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What is Normal After Your Child Dies
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What is Normal After Your Child Dies

I lost my fantastic son Taylor a few years ago. The grief is as raw as ever. Holidays make it worse of course, and seeing kids who resemble him make me cry. I'm a basketcase, and I just can't seem to move on. Long story. *sigh*
I hope the following helps explain to others who have not experienced the loss of a child to understand just how fundamentally our lives have changed.

What is Normal after your child dies?

Normal is having tears waiting behind every smile when you realize someone important is missing from all the important events in your family's life.

Normal is trying to decide what to take to the cemetery for Birthdays, X-mas, Hanukkah, Thanksgiving, New Years, Valentine's Day, July 4th and Passover.

Normal is feeling like you can't sit another minute without getting up and screaming, because you just don't like to sit through anything anymore.

Normal is not sleeping very well because a thousand what if's & why didn't I's go through your head constantly.

Normal is reliving the accident continuously through your eyes and mind, holding your head to make it go away.

Normal is having the TV on the minute you walk into the house to have noise, because the silence is deafening.

Normal is staring at every boy who looks like he is Taylor's age. And then thinking of the age he'd would be now. Then wondering why it is even important to imagine it, because it will never happen.

Normal is every happy event in your life always being backed up with sadness lurking close behind, because of the hole in your heart.

Normal is telling the story of your child's death as if it were an everyday, commonplace activity, and then seeing the horror in someone's eyes at how awful it sounds. And yet realizing it has become a part of your "normal."

Normal is each year coming up with the difficult task of how to honor your childs's memory and their birthdays and survive these days. And trying to find the balloon or flag that fit's the occasion. Happy Birthday? Not really.

Normal is my heart warming and yet sinking at the sight of something special Taylor loved. Thinking how he would love it, but how he is not here to enjoy it.

Normal is having some people afraid to mention my son, Taylor.
Normal is making sure that others remember him.

Normal is after the funeral is over everyone else goes on with their lives, but we continue to grieve our loss forever.

Normal is weeks, months, and years after the initial shock, the grieving gets worse, not better.

Normal is not listening to people compare anything in their life to this loss, unless they too have lost a child. Nothing compares.
Even if your child is in the remotest part of the earth away from you - it doesn't compare.

Losing a parent is horrible, but having to bury your own child is unnatural.

Normal is taking pills, and trying not to cry all day, because you know your mental health depends on it.

Normal is realizing you do cry everyday.

Normal is being impatient with everything and everyone but someone stricken with grief over the loss of their child.

Normal is sitting at the computer crying, sharing how you feel with chat buddies who have also lost a child.
Normal is not listening to people make excuses for God.
"God may have done this because…"

I know Taylor is in "heaven," but hearing people trying to think up excuses as to why a fantastic young man was taken from this earth is not appreciated and makes absolutely no sense to this grieving mother.
Normal is being too tired to care if you paid the bills, cleaned the house, did the laundry or if there is any food.

Normal is wondering this time whether you are going to say you have two children or one child, because you will never see this person again and it is not worth explaining that Taylor is dead.
And yet when you say you have one child to avoid that problem, you feel horrible as if you have betrayed the dead child.

Normal is asking G-d why he took your child's life instead of yours and asking if there even is a G-d.

Normal is knowing you will never get over this loss, not in a day nor a million years.

Normal is having therapists agree with you that you will never "really" get over the pain and that there is nothing they can do to help you because they know only bringing back your child back from the dead could possibly make it "better."

Normal is learning to lie to everyone you meet and telling them you are fine. You lie because it makes others uncomfortable if you cry. You've learned it's easier to lie to them then to tell them the truth that you still feel empty and it's probably never going to get any better -- ever.
And last of all...
Normal is hiding all the things that have become "normal" for you to
feel, so that everyone around you will think that you are "normal."

The above poem was originally written by Tara and Heath Carey after they lost their daughters Violet and Iris in 2002 when natural gas caused their apartment to explode.
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I extend my very deepest condolences to you and your family on the passing of your your young son He was sooo handsome and I know the pain and eternal wound that death leaves behind, I call it the eternal "spear through the heart" that will always remain.

I am a daugher who's mother died as I held her and watch her take her last breath, so I do understand the pain that death has cause and I suffer too. I also have to go to a cemetary with the numing pain and realization that like a bad dream my mother is dead and I can't do anything about it.

I read your post and I had to catch my breath and stop crying in order to respond. I read this poem and some parts of the poem emotionally upset me, because death is not normal for anyone and I am a daugher whose mother died and there is no words to describe the pain, grief and sorrow that I have and will continue to feel. Having to bury my mom was unatural for me too!  There have been so many times, that I have gone to visit her grave and have literally fallen on my knees on top of her grave, with my heart wailing in pain for my mother. My soul wailed saying, "Mommy, where are you? How am I suppose to live without you? What do I do mommy, I need you?  I can't sleep, because of the pain in my heart and I call her at night, because I need my mom and I want to know where she is at and how I don't know how to live without her. How do I live without my mom? How?  I constantly relive her dying in my arms as I held her and death devistates my family and how do I console my father when he tells me, "I'm destroyed"? and at times I felt that unless someone has loss their mother, they can't possilby understand my pain and what it is like not to have a their mother. Death is raw and has no mercy. I also asked God why? Why did my mother have to die the way she did and why did as I watch her and held as she took her last breath? My mother was a devout Christian and an example to my family on faith in God and now,  He is my strenght and I belive, have faith and trust in Him and Him alone. He is who I turn to when I want to die.  I no longer have my mother to go too when I have problems, grief, pain, sorrow, questions. I would give my very life if I had mom again, so you see, you loss your son, and I loss my mom and I can only tell you that if you have died first, he would be as heartbroken as I am now and he would have givin his very life for you and it would break his heart to know that you would be suffering. He would want you not to suffer and to live. He wants you to live a full life, because it's not your time and I promise that one day in God's time, your son is going to come running to you from the gates of heaven and be the guiding light and show you the way. he is only a transition and a prayer away and faith in God is everything. Live your life fully and in God's time, you will be reunited with you son again.
I lost my 26 year old son 11/23 of last year...the first year was horrible...everything I see reminded me of him..I couldn't bear to look at his pictures and it was and has been very difficult.  I still (and probably always will) have periods of depression and grief and sometimes I think of him and just sit and cry...of course the Holidays make it tough, the first birthday without them makes it tough, the first anniversary of their death makes it tough...I hear a sad song that doesn't even relate to him and I start crying and have to pull off the road...I can't bear to listen to "Angel" by Sara McLaughlin without breaking out in tears....

But we have to begin to move on and take care of ourselves and others around us...I have another son and 2 grandchildren and 3 stepchildren who have been very, we can't ever forget them..that is not what I'm saying...don't ever forget him, but try to avoid the triggers that set us off (not an easy task) and know that he's safe in the arms of God....waiting for you...where you'll be together forever...

In God's love

Hi my name is Joey I lost my beautifull 16 year old son 4 years ago in a car accident, I know how you feel so I don't hafto say anything about that. I just want people to let me get on withit. I tried to go back to work for about 2 half years after it happened but I can't  I just can't take my mind off things, and now I have authorities on my back trying to get me to find a job, I hafto go to a meeting once a week and explain my self, they ask how I am so I say I'm fine and I know they don't want to know how I realy feel because when I have told them in the past I just get the feeling that they are pissed off with me for taking to long to grieve. I realy liked what you wrote about being normal it's spot on hope to hear from you soon Joey
Thank you for the post. It really does hit the spot.

People would tell me "God has a plan" there is a reason my son died...this used to make me so mad, yet when people wouldn't try and console, this hurt also. I used to pick up the phone and pretend my son was on the other end and I'd say "I love you, bye" and hang up...wierd I know. Lots and lots of pills and alcohol, it should of been me. Chemicals only "mask" the grieving. When you stop them (if they don't kill you first) the grieving starts right from the beginning.  

Reliving his death over and over in minute detail is like dieing a thousand deaths. He only died once, a parent doesn't have to keep dieing over and over.

Do you have any children? I still don't know what to say.

No there's nothing as horrible as losing your child.

I fully understand how you feel....keep the friends you trust
the most close, they will help you.  There is nothing left to say
I feel the same way as you do.  Each day you get up, and want
your son back....and it really does not get better.

Take great care all,
Hi, I lost my 12 y/o daughter in Aug 09 in a freak car accident. 4 days after i buried her i gave birth to her little brother that she never got to meet. It was very difficult to adjust my feelings.I didn't know what to feel, I was numb. It has been 6 months and these months flew by and i don't remember much about them,it feels like I'm in a fog. I sit and think how i have my two boys but my daughter is gone forever. And the natural poem is so true. Let me tell you I find my comfort and strength in God the Almighty.

Take care,
I lost my baby boy, well... he was 21 he will always be my baby, he died in a motorcycle accident on the 19th at 10:00am today is Easter and I feel like I am a walking zombie if I am not crying I am feeling guilt. I didnt talk to him the day he died. He spoke to my mom, but he was home the day before he was always on that bike. He stayed the nights with a girl he met for the last couple of weeks and then would pop in and out he was always on the go. But the day before he gave me a hug and a kiss and at least I got to tell him I loved him, I just wish I would have talked to him on the day of his accident. I was asleep the morning of, the phone woke me up I answered and a lady asked me if I knew who this phone number belonged to I said no what number are you calling from I cant see the caller ID she said the phone number I suddenly got a cold feeling my heart was racing I said THATS MY SONS PHONE WHY ARE YOU CALLING ME FROM HIS PHONE? she said that she was calling from the hospital and I needed to get there as soon as possible I rushed to St Ed's Hospital called my mom she was there before I was I knew it was bad they gave me no information when I got there and they led us to the family room where the director of nursing was there and chaplen a few others not sure its all so hazy except when they said they were trying to resesitate him for fourty five min I knew he wasnt comming back. I wont go on with the rest except to say I dont know... how to live without him. He was IS my best friend I miss him so much words can never express my loss. I just felt like shairing I miss him so much. I can relate to whats normal some I havent experianced yet but I know I will but it is what I FEEL I can relate.
i lost my daughter almost 15 yrs ago,and after reading that poem as such what you posted there has never been a truer word spoken..your life changes forever when you lose a child and it will never ever be the same again...ever. its an emptiness that you carry round with you always.i feel like ive had two seperate before i lost my daughter and life afterwards. its so cliche but you have to be strong and its more of a survival. my heart broke in two and it can never be mended but i have to fight on,we all do.. god bless to all that have suffered this heartache.i feel alone,im sure everyone that loses a child does,but know your not.your truely not. please remember that and keep strong,all my sincerest regards and best wishes
Very beautiful and expresses what all of us as parents feel when we lose a most beloved child. I can relate to many things the poem says. I lost my oldest child Todd on Jan. 11, 2011. I am struggling with many firsts right now. Easter I was a mess, tomorrow is my 54th birthday...Todd would have been the first one to wish me a happy birthday and of course Mother's Day is a few days later. I have no profound advice to give. Hardest thing we ever endure is to lose a child. It is not the natural order of things. I am deeply sorry for all parents that are now grieving and for those yet to know the loss of a child. Todd was another long story as well. I am still trying to piece together what all went wrong. I know this much...the extreme love we feel for our child never ever dies. And there is no set time limit for the grief and pain. I think this is a grief we will carry around for the rest of our lives. We just learn to get through each day. That is what I am doing at the present. But, once again very beautiful poem that states what it is like to lose a child. God Bless
dearest lynnkay,im so,so sorry for your loss,although i know what your feeling right now,i lost my daughter almost 15 years ago and i still struggle. you say jan just gone,i truely know what your going through and its so hard,please know that people on here are so thoughtful and will do ther best to help you through such a time right now.please know i will always be here even just to listen.god bless and my thoughts are with you and  your family x
Christmas, Easter, Mother's Day, your child's birthday; they all have that terrible ache.  You do what you have to do to make it seem normal, but there's always the knowledge that you are breaking your neck for normal, but normal does not come.  It's been almost five years since my 19 year old son died in a pedestrian accident.  I have gotten to the point that I just work myself to death trying to be strong for everyone else in my family.  His father and brother never say his name, because the pain is too much.  

When I was a little girl, my uncle died in a house fire.  I remember my Grandmother had a little replica house that this uncle had made.  When she took it out to look at it, I could tell it was one of her most prized possessions.
Only now do I know the pain.  I still cannot look at pictures of my son, after almost five years.  This boy was so loved by his family, I cannot imagine why somebody so precious to us died so senselessly.   All you can do is be strong because if you are not strong, you will wither away.  

I have been told that you will become someone different after losing a child.  And I believe it.  I am not as friendly as before.  I still like people just as much as I ever did, but I just see things differently now.  And I don't discuss my son with anybody.  Most folk don't want to talk about it, because somewhere inside they know it is the ultimate loss, even if they don't know the real hell and
pain involved.  

Nobody has ever asked me if I want to talk about my son.  Nobody.  They just want me to get on with life and deal with this hand I've been dealt.  I feel guilty just saying or thinking that, as my son is really the one who got a raw deal.  Won't get to live his life.  I will cry my tears and get up tomorrow and put on the strong face and do my duties.  There are many others in the same boat as all of us.  God help us all.

hi what you said is to many a true word spoken,and i dont think that anyone truely understands how people that have lost a child,no matter how old or why really understand the pain that lingers with you as a parent for the rest of your life..and your also right when you say..god help us all.. thats how i feel every day. but also,as much as my life will never be the same,and its took me so long and ive lost so many years before i realised can never be the same,but it can be something else,something else that can make you happy again,keep strong and fight for that happiness and know you too still have a life to live,a life to finish and see to the end in the best way you know how..i wish you and everyone who suffers this pain the very best in the world.
I want to say thank you for your feels ad though finally I am understood. I am truly sorry for your loss as I am dealing with the lost of my own son. My son King was stillborn @ birth just 3 days before my birthday. I also am going through the whys and the what ifs and boy it is a hard pill to swallow. I keep thinking like I see others with children all the time mistreating a.d abusing them neglecting and leaving them to the system...why did this have to happen to me? I was the one who wanted to love and care for my son to teach him and be there for him. Its so much easier for someone who doesn't know how it feels to go through this to say "oh its ok" but it never is and never will be. I'm at the point where I am too scared to even try again because I don't want to experience this pain for a second time

I haven't really had a chance to vent or release some of this build up since that day but I sure am happy I was able to read your post and know its other people in the world that feel how I'm feeling.

In 2wks it will be his 1st birthday/Angel-versary (August 15) and I'm lost. I cant think of what would really be good enough to do to honor/celebrate his day...if you have any suggestions I would gladly appreciate them.
I want to say thank you for your feels ad though finally I am understood. I am truly sorry for your loss as I am dealing with the lost of my own son. My son King was stillborn @ birth just 3 days before my birthday. I also am going through the whys and the what ifs and boy it is a hard pill to swallow. I keep thinking like I see others with children all the time mistreating a.d abusing them neglecting and leaving them to the system...why did this have to happen to me? I was the one who wanted to love and care for my son to teach him and be there for him. Its so much easier for someone who doesn't know how it feels to go through this to say "oh its ok" but it never is and never will be. I'm at the point where I am too scared to even try again because I don't want to experience this pain for a second time

I haven't really had a chance to vent or release some of this build up since that day but I sure am happy I was able to read your post and know its other people in the world that feel how I'm feeling.

In 2wks it will be his 1st birthday/Angel-versary (August 15) and I'm lost. I cant think of what would really be good enough to do to honor/celebrate his day...if you have any suggestions I would gladly appreciate them.
Thank you for the words, I hope you do not mind if I share them as they express what I feel. I lost my son, 23 years old, in his sleep not sure why waiting on report. His name is Andrew Alvaro Oseguera and passed on 3/14/14.  Writing and sharing helps, I am the father.  I feel dispair, sorrow, grief...he was my pride and joy.  I do not understand why things happen. I pray to God for all of you and for us.  I feel I am in the woods dense with  fog searching for him and cannot find him, helpless situation. God bless!
I cannot explain the pain but feel it for all of us.  I am so sorry for everyone's lost. I write to you as your pain is so recent also.  

Perhaps you can help me in some way.

I lost my  26 yr old daughter and cannot recover.  I want to be with her.  

I have no health insurance and am self employed so after a hospital stay of two weeks (as I went into shock  when I found her) I had to return to work  in a medical practice of all things.  

I look at a patient lying down and see her in a coffin.  I cry between clients.  I can barely listen to anyone.  I cannot read or focus.  I drive and do not remember the ride to work.

I vacation and then wondered why am I here.  My heart gut is wrenching all the time...I can't sleep or eat.  Everything has no meaning.  I cannot watch tv or the awful news.  Life seems like a punishment for living.

My townhome is for sale and I have no where to go if it sells.  I just want to run away and throw in the towel.

As a single mother raising the last two children alone, why am I suffering more.

Divorced from a  boring looser veteran who took off to revisit Korea with his 3 times divorced girlfriend after she died.   He threw all her bills, mail,  sympathy cards in a bag and wrote..."headstone, your responsibility".  What do I do.  No help anywhere.

my father had a stroke, my mother might be dead, have only a  brother  who  inherited/stole  everyone's money and no one feels for me

I do not have family support, my oldest son won't speak to me since he married and my youngest and ex husband were out of state  so  I was and still am the time of her death.  My finding her they do not feel for.,

I fake my smile, my struggle minute to minute and go to bed alone at night crying.  

I  was always considered  pretty and  am letting my looks go, my appetite go and sleep in my clothes for the entire weekend.  i.e. I guess I have given up.

Why is there no one there for me when I gave so much to others.

I welcome any ideas to get it I move, kill myself, therapy was a joke and meds do not work.

I feel  and rethink what did I miss in raising her..was it bullying, was it bad friends,  was it her weight issues or lack of a father at home, or what made her make the choices she did as I really do not know why she came home unexpectedly on a sunday night and sat and talked a bit before I left her at my fathers to help pick up his mess of an apartment.

5 hours later I came home to find her cold, blue, dead and I went crazy running through the neighborhood screaming for help.  Useless me.....she scared me in that I knew...It was too late.

I will never survive this.

My only brother went after my father's money and convinced him I was stealing...they took me to probate two weeks after she was buried. Talk about more hurt.

On the anniversary of her death they showed up and took my favorite table at a restaurant I they wanted me to walk in...I blew and screamed and they sat there like to sociopaths looking at me like re hurting.

I wish I was dead.  A therapist said there is no help for death of a why am I even alive.  To suffer?

And her college loans are ONLY mine to pay off to Sallie Mae as her father never committed to college nor did he even show at her college graduation oh but his sons ignore all of this.

What is right I ask my self.

I need a friend, a plan, do I move, sell, give up my profession?  I hate waking up as I do not want to.

Where do I go for help and help for what anyway.  I envision her lifeless body every minute of every day.  My only daughter, born 16 yrs after my  first and estranged son.

If there is a God, why give a gift and then take it away.  I ask myself every day where did I go wrong.

My sympathies to everyone and thank you for reading this saga of emotion.
I feel so much like you do. My son was murdered in a domestic dispute in our home. He was my baby. I have an older son that for reasons unknown am not close to. My Cole was just 20. He was my world, the love of my life, the reason I got up everyday.

Now I want nothing to do with just about everyone. I stay in my home, leaving maybe once every two weeks. I won't talk to my family because they want to talk about what is going on with them and frankly I don't care. They ask how I'm doing. How do they think I'm doing? I don't care if the Lord takes me tomorrow , I am ready to go home. The pain is awful and continues to get worse. He died in June 2013.

I'm sorry for your pain and can relate in so many ways. It seems once we go down this road we can't catch a break. All I have now is my faith to get through minute by minute, day by day. I will say a prayer that you have some peace and someone's compassion as you need that right now. You have mine.
I also wanted to say I ask God the same question, why give and then take, that wasn't our deal as if I could control this nightmare.

I do have a journal I write in frequently to my son expressing my deep grief and love for him, telling him how much I miss him, and other things as well. Poems or bible verses, whatever I am feeling at the time. I decorated the outside of this journal with patriotic stickers, he loved his country so.
We just lost our 14 year old daughter five days ago after a 2-1/2 year battle with leukemia. We had to make decisions that meant we were going to allow her to die instead to keeping her body on machines and medicines. It was, without a doubt, the hardest thing we will ever experience. We held her hand as the machines were disconneted and supports were pulled and we watched her take her last breathes. Our adult children were at the hospital with us during the last two tramatic days. They were crushed but agreed with each decision.

Her funeral is this evening. I am a pastor and will bring the message. I am doing this because no one can tell her story like one of her family. God has starting the healing process as I have had to dig deep into myself and into the Scriptures to try to make sense of all of this.

I can't say it all makes sense on a personal level but I have come to see God's hand in all of this. We prayed hard as did hundreds of others that she would be healed and I have been bitterly disappointed as things got worse instead of better.

I had to come to the point, once again, where I admitted that Rebekah was not my possession but was God's and that I trusted Him to do what was right and best for her. And while I don't like God's choice, I do acknowledge that He knows more than I do. I also recognize that Rebekah is now freed from all the pain and indignity that accompanied her treatment. She suffered greatly but never complained. She is the strongest person I have ever known and she has taught me much as I observed her through these last few years.

I will see her again and I know look forward to my own transition from this life to eternal life. I want to conduct myself with the grace and peace and strength that I witnessed in her.

I sorely miss her and nobody will ever be able to take her place, but I know she would never come back to this world of pain and loss even if she could. She is healed in a way that transends her illness and her mortal life.

Perhaps many who read this and who are not Christians will think me foolish or ignorant, but my faith is the only thing that helps me make sense of this unjust, and often cruel world.
I lost my beautiful grandson on Sept. 16, 2014.  I cry every day, some times it is just a quite cry and others it is a painful, gut wrenching screams.  He was only 5, the accident happened exactly one month before his 6th birthday.

We spent every weekend together doing fun things or working in the yard (he loved doing Team Work and we would have to sing the Wonder Pets song about Team Work).  I was there the day he was born and helped to raise him. I have devoted my whole life to him - to the point I didn't go out with friends unless they had kids and we did kid friendly activities - so now even though I am 55, the majority of my friends are parents of younger children - I don't have a lot my own age to help me get distracted, and those that I do have live far away.

I do not know how to move on with life without him, I am a Christian woman, but even my faith is not helping.  I am so angry with God that he took him when we should of had so many more years together.

I returned to work a couple of weeks ago, and really am not doing much of anything, my mind will not let me concentrate on anything for more than about 30 minutes of less, then it goes back to thoughts of my Kaydin.  I look at pictures of him, some days it gives me a little peace but most days it is so hard to look at his pictures and the pain comes back full force.  As I scroll through Facebook, all of a sudden their is a picture of him - I am shocked at first and then cry and then I save the picture.  

I really wish there was some way to help move forward with this grief - it hurts so much, people try to help out but like another had said, my emotions are all over the place - the other day I cussed out a bank teller when she asked me what denominations I wanted - I just went off on the poor lady, screaming like some crazy person.  I cannot make the easiest of decisions.  There are times that I wish I would just die so I can be with him, but then I watched the movie "What Dreams May Come" and got scared because according to the movie and the bible our loved ones will not necessarily look the same - I want to find the Kaydin I know and love, and it scares me to think I will not see his beautiful smile when I join him.

I want to find a website that will tell me definitively when I will feel somewhat normal again, when I will move forward and of course nobody gives you this information.  I just don't know how to live my life now without Kaydin in it.  
Thank you all for the kind words.

Here is the website that explains our sad story.
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