grief journey

‘You look amazing. You’ve definitely lost weight.’ If he didn’t text me back, I’d assume the worst. I was extremely controlling.’: Woman suffers from eating disorder, mental illness, loss of grandfather taught her ‘to get the help I needed’

“I said to him, ‘Pup, it’s ok if you can’t make it to the wedding.’ I’d think, ‘I’ll never have a photo of me and Pup in my wedding dress. I’ll never have the opportunity to eat my wedding dinner with him. He’ll never meet my children.’ I hit the lowest low I ever had. Before my husband and I walked down the aisle, I couldn’t help but feel like Pup was there. I said to my now husband, ‘He’s here. I can feel it.’ My husband grabbed my hand. ‘I know.’”

‘My brother came to me in a dream last night and told me he was in heaven. He isn’t in pain anymore.’: Mom of 2 children with rare skin condition loses youngest unexpectedly, ‘Nothing could be done. My baby was gone forever.’

“’They’re here!’ I saw my husband staring with a scary look on his face. Everything went out of focus. I walked to his bed, and I sank to the floor. He was gone. I screamed, doctors came running in. They performed CPR but because of his disease, it tore all the skin from his chin to his chest. They told me his heart stopped due to complications. I later found out he was given fentanyl during the flight.”

‘Please God, give her back! We already knew, she’s gone. I was weak from grief.’: Mom recalls loss of daughter, uses music to keep her memory alive, ‘No matter what I’m singing, I know she’s there, because she is my song’

“It was just me and Alice at the hospital. There was a soft glow from the bathroom, the door barely cracked. She laid on my chest, we were just there together, soaking each other in. Time stood still. She was so feminine, petite. I say, ‘I know whenever I sing, you are there,’ and I truly mean it. It’s as if I am sharing my beautiful, perfect daughter, and that brings me joy. I would find her singing to herself in her bed. I knew we would be connected through music forever.”

‘Telling her ‘he is gone’ was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. She has no siblings anymore. Just a big pile of heartache.’: Mom has to tell daughter her brother is dead due to opioid crisis

“John absolutely adored his sister. He was fine with people thinking that this beautiful blonde, this older woman, was his date – he would go out of his way to ham it up for whoever was commenting. ‘Come to me darling,’ I can hear him say. His eyes twinkling with glee. He would protect her. He just loved being with her.”

‘You died while we were sleeping. We were merely a few feet down the hall. When we woke to the puppy crying, you were ice cold.’: Mom loses military son to fentanyl overdose, ‘I had no idea how hard it was for you’

“We didn’t know when we went to bed, and you told us you loved us, it would be the last time we saw you alive. You didn’t know either. You only wanted care from the VA. Did you know the priority mail envelope that contained your hearing appointment was finally delivered to me, 4 months after you died? Yeah, you can’t make this up. We applied because of your pain.”

‘It’s day 721 of not seeing you. You aren’t something we can pack up, put in a box and label with a Sharpie. You are our son.’: Mom’s grief journey after losing military son, ‘I miss you’

“The lady at the thrift store bravely asked about how we were doing. And you know what? I didn’t lie. I didn’t say good. I thought, ‘Wow, it has been over 2 years. How can that be?’ I found your box of baby clothes and the blankets Grandma made you. You are everywhere here, and at times I don’t want to live in this place anymore.”

‘Is this the real pin?,’ my daughter squeaked out. ‘Yes, my love, it is.’ ‘From his shirt?’ Her eyes were big and curious.’: Widow’s emotional gift for daughters honors their late father, ‘My hands trembled. It was beautiful, stunning’

“I gasped. I ran back to the garage, flung open the safe, and patted my hand. I felt the plastic sandwich bag. I pulled it out. And there it was. Two perfect pins. The real pins. Not only that, but his nameplate was in there, too. Tucked away. For the right time. Entrusting a stranger with something so personal, so sentimental, was like entrusting his body with the funeral home. I received the call, drove to the shop, my heart racing. ‘Stunning,’ I thought. When my 2 girls opened the jewelry box together, their collective gasps spoke volumes.”

‘Do you want to hold her?’ My husband cradled her in his arms, weeping. ‘I just love her so much.’ My lungs burned as I gasped for air.’: Parents lose daughter to Anencephaly, ‘My husband fell to his knees’

“I collapsed over her body that no longer held the warmth and softness of a newborn. Nothing was going to bring her back. She was finally healed. Safe. Free of pain. I kissed her forehead. A final goodbye. My husband was escorted out of the room by the funeral director. I saw my daughter’s body leave forever, safe in her daddy’s arms. Stop. Stop. Stop the car. I can’t do this. I can’t go home. He rubbed my hand. ‘Let’s go to a hotel…’ We slept hard that night and awoke to a new day. A new, unwanted step we had to take without our baby girl.”

‘I can hear him singing, ‘Hip, hip, hooray for Christmas Vacation.’ I can see him lighting the fireplace. Memories, never to be again.’: A year after husband’s death in plane crash, mom’s advice on surviving grief during holidays

“I can see him turning the thermostat to 68, knowing dang well it’s freezing outside and the heat should be set to 72. I can also see him baking cookies with the kids, and letting them decorate the tree. The problem is, these are simply memories, visualizations of what will never be. It wasn’t supposed to be like this.”

‘I carried his ashes. I carried them in a box all over the airport. I didn’t want to put him on the floor. It didn’t feel right.’: Woman’s journey to return her husband’s ashes to his home

“Before we boarded our plane in Atlanta, I took his remains to the exact spot we touched when he flew into Atlanta. I laid the box down on the exact tile we stood on. The captain came by to give his condolences and let us know that he was honored to take him home and that we would get him there as fast as possible. I couldn’t even squeak out a word when he came by. I just nodded and cried.”

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