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This poem comes to us from Deb Kosmer, Bereavement Support Coordinator for Affinity Visiting Nurses Hospice. In addition to writing poetry, Deb provides grief services to hospice patients, families and other grieving individuals in the Fox Valley in Wisconsin. Her services include grief group facilitation, individual counseling, grief education and support mailings to grieving individuals, families and professionals who work with the grieving, and community presentations on grief and loss. Deb has a bachelor's and a master's degree in Social Work and is currently working towards certification in Thanantology. In January, 1986, Deb's father suffered a massive heart attack and died. Barely three years later, she experienced the accidental deaths of her 14-year-old son (in October, 1989) and her 31-year-old sister (in February, 1989). Her personal losses led her to return to school and to the work she now does. Her grief poems have been published in Grief Magazine, Bereavement Magazine, and The Compassionate Friends national magazine, We Need Not Walk Alone. Deb also writes for the families she works with and for local agency newsletters. She can be reached by e-mail at purplescarf@new.rr.com or toll free at (866) 236-8500.


Children aren’t supposed to die….

Certainly not before their parents….

Not before their grandparents

Not before the 93 year old lady down the street

But they do

And hearts are broken

Lives forever changed

Families shattered.

Dreams and Hopes stolen.

The death of a child

Robs its parents of

That which they love most

It comes uninvited and

Sometimes unannounced

Leaving behind

Confusion, sadness,

and gut wrenching pain.

It shatters any once held illusions

Of goodness and fairness

And being able to protect those we love.

And leaves us feeling as though we have failed

And angry that it should’ve been us, not them.

It leaves us with questions without answers

And friends and family who don’t know what to say

And with us feeling so alone

Struggling to find

A reason to stay.

By Deb Kosmer, Shawn’s Mom

In memory of

Shawn Jeremy Schmitz

3/12/75 - 10/25/89

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  • 5 months later...

Hi Marty T,

Thank you for sharing this beautiful peom, I really love reading poetry. You can really feel what emotion people are dealing with through their poetry. I really like when people share information it really helps to know people understand and care about what you are going through Take care Shelley

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