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Lessons in Grief & Child Loss: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Updated: Feb 12

One day I was asked what I would tell my newly bereaved self. Looking back, I wish I could take that broken mother and fold her in my arms, take her pain away if only for a moment, and tell her you will survive. There is so much I'd want to say...

Dear Me,

There are no words. At 17, Katie had life all figured out. She studied hard, had a scholarship to go to nursing school, a wonderful boyfriend, and a healthy lifestyle. Now she’s gone. She left home and never returned. A freak car accident claimed her life and turned your life completely upside down. It tore your heart out and made you question whether life was worth living without her.

You know there is nothing that can change this awful situation. You are also smart enough to know that the only choice you have now is deciding how you are going to move forward; how you are going to live, and how you are going to make peace with this.

No matter where your head goes on some days, you need to remember something – you are stronger than you ever thought possible. You will survive with love in your heart in a way that honours Katie. She is so proud of all that you will do in the coming years and she is with you, guiding you along. Open your heart and mind and you will see her, feel her, and hear her.

While everyone will deal with child loss differently, you will discover that your healing is largely determined by you and that you are the only thing standing in your way.

Fear, anger, bitterness, jealousy, and sadness prevent you from seeing the beauty and meaning in Katie’s life. When you open your heart and mind to love, you will begin to heal.

Choose to love.

Choose to heal.

Choose to live for your son, who still needs his mom.