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Topic : Coping with the Death of a Child

Number of Replies: 757
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Created on : Friday, September 15, 2006, 03:28:03 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
Losing a child is especially traumatic, share your memories, stories and support with others here.

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September 30, 2006, 12:17 pm CDT

YOU are a dear friend...

Quote From: nufriend

A dear friend lost her 17 month old daughter to SUDS a year ago yesterday.  This anniversary has been very hard on her and her husband(as has everyday for the past year) . They also have a 13 year old daughter who is acting out (I believe it to be a direct result of her grief, but they are to entrenched in their own grief to be able to deal with her behaviors)  I am afraid that they are falling apart at the seams because of their grief!!!.  Any advice on how to help them???  They are in counseling, but it does not seem to be doing much good.  THey only see the counselor once a week, and they struggle with the issues every second of the day.

First of all, YOU are a dear friend ... someone who reaches out for help for your friend is so admirable...

Let me just say that in my own experience of losing two children, no one knows quite what to do for someone they see in so much grief ,so unfortunately, most do or say nothing.. for fear of upsetting them.  But believe me, it was the people in my life that talked to me, listened to me, that helped me so much, although I know it was not easy for them. 

My children were younger when we lost our son, 5yrs old and 2 1/2yrs old.. but having raised them to now, teenagers, maybe I can offer some help anyway.  I'm wondering if this 13yr old child is not feeling included in her parents grieving.. I'm wondering if maybe they are unintentionally excluding her from grieving together as a family.  She may feel isolated and alone, not sure of how she is supposed to act or feel at all herself.. and maybe her behaviors are a way to reach out for someone to help her cope.  It also helps to know that all people grieve in different ways..there is no wrong or right way to grieve.  My daughter did not cry for a long time...which we worried about.. but in her own time, it finally poured out one day for no particular reason.  We also went to counseling, however, our children spent time alone with the counselor which was of tremendous help to them... so it's important to find a counselor who specializes in children/families coping with death of a sibling.  In my personal opinion, if they are no further in the grieving process after weekly sessions after a year, it may be time to find a new counselor.  Please suggest to her the Compassionate Friends website... it is so helpful to know you are not alone in surviving the loss of a child...and there is also a special chat room for siblings as well.  It is a wonderful resource which you might want to explore too, in learning how you can be of support to this family.  Having good supportive friends is so helpful, but the flip side of that is that unfortunately we know they cannot really know what we are experiencing, which is no fault of anyone's.  But knowing that, be there anyway as you have been...  

God Bless... I extend my prayers and thoughts to all of you..


September 30, 2006, 5:09 pm CDT

I know it is hard

 I also lost my daughter on 2/2/05. She was 20 years old and 33 weeks pregnant with my granddaughter. My daughter started experiencing major headaches and went to the Dr. only to be diagnosed with a viral sinus infection. Laster that evening she started to have convulsions with 911 called and she was taken to the local hospital ER. I was like a nightmare to hear your daughter had a 50/50% chance to live then later to find out the % was reduced to 10%. The emergency doctors completed a spinal tap and found she came down with bacteria spinal menegitis. It is such a feeling of disbelief and feelings that this is not happening to us. This is something that only happens in the movies.

The delivered my granddaughter by C section and she was transported to another hospital with a neonatal unit. A beautiful 4lb 14oz baby girl. She was so beautiful and perfect.


In the meantime, the doctors placed my daughter on 2 extreme doses of antibiotics and we hoped for the best. You know, you talk about how mothers know things. As everyone was trying to maintain optomistic, I could look at my babies face and see she was gone. All I could do is pray that God's will be done. Well, after 24 hours, we were informed she was brain dead. It that time, we were intruduced to a nurse that discussed organ donation. My daughter was only 20 and had so much more life to live. Her time was over, it automatically decisioned the right thing to do was to donate her organs. Out of that decision, wonderful miracle have occurred. A 21 years old girl can now live, laugh and breath for the 1st time since she was 14 due to the donation of Stephanie's lungs; her heart was motorcaid and flown a great distance to save the life of a 22 year old college student. It was a matter of life and death, what a blessing; her left kidney went to a local man that is also doing very well; her right kidney went to another gentleman that I hear is doing OK. The gebtlement that was going to receive her liver became ill at the time of the surgery so the transplant did not occur. Her pancreas went to Miami for iclet (?) cell research hoping one day to find a cure for diabetes. So far I have heard from the lung recipient, left kidney and heart recipients. 

Each of these recipients lives continueing due to Stephanie's gift of life has been faith inspiring and healing. Although not a day or hour goes by that I don't miss my little girl. For the first time in my life, I now know what a broken heart means. I have always been one to feel with my heart.


My granddaughter...prior to my daughters death, my daughter asked me to help her raise my granddaughter and my immediate response was Yes. Upon my granddaughter birth, I was by her side everyday waiting for the day to bring her home.

Well, Grandparents do not have rights to love, raise and fullfill her childs wishes. According to Flrida law, the father has all riights. This father was not capable of raising my granddaughter so he gave partial rights to his mother (the other grandmother) This whole matter has been a challenge and heart breaking. If it wasn't for God... The father has taken no interest in the baby and the other grandmother is not well. Here is sit watching this little baby go from here to there and have no stability. My heart breaks for the day I see my daughter again to tell her I did not fullfill her wished.....As you can see, this has been traumatic on us all. I will never be the same person again. But, I have to move on. It has affected my spirit, health, happiness and marriage. (another topic that I could use Dr. Phil for... 

September 30, 2006, 10:24 pm CDT

Losing a child

In may of 96 my only son who was a special needs child and my youngest daughter got very sick. They both were stricken with a rare form of bacterial meningitis. My son died within 48 hrs after being admitted to the hospital. My youngest was in the hospital for 29 days. There was a time when we thought we would lose her also. Then when the doctors said she would survive the next thing was wondering if there would be any damage or side effects that she would endure. My son had turned 16 on April 9th that year. we buried him exactly one month after his 16th bday. My youngest was just 9 yrs old. While in the hospital she didn't learn of her brother's death till after a week after the funeral.

If anyone understands what affect losing a child has I do. I still remember everything from beginning to end. When they first got sick and all that happened after. Here it has been 10 yrs later. And I remember it all like it was yesterday.

I saw two happy active kids change to being on machines, tubes and being sedated etc. unaware of what is going on. I saw my son's health deteriorate quickly in the 48 hr period.

My son was a very loving happy boy. I miss him each day. But I'm blessed with the fact that every memory of him I have I see that big smiling face he had at all times. My youngest is grown and doing well and I thank God for her everyday. She is truly a blessing and miracle God gave to me.
I treasure the times we have together. I have moments when I have tears of  joy and  awe roll down my cheek. Realizing how close it came to me losing her as well.

If anyone wants to know more about meningitis. Please go to  to learn more and you will see the story of my son on there. His name is Phillip and we are from Pa. I'd never wish on anyone to go through the things I did.

October 2, 2006, 2:19 pm CDT

A Part of the human experience

 My son, Isaac G. Browne, committed suicide on Sept. 17, 2005 @ approx. 1:30 AM.  He was 24 1/2 years old, and had just finished 19 summer hours at a local community college, getting almost all A's. He got just one B.   The hardest thing, I have heard said, is to lose an adult child.  There is not time, usually, to "try again."  Also, the parent has invested many years into raising them, and  has had a  long history of life experience with them,.  As with any death, particularly a child's death, it is never the immediate circumstance alone - a suicide, a car accident, a disease - there is always a story behind it.  And that is what I intend to do as soon as I can and I am ready, to tell Isaac's story.  Perhaps a compilation of stories would make a good book!!
October 2, 2006, 7:05 pm CDT

I feel everyone's pain

I lost twin girls when I was 16.  (may 15, 1996) They were born at 21 weeks.  They lived for an hour and then passed away. 

I then got married at 17, and had another daughter, Jasmine.  My (ex) husband smothered my daughter while watching a Garth Brooke's concert on tv (March 5, 1998).  I found out 2 weeks later.  This was totally devistating for me.  Not only did I lose my daughter, 9 months old, but I lost every part of "normal life" that I thought I had. 

It was really hard  both times, I remember crying all the time.  It seemed like I was cursed. 

Now I have a 7 year old son and a 6 year old daughter who are the apple of my eye.  I admit that I spoil them, give them anything and everythign they want, let them walk all over me.. but I feel it's so much better than not having them at all!! 

October 2, 2006, 7:22 pm CDT

I feel you!!

Quote From: mamawolf44633

About 2 years ago, I found out that I was pregnant for the second time. My first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. I was so happy to be pregnant again, but also very scarred. When I went for my first ultrasound, they told me it was twins. I was so happy. My husband couldn't believe that we were going to have twins. Later we found out that they were both girls. They were due in November. So, when I started to have labor pains in July, I really didn't think nothing of it right away. I was 22 weeks pregnant when I went into labor. My doctor told me to go to another hospital about an hour away. So, I went and picked up my husband and we left. By the time I got to the other hospital it was to late to stop my labor. I delivered my twin girls on July 27. 2004. Kelsey the first one born weighed only 1 lbs. , her sister Katelyn only weighed 13oz. They both lived for about an hour and 45 minutes. The doctors said that there was nothing they could do for them. I was very hard to sit there and hold my little babies and just watch them die. I wish that the doctor's would of just tried to do something. They did nothing. Till this day, I still think they could of been saved. I miss them very much and have there picture up on my wall. I had 2 other miscarriages after I had them. Then I told my husband that I want to try one more time, and if something went wrong, we wouldn't try anymore. I now have a son, Damien, born 6-17-06. He was a little early and only weighed 5 lbs. at birth, but he is doing good. I still really miss my girls, and my son will know that he had sisters, but I just try to be strong now, and take care of him. Sometimes it's really hard. I just want to let people know, if you are in a situation like mine, Don't give up. God, will come through.

My twins were also born early.  At 21 weeks....  My daughter Makayla lived an hour and 3 minutes and my daughter Jenifer lived 48 minutes.  It was soooo hard to hold them and watch them die also.  I guess it was really difficult for me because I was still a kid myself.  I was 16.  During the hospital stay I kept saying that I was ready to go home.  The nurses kept trying to tell me that I wouldn't be going home with babies.. but I was just too young to really understand what that meant.  Did your daughters have immature lungs?  Mine did.  Also did your girls live off their heartbeats?? Mine did.  I can't imagine having more children just to lose them by miscarriage.. my heart really goes out to you.  I was so lucky when I had my son and then my daughter.  I'm just really scared that I will lose one of them.  I'm literally OBSESSED with protecting them.  I don't allow them to play outside by their selves, go to a friends/neighbors house, run too fast, get close to windows (thinking they may fall through it).  I seem to live in the "what if".  How do I stop that??

Well god bless you and congradulations on your new son!!

October 2, 2006, 7:44 pm CDT

I understand your pain

Quote From: esaubrowne

 My son, Isaac G. Browne, committed suicide on Sept. 17, 2005 @ approx. 1:30 AM.  He was 24 1/2 years old, and had just finished 19 summer hours at a local community college, getting almost all A's. He got just one B.   The hardest thing, I have heard said, is to lose an adult child.  There is not time, usually, to "try again."  Also, the parent has invested many years into raising them, and  has had a  long history of life experience with them,.  As with any death, particularly a child's death, it is never the immediate circumstance alone - a suicide, a car accident, a disease - there is always a story behind it.  And that is what I intend to do as soon as I can and I am ready, to tell Isaac's story.  Perhaps a compilation of stories would make a good book!!

I do understand your pain.  It is tough to lose a any age.  I was thrown back at your statement that it is the hardest thing to lose an adult child.  Not to be hurtful or to take away the grieving you need to do, but a child lost at any age is painful.  There is no comparison of age when  it comes to burying your child.  I volunteered in the local newsletter for Compassionate Friends  a few years after I lost my 15 year old son to an accident.  A mother called me up crying, wanting to submit a memorium for her daughter.  Her daughter was only 3 months old.  She told me that her pain was more than mine because I knew my son.  I heard his voice.  I laughed with him, I sang with him, read to him, played ball with him...all things she will never in everyones perspective, it hurts just as equally so at any age. 

My thoughts go out to you as  your grief is fresh.  God bless Isaac in heaven and to all the parents who have lost a child at any age.  It hurts no matter what!  Helen

October 2, 2006, 11:23 pm CDT

lost my baby after 20 days

my son was born with a rare congential heart defect and many other problem, none of which showed up in the 5 ultrasounds i had.  he passed away after 20 days.  he went through heart surgery at 8 days old and had a complication that none of the doctors had seen before only read about. i spent everyday and everynight at that hospital, it was the hardest thing after he passed to go home. the doctors, nurses and other parents told me how strong i was to watch my son, because he was hooked up to so many machines after his surgery, but i wasnt strong at all. i just sat there and stroked his hair. about a month before my son was born i found out my husband was having an affair and that she was also pregnant, he says its not his now that my son has passed i am alone with 2 other boys to take care of and waiting to see if this other child is my husband's and going through a divorce.  this has been the hardest few months of my life.  i really dont know how to deal with it all.  i just try to keep myself busy with kids.

October 3, 2006, 7:03 am CDT

How do you go on

On August 12th, 2006 I lost my firstborn child, my only son aged 33.  I had just been on the phone with him not an hour before he shot himself because his bitter ex partner was going to try and ruin his life by accusing him of molesting her 18 year old daughter.  This 18 year old, who has a web page on which has several sexually provocative photos, videos and comments posted on it.  My son, was an EMT/Paramedic, and lived in a very small town and a rumour like that  WOULD have made his life a living hell, in our last conversation he was so anguished over what this woman was going to try and do to his life, because he had finally decided not to let her hold his son over his head, and to fight her for visitation etc.  She used a heinous accusation to try and make him go back to her, but instead, he killed himself.  She will not let me see my grandson, who was not told by his own mother that his father was dead, but by his baseball coach, she refuses me any contact with the only thing left other than memories of my son.  Every day, I wake up and cry, I barely make it through the day because I can't imagine life without my darling son.  How do you go on?  How do you stop all the "if I's", the "I shouldve's", and the rage I feel against this woman who caused a wonderful young man to end his life because she couldn't have him anymore.  My heart is broken into a million pieces, my mind is a shattered mess, I can't comfort my other two children because I'm afraid that I'll lose them too. So how do I go on?
October 10, 2006, 8:55 am CDT

"Dealing with the loss of my son!"

That phone call that we all dread as parents......My son was in a car accident on July 29, 2006.  He had died that night of the accident, but the EMT Unit was able to bring him back. He was taking a couple of his friends home, and his car went into a creek.  Normally that creek never has water in it, but that night it did.   I think that God knew that I could not handle losing him abruptly, so he gave me two more weeks with him.  I thank god for giving me those two weeks with him.  This is the hardest thing that I have ever had to deal with.  I have lost both parents, and 4 siblings, but none of their deaths compare to losing my son.  My heart is has a large hole in it.  If I was to have heart surgery right now, the Doctors would open me up and find a large part of my heart gone.  We were very close, and I miss him so much.  He was just a joy.  I thank god, for those 17 years that I had with him. He touched so many people's life, that we didn't even know.  He was just an awesome young man. He was a football student, and honor student.  He was baptized last year. 


I am angry, and I have question why, but I know that God's plan is always bigger than ours.  I'm not to the point of being so angry with god to give up on my faith. I do have have the faith, hope in knowing that I will join him one day.  I know that my son is my Guardian angel, and he will always be with me in spirit. I think that we all feel that our kids are suppose to bury us as parents, but that is the human instinct in us.  I know that I will see him again one day, but it's just really hard to cope with this.  Sometimes I sit back and look at those kids that are doing nothing with their life's, and ask why not them.  Why take my son, that was touching peoples life's while he was here? Then I realize through a poem that someone sent me during my bereavement, that our children are not ours.  They belong to God, and he has given them to us, to bring them up in the right way. 


We all have an inter-strength that we don't even know that we have.  We have to made that decision whether or not we will use it.  My son, and God is my strength right now.  Without them I really don't think that I would still be here today! 


During those two weeks that I had with him, I was constantly praying for god to take me instead of him.  I think that everyone that has dealt with the loss of their child, has probably prayed that prayer.  That was not his plan. 


Something that I have decided to do now, is to write down my experience with his loss.  So many friends and relatives have no ideal in what to say to someone who is dealing with losing their child.  They all want to say the right thing, but have no ideal what to say.  I just feel so compelled to write my experience with this, and what my heart is feeling.


I just take one day at a time.  It's like starting over again with everything.  I have good days, and bad days.  My job requires me to work with young people.  Some days, I'm driving to a school to do a recruitment visit, and I'm crying like a baby.  Before I get to the school, I have to dry it up, because I know that I can't go into that school crying.  Before I couldn't even talk about his death, but now it doesn't bother me as much.  I want to keep his memory alive.


My family, friends, and faith have been such a big help to me, but I have to be honest, I'm still hurting so bad.  I just miss the physical part so much, his voice, smile.  I know that I will always hurt, but I hope that one day the hurt will ease up some.  I use to fear death, I no longer fear that.  I know that he will be on the other side waiting for me when I close my eyes to death.  That brings a smile to my face. 


My pain goes out to everyone here that has lost a child.  I just need to know that someday, some of this pain will go away..........  :-(  Just keep me and my family in your prayers that we will grow stronger each and every day.  I will do the same for you also.



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