The following diary entries are excerpted from From a Grieving Mother’s Heart.
Read part 2 of the diary at https://www.opentohope.com/diary-of-a-bereaved-mother-part-2/
Diary of a Bereaved Mother
June 11th (Day 5)
We laid your body to rest today, son. Were you there? I
think so. Did you see the mass of flowers flanking your coffin
in the church? Did you hear the music and see your
friends all somber as they ushered your casket in and out?
Did you hear the beautiful sermon that Holly gave; the
words to the song that I had written a month ago; the special
poem we read at your grave? Did you hear the ducks
as they joined in the singing at your graveside? You were
probably egging them on!
Did you see the long line of cars that followed us to the
grave today? Or the oncoming cars that pulled to the side
of the road as a sign of respect? It is such a thoughtful and
beautiful gesture. Dad and I were touched and humbled,
but what a hellish way to discover it.
I did the hardest thing today that I have ever done in
my life. I walked away from your grave, leaving you there,
for forever. What a long, long time forever is….
Mom’s Diary Brings Her to Therapist
July 27th (Day 51)
I called a counselor yesterday. I have an appointment
next Wednesday. I am so different from who I was that
it frightens me. I took pride in knowing myself and in
being emotionally healthy. Now, neither of those things is
true. I don’t know where to start, or even if I should start
right now. All I know is that I need some help so I don’t go
I miss you. Not one particular thing, but all you were, all
that your life was about. I can’t feel you as much lately, and
I miss that closeness. If I can’t have you in person, I need
your spirit close to me. I’ve lost one of the most precious
things in my life. Why? I can’t find an answer. Do you know
the reasons, Rob? Looking down from God’s perspective,
does life make sense? Does it have a purpose? Can you
help me understand and fulfill that purpose?
I feel I’m supposed to write, but my writing seems so
simple and imperfect. How can it have a purpose? Yet, in
your short, imperfect life, you had a great purpose. You
touched a lot of lives.
Mother’s Emotions Rise and Fall
December 9th (Day 186)
Well Rob, yesterday was a day of many emotional ups and
downs . . . tears, anger, sadness, then excitement and hope.
The tears flowed all day as I remembered the day you were
born and all of the twenty birthdays we celebrated together.
Pastor Holly came and brought over the plant we had
purchased for the Sunday service at the church in your
memory. I felt sadness, yet thankfulness that people like
I have mixed feelings about the gathering we had in
remembrance of your birthday. I wanted to talk about happy
memories of you, and it didn’t come off. It’s as if everybody
worked hard to change the subject, and I felt angry. I get so
tired of people trying to decide for me how I should grieve.
I am a healthy, intelligent woman, and between me and
God, we’ll figure out what I need. I don’t need somebody
else doing that. I know they are well-intending, but I hate
it when people shuffle away from talking about you as if
by doing so I won’t think about you or have any pain. How
stupid! I’m going to have pain, period! And not dealing with
it is just going to keep the pain inside where it can fester.
Mother Struggles With Victimhood in Diary
I’m not about to turn myself into a victim where all I do is
walk around talking about you and my pain. I don’t do that!
I function very well on a daily basis, but on particularly
painful days—holidays, your birthday, etc.—I need to walk
right through the mouth of the pain and face it head on so
that it doesn’t sneak up behind me and consume me.
My biggest frustration is that those people close enough
(geographically) to be with me during these times can’t
seem to let me face my pain. Are they so terrified that they
could lose one of their children that they can’t stand to see
my hurt? Or is all of this within me and has nothing to
do with them? There doesn’t seem to be a way that people
really can win when someone is grieving, because we’re
all so different. There is no answer except to be aware of
the person in grief and take your clues from them. I wish
more people were doing that for me. I did get calls from my
sisters—Kathy, Darlene, and Beverly—and I talked to my
From a Grieving Mother’s Diary
A lady whose daughter is buried not too far from you
called me. She said the balloons and flowers we put on
your grave let her know that it was your birthday, and she
wanted me to know she knows exactly where I’m at. It’s so
sad that we have to lose a child to really understand the
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