The Day I Said Goodbye To My Son

The Darkest Day of My Life

It was the darkest day of my life. The voice on the other end of the phone only said, "Drive to the hospital...and hurry." My son Todd had been fighting cancer. As I drove by myself along the dark windy road I glanced at the clock on the dashboard. It was midnight.

My thoughts were swirling around like a small whirl wind giving me a headache. What happened? Did Todd need more chemo? Was he dehydrated? Was the pain beyond what he could tolerate?

I entered the hospital greeted by a nurse who escorted me into a small room filled with 4 or 5 people and 2 police officers. I only recognized 1 person but they all looked sad. Turning to the nurse who was still at my side I asked how my son was and could I see him.

The nurse held on to me and softly spoke. "I'm so sorry - your son has passed away."

Todd's family was everything to him. He raised his 4 children alone taking on the role of both father and mother. He lived for his children teaching them integrity, patience, forgiveness, music, sports and most of all love.

He loved surfing

Todd surfing at Capitola Beach, Ca.
Todd surfing at Capitola Beach, Ca. | Source

I remember...


Your beautiful green eyes, which managed to hide so much pain. The same color as mine.

How they would light up for each of your children. They were the heart of your life.

The tears that wept for me when I was hospitalized. You could not hide your sorrow.

The dark circles beneath the tired green eyes. You worked and sacrificed much to provide for your little family.

The pain in your eyes, matching the pain in your heart as you endured each chemo treatment.

Your eyes smiling with joy. The proudest of fathers with each new birth.

Your "Lakers" shirt. You were such a big fan.

Surfing trips to Capitola Beach and snowboarding always with your children.



I treasure...


Every Christmas we shared. It was your favorite holiday.

Your great cooking. You invited me to dinner often

The nature walks we often took. You always included your children.

The way you loved to play your guitar. You were shy, but your talent was powerful.

Spending time at the beach and watching you surf. You taught each child to surf too.

I miss...

The sound of your voice.

The warmth of your hugs.

Your smile...it lit up the night sky.

Your handsome face.

"I love you" mom.

Hearing you sing.

Watching you garden.

The ski and snowboarding trips.

Being your mother.


I wish...

I could touch you.

I could look at you once more.

Your children could have grown up with you still here.

You knew how very much I love you.

I had you back.

You didn't have to go so early in your life.

You could have been cured from cancer.

I could have saved you from pain and discomfort.

I thank you for...

The privilege of bringing you into this world.

Your courage.

Forgiving me.

Being a peacemaker.

Your love of family.

Being a kind, fun and very loving father.

The lessons you have taught me.

Serving others.

Your love.

You're Still Here...


With every breath I take

With every beat of my heart

You're still here...


In the eyes of your children

In every "Beachboy" song

You're still here...



In every prayer I give

In every star in the sky

You're still here...


And here you'll stay

My first born...my baby...my son.

The ocean claimed your ashes

Todd Edward Cook Hunt - Strength from the ocean he loved.
Todd Edward Cook Hunt - Strength from the ocean he loved. | Source

To Where You Are

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Comments 51 comments

saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 5 years ago

This is an absolutely moving write about your beloved son. I am so saddened by your loss, I sit an wipe tears from my eyes, feeling your pain, your loss not only of a son but a father to a family who loved him so dearly.

You and Fennelseed share the loss of your sons and what a great loss it is. I couldn't begin to imagine the loss of one of my children, they are not suppose to leave before their parents. I was hub hopping when I fell on this scribe, your heart I felt as a mother loves her first born or for that matter any one of her children,

but to lose your first born is that much more painful. I pray that you have found some closure and peace. Blessings to you my friend. I pray that your son RIP amongst the angels.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

A mother's grief is apart from any other. Only we, our child and God were there for the first months. We alone knew that small movement inside the womb.

vocalcoach, nothing I can say will be enough to take it away. So I just tell you that (as with another Hubber) I weep with you and my own mother's heart breaks with you. As my tears fall, I pray God uses them to help heal your wounded heart.

Blessings upon you friend.


lisabeaman profile image

lisabeaman 5 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

Audrey, that's such a beautiful tribute. I can only imagine the deep grief and pain that you carry. There is so much pain in this world. All I know is that God can take something so tragic and bring something beautiful out of it. By being brave enough to share your heart, I know that your words and your love and care for others will shine bright and you will be able to touch the hearts of many. The beauty of your son is evident in your life.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 5 years ago

I feel your loss and your love in every moving word. I can't imagine any more beautiful tribute to your beloved son. I am so sorry that you lost him, but I believe he is beside you as I write this. Your choice of song is playing now as I write this and I am moved more than mere words can say. Up and so very beautiful.


maven101 profile image

maven101 5 years ago from Northern Arizona

What words of comfort can a stranger give to express the shared emotional impact of this exquisitely written tribute to your son..? I know that my world would end were I to lose my son or daughter before I departed this earth...

The caring comments preceding mine have expressed those words of comfort, straight from the heart, which I can only echo...Larry


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 5 years ago from Upstate New York

I am so sorry for your loss, words can't express it. God bless; you wrote the most beautiful poem in his honor, and I'm positive he merited it.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

And there is no wonder that he, your son, is a masterpiece, with you as his mother. Your exquisite loving words will touch every parent, even those than have not experienced losing a child, because every mother and every father fears it.

The inconsolable irony is that with such a complete and beautiful love is the deepest, undeniable pain with its loss. I hope you can feel me reaching out to you, vocalcoach, because no words will ever make this loss less than the life-altering eclipse of the heart that it is. If I could change it, I would. You are the "mom" we all wish for and hope to be for our own. I am truly sorry.

Your poetry is a beautiful tribute to your gorgeous son. I know that he sees it.


writer20 profile image

writer20 5 years ago from Southern Nevada

This a a beautiful poem. I am so sorry for your loss. Many of us know the pain it causes. Keep praying for your son and I'll keep you in my prays.


Joy Schantz profile image

Joy Schantz 5 years ago from Surprise, Arizona

This is a beautiful tribute to your Son. Love goes on...


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

So touching. He will always be remembered by many.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

saddlerider, my beautiful friend ~ You have touched me deeply with your empathy and love. You are a tender and caring man. You and I have shared mutual child hood rejection and abuse which provides a special bonding.

Writing this piece was just something I had to do. I miss my boy so much. He was my entire life, my reason for living. Most of the time, I "box up" my painful feelings and try to pretend that all is well. "All" will never again be well. I am a different person today.

But I thank God, for hubpages and for my friends like you. I will look up "fennelseed" and appreciate your mentioning this member of our hubfamily.

Thank you, dearest brother, for lightening my burden. You are one to be treasured.


Robin Pena profile image

Robin Pena 5 years ago from Moreno Valley, CA

Loosing my dad at 13 I feel connected to this in so many ways. I can't imagine loosing my son, he's my everything. At 13 my dad was my everything, and not a day goes by that I don't wish he was here to see my son grow. I'm sorry for your loss and I pray that you find your son in your grand children.


SusieQ42 5 years ago

I know how hard it is to lose a husband, but not a son. I'm sure I could not handle it, but you are strong, and someday you'll meet again in heaven! God bless.


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

I am so sad to hear this. Like SusieQ42 said, "it hard to lose someone we loved". But it's a destiny. We have to aware that we also gone in a beautiful place where we can find others who passed away first. Just never stop to send him your prayer, as a mother I believe that you do this all the time. That's your power to be tough. "LIFE MUST GO ON". I give my prayer to him and I believe he always SMILE in heaven.......AMEN!

Prasetio


lisadpreston profile image

lisadpreston 5 years ago from Columbus, Ohio

Oh my goodness. I knew this was going to be hard for me to read. I have chills all over me and my heart is beating out of control..That gawd awful lump is in my throat from fighting back the tears. This hits me hard because of my own 3 sons and our relationship is very similar to yours with your son. If I lost one of them I just couldn't bare it. I honestly don't know how you cope. Todd was such a good person and it seems so unfair that he had to go. He reminds me of my son, Brandon. It is because of you and your story that I appreciate my kids more than ever. I just don't know what to say, my heart is hurting and I think I'm having an anxiety attack. You are a beautiful person and I love you.


Robin Cristy profile image

Robin Cristy 5 years ago

Your words touched my heart.


lisadpreston profile image

lisadpreston 5 years ago from Columbus, Ohio

I hope you don't mind that I shared this on facebook.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

This touched me deeply. I'm so sorry. God be with you.


epigramman profile image

epigramman 5 years ago

...well my mum was my best friend so naturally I am moved by your words ... your sentiment ...... your heart .... your love ..... your memories, then and now!

I feel that way with my mum and dad , they're still here!

lake erie time 10:50pm I sincerely hope you've had a safe happy and productive summer my friend - and here I sit wishing you good thoughts and sending you warm wishes, as always


thougtforce profile image

thougtforce 5 years ago from Sweden

It is impossible to imagine how this would feel and yet your words tells me how it must feel. No parent can read this without getting a lump in her/his throat and tears in the eyes! This is a wonderful tribute to your son and you are remarkable! To be able to express your feelings in a way that immediately grabs the readers hearth. Thousand big hugs from me!

Tina


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

I keep coming back to comment, but I just don't know what to say to you, as a mother who has lost a child, I feel your pain and grief, I am so sorry.

My thoughts are with you.


KathyH profile image

KathyH 5 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

I cannot even imagine... and from your words I can imagine. So sorry, thank you for writing so beautifully and from the heart. Prayers are with you.


Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 5 years ago from London, UK

Aaawh... very touching and beautiful. I'm lost for words. May supernatural peace envelope and comfort you.

(Big Warm Hug) P/s don't stay sad.

Love, Elena.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Elena ~ Thank you for your big warm hug. It really does help. For the most part, I stay productive and have little time for sadness. I have found that when we help others and focus on those who need our help, it is the best way to help ourselves.

I was "having a moment" when I wrote this and needed to honor my feelings. I am really ok and your kind words have helped. Thank you, my friend.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Hyphenbird ~ With all of the kind and caring comments from my hubfamily, I feel a strength brewing inside of me. I am so grateful for you. As I read your beautiful words, it was like you were right here...with me. And, yes, you are feeling my pain and realize these wounds never completely heal. I know God loves me. I put all my trust and faith in Him. Bless you, dear, sweet, hubsister.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota

A beautiful tribute to your son. It sounds like you had a wonderful relationship with Him. I am so sorry for your loss. I can't really imagine.

I am sure he would be honored to know all of your wonderful memories and thoughts of him.


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 5 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

vocal,

This is so beautiful in every way. Somehow I believe your son knew how much he was loved by you. My heart and thoughts are always with you, mar.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 5 years ago from London, UK

My heart aches for you and I strongly believe when you love somebody so much, they stay with you and are right next to you. So, he hasn't left you and you are not without your beloved son.


b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 5 years ago

What a Beautiful and Heartfelt Tribute to your First Born Audrey. I felt every word and silent tear. For I as a mother cry with you. You gave us such insight to the kind of person he was. He so reminds me of my first born, the thoughtfulness, the pain of a marriage he had...his children. You do have those Wonderful Memories of all that he contributed to your life and his little family... He will always be a part of you. Thanks for sharing this wonderful young man who went before his time.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Tina - Your beautiful comments mean the world to me. I am blessed to have brought such a fine person into this world. As hard as it is to live without him, I at least have my memories. Thank you for being my friend. Hugs.


Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 5 years ago from California

Wow, Audrey this is truly beautiful and I can't help but cry... Tears of a fierce love and joy that you continue to experience because of how he touched your soul. Your memories of him will live on so he will never really leave you my friend. Memories live forever.

You are so incredibly caring and giving and how unfair life is sometimes but we must accept that there is a reason, somehow, someway, and that it is not always in focus...

Thank you so much for sharing this incredible tribute with us-I am sure that it was not easy to visit something so painful. It is a step though, that reflects healing and I am so proud of you for that!

Stay strong Audrey! You are an amazing Woman and Mother!


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 5 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

Hello VC,

This tribute is so beautiful and so sad. I can never imagine the grief that one feels from losing a child. To me, it makes life seem so unfair. I hear your pain and yet, your joy and gratitude too. Thank you for sharing your special bond.

Sharyn


Cloverleaf profile image

Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

Hello Audrey,

What an incredible tribute to your son. I felt my eyes fill up with tears as I read your amazing poem, this must have taken so much courage to write - how did you find the words? Your courage and strength will be passed on to others.

I am so sorry for your loss. Your son sounds like a great person and will always be with you.

Hugs,

Cloverleaf


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago

This sad poem made my eyes well up with tears. It is so heartfelt and so beautifully expressed. Your son was quite handsome. And he sounds like a wonderful man. I am sorry for your loss.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

My sweet James - Live! Live! Live for the precious moment you are in - Live for James and give thanks every single day for who you are. Find joy, even if the amount is small. Todd was still surfing, though his body was weak and uncomfortable to him, the day before he died. And each child was surfing beside him. You are joy and you are love. And I love you...


Fennelseed profile image

Fennelseed 5 years ago from Australia

Dear Vocalcoach, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Yes, you are right, I too, know how you feel. And you are also right in saying there is no comfort for a mother. I feel your pain, as it is also my pain. I have found for me there is no healing, there is no "moving on" there is just a slow acceptance of having grief as part of my changed life. I strongly feel that my son is still with me, however and the crazy thing is I feel him when I am happy and I feel energised when I feel his presence. When my grief consumes me, I loose that connection. Your beautiful boy Todd is still with you, he still rides those waves and surfs alongside his children, keeping them safe. I do not worship a known God, however I do believe strongly that our spirit lives on, especially those of compassionate souls, as are our beautiful boys. I have found grieving to be a very lonely emotion, especially as life must go on and the world continues, seemingly oblivious to our pain, but please know you are not alone. I and others here hear you and we are right beside you. My love to you in return - Annie.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Annie (Fennelseed)~ Somehow it is comforting to find someone who has experienced the same situation. And I am so very sorry to find that we both share the loss of our beautiful sons.

Your words of wisdom have made me aware of something I had not thought about. And that is...Todd would not be happy or feel peace, knowing his mother is in so much pain. He even hid his own pain to protect me. And as you have said, when my grief consumes me, I lose my connection with him.

It as been such a lonely road - especially with being alone. I didn't realize that I was lonely as I bury myself in work and go through the motions of being busy.

How do I thank you for your empathy and love? I am forever greatful. Audrey


thesingernurse profile image

thesingernurse 4 years ago from Rizal, Philippines

You're not just talented, you are INSPIRATIONAL. And you are very brave. Beneath those pretty and smiling eyes in your profile photo lies a courageous woman - in constant battle of pain and yearning. May you be blessed more with happiness. Am pretty sure wherever Todd is right now, he's in the good and loving hands of the Almighty.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 4 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

lisabeaman - How beautiful you are. I can't begin to tell you how thankful I am to receive comments like yours. It helps so much. Some days I think I am over my grief - and then without warning I break down. It's a blessing hearing from people like you, Lisa. Thank you so much for caring. Hugs.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 4 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Dearest Movie Master ~ Somehow this comment took a long time to come up and I apologize for the delay in responding. Perhaps it was meant to be - as I really needed to read this now, just 3 days before Christmas. Your empathy for me means so very much. Thank you dear friend and a very happy holiday to you and yours.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 4 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Dear Larry ~ Your beautiful words of comfort mean so much. I miss my son terribly and kind people like you help to warm up my cold empty heart. Blessings to you.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL

A beautiful tribute to your son. Gone, but never forgotten.


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 2 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

Audrey,

What a beautifully moving tribute to your son (and Lisa's brother) Todd. Both Lisa and you are dear friends of mine. If I had met Todd, I know he would have been my friend, too.


moonlake profile image

moonlake 2 years ago from America

Beautiful and sad, so sorry for the loss of your beautiful son.


CrisSp profile image

CrisSp 2 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

*Sniff*

Sad but beautifully written....my heart goes out to you Audrey.

Hugs and love from the sky~


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 2 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Thank you Linda for supporting my hub (and me.) You are truly a diamond who has a sparkle that touches us all.

Dear Daisy - Todd would have loved you as much as Lisa and I do. Thank you deeply for being here. Your kindness means the world to me.

moonlake - I appreciate you for taking the time to read my poetry and leaving me these loving words of comfort.

CrispSp - I feel both your warm hug and your love. Thank you for your empathy. Live each moment and make it count. Our time here is short. Hugs and love back ~


ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

This is so sad and I feel so bad about your loss!

This is a heartfelt and moving tribute to your son, beautifully written. I can' t imagine how you must have dealt with this.

May God give you strength and bless you and your family!


brownella profile image

brownella 2 years ago from New England

Beautiful tribute. I am so sorry for your loss..from your description he sounds like he was a truly exceptional person who will be remembered by many. Thanks for sharing his essence with all of us.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 2 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

ChitrangadaSharan - I'm so blessed to see you here my friend. When we lose a child we are changed forever. The heart has a difficult time beating and the tears come often. It helped for me to create this poem. It also helps to have friends like you. Thank you.

brownella - How very kind you are. We are never again the same after losing a child. Even though I have two other children, there is a deep longing to once again reunite with Todd. It's the worst possible pain that remains with you constantly. I just want to live to be the best person possible for him. Thank you with all my heart for reading my poetry and taking time to send me this lovely message.


sandy fleet 2 years ago

Todd was a wonderful man had great children and a wife whom he loved and still does you has stepped up to the plate and has 3 of her children she loves them as she also loved todd

I love all of them great family


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 2 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Dear Sandy - How nice to see you here. Thank you for your wonderful comments. Todd loved you and yes he loved your girl very much. I'm so glad the 3 children are with their mother. They are a great family and so very loved. ~ Hugs, Audrey

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