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Baby Jack

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My sweet baby grandson died from injuries inflicted on him by his father when he was only 7 weeks old, around the middle of July 2009. He survived 2 1/2 months after the initial abuse....which is so horrendous I won't even share it here. I was given custody of him and took care of him during that time. It was a gift to me to be able to do this for him. He died on October 5, 2009 and I don't know what to do now. I was TOUGH while I took care of him, made it thru the holidays; Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas. But this new year started and I am stuck with grief. I am seeing a grief counselor but don't feel like it is helping very much. I just want to tell people about this perfect little baby and brave little soul that came to this planet and suffered so much because the one person that was supposed to help him ended up killing him. To top it off, I resigned from my teaching/school librarian job so I could take care of him and I don't know what to do as a new career now. It feels like a return to the teaching field just isn't right. Will this feeling go away or do I move in a new direction? So many questions, so much grief. Thank you for listening.


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My dear Claudia,

Your story is so horrifying that I scarcely know what to say to you ~ except that my heart is breaking for you. What an angel of mercy you must be to have stepped up in the face of this tragedy to care for that precious grandbaby for the last ten weeks of his life. You say it was a gift that you were able to do this for him, and I'm sure the love you showered upon him during that difficult time was a priceless gift that went both ways, doing as much for you as it must have done for your grandson. I hope it gives you some measure of comfort to know that you did everything humanly possible to "undo" the inhuman horror that was committed upon him.

You say you're seeing a grief counselor but it isn't helping very much. I'm not sure at this point if anything you do would feel as if it's helping much, but I admire you for trying, and I hope you will continue doing everything you can to take good care of yourself -- even if you don't feel like doing so. I don't know what other resources you've discovered, either, but I'd like to offer some to you, just in case. Please see the links I've listed on the Death of an Infant, Child or Grandchild page of my Grief Healing Web site, especially those aimed at grandparents. In addition, please read my article, Parental Grief in the Wake of Homicide, and follow some of the links included there.

Again, Claudia, I am so very sorry for your loss. Please know that we are holding you in gentle thought and prayer at this sad and challenging time.

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I am a social worker. I am here because I lost my younger brother to H1N1 flu last month.

On my professional side, I deal with abused and neglected babies and children every day.

On my personal side, I sat and watched my brother try so hard to live....while he suffered on a ventalator and being paralized for three long months before his body finally gave out.

Every day, I try to balance the two things in my head. Trying to go to work and hopefully save a child's life, while dealing with the horror of seeing more death, and more abuse, and more hurt.

There is one thing that I truely believe; that the love and caring you gave to your grandson let him know the love and security that he needed. Your love and caring for that baby made a difference. I might suggest that there area some wonderful organizations of grandparents who are caring for their grandchildren. You might want to honor your grand child by working or volunteering, or becoming a CASA (Court appointed special adovcate) for a child in the foster care system.

I want you to know, that as someone who works in the field of child protection, that there are thousands of social workers out there who salute you, and thank you.

You are my new personal hero.

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