I Am Grasping At Straws

I just came to this site because I am grasping at straws. I lost my beloved first born son on June 10th. It was a para-suicide attempt that was nightmarishly successful. There is so much to say. My pain is so raw, and all-encompassing. It seems that people think I should get over it and ?get better?. I am in such a private dark place that I don?t even get that upset by well meaning though stupid remarks. My love will never die, and I think some people are saying something like that when they say I?ll get over it. I have two other sons. All my boys are complete and seperate irreplacable miracle. I cry for him, the loss of the experience of joy, love, holding his first baby. I feel so horribly guilty for so many reasons. I don?t know how I am functioning at my job. When I am off, I just seem to fall apart, stayed in bed yesterday all day and night. My love and concern go out to you. This was never in any script that I could forsee of my life. I read one thing ? You are now in a exclusive club that nobody wants to be in- those who have lost a child? I get frantic because I feel that he is caught in a place of fear and horror. I was informed that his last words were ?Oh my God, I?m dying, I don?t want to die, I don?t want to die!? and then he went into convulsions from an overdose of aspirin.I weep when I think that he wasn?t sure that I loved him. I am furious with my family for not reporting obviously suicidal signs in his behavior. I had no idea. I could ramble on, but thank you for describing your emotions, since I feel that I am completely unravelling. Marci


Dear Marci,
?We are so very sorry for your loss. We have posted your letter, together with this response on the home page of The Grief Blog and with the article I Lost My Daughter 9 Weeks Ago, It can help others who also experience such pain and loss by helping them know that they are not alone and it can help you as well. June 10th is such a short time ago and your pain is so very fresh. Most people mean well and simply don?t understand the pain of losing a child and they do not understand that you have to grieve in your own time and your own way. It is a time to be gentle with yourself.
You might find it helpful to listen on Thursday mornings to the radio show Healing the Grieving Heart ?You can find information about it and a link to it on the first page of http://www.thegriefblog.com? You might also find a number of past shows that can give you help and comfort at http://thegriefblog.com/grief-grieving-death-of-a-child/ ?There are several shows about surviving the suicide of a loved one. For Instance? on March 29, 2007 Margaret Margo talked about ?Double Loss: A Mentally Ill Son Kills His Father and Then Himself? and on March 15, 2007 Eric Hipple, former quarterback for the Detroit? Lions, ?talked about the death of his teen age son from a self inflicted gun shot in his? story, ?Real Men Do Cry.?
Help and support can also be found through a Compassionate Friends Group in Your Area. For more information go to http://www.compassionatefriends.org/? You can find a local group as well as many valuable resources to help you along the way. Each member has experienced the death of a child and each has survived and grieved in his or her own way. ?They understand how well-meaning people say stupid things and they speak with the wisdom and compassion that comes from the experience of losing a child. With this group you do not have to walk this path alone. We suggest, too, that you might like to seek counseling from a professional grief counselor. When we are dealing with such pain, we need all the help we can get.
Drs. Gloria and Heidi Horsley

The Open to Hope Community

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  • Debra Reagan says:

    Dearest Marci,
    I wish I could give you a hug and take away some of the pain. June 10th is so recent and the pain is so raw. During grief every emotion we experience seems to be intensified. I was worn out from my mind constantly searching for answers.

    Our love never dies and we will never “get over it”. It has been 2 years for me. If you ever want to talk, please feel free to contact me through my son’s website, http://www.clint-reagan.memory-of.com.

    Gentle Hugs,

  • Debra Reagan says:

    I should add, that even though we never get over it, in time we find a way to live the life we have. But for now your job is to grieve. Take care of yourself.


  • Debra Reagan says:

    You have still been on my mind so much. I wanted to try to share more of my own experience. My 20-year-old son suffered from bipolar disorder and a drug addiction. He died in August 2005 from a drug overdose. At that time, it seemed to me as though I suffered an extreme amount of anger and guilt. I was angry with my husband, even Clint and myself. Then I would feel guilty about being angry with Clint. I didn?t give myself any slack. I felt guilty for not understanding more and for not seeing more. But I have grown to accept that I did the best I could at the time with what I knew then.

    The best way to describe it is to say it was like my heart and my mind were constantly at war. It seemed my heart was trying to say that I must have done something wrong or my son would not be dead. At first all I could remember was every argument we had ever had. Every cross word I had ever said. Even when a good thought popped up, I wouldn’t accept it as something right I had done.

    Slowly, I learned to forgive myself. I tried to apply the advice I had heard from others about talking to myself the way I would talk to someone else. My logical mind had to do a lot of talking to my emotional heart. Then when I thought of an argument or crossword, I tried to remind myself of a good time we had shared. For a while I would light a candle each morning and say a little prayer to God and to Clint. I would confess any failure or transgression I thought I might have committed. I confessed my love and asked for forgiveness.

    I attended Compassionate Friends meetings, read books, listened to the Healing the Grieving Heart radio show, and shared my feelings with close friends. I knew I could not to stay in that painful place forever because it was not good for anyone. I tried to allow myself little breaks from the grieving. I began to plan simple events in the future. I didn’t always gain a lot of relief from the actual event, but the planning seemed to give my mind a break.

    Around 18 months the intense pain started to ease off. Now at 2 years, I still have some ups and downs. I still miss Clint deeply. I still cry and I still have some bad times. Now the bad time doesn’t last as long. But most of all I feel myself healing inside. My connection and love for Clint is even better and closer than ever. Letting go of our pain does not mean we have to let go of our love or our loved one. We will never lose them, because they are with us always.

    Debra Reagan

  • Marci, I am so sorry for your loss. It is so fresh. Please be gentle with yourself. I lost my only child on July 22, 2006 in a freak hiking accident. I lost all of my dreams that I had with her.I have also had so much anger…that sometimes it comes out with other people when it has nothing to do with them! Today was a tough day for me. It was my first day back at work (I am a teacher) and it was stressful. So, I allow myself to cry and feel horrible for a period of time. Sometimes we just have to do that! I expect tomorrow to be a better day. I know my daughter would want me to have better days…she would want me to live my life. So, be gentle with yourself. Take one step at a time…maybe even moment at a time. We are all walking this grief journey together…so just hang on and we will make it through! Our love for our children and their love for us is eternal! If you wish to talk more, please visit my daughter’s site at http://alicia-golembeski.memory-of.com/. Sending you big hugs! Lana