In Memory of our Son, Brad J.

Judy & John

I am a 47year old Mom, whose dreams were shattered 4 1/2 years ago...We all dream of futures with our adult children, and know the struggle of working, raising a family, and finally seeing our children become adults. Our daughter, Brenda, was 22 in May of 93, and our son, Brad, turned 21 in May of 93...Life was good! We achieved our goals, our children had become our good friends, and started to appreciate us more and more! In July, one week before our son was killed, we went out to eat for our anniversary, as a family with their girlfriends/boyfriends and had a great time...took our last family picture, which at that time, we did not realize would be our last. The pictures were still in the camera the day we received our sad news of the tragedy that would change our lives forever, and as we all know....we will never be the same people again. The grief journey is a long, lonely road, and without the help of others who have lost children, and really understanding us, I would not have survived! I am now a chapter leader for a Compassionate Friends group in our area. This is a group for parents who have lost children at all ages. This group helped me so much, that I feel if I can be there for someone else, I will do my best. It's always hard when a new person joins our group, and you know the pain they are in, and we are not able to take that horrible pain away, but to be able to be there for them, and walk the road with them. Each of us experiences grief in our own way, and different stages, and time frames...we all know there is no right or wrong way, or no time limit on how long it takes to do our grief work! I think we do our grief work for the rest of our life!

In June of this year, we had a bittersweet day, our daughter, Brenda, got married. This is a day we as parents all look forward to...I wanted this day to be so special for our daughter, and our new son-in-law, Randy. We all missed our son, not being here with us physically, but all knew he was definitely with us spiritually the whole day! The day went great, she was a beautiful bride, just beaming, and so was our son - in - law. We have many good memories of that day, and know our son gave us the strength to get through the day. I could feel his presence with us the whole day. We all hang on to all the past memories of our children, and can be thankful for all the memories we have. No one can take these away from us.

In closing I would like to say that I am looking forward to hearing from many of you out there, about your losses, experiences of how you learned to carry on after your child died. We never forget, like someone said to me....the death of a child is like a cut on your finger, the wound heals, but the scar will always be there. We will never forget our children, and don't want to. It is a parent's fear that our children will be forgotten. People have a hard time talking to us about our dead children, they were and still are a part of our lives, and make us the people we are today. It is our job as bereaved parents to teach others, family, friends, etc. what we need, and it is ok to talk to us about our loved ones who are no longer with us physically. We all await the day we are able to join them in their eternal homes!

To me, walking the path of the grief journey changes each day, year, etc....You never know how you are going to feel. You learn to cope, and accept what the Lord has dealt you in life, we have no other choice, but to live for those of us left here on this earth. Some days are like the day it happen, and then others we do ok. The wave that comes over us after many years, comes when we least expect it. We need to learn to just flow with our waves, and emotions, to cry when we need to and be able to reach out to others. It helps me to help others, and you don't think of your own pain as much. Thank you for giving me the space to tell my story. Looking forward to meeting many more compassionate friends through this board.

Judy & John

You can send email to Judy & John at: [email protected]
mail welcome

anniversary date 07-24-93
date of post 01-24-98

[return to home page] [column] [book excerpts] [honor page] [discussions page]

Crisis, Grief, and Healing: Tom Golden LCSW