Death of A Child - A Parent's Worst Nightmare
The Bravest Boy I Ever Knew
It will be 9 years since the death of my step-son. Even though he was not of my genetics, I am very proud to have called him my son. His sisters were proud to call him their brother. As I gaze at what few photographs I do have of him (before the illness and during), I think he knew he was very loved by all the people in his life. His dad, mother, myself, his sisters, grand parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, etc... We all miss him terribly. He was a wonderful young man. I have to say young man, because he was 17 when he died. We all were blessed to have gotten to spend that many years with him. (Good times, and the bad times.) I honor him with the words step-son, because he had a mother. She loved him deeply as well.
I was recently posed with the question of "How does this make you feel....loosing a child?" This came at another recent funeral for a friend's child. I told them it was like walking through a nightmare in which you can't wake up from. It was sad because this young man heading to his final resting place was about the same age as my step-son when he died. It made me remember how life is very precious and we should celebrate every day we have with the people we love.
Being in the step-mom position, was a very tough place to reside. I did not wish to take over the "MOM" position. He had one. Divorce is an evil thing, and people become very hateful and bitter. I still helped raise him, and loved him like one of my own children. He was family, and as a mother, I wished he never had to go through the torture and hell that he did when he became sick.
I wish I could write an entire help guide to how to curb some of the pain of loosing a child. I can't. I wish I could bring him back, but I can't. It is a black hole in your heart that never seems to fill. An emptiness, that never leaves. I am sure his mother feels the same way.
I guess the best advice is let the people around you, mourn with you. It is a truly heart breaking event when you loose a child. It kills a lot faith you have in things. Knowing that you have people around you that love you, helps. However, you are in a fog at the time and might not see it.
It has been 9 years, he would have been 26 years old this year. What would he have done with his life? I hope great things. I like to think about this and smile. No doubt he would have tormented his sisters, as brothers do. Broke a few girls hearts before maybe finding that one perfect girl. Maybe he would have went to college. Memories are a great thing. I use them to celebrate his life, and hardly if ever think about the bad things. His sisters do the same.
Another thing, don't chastise the people who say "I don't know what to say to you." They truly don't know what to say, and many have never lost a child, but can see the great pain you are feeling. Talk to them when you are ready.
How do you react when you know your child is dying? The best that you can. You will cry, you will feel like your heart is being ripped out. You will be angry at life. However, I am proud to say...He was the Bravest boy I ever knew and no one or thing can ever take that from me.