Monday, the 31st of August 2015 was Vic’s third birthday in Heaven.
It was difficult….
It was the most difficult birthday to date…..
From the second I opened my eyes waves of grief crashed over me. My only conscious thought was to breathe. This too would pass.
Minutes before the clock struck 12 I thought “Now there are merely minutes left of this birthday. Tomorrow the mask is back in position. The world will see what they want to see.”
“I will indulge and consciously soak in this heartbreak for another couple of minutes. I remember the way Vic embraced her birthday. She loved every second of the day…. But now this day is mine – a day of reflection, a day of gratefulness, a day to celebrate the miracle of my daughter’s life and to mourn her death.”
From the first second I learnt I was pregnant I starting thinking, planning and fantasizing about my child’s life. I imagined a sport star; a brilliant academic… a family of my own exactly like my family. I dreamt of being a mother like my mom was. In my mind I created a beautiful world for my little baby.
Then my beautiful little baby daughter was diagnosed with Osteogenesis Imperfecta. My world crashed into a million pieces.
“Your daughter will not live beyond the age of nine…”
I thought I would lose my mind. I started spending every spare minute of my life researching Osteogenesis Imperfecta…finding a doctor that would help and cure my child. Thirty seven years after Vic’s diagnosis Vic finally died.
Hundreds of hours in theater; years in hospital, more years filled with pain, indignity and suffering has passed.
The beautiful world I dreamt of for my child was just that….. A dream…..a nightmare.
The death of a child is a pain so deep that it cannot be expressed in words.
The death of a child is life changing.
The loss of a child is a loss that the parent, no matter how much time goes by, will continue to mourn for their entire life. No matter how much support there is or isn’t, it is a journey a parent travels alone.
In the first year I was scared. I felt the madness gnawing on my soul. Today, I am better. I can breathe.
But, I will NEVER stop grieving for my beautiful angel child.
I read a heartbreaking article that truly hit home
“A mother was discovered pushing her dead son in a swing late last week. The unnamed woman is believed to have spent hours with the toddler’s body at a local park in Maryland—she had possibly been there with the dead child for the entire night, according to neighbors. Police were called after concerned neighbors noticed the mother at Wills Memorial Park in La Plata for “an unusually long time.” “ http://firsttoknow.com/watch-mother-found-pushing-dead-toddler-on-park-swings/?utm_source=ftk_nwsltrF
More disturbing were the comments:
“People who are mentally unfit should never have children. My God this news of the father wanting custody set off this unfit mentally ill mother yet again. It is just to much strain for people who are mentally ill to bring up a child safely. The father is just as much to blame by marrying a mentally ill person in the first place to have children. God help them.”
“why are good baby given to bad mothers like this they dont deserve to have children I hope god punish her.”
Thank goodness that some sanity prevailed in some of the comments:
“I feel bad for the mother. When people grieve they can fall apart mentally, especially when a parent loses their child.”
“How do you know she was a bad mother? She was obviously in shock to be doing what she did. Aren’t you quick to judge?”
This is the world we live in. A world that consists of two sets of people… Those who have lost a child and know the devastation of mourning a child every single day of their lives and those who can pick up a phone and talk to a living child; who can go visit, hug and hold their child(ren).
The first will more than likely comment “why are good baby given to bad mothers like this they dont deserve to have children I hope god punish her.” and a parent who knows the devastation of losing a child will potentially comment “How do you know she was a bad mother? She was obviously in shock to be doing what she did. Aren’t you quick to judge?”
I know that Vic’s death left me reeling from pain, anger and loss. It was so hard letting her go. It was impossibly hard seeing her little body leave home for the last time.
Yet, some Facebook friends will pass snide comments about people posting photographs on their Facebook pages of the dead child and soppy messages… Yes, I am guilty. I post photos of Vic and soppy messages that convey my longing for my beautiful little girl.
Unfriend me if I get up your nose. I will grieve whichever way I chose. Your child(ren) are alive and you have absolutely no idea of what true loss is.
My child is dead. I burn candles for her and sometimes I fall asleep holding a photograph of her. I have sat sobbing just hugging her ashes. Does that make me mentally unfit? No, I am just another grieving mother and you will never understand. And, I hope you never have to understand!
It is a mere 850 days since Vic died. 2 years and 4 months seems so short… 850 days seems far more representative of the longing. It seems “longer”….
I woke up this morning with tears pouring down my cheeks. I so longed to hold my child. I know that the boys remembered too. Jon-Daniel posted on his Facebook “Appreciate your Mom, tell her you love her, make her smile – because the only time she ever smiled while you were crying was when you were born!” The first to “like” his post was his brother.
I imagined that the longing would get better. It doesn’t!
At first it felt as if I was overseas – away from the trauma of Vic being ill. I always felt guilty at the “reprieves” I had when I was travelling for work. Now I would give anything and everything for just an extra minute with my child.
It was hard standing next to Vic’s bed hearing her cries of pain. It was even harder seeing the despair in the eyes of her precious boys when they stood next to their mom’s bed helpless to ease her pain and fears.
So often over the years I wanted to run away. In the end, when Vic cried from fear of dying, I felt the need to put an end to her suffering well up in me. I put my hands over my ears and screamed in my head.
How do you answer your child when she cries “I am so scared”?
We have a patient at Hospice who vocalises her fear the way Vic did. Today I just held her. How do you still the fear of the unknown in a dying person? And NO!!!! It has nothing to do with religion. Everybody is scared.
From that dreaded moment when a patient is told they are terminally ill an avalanche of shock and fear hits them. It is called actually “named” – terminal fear. Vic (and Elizabeth*) fear dying, pain, saying goodbye, loss of control and mostly all-encompassing the fear of the unknown.
Vic’s overwhelming fear was that people would forget her – that she would be replaced…. Vic questioned her life’s worth. She did not work and in her mind that meant it that she had not achieved anything. That she would leave no legacy. No matter how many times we reassured her that she inspired hundreds of people worldwide, the fear never left. I hope that she now knows how powerful her legacy is! That hundreds of patients have benefitted from her death wish and, most importantly, that her sons are her true legacy.
I have witnessed that grieving starts the moment of handing down the sentence. It is a long and hard journey for the dying person, their loved ones and friends.
And, today that Elizabeth’s* fear rests heavy on my heart, I know that we will provide her a safe haven where she can relax into death. We will hold her hand and guide her family through this dreadful trauma of saying goodbye to a wife, mother, grandmother and friend.
I pray for wisdom and strength to handle the déjà vu of Elizabeth’s* final journey.
This post has been sitting in my Drafts since the 23 of November 2014. This morning I was told that my grieving is isolating me from the world… So be it. I lost my child and she deserves to be mourned. If people cannot cope they must simply just stay out of my life. I will not invade theirs… So if I offend someone it is tough. Once you have walked my journey you are welcome to criticise. Remember to hug your children – I never thought Vic would die. Shit happens.
It is 671 days since Vic died.
I have not blogged in a while. I stopped because I felt too exposed. People were reading my blog and “using” my emotions against me. My public grief became a weapon to be used in dealing with me.
I have received a number of emails from some of my blogger friends asking me whether I have started a new blog. I haven’t. I have missed blogging.
Blogging to me provides me access to a network of people who have experienced the loss of a child. If one has not lost a child you will never understand the pain thereof. It is grief that no one can begin to understand. I read other mothers blogs and their words are my words.
We have had a number of milestones.
I have thrown myself into Stepping Stone Hospice. I have grown as a person. My heart has been broken by the deaths of precious patients’ and the pain of their families. I have made new friends only to lose them weeks later. I have stood next to close on a 100 death beds this year.
Jon-Daniel turned 16. Vic left a box of party goods to be used for his 16th birthday. I opened the box, for the 1st time after her death, and found the polystyrene “Happy 16th birthday” lettering; party poppers, balloons. Vic was always very set on being fair. What she did for the one she would do for the other. She set up Jared’s 16th birthday party. She left the same for her baby.….. A final act of love for her precious son.
There are no further birthday boxes prepared for the boys. She has left 18th and 21st birthday gifts; Jon-Daniels confirmation candles and their 21st keys. But no further party goods.
On the 17th of October 2014 Jared attended his Matric Farewell (prom). Exactly 22 years after Vic’s Matric Farewell. He wrote on his Facebook that it was hard to be excited about
He was so handsome and his little girlfriend looked beautiful. Vic would have been so proud of her son! I know that she was there but I also know that Jared would have given anything to have her physically presence…. He would have wanted her to straighten his bow tie and flaff with his hair. She would have cried and insisted on 100’s of photos.
I vividly remembered Vic’s farewell and how exquisitely beautiful she looked. I remembered how careful I was when I helped her dress because her skin marked so easily and we did not want red marks spoiling the evening for her. I remembered her and Gia giggling whilst they were getting ready for the Big Event. I remembered my pride looking at my little princess…
I slept very badly that evening because I actually remember that his mommy was very hung-over the morning after her farewell…. He arrived home in the early hours of the morning and he was sober! I could not have been prouder.
Now Jared is writing his school exams. I remember how I fought with Vic to study hard and get her marks up. I remember the frustration of knowing that Vic was not performing to her ability. She only did enough to pass comfortably. I realized then that all she ever wanted to be was a mommy. It was hard to accept. The dreams that I had for her were exactly that – my dreams.
Vic had no ambition to become a doctor or an advocate or even politician. She started thinking up her children’s names when she was 4 or 5 years old. When she was old enough to draw she “designed” her wedding gown. It was hard to accept.
Vic and I were so opposite to one another. I am ambitious and driven. Vic was content to live…
So, here I am on my knees again hoping and praying that Jared’s marks will be good enough for him to gain university entrance. I gave him the letter Vic wrote him…the letter to be given to him just before his final school exams. I was petrified that it would upset him and affect his mental state adversely. He was thrilled and quietly said that it was so nice getting a letter from her and being able to read her words. He said that he missed her little notes… and her hugs.
When I heard his words I felt his pain and loss all over again.
As time passes it is becoming more difficult. Maybe because people are “fed-up” with my grieving. They are impatient with me and want me to forget and accept. They become frustrated because I try and find every excuse to mention Vic’s name. Their empathy has switched to impatience.
And, I don’t care!
My soul is grieving for Vic. The pain has travelled so much further than my heart. It has filled my body and soul to the core. I want my child back. I want to hear her laugh. I want to see her smile. I want to feel her hugs. I want to hear her voice. I want to be a mommy again. I want to be a grandmother again. I want my life back.
My precious Angel Child
Two years ago I lay next to you listening to your laboured breathing. You lay motionless in your bed. Your hands and feet were ice-cold. Your body was burning up with fever. Daddy and I counting the seconds between your breaths. My hand on your little heart and my head next to yours.
I remember whispering how much I love you; that there was nothing to be scared of…I felt your heart beat getting weaker and weaker; your breathing becoming more shallow by the minute.
When your little heart stopped beating my heart broke into a million pieces. As your soul soared mine plummeted into a hell hole of grief and despair.
I knew that it would be hard but nothing in the world could have prepared me for the pain that followed. My heart aches for you and I would give anything to hold you one more time. To hear that mischievous giggle…
We miss you so much. Our family will never be the same again.
Time to say Goodbye is a beautiful song and I especially enjoy the André Bochelli and Sarah Brightman version. It was the boys and my theme song on this holiday. A Time to Say Goodbye and heal….
As we toured Europe we lived Vic’s dream. It was her dream to go to Italy, stand in the Cistern Chapel, drink cuppachino’s on the streets of Rome, wander through the Christmas Mart stalls savouring the smell of Gluhwein and melted cheese….
I am filled with profound sadness every time I think of my child. Even if she lived Vic would never have been able to make the trip. The flight would have been too long, the cobblestone streets impossible for her wheelchair, the bus trips too long…
I cried when I saw the Pietà in the Cistern Chapel. This beautiful piece of art in a convoluted way symbolised Vic and my lives…
Both Mary and I were child brides. She was much younger than I was when she gave birth to Jesus – it is written that Mary was 12 years old at the time of her Son’s birth. Her child filled with wisdom and teaching as was mine… I once again realised, on this trip, how infinitely wise Vic was. She knew that I would have to remove myself from everyday life to heal.
She made me promise to do this trip with the boys.
Looking at the Pietà I saw a mother holding the body of her lifeless child. Tears filled my soul when I remembered holding the body of my lifeless child. For a fleeting moment I felt the heat that radiated from her fever wracked little body. I could hear the thundering silence from her breathing that had stopped…
I stood there and realised that it will never change. I will always be isolated in my grief and longing for the child that I lived for. No one in the world could possibly love her the way I did. She was blood of my blood.
She loved her boys the way I loved her. She loved her boys with every fibre in her body. Her thoughts, fears and sorrow centred on her sons until she breathed her last breath. The blood of her blood. Her future…
Standing in front of the Pietà I realised that the closest bond is the bond between a mother and a child. Not a child and a mother…. Children move on and live for their children
Walking the streets of Europe I was filled with an all-consuming anger. Anger at God, anger at careless doctors; angry at a horrific disease called Osteogenesis Imperfecta. I was angry at the fact that my child was robbed. Robbed of a life with her boys. That I was robbed of a lifetime with my child.
As the old Year is edging towards the New I am filled with trepidation and horrific sadness. Not only for my Vic but for the many who crossed my path this year and who are enfolded in their own grief.
So much pain, longing and sadness as we look to starting another year without our loved ones.
I have survived my birthday, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Jared’s birthday. I have cried on my own, in the shower, in shops. I have been filled with rage and despair when I saw all the Christmas cards “For my Daughter”… I will never buy another card for my precious child. I will never be able to open gifts with her under the Christmas tree. Nothing will ever be the same again.
In three weeks’ time it will be Vic’s 2 year anniversary. Two long years without my child, my best friend…
I read that it gets worse as time goes by. It does get worse. The raw sadness has dissolved into a steady all-consuming pain. The longing to hold her one more time overwhelming.
And, although I know that it is Time to Say Goodbye I know I will never move on.
486 days; 1 year, 4 months; 69 weeks….
Oh dear God, will this pain never stop? Will my heart ever heal? Will I ever be able to look at a photograph without tears welling up in my eyes? No matter where I am or who I am with – I miss my precious Angel Child.
I know your pain is over. Remember the night you crawled into bed with me and I told you that I looked forward to your pain being over? Did you know that night how many tears I would shed for you? Did you know that my life would change forever?
Yes, I know you did. Your words echo through my mind…”Mommy, I am so worried about you. How will you cope when I am gone?”
My stock standard reply was “I will cope baby. I will remember your pain and be glad that it is over”. How stupid of me.
As time goes by I forget how sick you were my precious little one.
Then I look through my photos. I see your pain. I see death in your beautiful eyes.
You knew how hard it would be. In your infinite wisdom you tried to prepare me. You tried to prepare the boys… Sweetie, nobody or nothing in the world could have prepared me for the pain, the loneliness, the void…
Sometimes I wonder how many days it will be until we meet again. I pray it is soon. This is just too hard.
My precious child
Somehow 31,536,000 seconds or even 525,600 minutes makes far more sense than 8760 hours; 365 days; 52 weeks and one day or 1 year…
If feels as if a lifetime of sorrow has passed since you stopped breathing. If feels as if it has been a lifetime since I held you in my arms. It feels as if I have cried an ocean of tears.
In the past year I have aged. I have gained weight. I have existed. A year ago my life ended. The boys and I still burn candles for you.
I am still filled with rage. I know you were born with Osteogenesis Imperfecta but doctor arrogance caused you so much pain, suffering and indignity. I know that you would more than likely have died before me but perhaps with less suffering?
I will always miss you. I will always remember your smile, your laugh, your bravery. I will never forget how you fought to live.
Today I want to thank you for my beautiful grandsons. Thank you for remaining my little girl through-out your life. Thank you for fighting for so long. You were such a warrior!
I thank God that you came home to die. I thank God that I had the privilege of caring for you. I thank God that He entrusted me with something as pure and precious as you.
I am grateful that you are no longer fracturing vertebrae from vomiting. As much as I miss your laugh I do not miss your pain filled tears. I am grateful precious baby that your suffering is over.
I miss your company. I miss our late night chats, drinking untold cups of tea/coffee. I miss your text messages, your telephone calls, your shuffling footsteps down the passage… the smell of smoke alerting me that you are awake and sitting on your step…
I miss the boys laughter. I miss the joy that you brought into our lives.
We will continue to honour your memory – every day of our lives. Your legacy will live on in each and every person that is allowed to live until they die with dignity.
I love you Angel Child with every fiber in my body.
Your Silent Dreams by April D. Parker
I held you as you were sleeping…
All the while I sat weeping….
Gazing at your beautiful features…
For you were one of God’s Creatures…
I loved you from the minute you existed to be…
Living inside me, Dreaming silently…
You were always a part of my life…
Even before you saw day-light…
Looking down at you, I kissed your warm little hand…
Knowing you had passed on to the Promised Land…
You, my sweet baby, are forever my Child…
The fact you were in my life makes it worth while…
Undeniably I have hope…
The thought of seeing you again allows my spirit to lift…
I thank God to have had what time I had with you…
Love and cherish you I shall always do…
I could hear her announcing scream.
I couldn’t believe she was finally here,
The realization of my dream.
A few hours after her birth…..
I held her so close to my chest.
Somehow that little girl let me see,
A few days after her birth…..
I held her tiny little hand.
I told her there would be lots of things
That I would help her to understand.
A few weeks after her birth…..
She had that sparkle in her eyes,
And when she showed me that little smile,
I thought that I would surely die.
A few months after her birth…..
She was just beginning to learn.
She didn’t like me to go away,
And she cried until I returned.
A few years after her birth……
I still couldn’t believe she was mine.
We talked and laughed and went for walks.
We had so many special times..
A few after…..
A few minutes after her death…..
I didn’t know I needed to scream.
I thought that she was still safe and here…
I didn’t know the truth of my dream.
A few hours after her death…..
I felt a strangeness within my chest.
Something was wrong that I couldn’t see.
God! I didn’t know that she had left.
A few days after her death…..
I held her cold and lifeless hand.
There were just so very many things
That I could not fully understand.
A few weeks after her death…..
That sparkle stolen from my eyes,
No longer to see her beautiful smile.
I never, ever thought that she would die.
A few months after her death…..
There was so much I needed to learn.
I was confused when she went away,
And I still waited for her return.
A year after her death…..
I still wish that she could be mine,
To talk and laugh and go for walks.
I miss those special moments in time.
A few after…..
A few minutes after MY death……
Once again I will hear her scream,
“Hey Mommy, it’s me, I’m over here,
And Mommy, this time it’s not a dream.”
A few hours after MY death…….
I’ll hold her close again to my chest.
She’ll look at me and say… “Now see?”
It doesn’t seem so long since I left.”
A few days after MY death…..
She will gently take me by the hand,
And show me all the glorious things,
And help me to understand.
A few weeks after MY death…..
I’ll see that sparkle in her eyes.
Once again she’ll warm me with her smile,
And say… “You see, Mommy, I didn’t die”.
A few months after MY death…….
Together we’ll have so much to learn.
We’ll never have to go away,
Or long for each other’s return.
A few years after MY death…..
Forever she will always be mine.
We’ll talk and laugh and go for long walks,
Because we’ll have nothing…… but time.
Look into my empty heart
Look into my empty arms
See into my haunted eyes
Do you see my sorrow
When it began its start
A horrific dream has emptied me
A beautiful flower has fallen down
Petals like blood stains upon the ground
My heart fell down for the beauty lost
If you touch my heart touch with love
Not with sorrow my friend
I have enough of my own
For my child gone above
HE DID …HE LOVED HER TO DEATH… JUSTICE HAS NOT BEEN SERVED.”
I’ve learned I am stronger than I ever imagined I could be
I’ve learned I am weaker than I ever imagined I could be
I’ve learned to live each day since the loss of you
I’ve learned that when my world is spinning out of control
To lean into the curves so as not to fall to the ground
I’ve learned to live each day since the loss of you
I’ve learned that even when there is so much pain
I have to hold it all together I cannot go insane
I’ve learned to live each day since the loss of you
I’ve learned through all the tears I have cried
That crying does not ease the pain tho I have tried
I’ve learned to live each day since the loss of you
I’ve learned that framed pictures are not the same
Memories are allright, rather hear you call my name
I’ve learned to live each day since the loss of you
I’ve learned that no one understands my grief
Except another mother with a cemetery wreath
I’ve learned to live each day since the loss of you
I’ve learned a life can be taken with the blink of an eye
And only God knows the when, where and why
We didn’t get to say I love you and good-bye
I’ve learned to live each day since the loss of you
Len Carver is a dear WordPress friend who beautifully and accurately articulates my emotions and life in this post… She is however writing about her own pain filled life after losing her precious Klysta.
I tried to read this to someone this morning and was met with a barrage of “it is your choice not to get on with your life…” All I wanted to demonstrate is that I am not the only person in the world battling to cope with the death of a child. A mothers grief is intense and scary.
So today I wish to say to the world – If you have never lost a child you will NEVER understand. You can and will NEVER have compassion. If you have never experienced an emotion – how can you understand it?
Losing a child is a pain that no parent should ever experience. It is an emptiness that you cannot understand from the outside.
I get so angry with fake people. Don’t pretend you care. Don’t pretend to understand. Leave me be with my grief. Live your life – I will live mine.
It is MY CHILD who died. I am the childless one. Carry on with your happy life.
Reading this I recognise my anger. I am angry. I am angry that I have to send up lanterns for my dead child, and you get to hold yours. I am angry for the sadness in my grandsons eyes. I am angry that your lack of understanding deprives me the privilege of GRIEVING for my child. I am so tired of having to put up a HAPPY face.
I am not happy. I am terribly sad. Get used to the idea. It will never change unless you can bring back my child…. So, I will grieve for my child in 2014. I will grieve for her until the second I die.
Respect my love for my child enough to allow this. Thank you Len for your beautiful post.
Happy New Year all…
Our life is full of numbers, our birth date, the birthdays that follow, school days, wedding day, then anniversaries or divorce dates, children’ birthdays, graduations, marriages, grandchildren, and all the numbered days in between, even our days on earth are numbered.
Today marks two years, ten months and ten days since my daughters death, February 19, 2011. I don’t know whether to count from that day as the day my heart broke or if it is broken further everyday since that horrid phone call, or is it the day my sanity was lost.
Today Dec. 29, 2013 I am so freaking angry, sad and lonely. I want to curse and drink and act out to relieve the anger, the anger at losing Klysta, anger that my life changed so dramatically that day. Nothing and I mean nothing in my life has been right since.
I am tumbling, spiraling into depression…
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I woke up on yesterday morning with my hair wet from my tears. It was Friday again. For the past 41 weeks I have woken with my heart shattered. I dread Fridays. It is not a conscious decision to wake up crying. I don’t go to bed thinking that “tomorrow it is X number of weeks…” It is as if my body has an automatic alarm that alerts my tear ducts, my heart, my being. When I open my eyes there is a voice screaming “It’s Friday. Week Number …”
It has been an eventful and strangely emotional week.
On Wednesday evening we attended my youngest grandson’s concert. Not only was he the best actor but he noticed his gran in the audience and waved back! I sat there and realised that my precious child would never attend another school concert; she would never attend her grandchildren’s’ concerts ever. I realised that I would more than likely never attend the UK girls’ school concerts ever.
The boys started writing exams. I know how stressed Vic would have been about these particular exams. Jared’s year mark will determine whether he can apply for university entrance for the year 2015. The poor child was off to a rough start in the beginning of the year.
On Friday a 37-year-old woman dropped dead in the shopping mall.
On Saturday a beautiful young woman who calls me her “back-up” mom and her precious daughter shared a birthday. Laughter and joy reverberated through their home. A beautiful “Monster High” cake baked by a wonderful mother… Something that Vic will never get to do again.
I have nightmares of Vic being ill and me not being able to get to her…Desperation and fears permeates my dreams. I wake up in blind fear.
Will my heart ever heal? I read that life takes on a “new normal”…I just want my old life back. I want my child back.
He is six-foot tall and wears a number 11 shoe. He has a beautiful open face, perfect teeth and a brilliant smile. He is very bright, a gifted sportsman, he is the “silent” type. He is Vic’s youngest son.
Last night he received an award at the school’s prize giving. His aggregate for the year 84.7% with 8 distinctions.
This is the most difficult year of his life. He lost his mom in the beginning of the academic year.
Jared is the perfect older brother. He is fiercely protective of his younger brother. Jared is gentle and caring. He has a white soul…
On the surface the boys are coping well. They are “getting on” with their lives.
Thank goodness for social media…It gives me an insight into what is happening behind their stoic appearances.
Jon-Daniel’s WhatsApp status is “Live until you die.” That is the example his Mom set…
Jared posted on Facebook on the 18th of September “Can’t believe that it has already been 8 months… Miss you mommy… It feels like a lifetime already… Love you mom ♡ always in our heart♥ forever in our memories…♡“
On the 18th of September Jon-Daniel posted: “How? I ask myself.. It already been 8 months without the greatest Mommy in the world! Time has flown since January, but the memories have stayed. And they will always stay, along with that special place in my heart that is only for MY MOMMY! Love you always Mom, miss you stax!”
On the 26th of September Jared posted on Facebook “Missing you mommy… you were always there for a laugh♡“
The day of Stepping Stone Hospices’ official opening Jon-Daniel posted “Stepping Stone Hospice was officially opened this evening. Amazing to see 1 person’s dream can turn into something so big! And so amazing how much people will do for somebody they don’t know. Thank you to all that attended!”
He cried in the doorway of the Vicky Bruce Room
On the 11th of October he posted on Vic’s Facebook page “Mommy, I miss you! When are you coming home?”
I am helpless in taking the children’s pain away. Their pain and grief is still so raw and deep.
The stress started years before Vic died. The boys grew up knowing that their Mommy was ill and in a lot of pain. They grew up living with Vic’s imminent death and dreadful suffering.
Teenagers appear to feel grief more intensely than adults, especially if one of their parents has died. The Adolescent Life Change Event Scale (ALCES), which mental-health specialists use to help quantify the events that are the most stress-inducing in teenagers, ranks a parent’s death as the number- one cause of adolescent stress. Second is the death of a brother or sister, followed by the death of a friend.
Teenagers are embarrassed by displays of grief and struggle to express their emotions. The boys seldom talk about their grief. They will tell me when the other brother is having a rough day….
Jared was very concerned about how his little brother would cope with his first birthday without his Mom. He went to great measures to ensure that his little brother was “protected” from the grief on his birthday. He blew up 40 balloons so Jon-Daniel would wake up to “fun”. (Vic always had lots of balloons on the boys birthdays.)
The firsts are coming fast and furious now. The first birthdays, prize giving’s, confirmations without their Mommy… Jared and my birthdays, Christmas and New Year is looming…
I love the boys with every fibre in my body. I hate that they occasionally walk in on me when I am crying. I hate that I cannot make their pain better. I hate that I am so helpless.
I wish I had died and not Vic. I wish that I could change places with my child. I wish I could rip the heartache out of my grandsons’ lives and hearts. I wish I could protect them.
I wish I could shake the cold world out there and make them realise how much pain the boys are in….
Please pray for Vic’s boys. Pray that they will heal. Pray that God will hold and protect them. Pray that they will learn to be happy again.
I pray that one day I will hear their happy, uncontrolled laughter echo through the house again.