November 8,2012 I came home to find my child naked on the couch.
Immediately I went to throw a blanket over him and then shake him as I thought he was asleep. What happened next was all a blur and so much happened all at once, time seemed to stand still at times and then race; and then other times I know I was screaming uncontrollably and so loudly because I thought it would wake me up from the nightmare.
As I was shaking him, I realized that he didn't look right (sort of gray and purple?, how do you describe that?). Then the awful fluids started coming out of his mouth at the same time I saw all the empty prescription pill bottles on the floor and then I really started screaming and called 911...
Don't want to talk about the rest of that night just yet.
The first couple weeks were a blur, then went into all the months of the "holidays" which I had a real hard time with.
I did a lot of "faking it to make it" especially around family members who don't seem to want to acknowledge Lukas and change the subject when I bring him up---whether I want to talk about sadness or happy memories.
I took two months off work (I am a Children's Social Worker believe it or not) just to get through the holidays.
Keeping busy, busy, busy with work and moving to a new place for the last few months helped me avoid a lot for the last few months. Then in mid March I found out more bad news about my own health. I have now just had a second major surgery on my left arm a week ago and will be off work again for awhile.
It is now about to be six months since November 8, 2012 and I still have flashbacks often of that night (especially triggered by lights and sirens, the sight of my prescription bottles---I now keep them in plastic bags, etc.)
So many things trigger many emotions...the music that he loved ( and that we loved together), all the scholarship offers that started coming in the mail during recent months (after many years of struggling in school, after I found the right school setting a few years ago, he was now thriving in school); he and I shared a passion for nature, politics and social justice issues.
The world lost a wonderful soul on November 8th.!
I am forever will changed...I know I will be ok, but forever changed. An empty nest was not supposed to happen this way!
I had been struggling with trying to find support that really felt supportive. Late last night I was having trouble sleeping from both physical pain in my arm but also the emotional pain and grief that I feel most deeply late at night. I suddenly remembered Mothering magazine which I had read religiously staring in late 80's when I was pregnant with my first child. I began subscribing when pregnant with my second in 1992. I then became involved in Mothering friends group in Orange County, . Sadly, life took another turn for me in 2000 when I became a single parent and had to suddenly move away from the area. I then lost touch with the people in this group and with Mothering magazine as I could no longer afford it as a single mother.
Last night, I discovered that although Mothering does not exist in print form anymore (sadly,) I did discover these forums.
I am really new to this, but am reaching out for support from anybody in this community..
Any help and support would be appreciated as it feels very lonely at times!
I am not on Facebook (yet). I will be 50 later this year and am not very tech savvy.. I just got my first laptop a few months ago after not having a PC, laptop or anything at home in the last 10 years.
I had said before that I thought I would never be on Facebook. But that was when I thought Facebook was mostly for teenagers and young people to gossip, etc. I realize now I was showing my ignorance. Maybe Facebook could be another avenue for me for resources and connections. I am learning more all the time.
Please reach out through finding your tribe section of this community to find some support. I wish I lived near you!
In my heart, I am bringing you a big tray of treats: cookies, chocolates etc. and a nice pot of coffee.
Big Internet hugs to you.
i am so so sorry mama for you loss
I'm so sorry for your loss. I found my son dead (he was an infant) about a year ago, and the flashbacks have slowed down, but Im not sure if they will ever go away. I find that finding ways to compartmentalize my grief helps a lot- give yourself the space and time to grieve him and your loss and it makes the memories easier. I write a blog, spend tuesday mornings with him on my mind (that was the time I found him), every monthly anniversary I make plans to "have a bad day."
::hugs:: No mama should have to go through this...
Holly and David
Adaline (3/20/10), and Charlie (1/26/12- 4/10/12) and our identical twins Callie and Wendy (01/04/13)
From the bottom of my heart, thank you to all who replied. I no longer feel quite as alone as I did before.
To Adeline's Mom: What you had to say especially resonated with me and reassured me. I will continue to have my monthly (more than monthly at this point) "bad days". The flashbacks will probably keep coming and I have to realize that it does not mean that I am crazy! I am just going through a process that no mama should ever have to go through and there is no manual for this!
I have felt more support from this forum in the last few days than in the six months from my family of origin. I want to keep bringing up Lukas and talk about him and share him with the world. However, when with my mother or other extended family on holidays, if I bring him up at all others will just freeze and/or change the subject.
Anybody have ideas with how to cope with/respond to this?
there is really no way to know how to cope with it when i lost my first born dd 45 mins after she was born it was like she was never there no one and i mean no one want to talk about her not even my own husband would talk about her after we did her burial which was hard for me for a long time cause i could not vent to any one about how she look the way she smell nothing not no one would listen but one day i found a new man after my husband die that would listen to me talk about her and would go with me to see her he is my dh now and he loves me with all his heart and show me that every day since the loss of my dd me and him have also lost six baby to m/s which was hard but we know one day when are time on this earth is done we will see them again
I can't imagine the loss of a child, but I found my mother after she overdosed on prescription medication in January of 2012. I absolutely understand the scene you described, and the pain you must have felt and still feel. All my love to you.
I am so sorry for the son of your son, Lukas.
Susan, have you have a grief support group? Like a grief share? I think it would be helpful. I think you need to just talk to your family and let them know that although he was only 16, Lukas had a full life-- of course it was too short! But you need to talk about him, and remember him.
Your family members might change their expression because they are reacting to their concern for you-- and how sad it is, and people in our culture are not really good with grief. They don't know what to say... I would try to ask them to talk about your boy, and not just focus on his death.
Send you hugs, and please seek counseling or a grief share group. It has helped me a lot-- even just having a place to talk about my loved ones...
I'm so sorry mama. I do hope you continue to post here-- it's a wonderful, unique community that has helped me and quite a few others through tough times. I'll be sending prayers and healing thoughts your way.
Texmati-- Knitter, Hindu, vegetarian, WOHM. Wife to superdad and mom to DS 24 months, and DD 8 months! .
Today is Mother's Day which is a time that most mothers are spending special bonding time with their children---whether small, young children or grown or somewhere in between.
I do send a heart full of love to all of you mamas out there.
Today I am missing my Lukas so much! Neither of my adult children are here & they won't be. (no phone calls yet). My oldest called apologetically earlier this week to say that he wouldn't be able to make it after all because he had to work. He had previously told me he was going to have breakfast with me. My adult daughter---no explanation or call at all.
My first Mother's Day since becoming a mother in 1988 without any children. This is harder than I thought. But I do have a mantra that I am repeating more than ever at times: "I am brave...I am strong'" This mantra I first started saying to myself to help cope with and get through the horrific and grueling physical pain I went through after my last surgery on my arm (Dec 2011). That was a long difficult recovery. But I made it through. Lukas was aware of that mantra and for Valentines Day 2012 he made a beautiful collage for me. On the top of the poster board he had put: "Mom---You are Brave...You are strong!"
I cherish that so much now. He was and still is a beautiful soul and he is in my heart forever.
By the way I will not be completely alone today. One of my ministers is on her way over right now and we will be sharing lunch together.
Again a very blessed Mother's Day to all of you.
I"m so sorry you had to spend mother's day alone. I am very glad that you are thinking of the happy memories that you had with your son. You are brave, you are strong! Sending my thoughts and prayers your way.
Texmati-- Knitter, Hindu, vegetarian, WOHM. Wife to superdad and mom to DS 24 months, and DD 8 months! .
I am so very, very sorry for your loss.
It's still so new, so raw....finding outlets, grief support groups IRL and online, where you can talk about Lukas, is a great idea. I felt particularly moved to respond to your posts because 16 years ago, my first love, back in high school, committed suicide at age 16 and had the same name as your son, as well. His parents also came home to find him dead and I have no idea how they managed to keep going on in life, and to keep being happily married. They managed, and nowadays they have two grandchildren from their daughter, which are their light and joy in life. I know that while they will never forget Luke (nor will I--I think of him all the time and will never forget the tragic loss that shaped the beginning of my adult life as it happened just 9 months before I left home and grief was a big part of my existence for a couple of years before it started to ease up) but holding on tight to one another, letting time take the most acute edge off the grief, as it does, and spending their retirement years doting on their little grandchildren has been the 'happy ending' after all these years. The world will never be the same for a parent who loses a child, but it doesn't mean there can't one day be blessings that manage to make life feel worth living, at least at some point when the sharpness of the pain dulls a bit. You lost your sweet son to suicide just a few months ago. Give yourself plenty of time for this journey and be kind to yourself. Reach out to others who are missing him as well, and remember him together, and reach out to others who are grieving the loss of a child, like you are doing here.
Dont have children yet but i have people in my family who have lost infants and an aunt whose daughter commited suicide. She likes to talk about her daughter now and then and when she realizes people are about to change the subject she will ask them not to by saying that sharing her memories of their time together brings her relief. Most of the relatives believe that changing subject helps my aunt get distracted and sufer less but it goes the oposite way. She once told me that some people do change subject because they suffer themselves. I guess some people do try not to talk bout death, especially those who have not lost a child and feel like this is a forbidden subject. Hope you can find people who you can talk to, that helps a lot.
My experience with my aunt has shown me that such an experience is life changing and that the mother who goes trough that can be happy again, but it will be a diferent happinnes. In portuguese whe have the word "saudade"wich is used to express the feeling of missing someone. So i guess you'll always feel saudade and sadness at some level, and thats fine. PM me if you want to.
2014 in 2014 : 131/2014
|Grief And Loss|