Have you ever thought about what life would be like if your child had not died? I have, I do, I almost live every minute thinking of my son. I’m sure most parents who have lost a child have them constantly in their minds. The question, then, really is: Does it consume your every moment? Awake or asleep?

Almost everywhere I go or anything I do, I imagine my precious Connor by my side. I picture him walking along the river with me each morning as I walk a two-mile stretch with a friend of mine. Her three kids join us, and I picture what I would be doing if Connor was by my side.

I imagine he’d be getting into everything, throwing rocks in the river, pointing out the snakes, birds, fish, ducks, and other wildlife along the trail, tossing leaves over the bridges only to run quickly to the other side and see it floating along, all the while making me nervous he would fall and scrape his knees.

Does it hurt, thinking of these things? Of course it does. Does it hurt enough that I want to stop the pictures in my mind? Definitely not. Part of who I am and who I have become is a direct result of the pain I have suffered in the loss of my son.

I would not trade the pain, because that would not make me as close to my reality as I am. It would not allow me to focus on what is important. I would not be as kind-hearted or open to help others. Would I trade everything I have–even my own life–to have my son back here on earth? You bet; no hesitation.

I believe these are healthy emotions and daydreams, so long as they don’t consume or make me a recluse. There is no harm in wishing about what would have been, unless we can’t function in our daily lives, contribute to society in a healthy way, or complete daily tasks that benefit ourselves. If it does, that is the point where we need to get help.

Help can come in many forms.  For some, it involves talking with a counselor, joining a support group, listening to others that share similar situations, or maybe even just talking with someone about how we feel. Whatever works for you, DO IT! Don’t suffer in silence, don’t let your world without your child consume you and make you a person your child or yourself would not be proud of.

Everything I do, everywhere I go, everyone I associate with, I carry my son with me. It may not be physically, but within my mind–he is real and he exists. In my book, Too Precious For Earth, I discuss the different thoughts I have about being with my son again. Simply writing down your thoughts can be very powerful and helpful.

Always remember you are the parent of a divine angel, one who loves you and will be with you again someday when the time is right. Daydreaming about the times you would have had if your child hadn’t died may be bittersweet, but it is also healing, heartwarming, and rewarding.

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Amy C. Maddocks

Amy Maddocks

As an author, educator, wife, and mother, Amy Maddocks learned firsthand about the grief and trials one experiences when losing a child when her son, Connor, died. More than 120,000 children die each year in the United States alone, and of those, more than eighty percent die before their first birthday. Grief-stricken families, friends, and communities are overwhelmed by the unexpected experience of such loss. Usually, they don’t know how to cope or how to make a life without that special person in it. One of Amy’s purposes in life is to help those families make a wonderful life after such a tragedy. Amy published a book about child loss, called "Too Precious For Earth." It reads like a novel but assists like a self-help book. Part of her goal with the book has been to spread the word that there are many bereaved parents surrounding us every day, and people need to understand what the parents go through and what they need to heal. It not only is a great book for anyone who has suffered a loss, but also for those who want to be enlightened and uplifted. Amy currently lives in Okinawa, Japan, teaching school to military children.  She graduated from Utah State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Education and is currently progressing toward her Masters in Learning and Technology.  She is a free-lance writer for CNN Travel, Okinawa Hai Magazine, the Open to Hope Foundation, and Venture Magazine. Amy is a volunteer with many organizations, both online and in her local community. When she isn’t teaching or writing, Amy enjoys outdoor activities such as geocaching, camping, four-wheeling, rafting, and pretty much anything to do with the outdoor world. She also enjoys digital scrapbooking and helping others.

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