“When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has brought you delight”
Thank you truly for helping me see the truth and the goodness behind it all, for always helping me to create a vision for the future without rushing me through the tough work of the present and for teaching me that how you get there matters. We will always be connected.
“My friends and family kept telling me to get over my sadness. I could tell they were tired of seeing me be sad and not being my happy self. I tried to please them, but then I became really angry. Getting help through Grief Weavers taught me that you can have your own grief and that feelings are o.k. I learned and am continuing to learn that I am a different person since my dad died. I’ll never be the same, but I’m learning to be a new me and carry him with me through the memories we shared.”
I gave birth to my third son, Robert John, on February 23, 2008. He was premature, only 24 weeks, and he lived a few hours. The pain that has followed that day is like no other I have ever experienced and the tragic loss of our baby has affected everyone in our family.
My oldest son, Liam, who is 6, was deeply affected by his brother's death. Wrapped in a blanket of my own pain, I guess I did not see his pain right away. In the weeks that followed I began to worry about Liam. He now cried every morning, not wanting to go to school, he loves school. He'd complain of a headache, ear ache, stomach ache, anything to not to have to leave me. Going to the bathroom became a problem. Liam held his bowels as long as he could, for days on end. This of course resulted in great pain and a lot of drama when he could no longer hold it.
It all came to a head one morning after a visit to the dentist. Liam had some extensive work done, so he numb and groggy after the visit. We began to drive and Liam just could not hold it in any longer. Liam began yelling at me and crying and he said "You never even let me see him! I'm his big brother, I'm supposed to protect my little brother." I pulled the car over and jumped in the back with my son. He was sobbing and all I could say was "I'm sorry." He went on to tell me that one of his best memories was coming to visit me and his brother Matthew in the hospital after he was born. (It dawned on me later that the dentist's office is directly across the street from the hospital where they were all born.) It was obvious that my son needed help. He needed someone to talk to and help him deal with his feelings.
We were referred to Maureen Walsh from Grief Weavers and I called her immediately. I knew from our first conversation on the phone the she could help Liam. I could feel her love and compassion as she reassured me that what Liam was going through was a normal response. She truly felt my pain, not just the pain of losing my baby, but the pain of seeing my oldest son become so affected by the loss of Robert John.
Maureen talked to me and told me some things that I could start doing immediately, and her nursing experience also helped me get started on the bathroom issue. Liam liked Maureen immediately and went with her without reservation and the smile on his face when he exited that first meeting just proved that this was the right thing. Maureen explained her process of letting the child play or do an activity to get them to open up. She shared with me many of the things Liam had shared with her and then gave me some ideas and strategies on how to deal with any issues that may come up in the days to follow.
Liam came out of every session extremely happy and had a renewed energy. I felt better too, just knowing he had a place to come to talk and sift through the feelings that built up inside of him. There were times at home when I could feel Liam soaking up my sadness. So much for a little boy to deal with, but Maureen helped him deal with everything he was feeling.
Liam did many activities with Maureen that he worked very hard on and is extremely proud of. He made a book about Robert John which we often read together. He also created an adorable pillow with a picture of the baby it. He sleeps with it every night. Liam even made a pillow for Matthew so that he wouldn't miss Baby Robert so much either.
The most impressive result of Liam's sessions with Maureen, is his ability to take a lesson from a book or a conversation and be able to apply it to his own situation. Maureen helped my son acquire the tools to acknowledge his feelings, give himself permission to feel that way and express how he feels. I will never forget Maureen telling me what Liam said to her about why Robert John died. He said, "Baby Robert's job on Earth was done, but my job and Mommy's job isn't done yet." He had taken that reasoning from a story that I read to him the week before. What a comfort to my aching heart, knowing that Liam's sadness was lifting.
I will be forever grateful to Maureen for all that she has done for Liam and for me. Her guidance, her words of encouragement and her ability to help us see that light at the end of the tunnel will stay with us. She helped my son get through the first major loss in his life. I thank God for her help in guiding us through this journey. I would tell any person or family who has suffered a loss to reach out to Grief Weavers. Their help will truly make a difference in your journey through your grief.
– Karen M.