Diary of a Grieving Step-Mom

by Sharon Rose Connolly
(Asheville, NC)

Sean LaRue

Sean LaRue

Sean LaRue

Run Sean run and let your heart soar

Click on each photo to enlarge.
On June 22, 2011, my 24 year old stepson Sean LaRue Connolly lost control of his car, flipped it, was ejected out and the car landed on him. He sustained severe head injuries. He was in the hospital for 5 days and on June 27, 2011, a CAT scan revealed he was no longer receiving blood to his brain. He was declared dead at 4:16PM. I was his stepmom for 18 of those 24 years. I watched him grow into a loving man. My heart breaks as if he were my own flesh and blood. I'm not sure most people understand a stepmom's grief. I was a good stepmom and enjoyed a good and loving relationship with Sean with our ups and downs but mostly ups. I love and miss him so much. I feel lost and hopeless now. It's been a hard several months. I lost my job in October 2010, lost my mother-in-law in November 2010, had emergency surgery in early June 2011 and returned from the hospital only to lose Sean 2 weeks later. Life looks and feels grim although I go through the motions of living each day, it is a real struggle. I just can't write anymore about this tragedy. The pain is too intense. I will return when I feel a bit stronger.

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Nov 22, 2014
rip Christian
by: Anonymous

I was Christian's step mom for 10 years he was a wonderful boy
I still can't believe he is not here anymore.All I have is memories of the good times we had and our conversations.I don't have kids of my own so this loss makes it extremely painful I still remember in details that day that changed my life and my husband's too.it was Friday October 10 2014 and my hubby went to get some groceries.Christian didn't live with us but would stay sometimes with us.I went to rent some movies around 4.pm to watch later that night after the playoffs the game started at 5.pm and they went extra innings so it ended around 10 p.m during the baseball game we washed my car and my hubby stayed in the garage I came back inside to watch the game.My husband made himself a hotdog and fell asleep on the sofa he slept like 3 hrs.I watched one of the movies I rented and he went to bed I went to bed around 3 a.m when I got up to go to the bathroom I saw my house phone lighting up it does that with incoming calls I got close and saw it was 4:20 a.m and it was Christians mom I told my husband his cell phone was buzzing too.but we went back to sleep around 7:57 a.m someone was at the door my husband went downstairs to see who it was he said it was his brother I stayed in bed thinking he wanted a favor like borrow his truck as he was walking upstairs he told me that Christian had passed away what????so many things came to my mind I felt I wanted to faint he had been in a car accident he lost control of his car on the freeway and another car hit his car and him and died on the scene.I am depressed those words keep going through my mind I'm still in so much pain so many plans we had when me and my husband went to Cabo I told him we should bring Christian next year it never happened no more Dodger stadium movies barbecues' no more No one knows how I feel how much I miss him how much I loved him.
ed note: This blog has been transitioned to a great new Forum with private messaging. Please check it out by hitting the "The Grief Club" button on the left. You can even resubmit your post there for fresh advice. Thanks so much!

Apr 23, 2014
I loved you like you were my own
by: Wendy

Feb 13 , 2014..... Started as any normal Thursday !!!
Around 3:00 my husband of 25 yr Jesse called
My cell and said that Tony had possibly had a heart
Attack and ambulance was taking him to hospital
And then just like that our lives changed forever !!
As I walked into ER I was told the news that they were
Working on him but dr didn't think there was much hope !
Only to find out an hour later that he was pronounced DEAD !!
Dead hiw could that be ??? 36 yr old And in
Perfect health ... Heart attack ??
I remember at that very moment my world out world had
Ended as we knew it.
Tony was my step son but was with me for 30 yrs
He was a fine man , father , son , brother , uncle. And a friend to Everyone. He left behind a wife and son Colton 10 yr old and a 3 mo old baby girl Jessa who was his pride and joy.
We raised tony along with his half sister Kasey 24 brother cooper Jett 12 and Emma 10.
I just want to say that 2 months later it's the
Same as if it were yesterday.
Me and Jesse had 4 children and that was that
I couldn't love my biological 3 any more than I did tony
He was my first child. My heart aches each and evey single day ....the last time I saw big t I turned around and waved at him and Colton and said WEE WEE loves y'all. I just hope an pray that he knew how much
Tony Crosby you will he missed By many but always
Know that wendy loves you today tomorrow and forever

Feb 19, 2013
He wasn't "your son"
by: Kristen

I lost my step son, Sulllivan, last month, January 15th, 2013. We had a close relationship, and my husband had a very tight bond with his oldest son. My husband and I have 6 kids between us. You know, his, mine & ours. Sully was number 5 and the 1st boy out of 4 older sisters. He was so excited when we welcomed our 1st child together, a boy... Finally Sully had the brother he always wanted. It feels weird to even call Sully my step son, we didn't make those distinctions in our home. Despite a 50/50 custody arrangement with his mother, we had the kids 80% of the time, or rather I should say I had them 80% of the time. Dad was out bringing home the bacon. I handled school, dr. appts, extra- curricular activities, projects, homework... Sully was 5 when I came in to his life, and 9 when he was taken from us in a way that cannot, and actually has not fully been explained to us. We don't have a coroners report yet. He apparently died in an accident at his mothers home. We had an arrangement for the kids to be with us on Tuesdays, because it was moms busy work day, and she wasn't able to really have them at all. My husband and I didn't not like the kids alone, and in fact live in the same neighborhood as mom to be close for the kids. Mom, as I struggle to call her, was angry at us for remodeling our house. I don't know if was that she used to live there, or that we had saved enough money to do it, not really sure. But she told us she had changed her schedule to be home with the kids on her days and would no longer be "needing my services". That meant leaving them alone. On the Tuesday that Sully died, his dad and I sat mere blocks away at our home, while he sat dying alone. He had been left with his older sister who was trying to study for finals. She was upstairs. She saw him at 7:15. He was happy and was instructed to go eat some dinner. By 8;30 he was dead, a woman's workout head band apparently twisted around his neck. We received a frantic call at 8:30from our 14 year old daughter that mom and her younger sister came home to find him. not breathing. he was already cold. Needless to say, he was already gone. We got there moments later, it was too late. The ugliness that ensued from his mothers family has made this horrific tragedy even harder to bear. Mom's father wrote the obituary, without telling us, and intentionally left me out, my two girls out, and Sully's baby brother. He also, got Sullivan's birthday wrong. His mother confronted me at the the burial, and demanded that the hat I was wearing (Sully's fedora) be taken off and given to mom on the spot. They were shoveling dirt over my sons casket while this horrible woman was trying to snatch my boys hat off my head...I could go on and and on. insensitive remarks... hateful gestures. I guess this is a good place to start as any, writing all ready makes me a little lighter. I lost a son. My first boy. I have lost the husband I had. He will never be the same. None of us will.

Jul 21, 2012
Grieving stepmom
by: Anonymous

Amanda is my stepdaughter we lost her last year from an overdose.. I came from a different country my husband brought me here in the US when i was 27 and Amanda was 14 yrs old, after a year I have been living here she went wild run away did drugs and hated me so she wants nothing to do with her dad too but my husband was always trying to do his best to help her to be safe and loved but she kept on doing drugs and manipulating us to give her money. I don't have kids of my own when I came here and met her I instantly love her and tried to know her, be close to her like a friend I tried but she had bad influence from neighbors that made her push us away as a family since then it was just a struggle to have time with her to let her know we love her more than anybody but she did not listen. We have always been trying to have time with her and we were there when she needed us. she just turned 23 last year she moved into an apartment closer to us and she started to realize we have always been with her and loved her even thru all the hoops she brought us thru, we have been seen shes trying to stop doing drugs and shes going to work and calls us more.. But after the month we celebrated her birthday I found her laying in her bed dead. It's almost a year now it's still hard for me to think of her gone I want to have a life with my husband but I know it's hard for him more. Now his saying his not blaming me for coming here but I feel that its my fault we lost her because i came, he wants us to separate I don't know what to do?? I'm confused I love my husband I don't want to lose him he wants to get rid of me so he can die too like what his been saying so I don't know what to do? I don't have a family here except my husband, I miss my mom and my family but I can't leave my husband alone. I'm too sad.

Sep 08, 2011
Diary of a Grieving Stepmom 9/8/11
by: Sharon Rose Connolly

September 8, 2011

Six months ago, it was just an ordinary day ? going to the dentist. Today it was anything but ordinary. Going to the dentist today meant telling my story again, sharing that I lost Sean to a fatal car accident. Seeing the look of shock and sorrow on their faces just ignites my own all over again. ?I?m so sorry.? ?I can?t imagine the pain you feel.? ?How old was he?? I give my standard replies, ?Thank you.? ?The pain is dreadful.? ?He was 24.?

I joined a sewing class last week, just to be around people who don?t know me. Who don?t know the depth of the pain I feel. Because they don?t know me, they don?t choose their words carefully; they talk about their children openly as they should. I hear the sweet things they are doing and I think ? enjoy, oh do enjoy, those sweet moments for you know not when they will change in an instant. Stay in the here and now with them and hold them ever so close.

My close friends know just what to say, not say, do or not do. But the others, the acquaintances look down, look away, avoid the topic or me altogether. The thought of that kind of loss is unbearable for others and most find it incomprehensible. Funny, but I still do too.

I ran across a letter Sean wrote to me in April of 2008. It reads, ?Shar, I just want to start out by saying how grateful I am to be back here. [He moved from Florida back to North Carolina with us.] I appreciate every thing that you and dad have done for me.? It ends with, ?I love you,? signed ?Sean? So there I have it. Confirmation of his love. In writing ? his handwriting ? so bittersweet.

Tonight I?ll go to my sewing class and pretend for just a few hours that everything is okay.

P.S. I love you too Sean. Always have and always will. Forever and ever. Amen.

Sep 06, 2011
there is help
by: Anonymous

I think you are a wonderful MOM and your grief is very valid. I lost my 23 year old son last August to leukemia. It's such an awful empty void. If you have a local Compassionate Friends group I highly recommend them. Also, there is a facebook CF group. It's soothing to talk to others who know the pain you are experiencing. Hugs to you from California.

Sep 06, 2011
Diary of a grieving step-mom
by: Pat J


I can only imagine your pain. My husband of 46 years died on June 27,2011. Our 46th wedding anniversary was on June 26th. He died at 12:10 a.m. on the 27th.
My mother-in-law just turned 91 on September 4th. This is the third child she has lost in a 10 year span. She was herself a widow at 54. She always told me losing her husband was hard, but a child is worse. By law you were Seans' Step-mom, but in your heart, he is your son.
We, I, now, have a Step-grandaughter. Shelby was 8 months old when my husband and I met her for the first time. When she was two, she and her mom moved in with our family. Our middle son, married her mom, when Shelby was 4 years old. She will be 17 November 4th. I have made my will since my husband died. I have included her in my will, just like our birth grandchildren. Blood has nothing to do with it.
I also have an Aunt who is 97 and she has also lost 3 children and 3 years ago she lost her husband. She says the same thing-losing her children, is the worst pain. I can't imagine that pain, because my pain is so heavy at this time.
You are in my prayers, I truly believe they live on in a much better place. We just miss them, everything about them, so very much and going on without them is very hard and we will always have this aching heart no matter how long they are gone. They will always have a special place in our heart.
God Bless and One Day at a Time is how I am living.

Sep 06, 2011
Loving Step Mother
by: Geoffrey Campbell

What a wonderful loving step Mother you are. Your letter touched my heart with pity at your grief, but also thinking what a precious person you were for your step son. I am a step son, and I love my step Father, though Mom tells me he hates me, I refuse to believe it. I love him because he loves my Mother and is good to her. When I tell my Step Father I love him he answers back with foul language, but this does not faze me, for I love my Mother so much, and I see how good he is to her, so I have only love for my step Father and thank God that we have him every day and night. God can help you, He knows and experiences your grief, you are very precious to Him. Also we are touched by your grief and are praying for you. A friend in scranton Pennsylvania, USA

Sep 06, 2011
Grieving Mother


My family is a yours mine and ours situation or was. When My husband died we all grieved. There was no mom, step mom or mom#2. I cannot know your grief, your anger in losing a child. It had been imagined in my mind as a mother but please know that I do at least understand grief. I know how unfair it is and how bad you want things that way that they were not that long ago.

Please come here an read of others grief. You will realize that this is the one place that you can be yourself. You can be angry, besides yourself with grief, Any and all emotions are accepted here because it is a roller coaster of emotions that grief brings.

It will be one step forward and two steps back and as you think that you are making progress you will feel as it you are back to square one. Just take it one day one breath and one step at a time.

And when its 2 A.M and you can't sleep....Come here were always here to listen, Always...

Sep 06, 2011
Diary of a Grieving Stepmom
by: Sharon Rose Connolly

This morning I woke up and wasn't crying. I went to sleep last night without crying too. The crying has been replaced with anger. Not about the accident but anger at others. Just thoughts not action, but nonetheless, the anger puts me at a lower vibration and I feel dark and ugly. I'll try today to be the observer of my mood, my pain, my loss. That is my intention.

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