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Hi there. I stumbled onto this message board today and I'm glad b/c I haven't really talked in any kind of organized "grief" setting since my mom died.

I lost my mom this past October out of the blue. She was only 59 years old and in perfect health. I was 41 weeks pregnant when she died and she had been calling every other minute, it seemed, to see if I was in labor yet. The night she had her stroke I talked to her around 7 p.m. and was kind of short w/her b/c I was annoyed that she kept asking if I was in labor and I was annoyed that I wasn't and that she kept asking. I don't even think I told her I loved her. Later that night, sometime after 11 p.m., she keeled over in the kitchen of her house. My stepdad said she was sort of concious for awhile, but she quickly slipped into unconciousness and never woke up.

I saw her at the hospital early Saturday morning (around 2 a.m.) but had to leave later that morning because, wouldn't you know it, I went into labor and couldn't deliver where she was. I had my baby Saturday afternoon. Monday morning my stepdad called around 4 a.m. to say things didn't look good. My doctor released me early (I'd had a c-section, so I wasn't really supposed to leave) and later that morning my mom was officially pronounced dead.

One of the hardest parts of this is that she never even got to meet her newest granddaughter, and she had been SO excited. She had a bag packed so she could be at the hospital overnight w/me if need be and wanted to know about every contraction and feeling I had.

She doted on my other two kids and it breaks my heart that my oldest only got to have five years with her and my son only got three (she actually died on his third birthday).

She was a part of my daily life; a day rarely went by that we didn't talk. I saw her at least once a week and my kids were incredibly close with her.

I still can't believe she's gone and I'm dreading Christmas without her. The only thing that saves my sanity is my husband and kids, but otherwise I can't believe how much I miss her.

Anyway, thanks for letting me share.

Also, does anyone know of any good books/websites that deal w/grief for young children? My 3 yo seems fine but my 5 yo has been having a lot of nightmares lately and I think they're related to her missing her beloved Nana and not expressing it. But maybe not.

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I can only spend a moment but I read your post and wanted to tell you to "google" the phrase "New Song". Here in Phoenix it's on organization specifcally devoted to bereaved children and I'm sure it, or its equivalent is available in other places. You can also go the the URL, http://www.nhpco.org and search within your Zipcode for a hospice that might better direct you locally.

Here's another idea for the children: Work with them to create a Memory Box. Here's the process:

1. Obtain a box with a lid, typically the size of a shoebox though the size doesn't matter.

2. Bring out all their coloring paraphenalia and tell them what you all are about to do: "We're going to make a fancy box in which you can put anything that reminds you of Grandma. Color or paste colored paper on the outside anyway you want as this is your special box. On the inside, color it the way you feel now that Grandma is gone." Let them collect any object that reminds them of Grandma and take note of the inside of the box.

Here's another one: Create a Worry Jar

1. Get a jar or can with a tight lid. You will put it in a high place where they can't reach it. Take them to the place where you have put the jar, point it out, and get it down, indicating that only Mommy can get to this.

2. Here's the narrative: "Hey, guys, you know, sometimes you get worried and don't know how to tell us? Well, here's your very own Worry Box! When you feel very sad--maybe it's because Grandma died--or when you are very nervous or afraid, I want you to take out a piece of paper and write (or draw) how you feel on that paper. Then crupple it up, call Mommy, and ask me to get the Worry Box for you. I'll get it, open it, and you can put that piece of paper in the box. Then I'll close it REAL tight and put it back in that high place. Nobody but you and Mommy and Daddy will ever see it." Or some variation of this. The point is that it is meant to seperate the child from their anxieties.

Your's is a sad and poignant story but, as you read within this Discussion Group, you will see that you are not alone.

Your holidays may pass in a blur this year. That's normal, the first time around when a death occurs near the holidays.

The best to you.


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does anyone know of any good books/websites that deal w/grief for young children?

Dear One,

How terribly sad and unfair that your dear mother did not live long enough to welcome her newest granddaughter into this world, and I can only imagine how cheated you must feel. Please know that you have our deepest sympathy, and we're all holding you in gentle thought and prayer.

In addition to the wonderful suggestions Steve G has given you, I want to point you to the Child, Adolescent Grief page of my Grief Healing Web site. There you will find over three dozen links to some very helpful articles and sites that deal specifically with the topic of grief in children.

Wishing you peace and healing,

Marty T

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I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my Mom 2 weeks ago. I am not sure if she had a heart attack or cardiac arrest or stroke. My Dad is still waiting on the death certificate. She had gotten up in the morning and was getting ready to have a cup of coffee and collapsed in the kitchen. She died a few hours later. I was 5 minutes late getting there and she passed away with my father and husband by her side. She was only 62.

I hate that it happened and I keep replaying Thanksgiving and the next day over and over again in my head desperately trying to remember the most minute details of the day. The clothes she wore, what she said our conversations during those 2 days. I feel lucky to have had my Mom at my wedding and when I had my 2 children but I feel like there is just so much more to share and now she is gone. The weekend before she died I was making a batch of cookies and I was thinking of calling her the week she passed away and wanted to see if she could come and make Christmas cookies with me and the girls. I had a new oven I wanted her to see and use. Now that will never happen. But, the thing is too....when I got to the house the day she died there was a canister of cookies that was not there the days I was visiting for Thanksgiving and she had made the exact same cookies I did probably around the same time.

I miss my Mom so. This Christmas is going to be so different but I have to be there for my kids too. I feel so empty and sometimes alone in my grief. I know your pain because I am feeling it too.

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