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Learning to Walk Again After the Death of an Adult Child

Updated on December 2, 2014
My daughter Elena as a teenager.
My daughter Elena as a teenager.

Life forever changed

Life is never the same after the death of a child of any age, the natural order of life has been broken, leaving you grieved, torn and confused.Careful steps at learning how to walk again are needed to heal; I'm still in the healing process of learning how to walk again even though it's been four years. My daughter Elena was a victim to a homicide in 2010. She was missing for nine months before her remains were found in April of 2011; I'm still presently learning how to walk a new path in life, since life as it was when Elena was alive is not the same. It is my hope and prayer that this hub will help someone who has unfortunately experienced the death of a beloved adult child. Elena was only 24 years old and had her whole life ahead of her. Elena had a struggle with drug addiction and for many years, she tried to win the battle of addiction. When Elena was 17 years old, I admitted her to her first rehabilitation program with the hopes that she would recover. It was supposed to be a year long rehabilitation program with two years of follow up after graduation, however, Elena chose to leave the program when she turned 18 years old. Her rehabilitation counselor called me one day to let me know that she had left the program after trying his best to change her mind. I can still remember hearing the sorrow in his voice as he repeatedly apologized to me.

It was Elena's dream to start a program one day called Lena's House to help girls like her
It was Elena's dream to start a program one day called Lena's House to help girls like her

Elena Helped Those In Need

Even though Elena had her struggle with drug addiction, she frequently put the needs of others ahead of her own. She would buy food for people with the little money she had and give whatever she could to help anyone out. She had a heart of gold. Elena especially loved Christmas and would always have a gift for everyone. She would always reassure me that one day she was going to get herself together and help others who had struggles like her.

The importance of grieving

Allow yourself to grieve and remember that everyone grieves in their own personal way; just remember that grieving is important for the healing process. Some people try to be strong and hold grief in. This only covers tremendous emotion in your heart and soul; pacifying an emotion which will have severe consequences in years to come. Cry, scream into a pillow, talk to your pastor or a counselor or a compassionate friend or loved one who is a good listener. Find your healthy outlet and grieve. Don't allow others to keep you from grieving, many good people will try to help in ways which keep you from experiencing this important process of grieving. Always remember grieving is very personal and no one can tell you how and when to stop.

How long to grieve?

There is no time limit on grieving, some may grieve for a few weeks and months and other may need a few years to slowly taper away from grieving. If you find yourself declining mentally or even beginning to think about suicide, that's when you need to seek professional help. There are psychologist and pastors specially trained for counseling people who are going through the grieving process. They will listen, counsel and develop a plan to help you live a healthy life again or they will refer you to a psychiatrist if they feel your personal situation needs a higher level of care.

Spend times with friends and family and spend time alone

It's important to spend time with friends and family during the grieving process and to spend time alone. Friends and loved ones are a support for your to lean on during this challenging time but when you need time alone, don't be afraid to let them know, they will respect you and give you the space you need. When you need them again, they are only a phone call away.

Become Pro-Active In A Needed Cause

A way to keep the memory of your adult child alive is to become pro-active in a cause that relates closely to their circumstance or a cause they loved. When my daughter moved back home on 2009 to get her life back together, she told me that she was going to "buy a house one day and call it "Lena's House" for girls like me" I was so happy and proud about that and told others about Elena's plan. Elena tried a day rehab program while she was home and preparations were being made by that program for her to attend an inpatient program. Unfortunately she left one day and relapsed, she apologized and said that one day she would be free of drugs. We have kept Elena's dream alive and started a Lena's House program at my church. The program is in the beginning stages - we have a vision of having a 24/7 rehab in the next few years.


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    • creativelycc profile imageAUTHOR

      Carrie L Cronkite 

      3 years ago from Maine

      Thank you very much for your kind comments, Peachpurple, she was very a happy and joyful person!

    • peachpurple profile image


      3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      sorry for your loss, your daughter looked very happy and joyful, she must be an angel

    • creativelycc profile imageAUTHOR

      Carrie L Cronkite 

      3 years ago from Maine

      Thank you very much Sunshine, I have high hopes for Lena's House!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      3 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I learned from my mother that there is no greater pain than the loss of a child. I'm sorry for the loss of your daughter. I wish you success with Lena's House, her spirit lives on.

    • creativelycc profile imageAUTHOR

      Carrie L Cronkite 

      3 years ago from Maine

      Thank you very much Chris. Helping others to walk through their grief process continues to be healing and gives me a sense of peace and I know that is what Elena would have wanted me to do.

    • Chriswillman90 profile image

      Krzysztof Willman 

      3 years ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      Thank you for sharing this piece because most people could relate to losing someone they love and going through the grieving process. I am very sorry for your loss, but there's a cathartic release in sharing such a tragedy in that it brings people together and hopefully gives you peace. Great article!

    • creativelycc profile imageAUTHOR

      Carrie L Cronkite 

      3 years ago from Maine

      Thank you so much BtrBell for your comments. Yes, Elena was very beautiful and I hope to reach many people to help them through their time of grief and to find a way to honor their loves ones.

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 

      3 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      So very sorry for your loss. I cannot imagine. What a great hub to help others through this unimaginable grief. I am so glad you have been able to find ways to honor Elena's memory. She was a beautiful girl! Thank you so much for sharing thia.

    • creativelycc profile imageAUTHOR

      Carrie L Cronkite 

      3 years ago from Maine

      Thank you very much for your comment savvydating, Elena was very generous and kind.

    • savvydating profile image


      3 years ago

      I am very sorry for your loss. Your daughter was obviously a very generous, kind person. The advice you give here is rock solid, and very balanced in every way. I would recommend it to anyone. Voting up & useful. Thank you for being brave enough to write about this subject. It couldn't have been easy.

    • creativelycc profile imageAUTHOR

      Carrie L Cronkite 

      3 years ago from Maine

      Hi Denise, thank you for your comments. I'm so sorry to hear about your brother drowning when he was only 16 years old, that must have been a very difficult time in your life. Thank you for your kind words. Blessings to you too!

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 

      3 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      The death of a child is not an easy thing to experience. I had a brother who drowned in a freak accident at the age of 16. I was only 15 at the time, and I did not understand what my parents were experiencing. Now that I am a parent myself, I remember the days and nights of waiting up and wondering if my children would make it home safely, and the joy I would feel when I would see them walk in the door. How difficult it must be knowing that you won't see her again in this life. Your efforts to help others like her will bring peace or your soul. God bless you!

    • creativelycc profile imageAUTHOR

      Carrie L Cronkite 

      3 years ago from Maine

      Thank you for your comments Eric! It is a very difficult subject.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Great advice and a very well written hub on a very difficult subject.


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