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Griffin...forever 17 1/2.....01/01/05

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My son, who I raised as a single mom for 17 1/2 years was killed in a totally avoidable car accident on January 1, 2005. Griffin was the reason for my life- my rock- I had to get it together for him- and keep it going for all the years of his life. Although I have a 6 month old daughter- Griffin was killed when she was 2 months old- I am having an adjustment problem- as life without my son, my best friend, my heart- is hard to buy into. I am striving to accept the afterlife ideas, and "know" he is with me always, and our relationship has simply changed- from the physical to the spiritual- and that he will be waiting for me with open arms when my day comes. It has been a long almost 5 months- 18th birthday, grad night, graduation, prom...all that payoff stuff parents of 17 yr olds have been waiting for. Type in Griffin Schwartz to see his site. I have done this website, purchased memorial bricks and plaques at the local park, had an 18th "birthday / graduation" gathering of friends- his friends planted an oak tree in front of our house decorated with bricks painted at the gathering, we have a butterfly garden......and I still am lacking in will to live. I know Griffin wants me to do a good job raising his sister, and as I go through the motions, I can feel no passion- the passion I had when raising Griffin. Does anyone get it? Visit Griffins site- I will be adding photos of the 18 doves we released, the tree at the house- and other miscellaneous photos. Any suggestions for our lives now without the physical presence of the children we love so very much? How do we live with this- and have some quality of life?

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My dear friend,

You may already be aware of what I’m about to say, and if so please forgive me if I’m telling you what you already know. I want to offer these suggestions anyway, as I think it’s important that others who may be reading this know about them, too.

In addition to coming here to our Loss of a Child Forum, I hope you have found someone to talk to face-to-face about this, my friend. The mourning that accompanies the death of a child is particularly intense, complicated and long-lasting, and it is difficult enough without having to do it all alone. Sharing your feelings, reactions and experiences with another (a trusted friend or family member, a bereavement counselor, a clergy person or in a support group) gives you a safe place to express yourself, helps you understand that what you're feeling is normal, and may give you the hope that if others have found a way to survive an unspeakable loss like this, then you will find your own way, too.

If you're willing to consider joining a support group where you'll feel welcome and understood, I can think of no better place than The Compassionate Friends, because it is comprised of other grieving parents. You might begin by contacting your local library, mortuary or hospice organization to find out what bereavement resources are available in your own community. See if there is a local chapter of The Compassionate Friends where you live; you can do so by clicking on TCF's Online Chapter Locator.

I don't know if you've had an opportunity to explore my Grief Healing Web site, but if not I hope you will do so -- it offers information, comfort and support to those who are mourning the loss of a loved one, as well as links to many other wonderful sites, each of which I've reviewed personally. See especially these sites developed by parents whose feelings and experiences may be similar to your own:

Bereaved Parents of the USA

The Compassionate Friends

CSRA Compassionate Friends

Love Never Dies: A Mother's Journey from Loss to Love

Wings: Grief Education Outreach

Many bereaved parents have their own stories to tell, and in recent years, dozens of books have been written by those whose children have died. These wonderful sources of hope and healing are as near as the Bereavement section of your local library or bookstore. Below are some I’ve read myself and personally recommend. Clicking on the titles will take you to a description and reviews of each:

A Season of Grief: A Comforting Companion for Difficult Days by Ann Dawson

A Broken Heart Still Beats: After Your Child Dies by Anne McCracken and Mary Semel (Editors)

Dreaming Kevin: The Path to Healing by Carla Blowey

The Lively Shadow: Living with the Death of a Child by Donald M. Murray

Love Never Dies: A Mother's Journey from Loss to Love by Sandy Goodman

And A Sword Shall Pierce Your Heart: Moving from Despair to Meaning after the Death of a Child by Charlotte Mathes

You say that you feel no passion as you go through the motions of caring for your baby. Since you've been mourning the death of your son for most of your daughter's very short life, I'm not surprised to learn that "going through the motions" is all that you can muster right now. A certain period of "feeling blue" is not unusual following a pregnancy. Given your circumstances, however, you are particularly at risk for developing post-partum depression. I hope that you are keeping your obstetrician and your pediatrician informed as to what's going on in your life, following their advice, and doing all you can to take good care of yourself physically as well as emotionally.

Your memorial site for Griffin is profoundly moving and beautiful, and what a lovely tribute to your beloved son. I hope and pray that all the memories that are presented there by those who knew and loved Griffin will bring you some small measure of comfort, and shelter you just a bit from the indescribable pain that is raining down upon you. I have no profound answer as to how you live with this, other than to acknowledge what you’re already doing and pay you my deepest respect for that. As you already know, we bereaved mothers do this just as you are doing it now: one day at a time, and if that is too much, one hour or even just one moment at a time. I happen to think that someone in your shoes deserves a medal of honor just for having the courage to get out of bed in the morning.

Please know that we're all thinking of you, pulling for you and holding you in our collective heart.

Wishing you peace and healing,

Marty T

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  • 4 months later...


My name is Beth. I think we may have alot in common. I too was a single mom who raised my son, Thomas. He was my only child. He was killed in a car wreck on March 6 2005. That was 4 days after his 20th birthday and on my 45th birthday. I will never celebrate my birthday again and I really do not want to celebrate anything anymore.

How do we go forth. I used to look forward to the future. Living a long healthy life, watching my only child marry, raise a family and have a wonderful life. Now I hope I do not live to a ripe old age. I do not want to feel this pain for the next 30 years. Why am I still here, why did my precious son lose his life right when it was starting? What am I supposed to look forward to. Why should I get up everyday. I pretend to be doing better, but it is a facade. I wonder if I will every feel better? I wonder if you also have these feelings. Will we every be happy again? I don't know.

But I have to believe I will. I DO believe in Heaven and GOD. I know that if I

try to leave this earth before God is ready for me, then I may not be able to spend eternity with my Thomas and my Lord. That does give me HOPE.

I pray alot and talk to my family about THomas all the time. It helps when you have a strong support group and faith in the LOrd.

I always told myself that is something happened to Thomas, I would not survive. But I am still here and it is a struggle, but here I am. Again, WHY????

I know I have not said anything to ease you suffering, but, maybe it will help to let you know that I feel for you and maybe we could share our thoughts if you would like. I will pray for you to find peace and for God to help you wiith your pain.

God Bless and keep you, BEth

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