nobody understands

by Louise

I lost my 23 year old son Lewis in December 2013. He was my eldest and I had him when I was 15. He had a tooth infection that spread to his brain. He went to the doctors on a Saturday for an ongoing sore mouth. They sent him to hospital, where his health deteriorated quickly. Then he went into palliative care. Nothing they did to treat him worked. He couldn’t walk or talk in his last days. My partner would have to carry him to the bath and hold him up. He was delirious. He couldn’t keep food or water down.

He died in my arms the next Saturday. On his last day, I just held him in my arms. The pain consumed him until he couldn’t move or open his eyes. I can’t imagine the sort of pain he was in. He died around 3:30 in the morning. Just before, his dad came in to kiss him goodbye and we held him together. After he died, we were given all the time we wanted to say goodbye to him. I wish I stayed with him forever. I kissed his lips and his hands, Pedro (his dad, my partner) kissed him again too. Then we left.

I miss him so much. At first I didn’t cry. I was so shocked. Then when the numbness wore off, I turned into a train wreck. I started putting my life in danger. I didn’t care if I died, even though I had 3 other children to look after. A few months after he passed, I remember thinking why didn’t I ever see Pedro cry? I supposed that fathers have different bonds with their sons, than mothers do. But at 3:30 am, the same time he died, I woke up to Pedro screaming. Just sitting up in bed, screaming. He threw his phone across the room. “I miss him so much.” We have a lot of counseling and we aren’t sure how to deal with this pain. Our other children are 21, 10 and 3. All of us are struggling without him.

This morning, Pedro and I were sitting at a café in a shopping center, not talking much, holding hands. I was looking around, wondering if anyone else there had lost their child. I realized it would not matter, because the pain I felt from losing my son was only shared by Pedro. I said to him, “Do you think that anyone understands, even a little bit?” He said, “No. He was our beautiful boy, no one else’s. No one can ever understand.”

I have been an atheist my whole life so I believe that I will never see my son again. He is a Christian and he says that’s all he looks forward to- dying so that he can see Lewis again. He never tells me that I need to start believing, or I won’t see him, like every other bloody idiot does. He doesn’t say anything, like he never has. He accepts what I believe and I accept what he believes. I think it’s harder for me than it is for him, not only because I am his mother, but because I don’t have my death day to look forward to. I have nothing. Everyone has told me like “god has a plan” or “everything happens for a reason”BS!!!!!! Pedro and I both call bs on those sayings. I will never accept them.

I really don't know how to go on. I still feel worthless. I had someone I thought was a friend tell me recently that I needed to get over it, because SHE had lost her 3 year old son to cancer and that was way worse than losing a 23 year old son to an infection. How could that possibly be true? Why does it matter what age he was? He was still MY child. My boy that Pedro and I have loved and cared for since we were 15/16. There’s a gaping hole in my heart for my son as big as the hole in her heart for her boy. I really wish people would understand that it’s just as hard to lose an adult child like it would be to lose a young child. I hope I never find out if that comparison is true or not, but it must be. That’s why I’m glad this site has been created. Pedro and I have been reading through all these stories and it’s given us some hope. And helped us know that we are not alone in this. I definitely feel a connection with everyone on here.

Comments for nobody understands

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Jul 31, 2014
The Pain is Immense
by: Doreen UK

Magdalene I am so sorry for your loss of your firstborn son so young at 23yrs.
To lose a child/adult child is a mother's worst fear. We carry our children in the womb, and nurture them to become the people they were meant to be. When medical negligence's take place that could have been prevented it makes the grief more intense. It is harder to recover from grief that could have been prevented by better care. Sadly lacking in our medical services today is that care that we have had for years. As resources decline so does the standard of care.
What you are feeling now is the RAW GRIEF we all go through in those first few weeks/months. For me I thought it would last forever and I would always feel like this. Anger is normal and so hard to shed.
I lost my husband of 44yrs. to a deadly cancer 2yrs. ago. A cancer that was incurable, inoperable, aggressive, rare, and TERMINAL. The worst day of my life hearing that news. I nursed him for 3yrs.39days and it was a horrible cancer journey with lack of proper care and medication. My husband died in severe cancer pain and didn't need to if the medical staff did not have to grapple with funding issues. One good doctor was angry and outraged that money should become an issue depriving a man of morphine for the pain. My grief was so great I could not function for 6 months. I could do nothing. My body was hit with so much grief pain. 2yrs. on there is slow recovery. But oh! how I miss him. I have 3 Adult children and worry about them every day, for their safety. Life is an uphill struggle. WE are here to support you and to tell you that what works for all of us is by TAKING ONE DAY AT A TIME. Even one moment at a time. I nurtured myself back into life. Healing is such a slow process. But it does hurt FOREVER. I couldn't imagine any of my children in a casket. I don't think I could recover from this. I still have the memories of my husband and mother lying in their casket. A most horrible part of death and dying, is to put your loved one's in the ground.
I too have a strong Spiritual belief and know I will see my husband again in heaven. It is the re-structuring of one's life that is going to be hard. Daily not having our loved one in our life. Not sharing meals or normal day to day things. The simple things in life is what makes a family. The SHARING. The GIVING. The LOVE.
May God be close to you and your family at this difficult time and give you His COMFORT and His PEACE.

Jul 30, 2014
The pain is immense
by: Magdalene

I lost my 23 year old first born son on 16th July 2014. He died from a massive heart attack triggered by stopping his anti-platelet medication as advised by a complacent doctor.
It hurts to know his death could have been prevented.
On some days, I think I'm ok and hardly cry. On certain days, I feel such pain in my heart and weep like crazy.
My son had a life ahead of him and to have it cruelly taken away, it's just not fair.
The spiritual side of me is happy that he is with God however the mortal side of me is filled with sorrow, anger, confusion, frustration, and immense grief.
The days ahead are going to be tough however I must forge on. I have a 20 year old daughter and a 10 year old son to still look after.
In time, I hope to feel happy again.

Jul 28, 2014
Our children
by: Kate

How kind of you to answer each of us. We all struggle with our loss of our children and equally are in pain no matter what age. Maybe your friend has gotten bitter,that can happen, we have to work through the grief process. It's hard but to heal we must. Some days are better than others,some days I'm ready to die again with him. It's just such a shock and deep loss. I have 4 other children who grieve as well. I'm not much support for them when I'm crushed myself. One day at a time is all we can do. I'm glad you have Pedro ,I lost my sons dad 20 years ago,we were married 23 years and close. Life is hard.

Jul 28, 2014
to kate
by: Louise

Kate, I'm sorry about your son. Age doesn't matter, it's your child. When I was 15 my grandfather died of cancer age 62 and I remember his mother saying it doesn't matter how old they are when they die, they are still your child. I know what my friend meant, and I told her that age doesn't matter but her exact words were, "A 3 year old shouldn't die, a 23 year old should." I think she only meant that a 23 year old should die opposed to a 3 year old little boy but it was hurtful to hear, most of all wrong and she hasn't talked to me since. I've tried to contact her as I think she would be a big help, her son passed away four years ago so she has experience in knowing all about the healing process and that, not to mention we know exactly how each other feels, but no luck so far.

It's like a nightmare I can never wake up from. As my partner describes it, it's like you're slowly bleeding to death from the pain of it. Probably the most accurate description. I cherish the small happiness that I occasionally feel, mostly from my children who are trying so hard to help Pedro and I through this. I'll be thinking of you and your family and your son x

Jul 28, 2014
to Marge
by: Louise

Marge, I am very sorry about the loss of your son Philip. I don't think there is any amount of time long enough to spend with your child. 50 years is not enough, I agree and neither is 23. A parent should never outlive their child, it's so unfair. I am trying my hardest to be responsive to my other kids, especially my 3-yr-old who doesn't understand what's happening. I loathe when people say it's time to move on. Idiotic comments I even get randomly. It works. Because why sugarcoat it for the idiots, right? x

Jul 28, 2014
to anonymous MI
by: Louise

Anonymous MI, I am so very sorry about your husband. I couldn't imagine life without my partner. Thank you for telling me about your faith, I know how important it is to people and I think it's a really beautiful thing, I will take what you said on board x

Jul 28, 2014
to jeanie
by: Louise

Jeanie- I am so sorry about your daughter, she was so young. An only child would be excruciating. I think everyone goes through that feeling alone stage because everyone else is able to pick up the pieces of their lives and put them back together and it's a much slower process for parents. A grief counselor really does help, the one I go to also lost a child so we are really able to hash it out, I recommend exercise as well, it makes me feel so much better. x

Jul 28, 2014
to Ashleigh
by: Louise

Ashleigh, I am so sorry about your son. You're right, sorry will NEVER be enough. I do feel very grateful that we got to say goodbye to him, it was so surreal but peaceful. I'm also sorry about your husbands family not supporting you, it's very hard to have their family not accept you. Luckily both sides of our families are all very close now. There is always hope, and I sincerely hope you gain your husbands family's acceptance, as well as his support. We had our daughter at 17 and 18 as well yeah, totally not recommended haha but yeah we've been together for about 25 years I think and only broke up once so pretty good achievement, although we're not married yet! I hope that you and your husband are able to get through the loss of your son xx

Jul 27, 2014
Your son
by: Kate

You are not alone.....I lost my wonderful loving son who was 39. He was my boy in my heart,age doesn't matter. People can say things that do not makes sense. Don't listen to them because they do not know as you said. Each of us has this horrible pain within,that's what we do share. I suppose your friend meant she only had her child 3 years and you had your for such a longer time than she did- that's from her eyes,she doesn't know it hurts deep and raw no matter how long you had them! When your child dies,part of you does too. You are not the same. You go on and wonder how you do but on this site I found those who know what I feel,as much as I don't want others to have to know. It is a nightmare. I understand your feelings and the emotions are so many......hurt pain,sorrow,anger on and on they come at us.Then we cry again. It has been a year and a Hal for me, I cried this morning. I came out of the shock and hurt even more. It's painful the road of grief. No matter what our beliefs are,there is no answer to why- all faiths ask it- atheists ask it - parents can not know WHY,! Death is a part of life we all know this but when it comes and especially to our child,we are left in a numb daze of no answer. Being able to come here and pour out me heart has helped me release some sorrow to others who get me. My heart goes out to you and your husband in this hard pathway of the grief walk. We are on the mourning bench with you.

Jul 27, 2014
nobody understands
by: Marge

I am so very sorry for your loss. Losing a child at any age is so very difficult, but your son was so young and the circumstance was so unusual. I loss my youngest son, Philip, in 2012. He was 50 and I was 78 at the time. I thought 50 years was not long enough, but sadly you didn't have your son that long. You must try to go on for your other children. I know it is difficult, but I know you must have so wonderful memories of your late son. After a few months went by, I also felt that nobody understood my loss. I would get comments that it was time to move on. What did they know - they have their family in tact. Nothing I can say will remove the pain of your loss and even though you don't believe in God, he is taking care of your son. Please believe that. Marge

Jul 26, 2014
your loss of a dear son
by: Anonymous---MI

I am very sorry for the pain you are going through. Your son was and always will be a wonderful good part of you. I am a widow of 20 months and the grief for my husband is overwhelming at times. I miss him with every breath I take. I am not here to 'preach to you' about God. I want to tell you this " if I did not believe in God and His son Jesus Christ I could not face another day." With my faith I am assured of going to heaven, having eternal life of total happiness and peace and I will see my wonderful husband again. I am so thankful that I have this knowledge to hold on to; I look so forward to heaven, worshiping Jesus and seeing my husband again.

Jul 26, 2014
I understand
by: jeanie

I know exactly what you are going thru...I lost my daughter on may 19th 2014, she was 19 when i found her Monday morning, she was my only child, she was my life, My husband kept his medication in a lock box but she managed to find the key so my husband and I are dealing with the guilt plus the grief so your not alone, I too thought I was alone when this happened...she never had any problems with drugs, she was always the one that if any of her friends called if they couldn't drive, she was the one they called for a drive home...she was studying to be a nurse, my husband a I are seeing a grief counselor it helps but losing a child is a whole different level...I'm very sorry for you lose...I don't like to say "lose" because he's not lost...he will always be with you...

Jul 26, 2014
sorry isn't enough
by: Ashleigh

Louise, I can't even begin to tell you how sorry I am about the loss or yours and Pedro's son. I too lost my boy. He was 19. I cried reading your story, especially at the part about him dying in yours and Pedro’s arms. You both got to tell him you love him and all other things that most parents never get to say, as most aren't able to say goodbye. I think that is so beautiful and so heart-wrenchingly sad. I am also an atheist married to a Christian. I am heartened that you and Pedro respect each other’s beliefs. My husband, though he loves me, and I him, often argues with me about it, even though I never bring anything up about religion or his beliefs or anything. His family still don’t accept me because of it. I hope Pedro’s family accepts you, and I hope that yours accepts his. You sound like a wonderful mother. And it’s incredible that you and Pedro were teenage parents, you said you had your son at 15 and 16, twice actually seeing as you said your next child is 21, and you are still together. Congratulations on that. You’ve been together longer than nearly any other couple I know! True love is everything. I will be keeping you and your lovely family in my thoughts. I hope that you, Pedro and your other three children continue to support each other as a family. You WILL get through this. Never give up!

Jul 26, 2014
to doreen
by: Louise

Doreen, thank you so much for your kind words. You're one of those rare people who know all the right things to say. Everything you said is so true. Counselling seems to be helping both of us a bit. I've also taken up running-always hated exercise, fortunately don't need it- and that has helped a tremendous amount with controlling my emotions, anger, all that sort. I am looking forward to the healing process as I've had enough of the grief as I feel so consumed by it, even though I know I'll be grieving forever. But don't feel sad for me in not knowing God. I once knew, a long time ago. I was brought up as a Christian, went to a catholic school, then a protestant one and I believed very strongly once, but this was more than 20 years ago. I can't remember now the exact reasons why my beliefs changed, all I know is that it was a slow process and it made sense. I'm sure a lot of it had to do with the horrible, prejudiced school I attended, but it still stayed with me throughout adulthood. I hope that I will see my son one day, but I don't believe in the concept of heaven, so in a different way that I can't put down in words. I have started praying again, even though I know in my heart of hearts that it won't help, as my son is never coming back and nothing can fix that. But I thank you for thinking of us, it means a lot. Also, I am very sorry about the loss of your husband. Fuck cancer! x

Jul 25, 2014
nobody understands
by: Doreen UK

Louise I am so sorry for Yours and Pedro's loss of your precious beloved young son to a sudden death. IGNORE those people who say to you that it is worse losing a young child. It is harder losing an Adult child because you bonded and loved him longer. You can never compare another loss it is not wise for people to tell you that you should be over your loss of your son. You will never get over it. You will just learn in time to live with less pain as the healing process starts. Recovery from grief is a very slow process. I am glad you are having counselling as it does help. I remember being in such emotional pain that I could have died. My pain felt as if I was slowly bleeding to death. But I went through the pain and faced it and let it come, and the therapist do his work, and one day I woke up and my world changed suddenly. My pain was leaving me and I felt WHOLE for the first time. HEALING had taken place inside me SUDDENLY. I started living for the first time in my 40's. Do not give up!!!
I respect you not having a belief in God if this is how you feel because when one doesn't know any better they can't believe in anything. But I do feel very sad for you, not knowing God.
I was married 44yrs. and lost my husband to a deadly cancer 2yrs. ago. I could not function for 6 months. I had a strong belief in God because I was brought up as a Christian, but I went through a time of being so angry and let down by God, for taking my husband away from me. It didn't last. I got my Faith back. I do believe I will see my husband again. As God promised to those who believe in Him and accept Him. I would rather die than to live without God in my life. He is all I have and all I need. I do hope that one day you do call out on God and ask Him to reveal himself to you and help you through your grief. I have so many rich testimonies of how God saved me. I know He lives and He is a good God. Until you know Him you can't be against Him. Because I believe in God I can ask Him to Comfort You and Pedro and give you His Peace. I understand how you feel as does everyone on this site who has lost a child/adult child, or Close loved one.

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