Daydreaming About Deceased Son: Healthy or Not?

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.

Amy Maddocks

More Articles Written by Amy

As an author, educator, wife, and mother, I learned firsthand about the grief and trials one experiences when losing a child when my 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 my purposes in life is to help those families make a wonderful life after such a tragedy. I 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 my goal with the book have been to spread the word that there are many bereaved parents surrounding us every day, and people need to understand what we go through and what we 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. It can be purchased through my website or Amazon. I live in the beautiful mountain valley of Cache County, Utah, with my husband and children. I graduated from Utah State University with a Bachelor's degree in Education, and currently teach in Cache County. I am also the adviser and creator of the "RAK" Club at my school (Random Acts of Kindness), and I volunteer with many organizations, both on-line and in my local community. When I'm not teaching or writing, I enjoy outdoor activities such as camping, four-wheeling, rafting, and pretty much anything to do with the outdoor world. I also enjoy digital scrap booking and helping others. I travel around the country doing presentations on child loss and how writing can be a profound tool of healing. I also present on the many ways a family can memorialize their child and keep their memory alive by serving others. Tune in to hear Amy on Open to Hope Radio Reach her at www.amymaddocks.com.

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  • vicki carroll says:

    I think of my son everyday. He was killed 5 years ago in a car wreck and I remember it like it was 5 minutes ago. He was such a handsome and loving boy. He touched so many lifes in just the 21 years he was here on earth. Sometimes I smell the colon he use to wear it was called Cool Water. Or Ill see a shrit in one of the stores and think oh Robbie would like that. He left his brother and I here to help keep his memory alive. Now his brother has two children and I wonder all the time what kind of uncle he would have been, or would he himself be a father by now. The ache in my heart has never gone away and never will. It leaves such a void nothing can fill it. Sometimes I pray to god to just take my life and send my son back. I miss him so much!

  • rose says:

    i wanna let u kno that i think this is so special u kno i lost my son wen he was 7 months and its a pain that will never go away farmost he was my first son i dont have kids now i guess i got reallly affected by it till this day i still am i dont feel the same after all this u dont feel the same and is crazy cause i thought i was the only one tha did this i think of my son everyday and i wonder how things could be with him here i picture me n him in a beach with our toes in the sand i picture bringing him to stores to buy him toys and i picture just everything beautiful with him n wen u think of these things u have like a feeling inside like hes ok i just wanna let women out there who have gone thru this now we “God allows us to experience the low points of life in order to teach us lessons we could not learn in any other way. The way we learn those lessons is not to deny the feelings but to find the meanings underlying them.”
    our sons will always be in our heartsss n nuttin n nobody will ever take that away from uss god bless u all and stay stronggg cause god takes but he also givesss thank you

  • Carol says:

    Amy, I just read this and it is exactly what I think about my 5 year old Nicky who passed away on Father’s Day June 20, 2010 from an accidental drowning in my neighbors pool. He was such an adventurous, mischievious and lovely boy and not afraid of anything. I can picture him on the side of a river looking at the animals and throwing rocks and going everywhere that I have to watch to make sure he does not fall in. He loved to make people laugh and I know that he touched many lives in his short 5 1/2 years by the many people who were at the funeral and then many letters and calls I received. I pray daily just for a glimpse of him in my sleep letting me know that everything is OK and that I will be OK. I miss him every day since he has been gone. Thank you for sharing and God bless you!.

  • Amy Maddocks says:

    Carol…I’m so sorry for your loss and what you have had to endure. It sounds like Nicky was an amazing little boy who touched many lives. Isn’t it interesting how we can put our angels in our daily lives and focus on the good? Sometimes it’s hard, especially around the holidays, but I’m thankful for people like you, Rose, and Vicki, that understand what we go through every single moment! God bless you and your angel. ((Hugs))