When breathing is an effort

by Rainey

March 15 2008 was by far the worst day of my life. My beautiful 41 year old son was snatched from my life.

As he drove home to his wife and two children a vehicle lost control, stuck his truck and it began to roll, throwing him from it. He was the most wonderful son a mother could have. He was beautiful inside and out. Six foot four inches of spirit and love for life.

Because two kids decided to race and be irresponsible. I lost my son, his wife lost her husband and his children lost a wonderful dad. I miss him so much I ache. There is this emptiness that will never be filled. I know God is with me and that is the only way I am making it.

Most people just think you should get over it and go on. How do you do that? I actually had a "friend" tell me after only two weeks that I just needed to move on. I am thankful for family members and real friends who have offered love and support.

Comments for When breathing is an effort

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Jun 08, 2010
by: Anonymous


Feb 13, 2009
by: barb

I also lost my son. He had just turned forty. He died in his sleep. His heart stopped, then so did mine. It has been 4 years and I still cannot believe he is gone. His son was only seven years old. I feel your pain. Sometimes I don't think I can go on.

Jan 26, 2009
wise thoughts

As usual your comments are full of wise thoughts. And the answer is a resounding yes. I wanted to move before my son was killed. He and I had been talking about it for a while. He was all for it.

I have not said anything (did not want to confuse the grief issue). I was told I have ALS two years ago. Praise God I have not gotten very much worse. Just my walking is slower. I want to have peace and enjoy what God has given me. I am, however limited in some activities. There is a sense of strength in me that will not let me quit fighting.

My son always encouraged me there. We shared a life philosophy-- When God is ready for us we are sure ready for Him- until then, don't give up the fight. I lost sight of that for a while. Maybe I am back on target. I want to honor Bryons life with how I finish mine. He always admired my strength and I certainly am going to try and hold on to it. Thank you so much for being a wise and caring person.

Jan 25, 2009
Food for thought
by: Jennie

Dear Rainey,

Sometimes a "fresh start" can be a good thing. If it's not used as an escape or because you think it might "fix everything". It has been said that it is best to grieve in familiar setting, and I believe there is some wisdom in that.

There were times in my life when I felt that if only I could move and get a "fresh start" in a new place, then things would be better and I would be happy. But after I moved, my unhappiness went with me. You make your own life, and find your own happiness, no matter where you are living. Geography has nothing to do with it.

That being said, it does sound to me like there are other factors involved in your case, and you are not just trying to escape from your grief. I did make a move once to a new area, simply because the social situations I was in in the old place were a negative drag on me. The town had become a depressing place for me. The move did me a world of good, and I did not regret it. I hope this happens for you.

I cannot give you black and white advice on whether you should move or not. Just some food for thought as above, pros and cons. You must make the decision on your own. Let me ask you this: would you want to move if your son had not died? I think if you ponder on that, your path should become more clear to you.

Good luck!

Jan 25, 2009
still want to move
by: Anonymous

Ok Jennie, I trust your advise. I wrote a few months ago that I wanted to move. Well now it has been ten and a half months since my son was killed. I am better and more in control and some what clearer headed. Still I think it would be better to move. I am not trying to escape my pain nor my grief. That cannot be done. I would however like to meet new people There has been so many painful things happen to me here in the last ten years. I will not go in to detail. My son never gave me anything but joy. I will take his beautiful memories with me where ever I go. He is and always will be a part of me. His children are such a blessing. I don't want to move too far. Still want to see my grandchildren. Just a small town with friendly people and a cozy little house for my husband and myself. To me that doesn't sound crazy at all. Would like objective opinion.

Jan 16, 2009
Ten months is a long time
by: Rainey

Well I think this has been the longest time between entries. It was ten months yesterday that I lost my sweet son. I actually did not shed one tear yesterday. I miss him so very much that I ache, but am more in control. Still having trouble finding and holding on to purpose for my life. I have been Bryons mother for 41 years and will be forever more. His best friend since childhood comes by and calls often. I enjoy that. We laugh and we cry and sometimes we hardly talk about Bryon--but he is always there. We lived thru Christmas (His birthday also) His son looks more like him every day. For all the parents that have lost children, while young, or adult children like I did. May this year bring us strength and some type of peace. God carries us all.

Nov 26, 2008
by: Anonymous

As I prepare for Thanksgiving Day tomorrow my mind insists on having a will of its own. I drift back to one year ago. I was preparing my son's favorite pie, pecan.

We left and made the short hour drive to his house to share the day with he and his wife and two kids. Our daughter and her two children were able to also share this day with us. For the last few years we had shared this day with our son, but also a host of others also shared our Thanksgiving table. My daughter in laws family and friends.

For some reason, it was just our little family last year. Thank you God for giving me that. And it was you who arranged that. I don't have a shred of doubt. My son bringing in the turkey he had cooked out on his smoker. Smiling, laughing, walking around without his shoes on.

Last memories, sweet sweet memories. This year-numb, trying to function for rest of the families sake. Wishing I could retreat to my room until all the hoopla was over. Bracing up for Christmas, which is also his birthday.

May all who read this be truly thankful for each and every family member around their table. Treasure them and every moment you share with them. Each of my grandchildren are my treasures and represent the future and hope. Thank you God for Life.

Nov 15, 2008
eight months
by: Anonymous

It has been eight months today that I lost my son. Yes, some mornings it is not the first thing on my mind. Yes, I smile and laugh and to the world I am sure I am better. Breathing is easier. The pain, the vacant completely empty place in my heart; yes that is still there and always will be. The next hurdle will be his birthday on Christmas Day. One day at a time and try to honor his life with mine. Closeness with his children, helping them however I can. Loving my family and leaning on God. I think I would call that survival.

Nov 05, 2008
Haven't Heard Back
by: Jennie

I have emailed you twice. Please check your spam folder, I do not think you are getting them, but they are not being returned to me as undelivered.

If that doesn't work, please submit again thru "Contact Us" with your mailing address and I will mail it to you. This is the only way I have to contact you.


Nov 04, 2008
tips please for holidays
by: raynell

Jennie, I did send another email to Contact Us with my email address on it. It has already posted to my your space. Am anxious to hear any and all tips and/or advice about the up and coming holidays. Trying to take one day at a time here but it is getting more difficult with each passing day. I could feel myself making progress up until a couple of weeks ago (when holiday decorations begin to appear) I simply want to dissapear. His birthday being on Christmas compounds the pain. Thank you

Oct 30, 2008
I am not sure if I am surviving
by: Raynell

Like I said, at this point I am not sure that what I am doing is surviving. I feel like I am simply going thru the motions. I spent time with his children last week and that was a treasure.

But when I am home I am a robot. Nothing seems real. All of our family holidays seemed stacked up. His birthday, his wife's, their anniversary, my birthday and my other gdaughters bday, all in three weeks time. This does not include the actual Christmas day and Thanksgiving family time that we include in this time also.

We always laughed that we rolled everything up in a small time slot. Maybe it would be harder if things were spaced out. I just feel as if I am tied to a tree and being continuously shot once a week thruout the last of November and all of December. I thought I was doing better--then the reality of what was about to occur just hit me.

Oct 28, 2008
You are surviving, aren't you?
by: Jennie

Hi Raynell,

Glad to see you are back. I think about you often. Do you have a copy of our Grief Guidebook? It has a whole section on getting thru the holidays.

Please contact me thru the "Contact us" button, I do not have your email address and would like to email you regarding this, with some strategies.


Oct 28, 2008
how to book
by: Anonymous

There must be a "How To" Book to tell you how to get thru Christmas and all the rest without this treasured son not being there. His birthday is Christmas morning. What do I do at ten fifty six and I can't make that call or smile at him and say "Happy Birthday Son". This seems to be a double share of pain.

Having grandchildren means I have to pretend. How--how in the world can I do that? I just want to go away and come back after the holidays. Am I allowed? Most likely not. I am to the point I think I deserve what I need. Selfish huh!! I love my grandchildren. The two youngest (13 & 8) are the ones I am concerned about . My son (who we lost) has two kids 18 & 16. They are hurting over the holidays also. Where is that book of instructions???

Oct 05, 2008
by: raynell

Reality is a very cruel thing. A two-step reality check happened yesterday. Attending my granddaughters 18th birthday party without the wonderful presence of her father (my son) being there to share this crossover into supposed adulthood.

We smiled, laughed and ate cake. I wore my happy mask. We then left and went to cemetery to see the grave marker they had just put up. In it's way, beautiful. Mountains, deer, his smiling face etched into the cold, polished black stone.

It is final, I heard myself say. Here lies the little body you worked for 29 hours to bring into this world. Tears began to roll down my cheeks.

Then another truth quietly began to rise up in my spirit. His body, yes it is here, but his spirit is not. I looked again at the back side of this large black stone. Engraved in gold are these words that I myself had chosen to comfort and remind us all of the final and most important reality: "To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord".

That lead me to another thought. We have conquered death. It is temporary, not the final exit. So sweet Bryon, I did it. I bid you a very temporary "See you Later, Son".

Sep 29, 2008
wearing out my welcome
by: Raynell

I surely hope I am not wearing out my welcome on this Godsend I have found on my computer. The kindness and support has been a healing balm. I want to say thank you to each one for sharing.

I suppose I have reached the point of acceptance but not approval. Life means something different to me now. Time is not very relevant-- only the people make a difference. I find I need a great deal of it with only myself for company or that of my precious grandchildren and close family.

This week my sweet son's daughter will turn 18. He should be here to watch this transition from childhood to young adult. He and his wonderful wife equipped her well. His son also crossed a hurdle this week-- opening day of bow season, without sharing it with his dad.

So, we are all moving forward of sorts. But somehow it seems the excitement and momentum have been lost. I face my 60th birthday next month. It doesn't matter--Bryon is not here.

Good luck, my four precious grandkids. May life be kind and treat you well. I will breathe until I stop and try to add to the lives I touch and honor my Bryon with my strength, courage and hopefully, compassion.

Sep 26, 2008
our loss dates are ten days apart
by: Terrie

I am so sorry for your loss. My husband and I lost our only child, Adam, 16 years old, on March 25, 2008 ---ten days after the loss of your child. Life is in turmoil, and will never be the same.

We are different people now, quieter, sadder, more compassionate to others' pain. I have lost touch with some of my closest friends and grown closer to others. Some people just don't know how to deal with us. I think it hurts them too much, the possibility that this can really happen and the thought that it could happen to them is more than they can handle, so they avoid.

Every day is a struggle, to get up, to go to work, to try to live. My husband and I spend much time together. We lean on God, that is all that we can do. I have had people say "I couldn't do it", I tell them "Yes you could, we have no choice; lay down and die ourselves or get up and move".

And as enticing as the laying down and dying part is, we must, must get up and move and honor our child and honor our God. May we all find some peace in our lives. ARC4EVER

Sep 24, 2008
Just hang in there.
by: Jennie

Hi Rainey,

I read your latest post with tears in my eyes. I live in Florida, and know about the fury of hurricanes.

I am so sorry to hear that you live in the latest zone of destruction. I don't know what to say except I know that I need to try to lend you some support. I know that it is no consolation to you that many folks lost their entire homes, and some their lives, to Ike, but I have to say it anyway.

I think about you often, the tragedy with your son, and how it has hit you so hard. I can only ask you to please keep on, just keep breathing, even though it might be an effort, and surviving, one day at a time. I know you are a survivor.

Rebuild your patio and clean up your house! You will not be struck down!

Endure. There will be better days ahead. It will take a long time, but they will come.


Sep 24, 2008
Enough is enough!
by: rainey

I find myself asking "What next"? We have had to evacuate twice in two weeks, and this last hurricane got us. My beautiful screened-in patio was torn away. That was my haven when I was having a really bad day. My house is a mess. This entire year has been a nightmare. My daughter-in-law and I went to my son's grave and cleaned the flowers and debris blown by the storm. A mother shouldn't be called upon to do that. I am supposed to go first. I know nothing will ever be normal again. Just when I think I am doing better--mother nature turns on me. I just don't have any more fight left in me.

Sep 22, 2008
Lost my son too
by: Suzanne

I know how you feel, I lost my son on 24th January 2008 at the age of 31 years old. He was a father of 2 children too.

How can a mother get over it and move on, I don't think that is ever possible. It has been 8 months tomorrow and I still cannot accept that my son has been taken away. I will never get over it, that is so insensitive to say that to a grieving mother.

My sympathies and thoughts go with you, as I said I know exactly how you feel. All we can do is take one day at a time, and learn to live with the pain of losing our child.

Aug 10, 2008
Then what?
by: Anonymous

And now it begins---marriage problems. We simply speak a different language now. My husband is my lost son's step-father since Bryon was six. My husband has never been good with communication and is now worse than ever. He is a good man but just not interested nor sees the need for heartfelt communication. I can drag a horse to water but I sure can't make him drink. So now I get my verbal communication and support from friends and other loved ones. But how sad is this. Seems or at least it feels like I have lost everyone. I am trying to hold on.

From Jennie:
Your husband is grieving mightily, too. If he wasn't good at communicating before this happened, the stresses of grief will NOT make him suddenly more expressive. Try to forgive him for that.

Most men handle their grief in silence. They have been trained from an early age to be the strong, silent protectors. It's just their way, so try not to take it as a personal rejection. Men grieve differently than women, by and large.

I know you would like some heartfelt talks from him, but you must know that this is a UNIVERSAL complaint most women have about their men... bereavement or no. Try not to see the rough times you two are having as "marriage problems"... it's more like "grief problems", and should resolve in time. This is not something you are going to be able to "fix" anytime soon, I'm so sorry.

Please read this page for a few general pointers on grief and marriage:

Support For Bereaved

Aug 02, 2008
God bless you Jennie
by: Rainey

Thank you for your advice. It sounds logical. I need to hold on to that. Having this website to come to has been a Godsend and I would tell anyone in a similar circumstance how helpful it is. This has been my "safe place to fall" and oh, how needed it is. God Bless you

Aug 02, 2008
Need advice... should I move?
by: Rainey

It is me again. I do not know if this a typical response: I can't stay in this house. It is not the house my sweet son was raised in. He was 41 and we have lived here 20 years. But I feel like I want a fresh start somewhere. Not far still want to be near the kids, but there are too many bad memories from different things that have happened in my life here.

My son never gave me anything but good memories, but other family members have broken my heart. I would like a house where I can take the wonderful memories of my son with me and the mixed ones of the others; but leave some tangible things behind. Am I out in left field on this one?
Thanks, Rainey


Rainey, (I moved your submission to your original thread as a new comment)

I think you should postpone moving for a while. You are so much in the thick of your new grief right now, with so much pain... I truly believe that you hope to get away from this tragedy in some way by moving to a new house. This will not work, and will only increase your stress level. This is an excerpt from one of my web pages:

"Your world has been torn apart, and so it is important to keep as much continuity and familiarity as possible as you do your griefwork.

Avoid making major decisions that would impact your life right now...like changing jobs, selling or building a house, moving, changing important relationships). Don't make any major changes for at least the first year.

You are not in your right mind at this time, and your judgment will not be sharp. You also need all the stability and security you can grab right now. Major changes would only add to your stress level."

Rainey, I believe in this advice, I think you should stay put. If after a year, you still can't stand it, move then.


P.S.: Has anyone else been in this situation? What did you do, and how did it hurt or help you? Any advice for Rainey?

Aug 02, 2008
Thank you for the kind words...
by: Anonymous

Hi Rainey,

What I would give to be able to go back to the day you lost your son, or the day I lost my friend, Rod. There are no words to describe the changes in our lives; for you on that horrible Saturday, or for me the following Monday.

I am a bright, educated young man, who has been reduced to hopelessness and helplessness, and now sees the rest of his life as something he has to get through instead of something he looks forward to.

I can relate to the part about having friends who don't understand, who encourage you to "get over it" or "move on." Unless they have been where we are, there is no way they could possibly understand. Forgive them for not knowing what to say, and remember that they are trying to be there the only way they know how. When someone tells you that, smile and nod, thank them, and walk away as quickly as possible. Gravitate toward people who know your pain.

You are so lucky to have your family, his wife who loved him perhaps as much as you do, and his children. You will always see your son smiling back at you in their innocent faces. Take care of each other and thank god that you still have them!

You could be like me and have no one. My family has tried to be supportive, but they don't understand. His family came and went, after taking everything he had. I have a couple of close friends, but most of them are superficial and don't have the patience for my pain.

I feel like I'm going through this all alone and it gets harder each day. Life (if I can still call it that) isn't fair, as we both know all too well. I had no closure other than a few moments to speak at a memorial service.

Did you ever get to see your son after he died? I think it is so hard for those of us who didn't see the person we lost--to accept that it happened, especially when it occurred suddenly, violently, and in both of our cases, so pointlessly. All I have are a few pieces of his car and a pair of latex gloves left at the scene by paramedics who tried to save him.

I am so sorry for your loss. This may sound strange, but let's update each other now and again on how we are doing, since the timing and circumstances of events are so similar. Thank you for having me in your thoughts and prayers, and be assured that you are in mine, and God bless you and your family.

Jul 25, 2008
life is still a blessing
by: rainey

Our family just returned from a week at the beach. My son's wife and his two children came and spent some time with us. While we all are still searching for ways to comfort each other and be in tune with what we need. I feel we did take some of those steps. My 17 year old granddaughter came and plopped in the bathroom with me around midnight, just so we could have a quiet girl talk while Grammy enjoyed a long soak in a hot tub. We then climbed into bed and she continued to share. I kept asking myself, what would her dad want me to do; I thought a moment and I was quite sure he would be smiling and saying Just be who raised me Mother, and you and Bree will be fine. Loving them and protecting them is a blessing. God does provide for us all.

Jul 01, 2008
Give it time
by: Jennie

Hi Rainey,

My heart goes out to you. I can only imagine the pain you are feeling right now. Please read and re-read the pages in this website when you feel up to it. I know it might not be very helpful to you right now, but it may help you just the tiniest bit to know that the numbness and pain are a normal and necessary part of the journey known as bereavement.

No one or nothing can really make this go away for you, that is not the way it works, and would not be healthy. Only time will help. You will see.

Please write back to your page when you feel the need and let us know how you are doing.

Best wishes,

Jul 01, 2008
by: rainey in Texas

It is me again. Nothing has changed. I wish I could say it was better. There is a numbness that has surrounded me. I keep thinking there should be somewhere I can go to find him. I watch his children and I see so many facets of him--a movement or their laughter or the twinkle in his sons eyes. There he is; there is my son. The tilt of his daughter's head. We picked out his monument today. I am his mother--this isn't the way it was supposed to happen. Please God, hold him close until I get there. Hold my hand so that I don't loose my way.

May 31, 2008
2 weeks?
by: Ben Kimball

Almost 2 years ago, on 6/6/06, I lost my best friend of 15 years old. After the minimum bi-daily cries stopped after...I'm guessing 3 weeks after the death? I was still crying myself to sleep for the next several months. And even this school year, I've had several of those crying-myself-to-sleep nights.

So not getting over it in 2 weeks(or even 2 months, since that's how long it's been) seems perfectly normal to me. Take all the time you want, because as this website is saying again and again; It's your grief, not there's.

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