This is an excerpt from LOST to FOUND: Surviving the Death of Your Child by Basia Mosinski, which is available at
We cried and cried and cried. We were in shock. We were fearful. We were in disbelief. We asked questions. We became angry. We didn’t sleep and we were numb. We were jolted out of our ordinary lives of ‘normal’ expectation and predictability when our nightmare happened: our child…our loved one was taken from us by illness, or accident. They are gone through their own intention, by their hand or at the hand of someone else. The day our loved one got their wings was our first real day of hell on earth. That was the grim welcome to The Grief Journey.
We were taken down to our knees as all hell broke loose. Lost without a map, a key or a guide. Others in our family or community may have also been affected by the death of our loved one but they were not of much help to us because they didn’t have a map either. We were grateful for their presence but felt lost while in the presence of others.
In the chaos of the first few days, we made arrangements, processed papers, collected belongings, and artifacts, if available. We may have looked like we were functioning but we were walking husks of our former selves. Those days may seem like a blur now. We may have spoken to people but not remember that we did. We may have been good at remembering faces and then we weren’t. After family and friends returned home or we returned home from where our child lived or died…the initial shock wore off.
Then, we were faced with the real nightmare…our child was never coming back.

Those of us who were strong were rendered helpless. Those who were numb couldn’t get out of bed. Those who were vulnerable became suicidal. This was our ‘new normal’. Our child was gone and now we were losing ourselves. And as if the loss of our child wasn’t bad enough…we all know that it was… for many there were more losses, like after shocks following an earthquake. Some lost their marriage, some had to move from their home because reminders inside and out were too painful. Some lost work, or took unpaid leave from work. As a result they lost income, and then made terrible financial decisions in order to survive. The work, the people, the requirements, the meaninglessness, the commute or the tone of someone’s voice was something we just couldn’t tolerate any longer. Not when one of the most important people in our lives…is gone.

Basia Mosinski

Basia Mosinski, MA, MFA is an online Grief/Hope/Wellness Specialist. Basia was a Keynote Speaker at The Compassionate Friends 2018 National Conference. 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 is the Executive Director of and chapter leader of The Compassionate Friends_Newport Beach

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