The following diary entries are excerpted from From a Grieving Mother’s Heart.

Read part 2 of the diary at


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

Holly care.


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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Terri Leidich

At the age of 16, Terri knew she would be a writer, but life and all its different paths took over as she devoted the next 30 years to building a career and raising a family. In 1991 when her son was killed in an accident, her focus changed and the need to write again resurfaced as she journaled through her time of grief and great confusion as to the purpose of life. Her book, From a Grieving Mother’s Heart, published in 2010 was created from excerpts of her journal. Terri and her husband, Glenn, live in Waynesville, North Carolina.

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