.  Life certainly gives us many challenges - and no way around them.  I guess that is what makes us keep going.  Taking one day at a time.

 It is so hard to find understanding and support sometimes.  I have found support in the most unlikely places!  Keep on keeping on;).

Glad you are on a list for a group.

It will give you a circle of support, others who can "get" it.

Thinking of you today,
NatR

 
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