Wednesday, March 22, 2023


The "new normal" is far from normal with more and more kids dying from drug overdoses, suicide, violence, mass killings and a pandemic with many versions as to origins, restrictions, treatment and prevention. It has taken a very great toll around the world. I question if we will or can ever return to a pre-pandemic society.

Those of us who have lost a child know our "new normal" is hardly normal in any way, shape or form. Every aspect of our lives has changed. Our time will be forever punctuated by the date, time and manner of our children's deaths. We most likely will always feel some level of guilt, regret, sadness, even brokenness, and fear of the future if we can even foresee a future. Nothing has prepared us for these tragic events. How could it? We find ourselves shutting off from relationships and society. Even wishing the world would just go away.

Add to that, the post-pandemic "new normal" is far from normal. Staggering numbers of kids from pre-teens on up are dying from suicide, drugs or violence. And a small number of young children and more adult children have died from Covid or possible vaccine complications.

I am concerned that the Covid pandemic has made things even worse for us as bereaved parents because of the enforced isolation. Now that the pandemic is supposed to be over, I fear the isolation is not. It has become the "new normal" not only for us as bereaved parents, but for everyone. Let me explain.

I have family of my late husband with whom I was very close. Because of significant health risks with their family members, they limit their contacts. I never see them anymore. I have family in Spain I would love to visit, but my own health risks have made me very fearful to travel so far away. I still miss my two dear friends---one who ended our friendship and the other who has moved away. 

My husband and I only go to restaurants on off hours. We no longer go to movies, fearing that they, too, are a risk. Apparently a lot of other folks do, as well, because several of our nearby movies are closing. I used to go to church, but now I livestream the services because I just had a very serious back operation. Three of my lumbar vertebrae were fused. Two rods and six screws are now part of my ever increasing not so normal "normal." That leaves the four walls, the internet, the phone, books, TV, a beautiful view from my condo and of course my wonderfully devoted husband.

I am going to very honest. My post-operative recovery has been extremely painful physically which makes recovery mentally, emotionally and spiritually very challenging. This is my fourth spinal surgery---two neck and two lower back operations. I am feeling, somedays, I have kind of had it with life. I am telling you this, so you can feel it is possible to go on against nearly impossible odds. I am really down, yet here I am writing to you.

I don't want to take my life. But I have pleaded with God several times in the last week to please take me. I have told him that I have suffered enough. I just can't take anymore pain emotionally or physically. I would like to see my son, late husband, dog, parents and in-laws. Well, apparently God doesn't agree. So with His grace, I am struggling on with faith and my excellent husband. I thank God for him many times a day. I have a beautiful home and caring friends even though I don't see them.

Much has changed and not for the better. There is increased depression among pre-teens and teens along with self-mutilating. Suicide is the leading cause of death in 10 to 14 year olds! Increasing numbers of kids are unwittingly over-dosing on Fentanyl disguised in other pills or forms of candy. And for long term addiction, there are not enough treatment services available. Nor mental health services or personnel available for acute and on-going episodes. There has been increased violence everywhere and, most alarmingly, increased mass shootings and other methods of mass killings.

To those parents who have lost children by drugs, suicide or violence, I am sincerely sorry for your losses. Often, you do not get the same type of sympathy or empathy as the parents of kids who die from illness and accidents. It is called "disenfranchised grief." Somehow, maybe subconsciously, people blame the child or parent for the death of their child. As if to say, "What did you expect? Your kid was or drugs." Or, "Your kid always had problems." And, "The kid was always trouble." It is so wrong. The loss of a child is always the greatest grief to bear regardless of the manner of death.

My recommendation is, if your child died by drugs or suicide, go on the internet and look for local parent support groups specifically for death by drugs or death by suicide. Or call your local hospital social services department to find out if they have or know of any specific groups nearby. And don't forget your other kids. They will need counseling and support as well. Often, mental health centers and hospitals have support groups for kids. Please don't ignore this. As a school nurse, I came across many kids who were grieving for a lost sibling, but had no one to talk to. They don't want to talk to Mom or Dad for fear of upsetting them. I also recommend the book I noted in the next paragraph. If you cannot do this yourself, ask a trusted relative or friend to help you.

If you lost a child through a criminal act or any act of violence, I feel your pain. My son was tragically shot and killed. Perhaps like some of you, I never got any justice for him. Not the one I dealt with, but, police departments can direct you to support services. Sometimes medical examiners have support groups at their offices. A violent death is a unique kind of loss where you do not know what to say to others and they do not know what to say to you. Some medical examiners offices can brings in professionals trained to deal with your complex grief, seeking justice, personal safety and a myriad of other concerns surrounding the criminal justice system like charges, witnesses, pleas and trials. This takes a particular set of knowledge and understanding. There is help for you. Start with law enforcement, the medical examiner, the hospital social service department where your child may have been treated, and community groups often meeting in local churches. Check with your pastor. Check the internet for groups and the library or bookstores for books addressing all these issues. I can recommend a book called, "What To Do When The Police Leave: A Guide to the First Days of Traumatic Loss." It was written by Bill Jenkins whose own son was shot and killed during a robbery at work. There is a forward by well known author Patricia Cornwell. No shame in asking someone to help you with all this. Spouses can do this together. It can help foster communication.

If you lost a young or adult child due to Covid, I am sincerely sorry for your very unexpected, inexplainable loss. I believe this complicated grief. So many restrictions on being with your child, whether young or old, at the hospital. Restrictions placed on funeral arrangements. Add conflicting science and recommendations, more confusing restrictions, maybe loss of employment as well. I can't imagine the anger and frustration you must feel. It compounds your grief when you don't have the answers or the explanations you want. I can understand your needing to know who was at fault here. So far a lot of finger pointing and few concrete answers. No way to know if history will repeat itself with some other kind of pandemic. God forbid. But there are evil world leaders. And other world leaders too weak to act, too ineffective and too compromised to demand answers, to plan prevention strategies or to even care.

We cannot change what has happened. I say, use your anger lean on your elected leaders at all levels. Let them know of your loss, grief and need for answers. If you don't like what you are hearing, vote with as much knowledge and understanding as you can gain. This global pandemic had many geo-poltical ramifications. We all have a responsibility to educate ourselves to protect our living children, spouses, parents, family, friends and others near and far. Vote wisely, no matter how bad you feel. Like my primary doctor told me, many years ago when my son and husband had just died, about going to counseling. He said, "I don't care how you have to drag yourself there, but you get to therapy every week!" So I am saying the same thing about voting. It is that important. 

Life is hard. I just shake my head sometimes in disbelief. I have concluded, no one survives this world unscathed. I believe we only reach perfection and complete happiness when God welcomes us to heaven. "Well done my good and faithful servant." Until then, we must go on with as much faith and strength as we can manage. Pray. Pray. Pray. Study who and what remain in your life. It is not good for any of us to focus on our loss or losses entirely. Otherwise we cannot move forward. It is like having both feet stuck in chewing gum. Hard to move anywhere, much less forward.

                                             "Save me Lord! Help me now!"  Psalm 40: 13

If you or anyone you know is having thoughts of suicide, call the 988 Suicide Hotline or 911 to get help immediately.

Take care. I would appreciate any comments or followers. My website is

Thank you. Be assured of my prayers & love for you. It may seem impossible today, but you will get thru this. 

Love, Rosemarie  

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

My Heart Aches

My heart aches for the many parents who have lost children in the recent violence that has plagued the United States.  None of these events should have happened, but they did. Several were related to the perpetrator being mentally ill. Others were "copy cat killings." That is a component of mass shootings where one unstable person is motivated to seek the same "notoriety" as previous mass killers. The parents of these killers often lose their own children under a cloud of horror.

I believe that all the details and publicity surrounding these horrendous events should stop because it is motivating other people on the fringe to do the same thing. Publicity should be on a "need to know" basis. This would include law enforcement, parents and close family members, school administrators and employers should this be a  school or workplace event.

The media does not need to know or to harass anyone affected for statements.

The other obvious question is why is it so difficult for disturbed children, adolescents and adults and their families to access convenient, quality mental health treatment? How does a six year old known to have psychiatric and behavioral issues shoot his teacher at school? How can a mother suffering with post-partum depression kill her three precious children then try to take her own life? She was in a support group, but obviously, deteriorated to the point of needing hospitalization and medication. But, was that recognized and available where she lived?

As these tragic accounts become public knowledge, we see repeatedly that the individuals involved were dangerously mentally ill. Yes, the mentally ill have rights, but so do the rest of us. Should persons who are a danger to others have the right to live on a street grate? Camp in front of a business owners door and threaten customers? Push people off subway platforms? Beat a woman so badly that she loses an eye?

Why should victims, parents, loved ones have their lives forever changed, even ended, because the person who harmed them needed psychiatric care? How do the mentally ill, who have been hospitalized, get guns? They lie on the permits. A strong lobby for the rights of the mentally ill opposes a national data base of persons who should not be legally allowed to purchase a gun. 

Why is it so difficult and involved in red tape for a psychiatrist to involuntarily commit the dangerously mentally ill involuntarily for more than 72 hours? Why does the US have a shortage of inpatient psychiatric beds for chronically, dangerously mentally ill patients. Patients who would otherwise not take their medications as outpatients. Wind up homeless and present a danger to themselves and others. How did living on a street grate, park bench, subway concourse or makeshift encampment on a sidewalk or in a park become a right?

Is this the best the US can do for the severely mentally ill who not only affect their own lives, but the lives of their families, school mates and ordinary citizens going about their daily business? Insuring the convenient availability of quality mental health treatment for outpatients as well as inpatients is something that should be a priority for the US Congress. This is necessary to improve lives, save lives and spare the heartache of bad, even violent, outcomes.

Young people and medical students should be encouraged to go into mental health fields with tuition reimbursement. I am not in favor of across the board reimbursement, but in the field of mental health it could be a win win situation. Right now, it is difficult to get an appointment with a qualified psychologist or psychiatrist. Very few are taking new patients. Many do not take insurance so the patient has to pay high fees. There has been a rise in depression especially in teens and adolescents since Covid. The number one cause of death in the US in children, ten to fourteen years, is suicide! This is a horrible statistic. Often, situations have to progress to crises before treatment can be obtained. This can result in misfortunes all the way around.

I would urge everyone in the US to call your US Representative and Senator to demand that funding for mental health services be a priority. Plus, funding for research into mass slayings defined as the killing of four or more individuals. The phone number for the US Capitol Building is 202- 225-3121. Follow the prompts or tell the operator the name of the person you wish to be connected to. Nothing happens in the US without noise and pressure. Anyone directly affected should tell your story to your House and Senate persons. 

I know countries outside the US also have violent incidents. You may have different forms of government and health care. But again, if you have been directly affected, contact your appropriate government official. Let them know what has happened to you and what remedies you believe need to be taken. 

None of us can change what has happened. But, it may be possible to keep the same fate from coming to other kids, parents and families. Make phone calls. Send emails. Write letters. Ask for a response and enclose your contact information.

I pray for everyone who needs help to find help, a solution, strength and peace.

"But I am in pain and despair; lift me up, oh God, and save me!  Psalm 69: 29

I would appreciate any comments and all followers. Feedback is important to me to know if I am meeting your needs. And what difficulties about losing a child you might like discussed.

May God be your refuge. Love, Rosemarie

Friday, January 13, 2023


What do I say? What do I do? Nothing can prepare you for the unimaginable death of your child. You are completely overwhelmed because your son or daughter has just died. When it comes to informing family, friends and schools of your child's death, these are a questions most readers here have all grappled with or are presently trying to figure out. We dread making some calls because we know the effect this terrible news will have on certain individuals. Whether your child has died after a long fight with a terminal illness or died quite suddenly, these phone calls are very difficult.

If you know your child's death will be certain, you can make a list of names and numbers of persons to be called starting with the most important. There is nothing that says you, as the parent, must make these calls. It may be helpful to list the aid of other family, close friends and church members.

When your child dies quite suddenly, notifications may seem impossible. Give yourself a little time, then call closest relatives and friends. Someone can do this for you with the aid of your computer list, phone contacts or address book.

What to say? Say as little or as much as you want. His/her suffering is over and he/she died. Give a time and place if you want. Say it was peaceful. I was there with so and so. Do not feel compelled to go into details. Excuse yourself by saying you have many calls. If funeral arrangements have been made, say where information can be obtained. 

In the case of sudden deaths, if you would rather not say the cause, just say I am not sure what happened. The determination or investigation is ongoing. I just wanted you to know. This is where funeral information can be found. Or we don't know yet and someone will get back to you. Again, do not feel compelled to go into details. Excuse yourself quickly to "make other calls."

I know you will be in shock even if you expected your child to die. Try not to be alone. Let people help you. Fix you something to eat. Rest even if you cannot sleep. You will feel very tired and have difficulty remembering things. This is part of grief. If you cannot sleep at all, then contact your doctor to see what he/she recommends or may prescribe. Let someone get it for you. Do not drive while you are so distracted. 

It will be hard to tend to personal hygiene and grooming at this time. A warm shower or bath may ease some of your distress. Just dress comfortably. Let someone help you with your other children, pets, laundry, meal preparation, food shopping.

Talk to your kids in an age appropriate fashion. If you are not sure what to say, maybe you could talk to the school guidance counselor or a school grief counselor who may be providing services at your child's school. Or call your pediatrician. Explanations may have to be different if you have kids of different ages by several years. Reassure them that they are loved and safe. That you will be with them. That you will get through this together. If they are old enough, see if they are interested in participating in funeral services. Or very young, see if they want to go to the funeral. If not, don't push it. See if you can find out why.

It is important that parents/spouses/significant others, exes, are on the same page going forward with notifications, the other kids and funeral services. Try to stay calm. Hear each other out as to any specific requests or suggestions. If relatives, etc. are coming from out of town, have the names and locations of several places where they can stay. You are in NO condition to entertain or board anyone. No exceptions.

 Remember women and men grieve differently. Women are more outward in expressing their grief. Men tend to keep things inside. If men cry, and they will, they prefer to do it privately. Support each other, but give each other space. Ask, "Do you want me to be with you right now?" And nothing wrong with just sitting quietly and holding hands. 

People will want to visit you to express their condolences. If you have had enough company for the day and want to rest, hang a polite note on the door: "Thank you for coming. I/we are resting. Please do not ring the bell." Put phones on "Do Not Disturb." Then get to voicemails as you can. Have some family time or individual time to rest or do as you please. 

Maybe the kids need something to wear for the funeral. I would say let an aunt or cousin take them. You may not feel up to an excursion and getting pizza or ice cream which the kids will want. After about two weeks, look into grief support groups for kids. Local hospitals have them. You can call the social work department. Or some individual therapists have children's grief groups. Your child may feel more comfortable, at first, sharing sadness or other concerns with someone not a parent. Then eventually open up to you. They may fear expressing their difficulties will be too hard on you. 

If you need something to wear, have someone who knows your taste, get it for you or go with you in case you need support. As far as the funeral services, as a parent you have to reach inside and summon all the courage and resolve you can. I told myself, this is the last thing I will ever do for Chris, so I have to get through it with dignity. Maybe that will help you.

Meeting with the funeral director will be hard, but it has to be done. An experienced funeral director will be able to get you through this painful experience. Planning the religious services can be confusing. Let someone you trust help you. I planned a program for Chris' funeral. A friend put it in the computer for me and had them printed out. A friend of Chris' acted as courier. Those attending were very pleased to have them. 

I was on my own because my husband was very ill and in a nursing home. I did keep him informed of everything. I gave specific instructions to the nursing home to dress him in the clothes I brought.  A very good friend of his picked him up. Brought him to the viewing and service at the Church. Then to the cemetery, the luncheon and back to the nursing home. This was such a help to me. 

I sat at the luncheon with my husband, his sister and my niece. My husband's cousins planned the luncheon with the owner of the restaurant as they were friends. It turned out very nicely. I still remember sitting by my husband. Little did I know our time together was also coming to a close. He died six weeks later. 

I hope what I have said can be a guide for you for what will, perhaps, be the worst days of your lives. Days I have not forgotten. I am glad Chris was put to rest among family and many friends in a beautiful service. Life is hard. Very hard. My faith, my pastor and several family and good friends saw me through. Pray. Ask for help when you need it. Keep a journal. Write a last letter to your son or daughter and bury it with them at the cemetery. Find a way to honor his or her life. May God grant you strength, courage and peace.

"But I am in pain and despair; lift me up, O God and save me!    Psalm 69: 29

Saturday, December 31, 2022


As 2022 closes I find myself in the shadows of past memories of my late son, Chris, and late husband, Fred. It's like an invisible cloud passing over me now and again. And for some of us, a constant cloud always reminding us, yet, of the loss of our children.

It's not that I didn't enjoy Christmas, but a feeling of strangeness came over me as I ate dinner with my new husband's family. I thought to myself, "What am I doing here with these people? Shouldn't I be with Chris and Fred and my dear little dog, Amber?" Then I realized, that was then. This is now. This is now the life God has granted me and  the life I have put together for myself.

It's not that I don't love my new husband and his family, but it is his family. I love them and care for them deeply. I am interested in their lives. And I realize, "Life is what happens when we are making other plans." How true.

I had hoped to live longer with my husband, Fred. But his suffering and disability became so great, his passing became a relief to him and to me. He died just six weeks after Chris. I had hoped Chris would have a future, a job and a family. He had just completed a his classes in printing at a trade school and graduated a few weeks prior to his death. He died on a Friday. On a Monday morning a man called my home to offer Chris a job at a small printing company. I had to tell him the terrible news. He apologized profusely for having disturbed me. And I replied I was very grateful that he had called to consider Chris for a job.

I had never really talked to my stepchildren about Chris' death. The details of what had happened. Inadvertently, it came out when my stepson was in the hospital and unexpectedly, newly paralyzed following neck surgery. He walked into the hospital, but it was clear, he would not be walking out. He was not in a good emotional state. I started telling him that for now he had a choice as to how to handle this. I began recounting Chris' death, then Fred's. And finally waking up one morning with the realization, that I could either go on with life or let their deaths destroy me. That I had a decision to make and it was mine alone with God's help.

In the background, I could hear my stepdaughter asking another brother, "What's this? I never heard any of this." His answer, "Don't ask me. Neither did I." In a way I guess it was striking that none of them ever asked me about my son. How did he die? How old was he? What did he do? One of my other stepsons lost a daughter to addiction. I shared with him early on that I had lost a 23 year old son. But not much else. It was a buy, noisy family gathering, but I think we both came to an understanding or appreciation of each other's pain. He never discussed the circumstances of his daughter's death either, but my husband filled me in.

That's kind of my point. Circumstances, memories, experiences of our deceased children, seem to remain in the background, but are always there. But, there, as shadows and clouds. Is that because we get upset talking about their deaths? Or are we afraid of upsetting others? Afraid people will not understand or appreciate our pain? Afraid of being judged which happens often when kids are lost due to suicide or drugs. People tend to gloss over that kind of grief. As if to say, "The Kid had problems. What did you expect?" This is called disenfranchised grief, where parents do not get the same kind of sympathy as when a child dies of an illness or an accident. 

How can we open wide the doors to our grief? I suppose it is a matter of getting over our self-consciousness and guilt that our children died. My stepdaughter's sister-in-law shared with me that her husband had lost his daughter at 16 to a sudden ruptured brain aneurysm. Nothing could be done. As they were leaving the house, I mentioned to him that I had lost a son who was 23. We discussed our mutual grief for a few minutes then they left.

My step-daughter's husband then, excitedly, told me, "Rosemarie, don't bring that up again. It took Mark a long time to get over that. You shouldn't say anything to him to upset him." I replied that Mark did not seem upset. That he seemed to me to appear grateful, that someone who had been through this same loss, understood what he had gone through and would continue to go through. Again, it seemed like a mutual bond.

We cannot help each other and ourselves by not sharing what we have be through. How loss changes us in some bad ways, but in good ways too. But in the American culture, death seems to be a taboo topic except on Halloween when it is fantasy. There were a lot of taboo subjects in years past, like cancer, especially breast cancer. When I was a very young nurse, patients were often not told they had cancer. The family was told, but not the patient. Look how far that has come. Look at the number of TV commercials for cancer treatment centers, cancer drugs and cancer patients telling their own treatment and life stories.

If cancer can come that far out into the open, then why not grief? Why must grief be a terrible pain that is born alone? That spouses won't talk to each other about. That parents won't talk to living children about? That's not allowed to be mentioned around friends and co-workers without being cut off.

Well, let me give you my "Dear Abby" answer to anyone who tries to silence you: "Grief is something we will all have to go through. No use pretending this pain does not or will not exist. Even more so when a child dies. Please open your heart and try to listen." Let's acknowledge our humanity and take our grief out of the shadows.

     "I trust in God and am not afraid...."  Psalm 56: 4                                                                                        "He will answer from heaven and save me..."  Psalm 57: 3

Keep me in your prayers and I will remember you in mine. Comments and followers are most welcome.      

Love, Rosemarie

Thursday, December 8, 2022


 I was motivated to write this blog by a discussion of the Psalms with a group of women I joined in this spiritual exploration. This title was inspired by the last line in verse 18 of Psalm 88. The Psalm is a "Cry for Help" in Lamentations.

Whether we celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza or any combination, we are expected to be happy, merry and bright. That is a heavy lift when we have suffered the loss of a child whether recently or some time ago. There will always be an empty seat at the table, a missing place at religious services, an empty seat on the plane, missing gifts and a somber visit to the cemetery. Along with many lost dreams and never achieved milestones.

So how do we get through the holiday season under these circumstances? Forcing ourselves, sometimes, to take part in festivities when we we would rather be alone with our thoughts. How can we be there for our living children, our spouses and other family and friends? 

Remember, God has given us this time with other family and friends. We still have someone. Someone who loves us and wants us to love them. Living children, spouses, our siblings and our own parents. Of course it would be even better if our deceased children could be with us, but they cannot. So, let's focus, instead, on the people, place and time at hand.

I know we may feel we are playing a role, but that's okay. We often feel we are leading two lives--one with a happy face and I have it all together. And the other face screaming, "What is wrong with you people? Why don't you understand I lost a child and I cannot really be here with you." It's okay. This is the way it will be. In time, the two identities will merge into one more collected version of ourselves. We can learn to get through our grief. Holidays will get easier as our grief gets less raw. Or some of us may go overboard with celebrations to cope with our grief. We do what we can to handle celebrations in our own way.

I would advise avoiding large gatherings if you can. I lost my son in mid-September, my husband in early November and suddenly Christmas arrived. I remember being at one gathering where I felt like Mary Lincoln. As if everyone was staring at me and waiting for me to go mad. Another, I had to leave a party of co-workers, because another nurse was going on in detail about her efforts with students with learning disabilities. My son, Chris, had ADD. I just could not listen to her. Fortunately, the hostess was a very good friend of mine. She had her son move his car. I left by the backdoor to allay my painful memories. So I learned to go to smaller gatherings where I knew everyone very well.

It is still possible to set a place at the table for a missing child. Then have a family toast to our deceased son or daughter. I also bought gifts for my son's room for several years. It just felt good to buy him a present. I still have those gifts today. I think they will follow me to my grave. Either go to the cemetery or not. Do what you can handle. I usually go, but found it difficult to go by myself. I suggest asking a close relative or friend instead of going by yourself. It is easier now because my new husband goes with me. He lost his wife and a granddaughter. So we understand that each other needs to go to the cemetery and keep old photos displayed. 

There will always be people who will make stupid, insensitive remarks to you. The year after my son died, a woman at a Christmas party remarked to me, "I hope you are better now. It's been a year. You should be over all that now." I mention this so you can be prepared. I told the woman it was simply not possible to get over both the deaths of a husband and son in one year. One year's time to "recover" from grief is probably the biggest myth about grief. Also, the concept of closure is a myth. We can have closure in a legal sense if someone is brought to justice for our child's death. Justice helps, but does not bring closure to the death itself. 

The death of a child is like a book with many unfinished chapters. We can imagine or write these chapters in our head or on paper. I believe this can help the grieving process. Or write about our child's happiness, health and safety in heaven. We can assure ourselves of God's mercy and goodness and that our children are being well looked after in the heavens. Try to take comfort in their well being. While we can have faith in our children's well being, I know we would rather have them with us. Of course. We have not reached that spiritual plane. We rely on our human senses. God will and should decide when we will be re-united with our children.

I wish loving thoughts and the best possible Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanza for you. I will think of you and pray for you. Please pray for me. Send any comments and follow me below. Thank you. 


                                                                                                                                                                                                                   "Hear my prayer; listen to my cry for help."  Psalm 88: 2

         If you have thoughts of harming yourself or ending your life, call 988 or 911 for help at once!

Monday, November 21, 2022


                                 "Do not pray for an easy life, but pray for the strength to get                                                                                          to get through a difficult one."  Bruce Lee

What has happened? Unprecedented violence, evil and hatred abound. The number of grieving parents keeps growing daily. This has been especially violent week in the United States for young people and their parents and families. Seven university students were murdered in two separate incidents. No one arrested in either incident. A driver plowed through a class of 75 sheriff department recruits running in formation. The driver was released "so police could gather more information???" One recruit was killed, one suffered a limb amputation, several others were in critical condition, 25 total injured. An NYC high school paper published an article on the number of their fellow students killed or injured by gunshots on their way to and from school. More grieving and frightened parents and kids. Another night club shooting, thought to be a hate crime, with five persons killed and twenty-five injured. A little girl, in a Christmas parade, was killed in a freak motor vehicle malfunction.

Outside of the US, it is believed 437 children have died in war in the Ukraine. I am surprised the number is not higher. It must be very difficult to get an accurate number in all the devastation. This atrocity must end soon.

Another American young woman was on vacation in Mexico with some supposed friends. She was bludgeoned to death in her bedroom by one person, while another person watched. The "observer" then asked the huge sized attacker to give this petite woman a "chance to fight back." Meanwhile, someone else video taped the whole attack. Before very long, this vicious attack was making the rounds by the hundreds of thousands on all forms of social media and streaming services. 

I have three questions for anyone posting or re-posting this violent, sickening video. Do you think watching someone get helplessly beaten to death is a game or entertainment??? What if this young woman was your sister, cousin, child or good friend? Then what would your reaction be? If you could watch this, get some help. You are in need of counseling, a moral compass and God in your lives. You, obviously, do not understand the value and meaning of life--yours or anyone else's. And to the evil, heartless "friends" who watched her die and then went back to the US without a care, I hope you will soon be locked up in a Mexican jail. Don't look for criminal justice in Mexico. It does not exist. And say good-bye to  your parents when you get arrested. Something your friend never got to do. 

Sadly, more parents have joined our bereavement ranks. A group neither they or we ever wanted to be a part of. If any newly bereaved parents are reading this, I am so sorry for the loss of your child. I extend my sincere sympathy and condolences to you and your families. I know this journey of grief is one you never expected to take. It is a long and difficult road. Please know I and others are here for you in the bleak days ahead. You will not believe or understand this now, but you can get through this by choosing to do so. I beg you, do not let your horrendous loss destroy you.

Your life still has meaning. Others still love you and need you. You still have a life ahead. It will never be the same life. But, it can be a meaningful life once again. You do not see that today, but I and many others, hope and pray you will get there. That you can possibly find a way to prevent others from dying in the manner your child may have. 

My 23 year old son was also tragically shot and killed. His ex-girlfriend did not render him any aid. She lied to the EMT's. Told them my son was a drug overdose. His toxicology screen was clean. She new that because he did not use drugs. The EMT's claim her reason given delayed them. He did not get the help he needed when he needed it. But, she was the daughter of the Mayor of a nearby city. So, no accountability or justice. I have had to swallow several bitter pills. God sees all. She and her father and those involved in this cover-up will get divine justice. My faith, my pastor and the help of four excellent friends got me through to this point. 

Violence is out of control in the US. I recently heard a police spokesman say, that in less than two years, homicides have doubled in the US. That only one-half of homicides are solved. No justice for the other victims and their parents and families. That is extremely alarming. He blamed the spike in homicides on the overwhelming number of ILLEGAL PISTOLS that exist now in the US. 

In the largest city near me, homicides are at an all time high. Robberies and assaults have doubled. Car jackings have more than tripled to an all time high with car owners assaulted. Small children are inadvertently abducted as the criminals speed off with the cars. No one is safe. People are afraid to leave their homes, take public transportation to work or school, get gas or shop for food and clothing.

It is no secret that this blog is spiritually based. Because of my faith, my belief in God and my religious practices all giving me strength and determination, I have survived the loss of my son. My survival, in turn, has allowed me to tell all of you about my experiences with my grief and how I got through it.

Yesterday in a discussion with someone, I was told my beliefs in the power of God and religion are "irrational thoughts." I hope this person reads the above incidents and the following statistics. He expressed a desire for people to have a moral compass and treat each other kindly. I fear that ship is quickly sailing away. I expressed the belief that this was unlikely to happen. Unlikely, because the number of people who believe in God or a Higher Power and attend religious services keeps decreasing.

June 2022  The number of Americans who do not believe in God is 17%, the highest since 1944.

Dec. 2021  Gallup 47% of Americans belong to a House of worship; 53% do not belong

         2021  39% of Americans do not believe religion is important, influenced by demographics & politics

         2021  Pew---only 25% of Americans attend religious services regularly.

         2022  56% of Americans either do not believe in God or that religion is important.

And here we are. We wonder why young people have lost the meaning and value of life, as well as, hope. Hope in God's grace or a Higher power to get them through the stresses and difficulties in their young lives. To be a source of comfort even when family is not. To understand the importance of right and wrong. Why they need to respect themselves and others. Why they need to understand violence in real life is not a video game. People can and do get seriously injured, even die, when assaulted, stabbed or shot. They will not just jump back up like in a game or movie. Also, real time videos depicting violence are very painful to parents, families and friends. 

I believe, we as a society, have to do more to spread the good Word in an effort to turn things around. Churches, synagogues, mosques, and other houses of worship have to do more to make attendance at services desirable, meaningful and valuable. Plus, assure the safety of children attending services or religious schools. Churches must speak publicly about past scandals and the means taken to correct them. The increased violence, social media and harmful ideologies existing now are not working for kids, their parents, their families, houses of worship and public safety. The time is here to protect kids, parents and families from physical, emotional and spiritual harm.

                                                           "Give yourself to the Lord;                                                                                                                                 Trust in Him and he will help you."                                                                                                                                    Psalm 37: 5

May you all be safe, well and comforted in the Lord God.

Love, Rosemarie

If anyone has feelings of wanting to die or harm yourself, call 988 or 911 immediately for help.

Monday, November 14, 2022


Weariness comes with any loss, especially the loss of a child. Or even re-visiting that loss in times of trouble. Somehow weariness descends as a dark cloud that surrounds us. To those of us who have experienced weariness, we know that even the smallest task seems like trying to climb a mountain. Doing anything requires great effort from energy that is just not there. We wonder, what is wrong with me? When will this end? What should I do? I have found there are some simple steps to get started combatting our weariness.  

I find it has helped me not to be alone so I don't spend the whole day in bed. It helps to set a couple of minimal tasks each day. Open some mail. Make a couple of phone calls that need to be made. Read a few pages from a book. Respond to a couple of emails. Watch a favorite podcast. Check out a video. Do some deep breathing exercises. Read the Bible, some of your favorite verses. Listen to relaxing music or spiritual music.

It does not help to sit in one spot all day. Or to hide in the closet. A favorite of mine. Or to not take any phone calls. Another favorite. Or not eat. Eat something even if it is junk. It still counts as an activity. Or prepare simple meals---a protein and simple salad. Or get take-out delivered. Do a few items of laundry if a whole load seems like too much.  Write down how you are feeling each day. Spelling and grammar do not count. Writing also helps to see progress made. List what you do each day. Do a paint by number. Get a plant. Ask for help from someone who has been there for you in the past. Who is reliable. Speak to a professional grief counselor. Go to a support group. Take a short walk outside. Go to a nearby park to sit and watch nature. Play with your pets. Consider getting a dog, a cat, a bird or a couple of goldfish. See your doctor to make sure there is no physical problem.

And pray your energy will return. All things pass. But it requires a little effort to make that happen. Very minimal effort to get the ball rolling. Do just one thing and the next day, two things and so on. Something just to get started. Ask a friend to go with you to get you hair cut or styled and colored. Get your nails done. Ask a neighbor or friend in for coffee or tea. Just put out some cookies. Chances are they will bring something. Going out or having someone in will motivate you to shower and dress. Comb your hair. Shave your face or trim that beard. Even get rid of the dishes piling up in the sink. Try to make the bed each day so you feel more like getting dressed. And less like going back to bed.

We can get through this weariness. We can be part of the world again. We can have a life again. Not the same life, but still a satisfying life. I know that might not be want we want right now. We want our child back, but that is not going to happen. Even so, I know it is possible to make it back. Bit by bit. Remember, there are others who need us. We can pray to our deceased children to help us find peace, strength and courage to get through what has happened. Try inching forward to find a way to journey this road through grief. It is not a straight road. There are detours, but it is not insurmountable. Even if it looks that way today. Live in the moment. One the day at a time. Thinking too far ahead with a negative mind frame does not help.

Most important----We must remember who and what remains in our lives. I am going through a rough patch now, but everyday I thank God several times a day for the blessing my new husband has been to me. I stay in touch daily with my sister who is not in the United States. And with her son, my nephew, who was close to Chris, and lives in another state.

I thank God for my home and my warm bed. I thank God for the people who have helped me in the past and who are reaching out to me now. God bless them. I thank God I am able to write to all of you to help you through the terrible loss of your child. I have made it out and seen the other side. I have taken a detour down a dark tributary right now. I have no doubt I will make it out again. We do not know what good can come to us in the future. I never expected I would re-marry to such a good man.

Life has it downs, but also it ups if we are patient. Getting through grief is a choice in which we need to be an active participant. It is not easy. Just start slow. We pray to God to care for our children in heaven and to help us now.

                                         "The Lord is near to all those who are discouraged,                                                                                          He saves those who have lost all hope."  

                                                                   Psalm 34: 18

Be assured of my prayers for all of you.                                                                                                            Love, Rosemarie

If anyone has thoughts of harming themselves or ending their lives, please call 988 or 911 to get help.