Brian was My Heart

by Denise M.
(Connecticut)

It's been a little over six years since Brian died in a car crash. Amazing as it seems, he had only a tiny cut on his face to show that anything had happened to him. The force of the crash caused his seat to turn about 30 degrees and the brutal whiplash forced his head back onto the panel of the car that separates the front seats/doors from the rear. There wasn't even a bump on his head to show that something happened. He didn't die instantly but there was no hope that he would regain consciousness. He was brain dead for three days but his brain stem was still alive. He had signed up to be an organ donor and they had to wait until his brain stem died before they could harvest his organs.

Brian was 19 years old. He would have been 20 in three months. Just when my baby was starting to become a man, God called him home. But in those 20 years, I was so very happy. Brian and I bonded almost immediately. He was so sweet, gentle, funny, endearing, loving, responsible, helpful, friendly, grounded, giving, and so much more. He had all my love. My heart was his.

For six years, I've mourned his loss. I can hardly believe that he's gone. It's not what I pictured happening. The worse thing that I thought would ever happen would be that he might move to the other side of the country for one reason or another, and I wouldn't see him very often. I remember the first realization that I would never see him again. I felt complete devastation and desolation, so deep, down to every fiber of my being. I don't think that even facing death myself would have had such an impact. The black hole, the emptiness, the nothingness was so complete. Where Brian should have been, there was a complete rending of everything except my sanity but I would have preferred losing my sanity. No words can come close enough to explain how I feel and no one can understand or even imagine how I feel unless they've lost a child.

For the first year or so, I cried with huge sobs and groans. It was too much! The pain was unbearable, so complete, darker, deeper and more horrible than I ever could have imagined. This child, who was the light of my life, was more than gone from my life . . . a part of me died with him.

I've experienced other losses in my life. My father died when I was 13, my sister died when I was 16 and my mother died when I was 32. I know what it's like to mourn the loss of people that I loved very much . . . the sadness, missing them, wishing they were still alive, not being able to share joys and love with them any longer. But nothing compares to what and how I feel about losing my son.

My husband died of a heart attack two months before Brian. I had/have no one to turn to, no one to hold me, no one to understand how I feel, nobody's shoulder to literally cry on.

I lost my friends. They thought that I should be getting over the loss of my son. Even my sister wants nothing to do with me. I haven't heard from them in three or four years. I never did cry when I was around people but I'm much more subdued and more adamant in how I feel about things. I guess they didn't like how Brian's death affected and changed me. Maybe losing them affected me on some level but it means almost nothing to me.

I'm now going into year 7. I think of Brian every day, several times a day. He would have been 26 this year. I might have a grandchild had he lived. The holidays are coming. I always loved this time of year. Wouldn't it have been wonderful . . . the family get-togethers, baking, planning, shopping, wrapping, secrets, decorating the house!! It all falls flat now. I don't do any of it anymore.

I really don't think that life will get any better. I've read that it will but I think it handed me one sorrow too many.

Comments for Brian was My Heart

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Nov 18, 2010
Thank you all so much
by: Anonymous

I haven't experienced people offering their sympathies and comfort after the first few months of Brian's death. It's been as if I didn't deserve them any longer. But your heartfelt offerings were greatly welcomed. I can see how much a support group can help, people who understand how I feel and know the grief that I'm going through. Thanks so very much for your kind words and virtual hugs. You helped me a bit to see that my grief, even though six years old, is valid and normal, not morbid or abnormal.

I'm very sorry to hear of your losses. I understand how you feel. I pray that God will hold you in the palm of his hand and comfort your hearts.

Nov 06, 2010
Marc was my Heart
by: DJ

Hi Denise~I too have experienced the loss of my youngest son. Your words sound as if I wrote them. You may feel alone, as I do, but I am here for you as a friend and confidant. Please feel free to get a hold of me anytime. Hugs lady, DJ

jeeplovinmomma@yahoo.com Please use your "Brian was my heart" in the reference so I do not delete you (I do not open mail from people I do not know).

Oct 18, 2010
About your Brian
by: Anonymous

Dear Denise,
Reading your gut-wrenching story about losing your son, Brian, brings me face to face with my own personal loss. My son died a few years ago when he took his own life. I have wept as you have, faced losses before him as you have, lost relationships over our loss. Those who have not lost a child have no idea. The pain is deep, knawing, and feels like it should be fatal. I believe it would be if God did not intervene. I would like to keep in touch with you should you so desire. I know what it feels like to have those you loved turn their back on you. We have much in common. Please write me at impossiblejoy@yahoo.com. Blessings, Gracie

Oct 13, 2010
Hugs
by: Debra

Denise M.

My heart goes out to you, especially since you've had so many losses in addition to your son and no one to support you. You sound so very lonely. I wish I could give you a hug in sympathy and love. But I can't. But I will keep you in my prayers.

Oct 06, 2010
I know your pain
by: KIM

I too lost my son. His name was Eric and he had just turned 28 years old. He died on March 17, 2010. I also think of him daily and can't image life without my son.

I agree with you that no one can understand what we are going through unless they have lost a child. Your feelings are the same as mine. I feel like everyone has deserted me as well. My friends and family think that I should be over the pain. I am not over the pain, nor will I think that I will ever get over the pain.

I am so sorry for all the sorrow that you have been through. My thoughts and prayers are with you. I believe that we need our friends and family even more than we did before our sons left. But they don't understand what we are going through or are afraid of our emotions.

Take care and my thoughts are with you!

Oct 06, 2010
thank you
by: Shirley

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being so brave and donating your son's organs. My sweet, funny son, Dimitri, died on August 8th, just 8 1/2 weeks ago.

Two years ago he was a healthy 21 year old just launching out into adulthood when he went into liver failure for no reason whatsoever. Ultimately, although they did everything to save his liver, he ended up with a transplant. I know that the donor was also a young person. I wrote a letter to them last Christmas to thank them for their unbelievable gift.

Dimitri did well with the liver transplant but during the process of trying to save his original liver he also developed aplastic anemia. We were dealing with that on a day by day basis and had a bone marrow transplant scheduled for July 19th. On May 27th however, Dimitri was diagnosed with leukemia. He fought hard for 10 weeks but lost his fight on August 9th.

Although I ultimately lost my beautiful son, the new liver gave me two more years with him. In those two years I spent most of my time with him and every second I could I told him how much I loved him.

You were so brave to be so generous at the height of your grief. You are one of my heros.

Thank you so much.

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