Living without your child 

How does that really work? 

Being joyful when so much hurts. It’s a peculiar thing. Wanting to be cheerful, but just not fully. 

That’s the best way I describe this. Life of change. 

Breathing. But oh so shallow. And without exhilaration. 

But. I cry. And cry often. 

If you see me with sunglasses on…..probably been crying. 

I cry in the shower. I cry in the bathroom. I cry in the car. A lot. I cry at the gravesite. I cry in bed. Almost every night to sleep. 

But even through all my crying, I am still functioning. I have a new job. I work long hours. I deal with the public. 

I also want to hear my dead daughters name. I want to think about her. Talk about her. Still live without her. And would especially enjoy others to do the same. 

It’s ok to talk to us about our dead child. You are not going to upset me more than I already am. Impossible. Nothing can hurt more than the loss of your child. There is no way. I just can’t believe it. 

And somehow. I made it today. 

I went to a large social event. Supported my graduating senior and her new life endeavors…..and simultaneously mourned that my youngest would never experience this. 

Loss sucks. 

Congrats Maddie on your graduation. We love you and are so proud. 

Always Missing You Z…… 

RIP Zayla Ann 06/06/01-03/30/2016 



  1. Val Jaenicke · May 25, 2016

    OOOOMMMMGGG Christy!!! You have touched just about everything a parent goes through after the devastation of loosing a child. Everything you just wrote about I have done and done for almost 19 years. You my sweat girl with your kind heart made me feel a little ray of sunshine one evening when you sat and spoke to me about Nate. You did not know him well but you wanted to hear all about him. I will never ever forget that and my hope for you is that someone sits and listens to you talk, cry, laugh and dream about Zayla without fear in their eyes, just as you did so many years ago with me. Keep writing about her, she hears you. Thinking of you always, Val

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ann Jones · June 12, 2016

    It’s been 30 years since my son, Douglas Lang Campbell , was stuck by a car and killed. He is in my thoughts everyday and I have never looked at a sunset without thinking of him.
    Last week I wrote his name….so normal and mundane for most parents but for me??? It had been a long time as there is little opportunity now. Report cards, permission slips, sign up for sports etc ended that night. If I remember correctly I did need to sign his name when planning his funeral services.
    I recall wishing I could find a way to have his name in large neon letters on our home so he would never be forgotten. Beginning to accept that most could not to talk to me about him as they, as Chris said, didn’t want to upset me. They didn’t understand that I was hungry to talk about him. Longing to tell people what a glorious person he was but we learn not to talk as the reverse is actually that it would upset them. It takes a strong person to be able to stand with us as our pain is so huge, so raw, so pervasive that it frightens them. After a time we learn to be quiet and somehow that silence seems, to most to indicate that our pain has ended, that we are healed and a great sigh of relief is breathed. Little do they know….we learn to cry in the car, in the shower, at the country cemetery, we cry in private and learn to smile and breathe deeply to stop the tears that may overcome us unexpectedly at inopportune times. It might be a glimpse of a tow headed little boy, the results of a track meet and hundreds of other reminders that this beloved child is no longer a part of this world that we are called upon to continue to function in.
    I could talk for hours regarding my grief journey. The truth is that our journey never ends, it gets easier to walk and talk, smile, love anew, laugh, find beauty, experience anger, but suddenly a smell, a song, a photo you have forgotten , seeing his friends who are now adults with families of their own , looking and loving your grandchildren and wondering , come at you and again the breath is taken from you and you struggle to stand .
    Those of us who belong to this group, those of us that can say the words ” I have had a child who died” have the unique ability to reach out our hands and our hearts to others who are suffering as we no longer fear pain.
    I like to say of myself that I have been to the mountain. It certainly wasn’t a graceful climb and it took a very long time, I fell, I was scared and bruised and broken but I made it…every lonely and horrible discussing hated step…I walked it and now can stand as the wounded healer equipped to stand with others who suffer.
    My prayer is that this strange club we belong to never boasts a growing membership. I’m sicked when I hear of yet another child lost to this world and to those who wish only to again see that smile, smell the special smell, touch that skin, listen to and oh sweet God, please the hear the laughter….Oh that laugh….please God….but that is not to be. So we keep climbing.
    Love and peace to each of us.



  3. Ruth Davisob · June 13, 2016

    I feel every word Ann and thanks for saying them so well. Never knew Doug but will always remember because of you, Megan and Molly. Great family.


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