Tell us about your deceased child
Hello all. My name is Lori and my only son Taylor died in a tragic (and preventable) drowning accident a few years ago. Taylor was 17 and a child with an old soul. He was smart, articulate, kind, humorous, athletic and most of all, my only son. *sigh*
Unfortunately, Taylor died when I was at an age where I was unable to conceive anymore children. I do regret not having more children. I have a surviving daughter who is now many states away attending college. I am blessed that she has survived this and is thriving. However, it has taken her years to become the silly little girl she was before Taylor died.
Please tell us all about your wonderful child that has passed. Also, any advice that you have to pass on to the newly bereaved parents that visit this website. I will start. I hope this thread will give other grieving parents an idea that they are not alone in their grief and that our community will support them as they travel down this journey of grief.
Just copy and paste to the next post and add your own information.
Name, age, cause of death & date of death of deceased child (or children) - Taylor, he was 17 when he hit his head and drowned while fishing. He died on July 17, 2005.
Other children and ages: Brooke, she is 18 now, she was 14 when Taylor died.
Married, single, partner: I am married and have been for 21 years. Marriage is "different" now.
Where you live now, where your child died: I now live in Pittsburgh, PA. My son died the same week we were moving from Arizona to PA!
Where your child is buried or other: We keep Taylor's ashes next to our bed. We have a memorial plaque for him at the Hanson Memorial Park in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Did you have a funeral, memorial, or other: We had a memorial with a picture of Taylor on stage because his body was under water for two days. We had a private viewing where he was placed on a table (gurney) in his favorite shorts, t-shirt and sandals. We held him, kissed him, layed down next to him and touched him. We took a few small cuts of hair and put them into a plastic bag. He was cremated and his remains are in a wooden box which we keep on the night stand next to our bed.
Did you receive counseling: I did for about two weeks, but I realized that the grief expert did not "get it" since she had no idea what I was going through. Talking to other bereaved parents has been the most beneficial.
What has helped you cope the most: Online support groups and forums. Not enough support group meetings where I live. Compassionate Friends has one meeting once a month but it is an hour away. Hospice has some, but most of those parents had been prepared for the death of their child, I felt very much the odd man out.
Did you start a foundation or tradition after the death of your son/daughter: We started a non-profit organization called The Taylor Fund. We help underprivileged children through various means. We have a golf outing that raises money each year. We try to do this on or near Taylor's death date.
Advice: All I can tell you is to give your grief respect. Don't try to be brave or strong. Understand that you are no longer the same person you were before your child died. You are now a new person and and have been fundamentally changed forever. I have found that people who have met me after my son died are easier to be around because they do not expect me to "get over it" or go back to being the "old me."
Faith or lack thereof: I was spiritual, sorta of Reform Jewish, (inactive), My husband is Christain. My children were brought up celebrating many different holidays. I am much less of a believer in G-d then I was before Taylor died. I look for signs of life after death, and feel that there is no right religion, maybe even no g-d, but an energy force that lives on. At least I hope so....
Website of your child, or one you would like to share: www.TaylorBurgstahler.memory-of.com
I hope this helps others realize they are not alone and that this site and others are available online to support and lift you up through these dark and lonely days.