A child’s death not only changes a parent forever, it also permanently alters a couple’s marriage. As individuals you must each deal with the confusion and pain that you are experiencing. As a couple you must face these changes and not allow it to separate you.
In a sense, you each have become something of a stranger to yourself and each other. And in the process, your marriage cannot be what it was before. It is the marriage of two people who have shared a very heavy loss. You are two people who have seen each other grieving, of two people who have gone through the relationship struggles couples experience when a child dies.
Beginners after a Child’s Death
You become new people, with no sense of whether you can or should return to being your old selves. You are likely to be beginners at dealing with the kind of grief parents feel, and beginners at coming to terms, as a couple, with whatever is going on in your life as individuals and as a couple. For quite a while, grief is likely to sap you and your partner of energy to solve problems. You will find it difficult to talk about things, to think things through well, and to come to terms with what has happened. For weeks, months, or even years, you may feel that you are in some kind of holding pattern, just trying to do the bare minimum to get along.
You Become Different People
Also, your child’s death makes you different from most people you know. Although several million American couples have lost a child, you may not know anyone whose experiences can be a resource to you. In fact, your friends, relatives, neighbors, coworkers, and the people in your religious congregation, may not be able or willing to help beyond the first outpouring of sympathy. Most will never have had a similar experience and most, even if they care for you deeply, will not be very comfortable with you.
Added to all this, grieving can make your couple relationship difficult. Being down so much, being needy and looking at everything in new ways after a child dies, it is easy for you and your spouse to see many negatives in each other. You may see many negatives in each other and in your marriage that may have been ignored or were not present in the past. So in addition to dealing with the loss of a child, you may have to deal with how to change your marital relationship, or even with the possible loss of your marriage.
Work Together in Grief
Dealing wisely with your relationship will help head off or minimize difficulties. If you can work together on your relationship, you may have success at backing away from bickering, blaming, and hurt feelings. You may have success dealing with communication difficulties, disappointments, and other issues that can undermine your relationship. And you may be able to offer support, help, and understanding for each other.
Parenting together is a shared journey, and dealing with a child’s death is as well. In bereavement, the couple journey will be hard. But it does not have to end in disaster.
Most Couples Worry
After a child’s death, most couples worry that it will be very hard to stay together. Even if they do, they often worry about whether they will be able to have a good marital relationship.
If either of you is worried about your marital future, it may help to say to each other that you have those worries. Then resolve to stay together. Whether you talk about it immediately or later, it can be an important step toward a strong and lasting relationship. Many grieving parents remember clearly the talk they had with their partner in which they said something like, “It’s going to be hard for us, but I am committed to staying with you.”
Erica: One thing we talked about the morning we found David dead was we knew that people had problems with marriages after a child died. We made a decision that we were going to continue to be married and that we were going to have to work at it for the other two children. I didn’t want David to be ashamed of us. We had to do that for his memory too. I didn’t want him to be the cause of our marriage breaking up.
Elaine: I can remember laying there that night and thinking that if I could just go to sleep and sleep for a year I know things would be better then. And I can remember that night too, him and I laying there and just making a vow to each other that it would not tear us apart, because so many people, their family cannot survive. We held on tight and just decided that we can’t, we just can’t let this destroy us.
I think bereaved couples have the same reasons most couples have for staying together—their history together, the emotional investments their relationship represents, the ways they depend on each other, and feelings of affection. But I also believe many bereaved parents are motivated by an additional factor when they make the commitment to stay together. Their commitment is rooted in a sense that no one else knew the child as well or could understand as much what was lost when the child died.
Jane: People seemed to be understanding, but nobody knew Adam but [my husband] Rob. And my feeling was that nobody was gonna be able to understand the depth of our loss except this other person who had lived with him. Not that I was ever thinking of leaving or becoming friendly with anyone else, but I kept thinking, “There’s no one in this world that understands what we’ve been through except each other.” And I found that as a kind of binding thing, a commonality, that more than ever I felt we had something in common. Not just kids and a house and a marriage, but the fact that we really understand what we were missing.
Determination to Stay Together
With your marriage seeming to be in danger and with the two of you determined to stay together, there will come times when you may want to make resolutions together about ways to keep your relationship strong. One important thing many couples do is resolve to accept their differences and to accept that they cannot be there for one another all the time.
Brett: After our son died, we made a vow that we’d stick together and we would work together. Through the grief group we found out that we grieve differently. And we did. Then we realized that we couldn’t help each other at times. And people kept saying, “You have to be there for your wife or your kids.”
Joan: Sometimes it’s just better to be left alone. Let each other grieve how we need to.
You’ll Grieve Differently
You will find that you and your spouse will not grieve the same way. You differ in biology, personality, upbringing, current responsibilities, the relationship you had with the child, and life experiences. Even if those things didn’t guarantee that you and your partner will mourn in your own way, women and men differ in numerous ways that will show up in how you deal with your child’s death.
In some couples, one partner believes how and when the other grieves is wrong, or one partner’s grief make the other feel uncomfortable. If over a long period, you let such differences upset you or if your differences lead to conflict, they can be a wedge that pushes the two of you far apart.
Spouses have different paces into and through various parts of grieving. One partner might have stronger feelings or a certain feeling soon after the loss, while the other might feel those things later. To some parents, there seems to be a route to travel, and they talk about being farther or less far along than their partner.
Grace for Different Paces of Grieving
There sometimes is a sense that being farther along is better, perhaps even moral. But I don’t think one pace is better than the other. Feelings of superiority or inferiority about the pace of grieving or the belief one partner’s pace is better than the other’s will make trouble you don’t need. There is no scientific basis for saying one pace in grieving is better than another.
One of you might move quickly into active talking, reading, thinking, and feeling to deal with the death, while the other might not. Again, accepting the difference is desirable.
One of you may try to be “strong” while the other is grieving intensely. “Strong” might mean doing necessary things around the house instead of focusing on grief or feeling that there was no point in doing things. “Strong” might mean not being swamped emotionally, or it might mean acting like things will be better. Lots of men feel the need to be strong for their partner, holding off their grief in order to be strong and supportive.
Outward Emotions Can Be Different
.Differences in outward emotion lead to resentment in some couples. When one spouse feels down and the other seems up, each may resent the other. One might, for example, think, “How can you dare to be so upbeat when our child is dead?” The other might think, “When you are down like this you drag me down,” or “Get over it.” They may also express, “I am worried about you.” But such differences are to be expected and I think, accepted.
There can also be misunderstanding on both sides. The partner who controls emotions less can resent the other for seeming not to care about the child or acting superior. The partner who controls emotions more may not understand how much the one who is more emotional must be that way. Neither may grasp what they see in the other is normal and right.
In some couples there seems to be turn-taking in emotional control. When one partner is deep in grief, the other controls his or her emotions enough to do the basics. Perhaps that spouse says things that are meant to be soothing and supportive.
The one who wants more conversation might decide to wait it out, but might still feel angry that the partner will not talk. Also, just as the spouse who wants to talk finds the other’s silence frustrating and infuriating, the spouse who wants to talk less can be irritated by the other’s pressure to talk.
The main point is that you should expect and tolerate differences between you and your partner. Doing so is not likely to make the grieving process any easier. However, it should help you and your spouse to maintain a stronger couple relationship as you deal with the death of your child.
No One Way to Grieve
Realize that there is no single path that couples who do well together follow. There is no formula, no sure series of steps that will guarantee a good outcome. Each couple starts at a different place, has different problems to deal with, and has different resources available. They each bring with them different histories (including different past experiences with death and other losses). They also have different values, and different personalities to add to the situation. So each journey is unique.
Some couples have no serious problems after their child’s death. But other couples, even years later, struggle to build a comfortable, connecting relationship.
As bereaved parents, you travel with luggage from your past. Included in that luggage are your previous experiences, as individuals and as a couple, with death and grief. Such experiences can be a source of problems. Your child’s death could open up new and difficult matters concerning a previous death.
Deaths Dealt With in the Past
If you or your spouse have never dealt with a major death before, some things are likely to be harder. A first death can produce painful struggles not only with the death but with your own morality, God’s will, how and when to control emotions. You whither to ask for help on what a funeral involves, how to deal with the legal and insurance matters, and many other issues. All this can make the pain and confusion of bereavement more challenging.
A child’s death can be so uniquely painful that there are real limits to how much experience can help. You may have dealt with the death of others who were very important in your life. But you may never have dealt with feelings as deep, confusing, or as profound as you have experienced with your child’s death.
Past History Influences Grieving
A couple’s history together also can make them vulnerable to problems following the death of their child. Perhaps you have lived together for years with intense anger at one another, and chronically hurt feelings. You may have communication problems that make your relationship together very hard, and cause frequent doubts about your partnership. If this is true, you lack a solid foundation on which to work together after your child dies. I’m not talking about the ordinary squabbles, anger, and frustrations of married life, but about grinding day-after-day difficulties.
For some couples with a long history of relationship difficulties, the child’s death intensifies the problems. If they squabbled before, they argue more often and more bitterly afterward. If there was already considerable anger in the marriage, the child’s death intensifies those feelings.
Bill: She’s always felt some anger at me, but more so as a result of this. She said I just didn’t grieve enough or in the sense that she felt was appropriate. When we would get into discussions, there were hostilities that would emerge that we couldn’t discuss to resolve it. [He and his wife were divorcing.]
Sometimes a child’s death undermines a couple’s patterns of dealing with difficulty. This is particularly true if the child was crucial in keeping the relationship going.
Al: The biggest reason I think people part after a death is that you have the problem finding a reason to go on, to keep going. If you’ve got the kid, you’ve got something in common. And if he ain’t there any longer, you’ve lost that, the bond between the two of you, tying you together.
If you both who relied on the child to link you, it certainly is possible to forge or discover new links. It is also possible to find new ways to continue to have the child be a major link. You also should understand that you need to be patient with the unpredictable process of coming up with stronger ties.
Some Struggle in Their Relationship, Some Don’t
For some couples, serious difficulties never arise in dealing with a child’s death. But for others, there are real struggles. But you should know that many marriages survive those difficulties. This includes even those that had problems before a child’s death. People learn and change. You can find resources that transform you and your marital relationship. Together you can make your marriage work.
This article was edited from the book Help Your Marriage Survive the Death of a Child, written by Paul Rosenblatt. (Unfortunately it is no longer being published.) It was based on intensive interviews of 29 couples who experienced the death of a child. This book offers perspectives and advice on common marital problems experienced by bereaved parents.
And then Tanisha Garner tells the tragic story of losing their child. In the linked article below, Tanisha shares the heartbreak, and many important lessons that she and her husband Victor have learned. We encourage you to read:
• WE LOST OUR BABY BUT WE DIDN’T WANT TO LOSE OUR MARRIAGE
As you travel this journey, perhaps the testimony of Ron and Nan Deal can help you in some way. We hope so and pray so. May God minister to your heart and soul as you watch the following video:
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Filed under: Childrens Effect on Marriage
29 responses to “A Child’s Death Changes Everything”
(NIGERIA) I was really happy reading this article and it was like “finally, someone is able to understand and speak out to help grieving couples.’
My marriage was just starting and we were blessed with a beautiful baby girl who was IN perfect health and behaviour wise. My husband often commented that she was too good to be true. Little Raphaela died at three months and our entire universe changed. We could not bond anymore; our grieving was different. I wanted to talk about it, Roland did not.
Eventually, we looked up to God and in Him were we able to find a common ground that not only saved our marriage, it also helped us become better individuals and a couple. We almost let it destroy us but luckily we didnt.
(TANZANIA) We lost our baby two weeks ago. She was 2yrs old. We are staying in a foreign country, and my husband decided to bury our child the same day she died in the foreign country. He did not consult me or even inform my relatives. Grief is killing me inside. I want to go home and be with my parents but he feels its not urgent. I don’t know what to do. Please help me.
(BOLIVIA) Go Home! Our twins died here 5 years ago. We took a two month break to go to the US. God bless you during this time.
(AUSTRALIA) Angela, My heart goes out to you. I also lost a 2 year old. It’s not something a mother would ever expect to have to go through. It seems like your husband deals with the loss in a different way and being able to bury the child quickly is his way of taking control in a situation where a person feels completely powerless and helpless.
The fact that he did not inform you must be so frustrating and heartbreaking. He also doesn’t seem to understand your legitimate need to be around your family and support system. It is a pity that in his own grief he cannot seem to empathise with your pain. You really need to find a way of communicating this to him, as this will really cause anger and resentment if you can’t express your need.
I really hope and pray that you find deep comfort somewhere, even if you aren’t able to get to your parents soon. For me, times of praise and worship always provided healing as God brought words of revelation and meaning. Friends were also a great source of comfort because my parents too were far away and I couldn’t get to any family member. Angela, you will never forget your precious little girl, but life does get better and pain doesn’t consume you forever.
(USA) Me and my spouse lost our child at 5 months old. This was in 2010. Everyone kept saying it will get better, but in reality, our relationship got worse. We pushed each other away. He blames himself and I blame myself. I was pregnant at the time of our child passing and had a 5 year old to take care of. I had to be strong, but I couldn’t. It messed with my parenting abilities. I wanted to stay in bed forever, but I couldn’t. My spouse wanted to always leave and never wanted to be home to help me. I felt like I was forcing him to be there for me.
Just recently he cheated on me because he was so unhappy. I was unhappy too, but we didn’t know how to support each other. We both just wanted to run away, but I knew I had to be there for my children and I HAD to be STRONG. I JUST HAD TO! And he saw that and decided to run away emotionally and eventually physically. His running away was finding that happiness in someone else. I still don’t understand. He did not want to be there for me, rather he was running away to be with someone that wasn’t hurting and very happy with life. It made me even more sad. I felt like I was losing everthing I was fighting for.
We are still together as we love each other so much. We have had no professional help. We have been doing this on our own. It’s very hard. Its very confusing. I am glad to find something that explains all the feelings we are going through. I truly felt alone and thought I was going crazy. He stopped loving me and stopped wanting to be around me cause I was making him feel worse. In reality I just needed him to be there too. I was and am doing it all by myself. Dealing with this, raising my family and dealing with all difficulties of life, while he runs away to not deal with it, is hard.
(USA) My husband and I just experienced a similar situation. Our 24 year old son died suddenly in June. I received a phone call telling me he had collapsed at work and I needed to get to the hospital. He just fell and died. I curled up in a ball in bed and was incapacitated for months. I did not want to live. My son was my only child and I had him very young. I had never experienced an adult day of my life without him.
My husband couldn’t help me and began an affair with a married girl, 27 years old, and 27 years his junior. He told her he loved her pretty much immediately after sleeping with her. For 2 months, I knew about the affair and printed out every text message and email between them but couldn’t tell him I knew because I couldn’t handle anything else in my life. I knew immediately he was having an affair. I just lost my son 3 months before. How could he not be there for me? How could he do this to us, to our son? The girl isn’t his type. She was simple, simple minded, dressed inappropriately, had no depth, no intellect as far as I could tell from their written communication. I knew he wasn’t in love. She is the exact opposite of what he needs or wants. But yet, he was doing this.
He left me at home alone during a hurricane to be with her. He went away with her for a weekend leaving me home alone dying in my bed. We both, in different ways, lost our minds. We had an amazing marriage. The day before our son died we were joking in the car about how amazing it was that we loved each other so much more than even when we married. We were madly still in love with one another. We still had romance, deep rooted friendship, and intellectually stimulating conversations about business, politics, family, everything prior to our sons death. We were soul mates, truly.
I couldn’t feel angry about the affair because I was in such despair from the death of my son. But, one day, I snapped, called him up and told him I knew everything. I felt rage like I hadn’t been able to feel since our son died. I knew, intellectually, he was running from my pain and his. But emotionally, I cannot understand. He came home, cut off ties with the paramour and we are slowly trying to deal with our grief together, along with the destruction we both caused in our marriage.
I know it could have been any woman, in this case a girl. He wanted to not feel any pain and because she was simple she, in essence, was a perfect storm. I don’t know what our future holds, but I try to remember we had an amazing marriage and the death of a child brings us all into unchartered territory. It’s the greatest pain, I believe, a person can experience. We question everything we have ever known or thought to be true in life. We realize we’re not in control of anything when a child dies. Our lives are forever changed, we are forever changed.
Thank you Minnie SO much for sharing this part of your horrendous journey to try to forge out a new “normal” (whatever that is). You are very perceptive in what you have been learning and what you share. I can’t imagine there could EVER be anything more difficult than losing a child. And because of the horror of it all, it throws those who are married completely off guard. What do you do with something that spins your whole world around and spits you out into a world of the unreal –a world you want no part of, never asked for, and makes you sick on so many levels? Both “partners” don’t know what to do with the minutes that drag by and what to do with grief that won’t go away, despite how desperately you want and need for it to quit demanding so much of you.
I’m so impressed that you recognize that your husband didn’t ultimately want this gal –he wanted to escape the life he thought he knew but no longer knew how to deal with it. He lost his mind, his “sensibility” in trying to run away from his grief. That which he may never have done years ago, or even a month before, he allowed himself to do, all so he could numb his pain. That doesn’t justify it, as a matter of fact, it complicates it all the more, which he didn’t see previously. I’m so sad for you that he turned away from you rather than TO you. Tragically, that’s what happens over and over and over again. He probably could barely handle his own pain and felt that he couldn’t stand to handle yours too. He wanted someone who wasn’t experiencing the horror he was experiencing and did it in a way that only added to your pain, on top of all you were suffering. I’m so, so sorry.
But what do you do now? It seems that you are doing it. You grit out each day and try to work through that which makes no sense. But hopefully, along the way, you make the motions to try to work them out TOGETHER, rather than apart, if that’s at ALL possible. This will be difficult, to say the least, but necessary for the survival of your marriage –a marriage in which you have history together. No one could relate to the pain of losing your son as much as the both of you. Eventually, you could find comfort in that, maybe not now, but eventually.
Perhaps going to a grief-sharing group in your area could help you. That has helped (as much as anything can help) a lot of people. I pray for you and I pray for your husband. I pray that God gives you insight and discernment as you face every day. I hope that somehow, you are able to find moments of peace and help and hope –even momentary, and that in time, those moments grow. I hope that eventually you get to the point where your memories of your son bring joy to your heart, instead of incredible pain. I wish I could help beyond praying for you, but I hope that somehow, that somehow touches your day in a positive way. My heart and prayers are with you and with all who read this article who have lost a child.
Our 24 year old son, Rick, was murdered by his ex-girlfriend in 1996. I said “We will get through this we will never get over it” This is as true today as it was then. Two scriptures that help me through this:
Psalm 84:6 and 7 “When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs. The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings. They go from strength to strength…”
Jeremiah 29:11″‘For I know the plans I have for you’ says the Lord ‘They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope'” I know these verses are true even when it doesn’t seem like they are. Friends told me “The Lord must love you very much to trust you with a trial like this”.
Hi my name is Kristy. My 4year old daughter and I were in a tragic accident almost 3 years ago in a public garden. A 4tone branch fell on us, which killed my baby instantly and left me paraplegic. My daughter’s father Kyle and I were not together at the time of the tragedy. We have had a rough road before but even worse after the accident and I can’t live like this I need help. I’m still in love with Kyle but he treats me like I don’t exist literally. He’s my brother’s mate, my nephew’s uncle, so still in my life but does not speak to me at all? I don’t understand?
I read this by chance, (most likely God’s way of helping me find hope,) and so much made so much sense to me.
My husband, Greg, and I have been married 45 years. We differ in many areas. I am a romantic and he is unable to express how he feels. I have felt alone many times in our 45 years and I know it takes two, so I am as much to blame.
Tonight the word divorce and separation came up again. (We have had it surface many times since the loss of our daughter and grandson). I am not sure our marriage can be fixed, at this point.
We were once very strong Christians but for some silent reason, we drifted away. It could have been that we moved when we retired and only had one couple we knew. We had moved to the Coast where it was cold, wet, cloudy, rainy, and rusty. I hated it though I thought I was trying. Instead I turned to the bottle. In nine months I was almost dead. I realized what I had done and checked myself into a treatment place. Greg was so supportive, I was amazed. I was the one that was not easy to live with. He was the one I needed to be romantic and loving, and he could’t do it.
Five years ago, our son-in-law, who was in the Army with severe PTSD suffocated our five year old Grandson, Jordan. The next morning he shot and killed our 38 year old daughter, Kristy. He then, as the officers were chasing him in the car and the car was forced over, shot himself. Needless to say, it was the most traumatic thing ever.
That week, Jordan died, Kristy and David died, our son and wife had a baby girl (they didn’t want kids so they were surprised), and it was our 40th anniversary. Greg had no idea what to do for our anniversary so wanted to go wild hog shooting with some other guys and then we would leave and go celebrate ourselves. I was shocked he would think this would be a celebration of 40 years of marriage.
Anyway, I suppose I held a grudge. All this to say we are headed for a divorce. I am at a loss and I feel like I want to die. At least I would be with my daughter and grandson. What to do?’
My 20 year old son died in a car accident 7 years ago. At first my husband and I pulled together, we depended on God. I don’t know what happened. All I know is 16 months later I went back to work and shortly after that our oldest daughter married and moved far away.
The day she left I could have left too, but I still had one more child at home. I wanted away from my pain. I am assuming that is what drove me to do the things I did. I was shocked at my own behavior, I have been a Christian my whole life. Did youth group, taught bible studies, helped those struggling in marriage. I am now divorced. It is my fault, I am sure it is a mistake. I am repulsed by my ex husband, my daughter is now home, separated from her husband, and I am involved with another man. I worked so hard for 5 plus years that my body physically cannot continue. I have major trust issues with God, I don’t go to church, I don’t even remember where my Bible is, my depression grows.
The good things that have come from this are that I am not legalistic. I do not judge and I have regained the ability to be a mom to my youngest child, something a parent loses with the death of a child. I don’t know what to do now.
My son got killed May 5th this year by a speeding, reckless driver at only three yrs. old!!! My mama just died a few months prior and I lost it and then this. Soooooo my husband left me!?!? DHR gave my other three kids to my dad because of the fussing, fighting, and drinking that came along after and then he decided to leave me here in this house all alone!!! After telling me 7x that it’s my fault and he can’t help but blame me because he wasn’t here!!! I have almost died twice and now here it is almost 5 months later he wants to come back in my life after saying all these mean and hateful things and work on our marriage!?!? But I don’t know how!!! He left me during the worst time of my life, lied on me turning everybody we know against me and now this!!! I don’t know what to do!?!? I’m lost, hurting and literally praying to die!!! I just wanna be with my baby again. Ready for all this pain to end!!! Pleeease Help Meeeee!?!?
Dearest Michelle, I’m so very sad for you. We should never outlive our children. My heart cries for you over this deep, deep loss. And also for the loss of your mom, as well. Those are two horrendous losses. I’m so very sorry that you have had to go through this.
I’m not sure what happened in your marriage. I know that the death of a child causes people to do things and react in ways that go beyond explanation sometimes. But I do know that you both need each other. There are many victims here… the blame game needs to be done away with. Grace and mercy needs to be extended without judgment.
All of this is so very complicated to explain Michelle. You really need to talk to someone who can converse with you who is knowledgeable in these types of matters. The best advice I can give you is to have you call the ministry of Focus on the Family. They have counselors on staff during the week. You can get the contact information on their web site at focusonthefamily.com. They can talk to you –giving you some good advice, and then perhaps direct you to someone who you can talk to who is in your area of the United States. You really need a grief counselor or a pastor who is trained in grief counseling. Your loss is so deep that a simple bandaid solution won’t give you much help. I pray for you and for your husband.
Hi there. I lost my only son Dec. 25, 2009. He was 20 yrs. Today Dec. 25, 2016, I can hardly function. I don’t want to be angry at God. But on days like today I just can’t grip WHY. I can’t find peace. My marriage is beginning to shake from these silent outbursts. My husband says he can’t reach me during this time. Please pray I find my way thru or out of this pit I’m in. Thank you.
Dear Jeri, How tragic to lose your son at such a young age. It just shouldn’t be that parents should ever have to lose a child –that we should be the ones who go first. But sadly, there is very little on this side of Heaven that goes as it should because we live in such a fallen world. Please know that my heart goes out to you and to your husband. You have lost your precious son, and now you are feeling distanced from each other. I pray you find your way back to each other, stronger than ever because you need each other. No one can grasp the depth of this pain like parents do. You both grieve differently, and you may have a hard time understanding how the other can act the way they do at times in light of what has happened. But the pain is still very real to both of you.
How I wish I had soothing words for you… something I could say or do that would give you some comfort. That is my heart to do so… I grieve for you over this horrible loss. I hope you can eventually come to the place of not being angry at God. We live in a fallen world, and death is all a part of living in it. God is not to blame for the choices that have been made that ushered in and ushers in death. But God CAN bring us comfort and bring out some type of light out of a dark situation.
I pray peace for you as you reach out for God’s peace –one that isn’t manufactured, but one that comes supernaturally as you reach out to Him. I know this is a hard and long journey for you… I pray God speaks to you and helps you in the ways that it is possible to do so, now that this horrible thing has happened. May you know His peace where you now feel no peace. And may you and your husband somehow draw closer together eventually so your son’s memory is honored and kept alive by two people who love him very much. I hope today is better than yesterday, and that tomorrow will be better yet. Please know you are being prayed for by those who care.
Thank you so much. The things and people who caused his death I know God will deal with. I daily restrain myself from thinking and acting on vengeance. For this belongs to God himself. I want to forgive and pray for them I am an will continue to work on this. Thank You.
Oh Jeri, I’m so sorry for the added sorrow of knowing others “caused” your son’s death. That makes it all the more difficult. I don’t know if it will help, but the following is something I saw on CBN today. I thought it might help in some way as you are on this difficult journey: http://www1.cbn.com/video/iAA87v2_WebSafe/mother-of-murdered-daughter-forgives-unremorseful-killer. Everyone has a different journey to forgiveness, but sometimes knowing someone else has gone through something similar helps. Also, the following may give you something that might give insight as you reach to forgive: https://marriagemissions.com/about-us-2/quotes-on-bitterness-and-forgiveness/. I hope this helps in some way. May you sense God’s peace surrounding you.
I appreciate knowing we are not alone in our marriage struggling from grief of losing my son, his stepson. It was Christmas eve 2014 and I had spoken to my son earlier that morning, told him I love him and would see him later; but by nightfall he was coming to kill me. My husband stepped in front of me and my son was gone next thing I knew right before my eyes. They were very close before this tragedy occurred and I loved my son unconditionally, but it came to me that God makes no mistakes and I had to immediately be supportive to my husband from that moment. Forgiveness was the only option I heard and its been 2 1/2 yrs of long trying, heartbreaking and tests and trials for us. It has not been an easy journey, but we are still together and I’m praying everyday that our marriage gain strength and we can move forward with our lives .
I read peoples comments and I can’t help feeling ashamed of my pain because I feel like theirs are worse. At the same time I can’t help what I feel. My son was a still born… that’s what they say. He was 4.5 kilos at birth and was not breathing. But he had a heart beat. I remember the joy I felt the last few moments before he was out, because he was kicking me like crazy and I kept saying how eager he was to be in the world. A half hour later the doctor told us that he was gone. I don’t understand; he was kicking. I had a healthy baby, healthy pregnancy. I just don’t get it. And now I live in constant fear for my other children. I don’t ever want to go through that again.
Dearest Nikita, How my heart cries for you. Please, please, please don’t feel ashamed because of your pain. Losing a child is horrible whether the baby is still born, or dies shortly afterward, or dies later in life. You have every right to be questioning, grieving, crying, raging at times, and going through all the stages of grief. Losing your son is a huge loss. It is a pain like no other.
I can’t even begin to tell you how deeply my heart is moved for yours right now. I can’t even imagine how deeply you hurt. You are in my heart and my prayers. As I prayed for you, I believe God led me to recommend another article we have posted on this web site. He also led me to add an additional linked article to it. So if you have read through this one on your journey of grief, please look at it again. I believe this addition may help you, as well. Here is the link to the article titled, Grieving the Death of a Child: https://marriagemissions.com/grieving-death-child/. I hope it helps and pray that the Lord ministers to your heart–to give you comfort, and to help you to embrace the peace He can give–even when you feel you are still standing in the eye of the storm. Be patient with yourself. Your grief is deep–understandably so. Just lean upon the Lord, ask for outside help as well (such as articles like the ones posted here and talking to others who have traveled this most difficult journey of losing a baby). May the Lord bring you to places of peace!
I lost my 28 year old son to overdose on 3/14/2021. My husband of 5 yrs had come home from major spine surgery on 3/12/2021. I made arrangements for his older sister to take care of him while I dealt with traveling back and forth… as I live 50 miles from my son. I had 4. They all lived within a few minutes of each other. The funeral was 3/17 and my husband has been a terror with selfish name calling and even telling me to just leave… I didn’t help him anyway. Not true! In between funeral stuff I washed and changed his sheets, helped him shower, made sure he had all he needed one night because his sister left disgusted by his behavior. I’m at my wits end. Please pray because this is enough to make me leave.
Oh Margarita, I’m so, so sad for you. I can’t even imagine the different levels of pain you are going through because of your son’s death and all of the other difficulties, as well. I pray the Lord comforts you, and helps you in the ways you most need it. I pray God brings people your way to grieve with you and be there for you. I pray the Lord opens your husband’s eyes to your pain, despite his physical pain.
Pain sometimes causes us to do and say things we shouldn’t (and wouldn’t under normal circumstances). We can’t see beyond what we’re experiencing when we are in the middle of enormous pain. I’m thinking this is what is going on with your husband. He just went through major surgery so of course, he is in a lot of pain. That doesn’t excuse it. It just explains a bit of what might be happening.
Sadly, you are going through another type of pain–the magnitude of it can’t even be described. It isn’t the same type of pain as his. But it’s just as devastating; except yours won’t go away in a few days/weeks/months. This type of pain involves loss and missing him, etc. He is your son. He may not have been living like he was. But that doesn’t erase the love that a mom holds for him.
I wish I could give you words of comfort that could ease at least a part of your pain. And yet words are inadequate. But please know that I am praying for you (and so will others) that God will comfort and help you as you try to deal with this enormous loss. I also pray that the Lord helps your husband with his physical needs, and opens his eyes to your emotional needs. May the Lord wrap His comforting arms around you as you lean into Him.
Please pray for our families. My husband and I lost our oldest son and his daughter. My son was 18 and ready to graduate. He will still be celebrated at graduation. His daughter was 25. They were murdered. I am praying for our sons. Our entire lives are now different. It’s like I’m now physically alone with our other young sons most of the time.
My sister in law and estranged husband lost a 17 yr. old boy recently and he has requested that she not come to the funeral that he arranges and that he won’t come to her arranged funeral. Now it’s their side of the family that requested this. And that our side not attend their funeral. Have you ever heard of such pettiness?
This is horrible & so, so sad. It doesn’t matter what happened in the marriage or divorce–when there is the death of a child that type of pettiness, side-drawing, and vindictiveness is totally uncalled for. That is absolutely hurtful, petty and dishonors that son’s life. Would that son have wanted his parents to act that way at his funeral? Can’t they at least act like grown ups at their own son’s funeral? Can’t the family cry together for this young man without making it about who did what? I’m sad for this family, and disturbed that they would act in this way. This boy’s life deserves to be thought about and honored better than this.