loss

‘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.”

‘I want to buy Sean’s grave.’ I was shocked. ‘What?’ Silent tears ran down my cheeks. I gave him a tight hug. ‘Thank you so much. I don’t know what to say.’: Widow shares kind act that helped relieve financial burden after husband’s sudden death

“Greg stepped forward. He looked right at me. ‘A few months back, Sean came and saved me from a plumbing nightmare when my water heater went out. He wouldn’t let me pay him for the labor. Sean’s not here to argue with me. Let me give him this final gift of thanks.’ I was speechless.”

‘She began to sob, her head in her hands. She fumbled for a tissue, dotting under her eyes. She attempted to collect herself.’: Widow witnesses stranger break down in car after sharing daughter for holidays, makes her realize ‘You are worthy of love’

“I was sitting in the Target parking lot when a minivan pulled up next to me. A mom and her daughter were waiting for someone. Not a moment later, a man pulled up in a car and all 3 exited their vehicles. The only thing I can gather is these were divorced parents. The dad was taking his daughter for the holiday. The girl had a backpack with her. She hugged her mom tight. She got in the car with her dad, and they drove off. The mom watched as they drove away, walked back to her car, then I saw her. She sat for a moment. How would I feel if I had to share my son?”

‘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.”

‘She pointed to the TV to distract us. We looked back, and she was gone.’ That was the moment I became an adult orphan.’: Woman earns college degree in honor of late mother, jumpstarts grief support groups

“At 9:00 a.m. my sister called with the news. I was at work, in the midst of a project. We hung up and I don’t even remember breathing. ‘I have to leave for a week,’ I told my supervisor. As my sister was driving, the sun was warm in her van. I discovered my chest wasn’t feeling heavy anymore. Inner warmth just filled me. So much was going to change.”

‘A voice said, ‘Go home now!’ I felt sick. ‘Mom, there are 2 men at the door. They want to speak with you.’: After woman loses husband in car accident, she vows to ‘live a life that matters’

“I walked briskly. The intensity of the fear grew the closer I got to my home. ‘Where in the heck is Sean?!’ I didn’t recognize either of the men. Wearing khaki pants and blue collared shirts, they looked like they were from a country club. ‘Can I help you?’ They asked me to come outside to talk. I got defensive. ‘There’s been an accident tonight.’ The small man’s face was pale. Electricity ran through my body.”

‘I would NEVER drug my child.’ I was appalled. ‘Too much for me?!,’ I exclaimed. It was a nightmare that broke me.’: Foster mom’s children are removed after son gets into medication, ‘It felt like battle’

“My son climbed onto the counter and got into some medication. This launched an investigation of abuse on me. The state caseworkers were trying to prove I purposely overdosed my son because he was ‘just too much for me.’ ‘Too much for me?!,’ I exclaimed, ‘These kids are everything to me.’ They replied, ‘We believe you’re too stressed from a recent divorce. We need to make sure you are safe for your children.’ I felt the fire consume me. It was all so much.”

‘Daddy, I choose MY mommy.’ He snuck into my bedroom and set a basket of clothes on fire. He cried with me.’: Woman loses both parents to addiction, re-claims her life, ‘I chose my own path’

“At 11, I was getting ready for school when I heard a knock. I opened to blue lights, police closing in. My parents were caught in a drug bust and a reporter was catching it all on camera. At first, my mom didn’t want to be seen ‘behind bars.’ Tears just rolled down both our faces. She put her hand against the glass, and I put my hand against hers. Kids talked about plans for the weekend, homework. I’d write letters to my mom, telling her how much I loved and missed her, and how I wished I could have some of her spaghetti.”

‘Why did you have another baby?’ I try to not bury myself with my son, but to live better because he had lived.’: Mom finds ‘gratitude’ in grief after losing son, ‘goodness is all around, if I just take a moment to see it’

“My new daughter sleeping should be a scene of total peace, and yet it’s terrifying. The ugly, hateful words swirl in my mind. ‘Life can’t really be good again, can it?’ ‘If something happens to her, then everyone will know what an awful mother you are.’ Child loss leads you to a crossroads—a choice between becoming bitter or becoming better.”

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