A piece of my soul was ripped out

by Deena Hollar
(Chambersburg, PA)

Mother's Day, 2014. My son, Christopher, was going to pick up his girlfriend and wrecked his car. He was flown to a nearby Trauma ICU where he never woke up...passing a week later from the brain trauma. He was 1 month from his 39th birthday. He was my only child, and I raised him on my own; what a joy he was thru those years (and at times a headache, especially during the teen years). We were always told what a great relationship we had; most of the time I was known as 'Christophers' Mom' and I loved it. Chris was born with spina bifida cystica(sic), lost a kidney at 10 months and was told he would probably never walk. He fooled them; walking at 9 1/2 months, going on to be very health oriented, working out almost every day and even followed for awhile in my footsteps working with those with mental health challenges (although the 'love' of his work profession was security). I have heard nothing but great things about him from his friends and co-workers and while that is helpful, it does nothing for MY overall frame of mind. I can not believe he overcame so much to just depart this world in such a manner. I strain to hear his voice, I see a car that is similar and my heart jumps, and as I go through his belongings, almost everything brings tears. I am back to work (part-time) and most days have to leave due to tears starting and not stopping. Chris came to live with me several years ago after I had a major heart attack. They had to revive me 4 times...had a stent and double by-pass and then this past December (2013) one of the by-passes failed and had to have another stent. Chris was SO caring and watchful. I found myself hating the fact that I had lost so much of my vitality and energy and he would tell me 'You took care of me and now I can and will take care of you.' That was a promise he kept for 3 years. I lost my son, my best friend (that was a road I loved traveling even though it took awhile to get there), my care giver, and a piece of my soul. When people tell me it will 'get better', I now say, 'No, it will never be better...maybe different with time, but never better.' He was so afraid of losing me due to my heart problems, but he was the one who 'left.' I can not come to any terms with this...maybe too soon, maybe never will, but I know I can not feel this way the rest of my life (however long that may be). There are days I 'feel' him here, smell his cologne, and hear a song he loved that I haven't heard in years. When he was in his early 20's, he apologized for my chosing him over finding 'another husband.' I tried to help him understand there was no need to apologize...it was my choice and I would do it again. He was my life, and he 'saved' me from God only knows what. I was still young enough to play with him and grown up a little more because of him. He could never know what a gift he was to me. Rest in the loving arms of God Almighty and wait for me to follow when it is my time. I don't know what else to say. I will live my life, I will miss having Chris to share things with, but I talk to him every day; and I believe he hears me...and is waiting. I pray for guidance and peace and hope I can get through another day - every day.

Comments for A piece of my soul was ripped out

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Jul 12, 2014
our son
by: Maryo

Yesterday it was 2 months that Jaie died but since we didn't learn of his death until the following morning it seems more like it was the 12th.

I don't know if I am moving forward. I'm glad to hear that Stacie has a shrine to her son. I have done the same and I burn incense, wear some of his favorite tee shirts, wear black and I talk to him. Every night I write to him about our day. Sometimes I feel close to him, sometimes I don't know if I believe he is really gone. He had more or less dropped out of family dinners about 3 months ago, something very uncharacteristic of him. But his behavior was changed so drastically by the drugs. I wonder if I really think he will be coming back.

It does help me a lot to read what you all have written and I KNOW you understand. I wonder if the day will come when i won't think of him? I don't want that to ever happen and it scares me that it might. Usually he is the first thought I have when I wake up and maybe that is his way of saying good morning to me.

I just want to hug him again and tell him I love him. His life style and behavior were so unlike what he had been for most of his 27 years. I do believe that now he is at peace, something he didn't have much of in his last months.

I keep all of you in my prayers and I imagine us in a circle supporting each other as we go through this horrible experience. I do not feel alone and I am glad I found this web site.

Jul 11, 2014
A piece of my soul...
by: Deena

Stacie - Thank you for sharing. I know how hard this is...today (11th) it is 2 months since my son's accident and it is no easier now then that night. I too have a small shrine (urn, candles, his Batman wrist band and two cherubs) on my dresser. I wear his St. Christopher medal everyday (have not taken it off since the 23 of May), wear his ball cap and his sweatshirt when it is a cool evening. These things do help to bring some comfort. It is ok for you...it is ok for me. Everyone grieves differently, and yet, we are the same. I pray for all who have lost some one dear to them; especially an adult child...that is not what we ever expect to do. I have found that this site has been a great blessing; sharing with some one who 'knows' really 'knows' rather then hearing someone say, I understand. No, no they don't unless they have lived it and I do not wish that on anyone. I work part-time and it helps me put my mind in a different place for at least 4 hours and my energy into helping someone else. I pray harder then I think I ever have; prayers now have a deeper meaning to me and I believe there is power in prayers. We need to help each other. I will put you in my prayers tonight, Stacie. We are still here because our job is not done yet. What that is I don't know, but I believe it to be true. Blessings and strength to you.

Jul 10, 2014
Your Son
by: Stacie

Like you, I am also just beginning the grieving process. I lost my 22 year old son, Justin on 6/6/14 in an automobile accident. Although I have 2 other children, Justin and I were very close and shared a strong bond. He and I were both physically abused by my ex husband (which is Justin's biological father) We survived a 7 year abusive relationship and we always looked out for each other. He was not ashamed or too proud to admit he was a "mama's boy", in fact he actually told his girlfriends that if they could not accept that his "mama" comes first, they could not see each other. I cry everyday. I sleep hugging his shirt, I wear a locket that contains a lock of his hair everywhere I go. We even set up a shrine in our living room that contains his ashes, candles, pictures of him, and the very last thing he purchased, a pack of cigarettes. A lot of people will try to tell you it gets easier with time. To me, it's getting harder. No one knows how you feel except those who have lost a child themselves. I pray that you and I both find a way to cope with this terrible loss. I still try to convince myself at times that this is just a nightmare and I will wake up from it. God Bless you.

Jul 09, 2014
Ripped from my soul
by: Deena

My dearest Doreen and Maryjo,
Yes, we are moving on/forward and I am glad to hear that...hard as it is, it is necessary, as I believe we are still here for a reason. I do not know what to do some days as being a mom was the best job/fun/honor I have ever had. I am at an age that maybe I could be a 'grannie' to someone; even if it is by mail/texting/im'ng. I work in the mental health field (day program coordinator)and get to see first hand how some of these young folks never knew a grandparent. They aren't looking for a parent as they have had enough parenting (especially negative); but a 'grannie' packs a little more punch when needed and a lot of love as wanted. My tears don't flow quite as quickly now, but the pain in my soul has not changed and I don't look to change it; it is now a part of my life and I am trying to embrace it, face it, and file it where it needs to go. I will keep you in my prayers and send as many positive thoughts to you each day.
We gave so much love to our children and they may not be with us, but love still is...somewhere in us and I feel the best way to honor them may be to spread our love around. Not that special love we shared with our child, that belonged to them alone, but to share a smile that comes from deep within, a simple, light touch to someone's hand, a hug that is just a little longer and a little stronger. Light up the room with love...love you learned because of your child.
Peace and prayers.


Jul 08, 2014
by: Maryo

Thank you Doreen. From everything I have read and heard, this is a process as you say and a few years down the road the pain won't be so raw but also I know that my life will never be quite as free and easy as it was. So even though I might get better as I go along I feel like there will come a time when I will feel as good as I ever will and there will also be a sadness holding me back a little bit. Does this make sense.

I like your idea of doing something just for me every day, I have continued my art work and that has always helped me calm down or focus and helped if I am feeling down.

I have the name of a grief counselor and am thinking about contacting her, just to have someone to talk to and unburden myself on.

Jul 08, 2014
Our children
by: Doreen UK

Maryo, It is normal to wake up with the thoughts of your loved one who has died, and for your day to go downhill. This doesn't happen all the time or every day. You will get breaks in between when life is normal and it feels as if nothing has happened in your life to change and you can smile, laugh, and be happy. This is normal. Don't feel guilty and feel you have to be crying or grieving all the time. It doesn't mean you don't care. This is the nature of grief. We learn from other's on this site of how the grief experience feels like and how we can help ourselves. Some days you will just have to sit tight and let this grief ride out. But during this time you can build yourself up by doing something good for yourself each day, every day and make this become a way of life. Almost like nurturing yourself back into life. This is a healthy and loving way to treat yourself. If we fell down, we would get up. With grief there will be times we can't get up. But many times we can. It is then I ask God to pick me up and help me get through my day. When life is going well I think something bad is going to happen to spoil things. But I think this is just a normal reaction to life. Because life is HARD. There is nothing wrong with seeing a grief counsellor. They are skilled and supportive and can help many when they are stuck in grief and unable to move forward. I have done the counselling part years ago before I lost my husband 2yrs. ago. So it was a good foundation for me. BUT. I still went through the normal process of grief and felt the same pain and grief that is common and other's have gone through. Grief is a PROCESS and we have to go THROUGH it. One of my memorable verses in the Bible is "And it came to pass." We live in a fallen world with many trials and tribulations. But they come and they pass. Often they strengthen us, and build us up. WE do get good days in between the bad days and I think this is the way it is meant to be. Some people get too many bad days. Counselling can be a blessing at this time. We learn skills and coping strategies that help us in life. You will recover from grief but the process of healing is so slow.

Jul 07, 2014
our children
by: Maryo

Today was a hard day for me. When I woke this morning the first thought was my son being gone and the sky was gray and the day just seemed to go down from there. Do any of you have this happen? Do you have any suggestions. I also have had hours during a day when I haven't thought of him and then I start feeling guilty. Have any of you sought help from a grief counselor?

Jul 04, 2014
RE: A piece of my soul...
by: Deena

Thank you to those who responded to my blog. It is a blessing to have someone who knows the pain and suffering instead of getting a lot of 'lip service.' I do not mean to be cruel by that, but until it happens to you, you do not understand. I am sorry for the loss each of you have suffered, and I too wait for the day that the grief is not so close that it feels like it is choking me. I too would like to continue to hear from each of you on your journey to seeking a forward life again. God bless and I will keep each of you in my prayers.

Jul 04, 2014
your son
by: Maryo

I am so sorry for your loss. We too lost our son on Mother's Day of this year. I think only time will help us. I don't know about you but for the first few weeks I just wanted to hide from the world. I'm just beginning to get back into my routine but I will never feel the same as I did before this last Mother's Day. We just have to do the best we can to get through each day and I have found that some days are better than others.

Our son lost control of his car and crashed, he was unconscious and died soon after. He suffered no pain for which we are grateful. He had begun taking a prescription pill and it turned him into a different person. I blame the pill, he had begun to do reckless things although in the end it was his decision to take the pills.

He was 27 years old and had a promising career as a family therapist. Now all that is gone. I wear his jewelry, what he had, and we have gotten rid of little. Even though he was 27 he had kept his old room at home and would often stay with us on the weekends. That room has remained untouched and I don't know if we will ever change it. I had a wonderful dream about him and I think he was telling me he was ok. He had become so different after starting those pills, he lost weight, couldn't sleep and seemed always to be uneasy. At least now he is at peace.

We have another son, 28, and I have to stay strong for him and not give up but sometimes I just want to curl up and go to sleep.

Let's keep each other in our prayers.

Jul 02, 2014
A piece of my soul was ripped out
by: Doreen UK

Deena I am so sorry for your loss of your precious son Christopher to a tragic accident. No mother can ever forget the son she bore and grew to be a man, then to suddenly lose him. It almost feels so CRUEL to have to bury your son. I too have a son Christopher who is fragile and going through a hard life. Every mother will be concerned over her children with the hope they can get through this tough life and make it good. I have to pray over my 3 Adult children and hope I don't ever lose one of them. I couldn't bear this heartache. I just lost my husband to cancer and life is so fragile and hard each day hoping life will somehow change and help us recover from grief. But the healing from grief is a slow process. You do feel as if you will suffer for the rest of your life. But I do think you will heal slowly ONE DAY AT A TIME. I didn't think I would have moved forward even a little. But having moved forward a little I regret some of the decisions I made. It still hurts losing a loved one even after 2yrs. Don't know how long it will take to get used to living without our loved ones. It is only God who can come and rescue us and help us go on each day.

Jul 02, 2014
Your son
by: Kate

Your loss is great. I too lost my 39 yr old son a year and a half ago. I was in shock because I could not believe he died. I did somehow go on with my heart torn in half. My son was my friend too who worried about my health and truly cared for me. My heart goes out to you. It is a journey no mother wants. So hard a path!! You will have many emotions and sorrow will be close. It takes time to absorb a death of a child! Whatever you feel is normal because it is so overwhelming. I'm so sorry for your loss. This site has helped me grieve with those who know. Take one day at a time, carefully. His love is always with you.

Jul 02, 2014
A piece of my soul was ripped out
by: Danny's Mom

Am so sorry for your loss of your baby, I so mean it:-(. I too loss my son on Mother's Day 2014. He commited suicide by hanging himself :-( my heart is so broken:-( we as moms will never be the same, I know your son doesn't want you to be sad, he sounds like he was a good son!! , you need to keep that in your heart forever!! That what am doing because, my son was a great blessing to me and such a great hearted person!! May God give us comfort to get thru this sad chapter of our life's. It has been 7 weeks 3 days that our babies left to be with God and are watching over us. XO

Jul 01, 2014
So sorry
by: Gale

So sorry to hear about your loss - I too lost an only child, on June 9, 2014. Michael was 31 years old. Life will never be the same - that's a given. However I look forward to the day that I don't weep like a baby, I'm not filled with anxiety over the "other shoe dropping" and when Im not so grief stricken that it seems like I'll never "live" again.
How do we heal? Does the heart ever recover? The pain can be so devastating that I almost can't breathe at times.
I will think of you and please stay in touch - perhaps we can find strength in each other. Hugs to you.

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