My Adult Son’s Death Has Changed My Life

When someone we love dies…we are changed. When that someone is our child…we are changed forever, deeply, no matter how old they were. Letting go is not a possibility. Everything in my being was geared to hold on, to protect and to be aware of his life. It didn’t matter that he was an adult, twice the size of me. Past, present and future collapsed into a series of nows. This event shook me to my core. I have lost parts of myself. How can this happen? Where did he go? Where did I go? What were his last moments like? Did he feel pain? Did he suffer? Was my mom who passed a year prior there to greet him? How could I have prevented this? What should we have known?

In the months after his death, feelings of failure, vulnerability, depression, remorse, profound grief, guilt on top of a first hand experience of the meaning of the word bereft. Feeling bereft was/is physical for me. The word so accurately expressed my flattened energy.

Fortunately for me, I hadn’t completely lost my spirituality. I lost my belief in God but I still held a belief that we are more than our physical bodies. This belief helped me to try to be open to connecting with him or open to the possibility that he might be able to give me a sign or some indication that he was nearby. I believed early on that if it took any focus or intention for a spirit to make contact, Richard would at least try to make himself be known. He had a strong presence in life. When he walked into a room, people noticed. He was upbeat and deeply calm at the same time. He loved life.

While my belief about the non physical was open, my heart was so badly wounded by his sudden death that all I could do was to call out his name and plead, “Richard, Richard, Richard, how could this happen to you?” I begged for an answer, “Richard, how am I going to survive this?” These phrases poured out from the longing in my heart. I continued this way for a year, several times a day.

Everything in my world had changed. I moved to Southern California from New York to live close to him. These were to be the good years in my life and in his. Lots of outdoor activities, cookouts, hanging out, bike rides, hikes, paddle boarding and the gym. Those activities were just the “normal” weekend fare. Lots of talk of boats, excursions and opportunities to share life and celebrate the life of his baby girl. Our lives had not been easy when he was young. now the future looked really bright.

My hope stopped when he died. The resounding emptiness was deafening. Our family is spread out but mostly located in the Chicagoland area. I wouldn’t have survived without them, close friends and wonderful neighbors where we lived three blocks from each other here on Balboa Island.

With Richard’s guidance, I believe, I chose measures to help myself to continue with some of the goals that he and I shared, like becoming part of the community, getting involved and trying to make a contribution. Each choice that I made to move through an obstacle, or my own resistance, I heard Richard’s voice beside me encouraging me, like he did back in Chicago when I achieved my second masters degree in 2005 to become a psychotherapist. He was always in my corner.

Now my journey includes widening my circle of trust. I’m choosing to live life instead of living a small life. Each of the obstacles have given me a choice…either move through it or acquiesce. Movement always feels like choosing life. Acquiescing to obstacles/resistance feels like defeat. I can’t take anymore defeat. Richard’s death was literally my worst nightmare. So in some ways my current fears are nothing compared to the one that just happened…out of the blue, suddenly, and shockingly.

Well-meaning people make assumptions about each other’s lives. I’m choosing not to focus on being offended. I’m choosing to believe that people are generally well-meaning, even if their comments sound ignorant or unconscious. People have the impression that I’m strong and that I’m getting over this or that new people have filled the void in my heart, that horrible, empty void. That is just not so. I’m unique to this journey, as is every other parent who has lost a child. There’s no script except the one that we write.

I’m choosing to stay focused on the ‘miracle’ of feeling Richard’s presence in my heart on a daily basis. Feeling connected to him helps me. During his life, he would never have been in favor of my checking out or living a small life. I know that ultimately choosing to live is my decision but I have to say that many times it’s because I know what he would say or do. You could say that I continue for him. He has sparked a new determination in me to create an expanded version of myself. I have nothing to loose.

I’m clearing out the clutter of previous struggles, attitudes and perceptions that aren’t useful to me any longer. I feel leadership growing out of my broken heart. People are entering my life and I am saying ‘yes’ instead of ‘no’ or worse, ‘I don’t know”. I am beginning to get glimpses of how my life is evolving completely differently than I expected when I moved here. It’s like my energy is clearing by the methods I have used to take care of myself in the past year and a half. I am finding a strong connection to Richard in my heart that I feared would go away but now I know will never die. I am not afraid to die and welcome the moment that I see and embrace him again. It doesn’t matter what form he is in, I will recognize him.

Basia Mosinski

More Articles Written by Basia

Basia Mosinski, ATR-BC, LCAT, MA, MFA is an Art Therapist and OneLife.Coach in Private Practice in CA. Basia works with people in many different parts of the country in online individual meetings, online groups and in person in Newport Beach, CA. In 1993, Basia’s stepson Logan died in a head-on train collision in the midwest where she and her family lived. Within two years, her marriage broke apart and more losses compounded. Logan’s death took her on a journey through pain to inner healing and growth. Along the way, she participated in The Phoenix Project a 12-week intensive process for healing grief and loss. She not only participated in the process she later became a ritual elder of The Phoenix Project, working with Dr Jack Miller. In December of 2001 Dr Miller invited her and several other practitioners to give a weekend of healing to families impacted by 9/11 in New York. Basia was so moved by that work that when she returned to Chicago, she enrolled at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she was teaching to gain a second masters’ degree in Art Therapy. When she graduated in 2005, she relocated to NY where she became the Assistant Director of Mental Health at Gay Men’s Health Crisis while maintaining a thriving private practice, sharing office space with Dr. Heidi Horsley. In 2014, Basia moved to Southern California to live close to her only child, her grown son, Richard, his wife and her granddaughter. 9 months later, Richard died suddenly from a pulmonary embolism on a flight from Chicago to Orange County. In addition to helping others on their journey of healing, Basia is helping herself through the shock of what has happened by using what she has learned along the way and through writing a book about her process and the ways that she and her family are coping with the loss of Richard through texting, photos and ‘sightings’. Basia’s blog is: Basia is the former co-chair of the Technology Committee of the American Art Therapy Association.


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  • roselyn says:

    Feeling low after an anniversary of my son’s death yesterday- 15 months- at work…I read this and said yes and gave me hope. I believe in the power of love, and God is love. how else would I be blessed with a son for 22 11/12 years.
    Thank you for sharing , helping me to see Nick is not gone… and be comforted.

    • Roselyn, finding gratitude that your son was in your like for 22 1/2 years is an inspiration to all. Not an easy task to turn away from pain toward the love that you have for him. Your response to saying ‘yes’ brings tears to my eyes…it’s like someone else gets how difficult that is but that it’s really a choice to live. Thank you for your comment. I hope you have a chapter of The Compassionate Friends in your community. I started one here near where we live and I have been grateful to meet others who are on a similar journey.

  • mary says:

    Hello im mary, my only child Samantha passed 9/21/13 in a horrible accodent involving a semi… Apparently she died instantly, she did not see it coming as to she was the passenger in the vehicle that was hit… the driver of her vehicle 65yr old man lived… Im so very broken as to the suddenness of it happening, i didnt feel anything but numb at first, bit mow 30months to the day later OMGoodness i feel ot all… i so try to live by what would Sami do, but i am finding it very diffucult… i have NO support system to speak of… i have found this blog somewhat comforting that it is ok to smile and live but i feel slighted as to Sami had NO children…. thankyou for writing this article and allowing me to comment… HUGS LOVE and PRAYERS that you continue to feel your son, and most of all that you as a person can continue to help even when you dont realize that you have…. 😎

    • It may feel like you’re alone but none of us really are…there are so many people like us who have experienced our worst nightmare. Feel free to reach out to me via my website if you would like to talk.

  • roselyn says:

    Thank you…struggling with the loss of my adult son, only child. I am seeing a twinkle of hope now and then. I will never be the same.

    • Annette says:

      Thank you for this beautiful artical . I have lost my only son . It has been twenty years on the 23rd of March . I thought it would get easier , but the grieving is still strong . Every year I write a poem to express how I am feeling and how much I miss him. My love for him has got alot stronger. And I know he is with me every day .

      • Annette, You are so welcome. Writing is what I do now. It helps me. I’m so grateful to know that my words have reached a few people and is possibly making a difference.

  • Peggy says:

    Basia, thank you for sharing your journey. I am right behind you, but still straggling behind. I talk to my adult son everyday and when indecisive, ask for his guidance. He is also with me and so close. I miss the hugs and feeling, seeing, and hearing him.

    • Peggy, what I have learned is that the relationship that I have with my son now…talking to him everyday….is a relationship. Of course, it doesn’t replace the longing I have to feel his physical presence. No less important and valuable though is to be open to perceiving him as non physical energy. I don’t always understand the energy that I perceive but I relish in that I feel it and feel him.

      This is not an easy journey. I know. It is only in the past 6 months that I can actually see a new more vital me emerging. Maybe it is similar for you.

      Yes, I so miss the hugs, his voice, and his personality…

      I wish you peace, Peggy. All we can do is challenge ourselves to remain open.


  • Ingrid kline says:

    Thank you for writing your story, I lost my son December 28,2015, to an accendental to overdose and I believed I was handling it well but now I am struggling. I’m so very sad and need help

  • john zulick says:

    Lost my son to cancer 2 years ago.they gave him a year to live. He made it 10 months.i feel so guilty I lived a good and long life.i stayed with Adam though those 10 months.i kept telling him he would beat it . knowing in my heart he I saw my strong young man of 33.slowly being ate up with that dam cancer. Some days I don’t think I will make you Adam.

    • Hi John,
      Thank you for reading my post. My heart breaks with yours. We will never be the same people we were when our children were alive…who are we becoming since this even has transpired? I believe it is a journey of continual seeking and hopefully growth. Gratefully, you accepted the challenge to be next to him during the last 10 months of his life. When the dark thoughts begin to emerge…choose to remember the essence of him…those things that you unconditionally loved about Adam…hold those feelings in your heart. Guilt cannot reside in the same place as unconditional love.

      Remember his essence…and allow yourself to feel that part of him in your. Hope this helps.


  • Diana says:

    My son, a weekend recreational opiate experimenter, passed away at the age of 30. We knew he was at risk and initially seemed to accept his death as inevitable. It has been 20 months now, and the pain of losing him grows worse. I never realized how much hope and love I had for him despite a dozen years of a difficult strained relationship. The loss of hope hovers over me like the darkest night, even as I cling to my sometimes ill-expressed but ever present love for him. The fact that he was adopted in no way consoles me or relieves my sense of having failed him or not having loved him enough. After reading all the comments, I recognize I am not alone in my sorrow. I just don’t know how to find the comfort that you seem to take from your strong loving relationships with your child. I question whether my son loved me at all; I tell myself he did because I need to believe it. No point in believing the worst, is there? I can make it up to be the way I wish it was. By the way, I also try to connect with him spiritually when a robin sits on my backyard deck (like he did the afternoon after his funeral) and through mindfulness and meditation practices. I finally struggled tonight to finalize plans for his gravestone. I guess I’m making progress. My deepest, heartfelt sympathy to all of you who are grieving.

    • Diana, so difficult reading your response. I truly feel for you and your loss. You raise so many points, such as: he was an adopted child, he was an opiate experimenter, he transitioned at age 30, you wonder if he loved you, and feeling as though you failed him. These are all heart breaking and deserve individual attention.

      The point I want to address here is about your loss of hope that you had for him. If you can accept that his struggle is over and that whatever the reason he chose to escape life through opiates, you know now that it was his struggle. We can’t protect our children from their own lives. We can love them and love them and love them some more but we will never truly know their inner struggles. He is free of struggle now, unlike us…those left behind, right?

      The hope you had for him was also hope that you had for yourself, that he would get life right at some point. In the crazy way that life/death are normal processes…it is only us, those who remain that have such difficulty letting go of all the expectations we held for our children and ourselves.

      My son was older than yours. He came through difficult times and we were on the other side of all that…thankfully. I’m guessing that your hope was similar…that he would pull through and he would flourish. The thing is that he now is not tethered to his personality, like he was. If you can hold onto the signs (like the robin) and allow that they connect to his eternal self…you may find comfort there.

      Things like this change us forever…they change our beliefs, our perceptions and our life experience. You have a choice to give focus to what helps you to feel better.

    • Beth says:

      Hi Diana,

      I arrived home from work on a Tuesday evening it was April 26th just past. A Robin landed on my balcony ledge and lingered for what I thought, was an unusually long time. I walked over to the window and said, “hi robin.” Then the phone rang and it was a constable telling me my son is decised. I still wonder about the unusual visit from the robin. And I cannot believe I was working while my son lay dead on his couch. I cannot believe I didn’t feel something that would alow me to save him somehow. He left so suddenly and it seemed things were going well for my son whow was 11 days away from his 27th birthday. He tried a drug fentynal and he died. I thought I was handling things well but I feel like I am losing momentum and I am very tired of holding myself together. It is a lot of work. I am sorry for your loss Diana – your mention of the robin had meaning for me too.

      • Basia Mosinski says:

        Beth, I am so sorry for your loss. The robin is hardly a comfort but it does sound like it lifted your sorrow for a moment leading you to the mysteries of life/death and the universe. Again, I am so sorry for your loss…for all of our losses.

        • Jane says:

          Basia, my thanks for your article. Diana and Beth, I seek out those who have lost their child in similar circumstances. Diana, you mention EVERY emotion that I have – the only difference is that my son was not adopted so I hope you will find comfort in that. Beth, my son over dosed on Fentanyl. I have learned that he did this once, maybe even twice before but somehow was taken to hospital and revived.

          Tom died on 6th December, 2016. He was found two days later by his room mates. The levels of pain are unbearable. The difficult, but strangely, loving, relationship we had. The thought of how his last moments were. Did he know? Did he do it on purpose? My baby’s body lying there alone. What was he wearing. He was with the Coroner for two weeks – the Fentanyl situation is an epidemic in Vancouver and they were back logged. I was advised not to see my boy. I only touched his hand. A truly talented young man – music and art. But a troubled one since his early teens – Basia, your reply to Diana about not being able to live our children’s lives and their struggles is true but it doesn’t take away the ‘what if’s’. Looking back on our last time together – was he crying out?

          I remained strong in the early days for his two siblings but they have found the strength to go back to Canada where they live and try to get some semblance of normality.

          I found comfort in writing to all those who have paid tribute to Tom or at least contacted me. I made cards from Tom’s art work with the delusion that I would sell them and make money for the homeless – a passion of Tom’s.

          I went through a very spiritual phase where I was feeling so close to Tom that I truly believed he would ‘show himself to me’. I was taking everything as a sign. I was almost accepting and at peace. But now, just over four months, I find myself in deep, deep despair. I’m angry at all those who knew how bad his drug problem was but did nothing about it.

          My eight year relationship broke down yesterday. As sad as it is and with the loss of what would have been an incredible future (had Tom not passed but was still on offer), I’m relieved. Yesterday and today I have grieved like I haven’t before. Screaming out loud and wondering how I can end it all easily as I am such a coward. Seemingly, 10 days without water will do it. The only thread I have is not wanting to cause my other children further pain but my pain is so great, I can’t visualise years of this yearning and guilt.

          Tom took himself off to a therapist and I was thinking of seeing if she would talk to me and let me know if Tom ever revealed what may have set him off on this journey. He said some things to me when we were last together that will forever remain with me and make me think that I caused all this. We had been such a happy, normal family but his dad and my relationship broke down and we eventually divorced and I feel so guilty about that.

          I don’t know why I’m writing this – if nothing else, it has stopped me crying for a while.

          • Jane, we learn what is good for us and what helps us feel a little bit better. Choosing to feed negative thought is a choice. I hate to be so blunt. I’m not saying that it’s easy. I’m saying it work to change the momentum from a downward spiral to counting the moments that are not so horrendous in between the ones that are.

            Life is crazy. These losses and grief do not define us…although we could let them. Your grandchild knows how to play. Learn from your grandchild how to play again. The gift of a child is that they want you to be in the present moment with them. The present moment is safer than the past and less fear filled future.

            Best wishes to you, Jane. You can’t correct the past but you can be present now for the children you do have in your life, in what ever way you choose.

  • Mary says:

    What a wonderful article! Thank you so much. I feel for you and extend my sympathies to you on the loss of your son, Basia. I came here today to search out information – maybe a book or DVD I could buy for my 84 year old Aunt who just lost her only child. Her son was 58 and died suddenly of a heart attack. He first got chest pains while working in the garden. He called his mother and he asked her to hold his hand. He died later that day during surgery. My Aunt lost her husband 7 years ago and lived in a small apartment in the house where her son, his wife, and his two grown daughters also lived. We are all trying our best to help her cope. Would you believe her son’s name was also Richard? I think God sent me to this website today. Please pray for my Aunt. Her name is Tina. I believe both our Richards are safe with God.

    • Mary, thank you so much for your response. Feeling for ourselves and each other is the gift of being human, right? So glad that you found this site and that you read this article. It means so much that your aunt’s story and your response bring our Richard’s names into the present moment. As painful as I can only imagine it was for your aunt to experience her son’s death…I regret that my son never regained consciousness. I believe his spirit already left his body by the time I saw him.

      I’m glad for your aunt that she has you and it sounds like her daughter-in-law and grandchildren to share her memories with. I have nieces as well. We became even closer after their cousin died.
      I share your sentiment that you were guided to find this website. Similarly, I have been guided to write. So grateful to feel the presence of others through this experience.

      Please give your aunt a Mother’s Day hug for me.

  • Becky Vance says:

    Thank you for your healing words.I lost my 30 year old son and best friend 16 months ago. I am dead inside. I keep trying to find ways to heal and came across your story. I hope that one day I will feel as strong as you!

    • Becky,

      I am so sorry that you are feeling dead inside. I think the word ‘bereft’ really describes it well.

      The part of you that is seeking to feel better is love. We loved our children. They would want us to love ourselves.

      Curiosity is alive. It leads you from one person to the next, from one book to another, from one lyric to another. That part of you is alive. Trust it and follow the inspiration.

  • Karin Hoffecker says:

    A friend sent me your article and I found it comforting. I lost my 34 year-old son to a pulmonary embolism seven weeks ago. He was a husband and father to my 14 month old granddaughter. Mother’s Day was brutal for me. We had the celebration of his life the night before. With a lot of support from friends and family l made it through. What I struggle with the most lately is the feeling that I am losing my connection to him. I try to talk to him every day and keep pictures and other mementoes around. I am a poet and I continue to write about him with the new purpose of telling my granddaughter who her father was. This brings me much comfort. I am grateful to have found your website. Another tool to assist me on my journey.

    • Karen,
      Your loss is so fresh right now. I remember those days well. I was walking around in shock at 7 weeks. But I knew that it was up to me to do things that made me feel better, like meditating, talking to my son, writing. If I didn’t I would hear his voice in my head say…”are you kidding, you’re choosing to waste your life?” Sometimes, I would just drag myself outdoors to take a walk. It always helped. Being in nature helps me feel connected to him.

      I still have mementos on an alter that I made for Richard. I don’t know when I’ll take it down. I don’t have to know…today.

  • Carol says:

    Basia, I am writing to you in hopes that maybe I can gain better insight into my situation.. I too lost my precious son three and half years ago.. It has been horrible.. I wish the nightmare would be over and he would come home.. Grief, it’s a lifetime commitment. That being said I am now sane and functional.. Saying I’m better or healing is not what I’ll ever be again.. And I’m sure you understand what I mean..I still have another son living who has a daughter who bears her uncles middle name.. A sweet tribute to him..I am 61years old and about a year ago I reconnected with an old boyfriend from 40 years ago.. The story is way too lengthy, but I was crazy about him and was madly in love.. So there is a history… I found out that he too lost his only son via the Internet… I found his number through a friend and called him.. He was so glad to hear from me.. I told him how sorry I was about his son and told him I know how you feel, because I lost mine too… Over the many months things have not been between us as I maybe expected.. Dumb me.. His son died just two years ago so I have had longer to deal with it than he has.. The two year anniversary is approaching soon in June and the days and weeks leading up to this as you well know are not happy ones.. He drinks his pain away.. Even though I do not drink, I understand why..and he’s not in good health.. We have a commonality in that we understand each other. Who would have thought two long lost loves would lose their precious sons? I love this man, but I have to protect myself as I could never live with him under these circumstances.. That would not be healthy for me.. I would appreciate hearing from you and any advice you could give on this situation.. We are both sad..

    • Hi Carol, I’ve thought a lot about your response and concerns. Decided to take it offline and send you an email instead. What I will say here is that your instincts are good. Sounds like you clearly know what is and isn’t good for you, regarding the person who you care deeply about.


  • Sue Lyes says:

    Dear Basia

    Reading your story is like reading my own 💔 I lost my son Chris a year ago next week, in a tragic car accident in which he was a passenger…. My world, my life and my heart shattered…. They are still held together with sticky tape…but so far it is holding..just.

    I, like you, hold my son in my heart and live my life for him everyday….some better than others, but I try. I started a charity helping the children in my area participate in free sports as my son loved and participated all his life and to me it is a fitting tribute, but it also keeps his name alive.

    I am not strong as people think, I cry and sometimes scream at the pain I hold, and then I lock it away until the next time it escapes. We have lost the future we should have, now we have a new one and my choice is to live for him and keep his memory and name alive always…… Thanking you for your story, Open To Hope, it touched my heart as it helped me feel that little less understood xx

    • Dear Sue, I am so sorry for your loss. I am sorrow filled for all of our losses. I agree that Open to Hope and The Compassionate Friends help connect us to a wide community of people, experiences and stories that let us know we are not alone in our grief.


  • Kerrie says:

    Your story is exactly mine. Thankyou foer sharinf. I lost my son to heart disease a year and a half ago – he was 27 and left behind 6 little children, 2 younger brothers, 2 younger sisters. His dad and I divorced years ago and I raised thw kids on my own. We were very close, Geoffo was our rock, our leader. We have been treated very disrespectfully by his dads side family and the mother of his two youngest children has relocated and denied us any conract with the children. It has been so hard but like you I believe my son is with me, guiding me through the pain.

    • I am so sorry for your loss…that is now compounded by tension and more loss of your grand babies. Life can seem crazy at times. Looking for the clarity in what feels good does help. It is now is little past two years since Richard died. I still talk to him. I feel surprises at different times that let me know that he is with me. I’m committed to staying open which is the gift his death has given me. I felt like I had no choice when I was cracked open by the shock of his death. But I know going forward that I choose on a daily basis to remain open to synchronicities, connections to people, love when it shows up and laughter. I’m choosing to live the best life I can in his honor…because that’s the kind of person he was. FYI as I’m writing this, two hummingbirds flew up on my patio. My jaw dropped as I laughed with excitement at their feeding frenzy on a potted lavender bush. You could say that is an ordinary occurrence, no biggie…but I choose to see it as my heart was open as I was writing to you…the hummingbirds were a gift from our children.

  • Susan says:

    I am in so much pain but I cannot allow myself to release it. I lost my oldest son, Beau, who was also my best friend a year ago last Saturday. I am in poor physical health and have never felt so alone and fearful in my life. I need help, but don’t have resources or friends/family to help me. All of the people I ever dropped everything to help and everyone else have been absent since I lost him. I’m not sure how much longer I can go on.

  • Natalia Fernandez says:

    Reading your story made me cry, but at the same time gave me strength! I’m a mother of 3 boys and my oldest child Josua was born when I was 16 years old. His father did not want to be part of his life, when he found out I was pregnant he pushed me down the stairs but luckily we both survived….unfortunately I lost my Josua 1 month ago at the age of 22, one month exactly before his 23rd birthday….due to a bad mixture of heroine and phentanyl. He lived in New Hampshire, close to his father since at the age of 18 he decided to make peace with his dad and not hold a grudge. But his father still gave him a hard time about everything. I received the called from his father, and I literally fainted….thank God my 19 year old was home that day and was able to help me and call his dad at work. I feel like the world came crashing down on me, I’m not happy, nothing makes me smile, nothing is funny anymore. Worst part is that his birthday is Sunday and I have no idea how my day is going to be.

    • Hi Natalie. I am so sorry for the loss of your son. My heart grieves with you. You are likely still in shock and feeling many emotions swirling around inside of you. I’m glad that you are seeking a way to feel better by finding support in others who know something of what it is that you’re going through. My hope will be with you tomorrow on your son’s birthday. I hope that you can feel his presence in some way, like through the beauty of nature or the feeling of a song. Your heart has been cracked open. A new you will emerge. Maybe not today or tomorrow but you will…hang in there.

  • Sandy Cambria says:

    I lost my son on Oct. 5th 2016. It was an accident and it took his life. I know what form my son is in and where he is. I do have faith in God who saved him and carried him home. To know this is the only way I will find healing. I know for sure he is with God and upon my death, I will see him again. He was chosen to be God’s child at the age of 7. The Bible states that it is written that we may know we have eternal life and the Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and no man comes to the Father except by Him. He is the only way to eternal life, for Jesus is the only one that died willingly for our sins, and was resurrected as all believers will be who have placed their faith and trust in Him.

  • Lynn Stadterman says:

    I lost my beautiful adult daughter, Kelly, 2 weeks ago on Nov. 7, 2016. She had an unexpected heart attack due to spontaneous coronary arterial dissection (SCAD). She died at home alone. I am mad, numb, heartbroken, can’t function, can barely get out of bed. Can’t go to work. Your words about your own loss let me know that I’m not alone in this nightmare. I am in so much pain; my wounds are so raw…thank you for sharing your story.

    • I hope you can reach out and find a local chapter of The Compassionate Friends asap. We all need to feel safe at a time when there are so many reminders of what we have lost. It is truly heartbreaking. I am so sorry for your loss and all the complexity that goes along with the loss. I do know that I am learning so much through this journey…but I would gladly give up all that I have learned to have Richard back…even for 5 minutes. I talk to him most days which helps me to feel connected and no so isolated.

  • Linda says:

    Hello, I have just read your post and am deeply sorry that you have lost your dear son. My beautiful boy died on the 30th April, 2016. He left a heartbroken wife and a 3 1/2 year old little girl, who keeps asking to see her daddy. Unlike you Basia, I was with my son when he died, I watched his last breath as I had watched his first 44 yrs before. I have grieved many times in my life, but nothing compares with the devastation this has caused. Grief that picks me up and throws me hard against the wall, not just once a day, but as many times as it feels like. Yet, as we know, we have to learn to live with this malevolence as it is a testament to the deep love we have for our children.

    • Linda says:

      Nothing prepares you for watching your 44 year old son die inch by inch every day for months, from a rare and aggressive form of cancer. It is strange how people think that this dreadful torture somehow prepares you for your loved ones death, when nothing could be further from the truth. Every day I relive those days, weeks and months and the agony I felt as a mother watching helplessly as her son took his last breath, is beyond anything a mother should witness. My darling boy is at rest now, but his family will forever be devastated by what happened to him and to us this year. How is any parent expected to recover from this?
      Thinking of all the heartbroken parents this Christmas.

      • Linda, Christmas is a very difficult tome as you mention. So important to have people with whom you feel safe to be yourself and who don’t have expectations of you. Our The Compassionate Friends group provides a lot of support for us. nothing like walking into a room of parents who understand what you are going through.

  • Cathy says:

    My heart is in heaven with my son who died 15months ago I feel at times I can’t breathe my husband is trying like me to crawl our way through this but I feel we are not making headway.

    • Hi Cathy, your heart is broken…of course, you can’t breathe. You have been permanently changed. Now you’re having to discover who you are becoming? Holding the connection to your son in your broken heart helps get through the pain. Have you and your husband found The Compassionate Friends? It is a worldwide organization that has local chapters. It can be very helpful to attend a group meeting where there are other parents who understand and help you to feel safe to express your feelings.

      Talking to people who have been through something similar helps you to hear and develop hope that it can and will get better.

      Feel free to contact me via my website. I would be happy to speak with you and your husband.

  • Tricia Erickson says:

    I am currently floundering in the abyss that is my life. My daughter passed away unexpectedly 10 days ago. I know I am depressed and I know that is a natural course. I don’t know how to navigate this unbearable pain I feel. My sorrow is palpable and I know I just bring every one around me down. I feel like that is not what they would want. So I have not spent much time around any one but my husband and daughters because I don’t know how to act. Everyone says just write down you thoughts and feelings. I don’t know how to communicate the nightmare that is currently enveloping me. I found my 21 year old daughter in bed after she had passed several hours before.
    How do I go on, even though I know I have to for my husband, daughters and grandchildren?

    • Ann says:

      Hi Tricia and all reading,
      My 33 year old son died 12 days ago. He wasn’t feeling well, went to bed , and never woke up. He struggled with learning disabilities, had a seizure disorder that was controlled and had very few seizures his entire life. I was very involved in his life because of all his needs. He left behind a 23 month old grandchild and a wife of two years. I was always hoping and praying for better days for him and now I understand the feeling of lost hope. The pain and disbelief I feel take my breath away. I expect him to walk in yelling, “Mom, I’m here.” I search the Internet for others floundering like myself as I sit frozen.
      I don’t even know what I feel cause I never felt like this. I am so sad and weary and hopeless and empty.

      • Dear Ann. I am the chapter leader of The Compassionate Friends_Newport Beach California. I know that TCF is not for everyone…however, when you walk into a meet you will be met by other parents like yourself who have had a similar loss. Most of us need to be and share with others who have walked in our shoes. Feel free to reach out to me and if you don’t have TCF where you live, they have a lot of online support.

        I am so sorry for your loss. Please know that I am sending you a virtual hug as I write this response. The loss of a child is the most horrible experience that no one should have to endure.

        • Trish, I am sorry that I hit send on the above response not mentioning your post. I feel for you and your loss. I extend the same to you as to Ann. There are resources out there to help you. Let me know if you would like to talk off line.

  • Ernestina says:

    I loss my son 3 years ago and I still feel the pain. He was 29 I don’t understand it and I loss myself and I start thinking of my grandkids cause I made a promise to him that I would not give up and fall and think about giving up. I never prayed or turned to God as I do has been hard for me since his death cause my sister passed the following week after her my brother the week after it’s been one disaster after another now my father 2 day before my birthday. I live one day at a time now my son that I have left had cancer and does dialysis and I focuse on him so I have more on my shoulder so don’t give up.i look to see him another day

    • Basia Mosinski says:

      Reading your post makes me shake my head. How can one person have so much pain to endure? I am so sorry for your multiple losses. Hopefully, you have friends who support you when you need it. If not be sure to find The Compassionate Friends in your area. In my experience, people have left my life but others have come in and brought so much kindness, that I am eternally grateful. I hope the same is happening for you. I think the key for me has been to stand tall and move forward one step at a time. Wishing you peace.

      • Viv Collings says:

        Just found this site – so sad to read everyone’s heartache. I’ve lost two adult children-identical twins -one 15 years ago aged 24 and his twin 10 weeks ago aged 30. I honestly feel that I can’t go through “this” again. When my son died 15 years ago -his girlfriend was pregnant and we are very close to his beautiful 14yo daughter. I also have a daughter with a 4yo and a 2yo. So I know I’m lucky to have my daughter and my 3 grandchildren- but I miss my boys so much I some days w can hardly breathe

        • Basia Mosinski says:

          Hi Viv, your message reminds me that as horrible as the grief of loosing my adult son has been, my grandson and his wife recently had a baby…my deceased son would have been a grandfather! The new baby reminds me of my son down to his blue eyes. I found that taking slow deep breaths helps keep me in the present moment where new joy presents itself. I hope this helps. I know that some days it feels impossible. If you can turn to the love that your have for your boys…that unconditional love…still exists. Open to signs from them

  • Rebecca Callan says:

    I read the story and I am trying to cope with my son’s death. It’s been 9 months and I am having a very hard time dealing with it. I anyone could help me out I would very much appreciate it.

    • Hi Rebecca. I recommend looking on line for The Compassionate Friends Chapter nearest you. I found that very helpful. Also their website has chat rooms that are monitored. Or feel free to contact me through my website. Schedule a free consultation with me and hopefully, I can direct you to appropriate help.

  • Sharon Lavars says:

    I lost my baby boy today. He is 30 years old and he either died from an overdose after his demons reappeared last night, or his heart gave away because of his terrible addictions that he had gone cold turkey on over the last couple of weeks. I saw him three days ago when he came to visit me and he said he was feeling good. He was chuffed with kicking the drugs and was back at the gym. I was happy for him, but always in the back of my mind, I expected him not to live a long life.

    I always knew how much he loved me and how I loved him. I so wanted to be able to help him find happiness, but ultimately his pain was too strong and he needed to numb himself. Last night I awoke unusually and could not go back to sleep. My last thoughts before I finally drifted off were that I prayed to be able to help him get back on his feet by helping him find his passion. Next thing I knew the phone was ringing with that dreaded phone call.
    I just don’t know what to do with myself. i don’t want to see anyone or talk to them. What on earth can be said. Nothing can comfort me.

    • Hello Sharon, I had an eye opening experience…I received a new message from someone in response to this article. I usually reply within a few days. I scanned previous entries only to realize that during the month of September…the Angel-versary of my son, Richard’s passing, I checked out and missed several comments, yours was one of them. I am making a point of this to demonstrate that we are so profoundly changed by the loss of our child(ren) that we sometimes don’t even recognize ourselves.

      I am so sorry for the loss of your boy. I can read the passion in your words. I know that you have written that nothing can help you but I would like to offer that in the shock…in the crack of your open heart are some places to explore. One of them could be a connection to your son through the love you still have for him.

  • Kalomira says:

    My son was murdered 26 may 2017. Its 4 months next week i still dont know why. He was 21 so full of life wonderful smiling handsome boy. I miss him so deeply. It hurts this hole in my heart. I am alone with my pain, my partner can not understand and does not speak to me. I sit at home crying with my sadness with no one to share my son’s memories or my hurt. Many times I wish there could be an end to this pain. I have nothing, just his memory. My heart is broken and my life is too, just lonely.

    • Kalomira, I am so sorry to read about your horrible compounded loss. So painful to have additional pain and suffering on top of the death of your son. Please reach out, by now in my loss, I have become a resource for others.

  • Amy Pena says:

    Hi. I lost my only child at 26, on 8/23/2017. It’s been only a couple of months. I feel like I’m going crazy! I miss him so dearly. I get up, go to work and do the “functions” of a normal day. But inside I’m so broken, so devastated and sometimes I go to a very dark place, of course with a smile on my face, because I certainly should start to be getting to the other side of things by now, ( like some people think I should) I’m lost and scared to keep waking up like this.. this is no way to live.

    • So sorry for your loss and the losses of all of us. This one event takes us to our knees like no other event ever will. Forming community with other parents through The Compassionate Friends can help. Writing may help. Joining an online group can help. Please contact me if you would like more information about the group I started called “Open to Our Angels”.

  • Kevin says:

    I wish I could feel anything but the pain I feel , I feel like there is no hope no chance of ever being happy again my wife and I lost our son two months ago now it’s like I’m just waiting enduring everyday till it’s my time

    • Kevin, first off let me say that I am so sorry for your loss. Most parents who have shared this nightmare will say that in two months of experiencing our worst nightmare we were all still in shock. It’s as though a limb has been severed. I would like to offer you and your wife separately or together, a 15 min free coaching session. I have many resources to offer, including a group called Open to Our Angels. Please feel free to email me at: [email protected]

  • Michelle King says:

    My son died one year ago today

    • Michelle, I can feel your pain in the empty spaces of your response. I am so sorry for your loss. Of course, there is nothing to prepare us for this horrible loss and nothing that can take it away.

  • Michelle says:

    My first son died dec 18th 2017 at age 42. He was a drug addict but many questions have been raised as to whether or not he recd adequate treatment from the hospital. He had cardiac arrest and didnt recieve oxygen in time. In this one month the intensity and conflicts of everyone’s emotions and beliefs is overwhelming. I ended a relationship and today my grand daughter who I have raised at 15 diesnt want to live with me anymore. I dont understand why people cant give me time and support to deal with this pain. I look at my sons picture and it doesnt feel real that I will never again see him or hug him. I am so tired yet I cant sleep without medication. It looks like God wants me to be totally alone. So sad. Thank you for letting me express myself.

  • Raghubir says:

    Our bubbling son of 18 years died 28 years back in road accident on way to college. Gone from the physical world but not from our heart. Each moment of every day he remains with me -in our thoughts. I feel his prevasive presence in absence. Fragrance of his smiles and affection continues. He has come much close to us by leaving us so suddeny and so early.Initial days were very difficult but then holy books gave us some strength.
    Whether there is life after death or not-but there is conservation of mass, energy, momentum? If life or soul is energy, even after death the form of energy will be conserved? Let us hope in not in this life -in some cycle of birth we shall meet our Son.