Surviving the loss of a child

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By Angela Grieve

People often ask me how I get out of bed every day after losing Regan and I guess the answer is that I have to.

I am a single mum, I have a job and I have responsibilities to my other children.

And just as importantly I have a responsibility to myself.

My relationship with Regan was so very special. He was my youngest child, my baby and he loved me.

I know he would not have wanted me to fall apart.

He didn’t take his life to hurt me – I think in some way he did it to save me from seeing him in such terrible pain.

I am very fortunate that I have never asked questions like why this happened or if we could have changed anything.

I came to the realisation very quickly that although my heart had been ripped from my chest that there was nothing I could do to change it.

I also realised I had to tell my story and possibly prevent another family from going through the same thing.

I try to live my life everyday with gratitude, and believe me, at the beginning I would hear people talking about this and thought to myself, GRATITUDE, what in the world have I got to be grateful for, I have lost my baby boy and nothing will ever be the same?!

Then one day I just ‘got it’, I understood what everyone was talking about.

I could be grateful for so many things and this made a world of difference to my life.

I honestly feel so very blessed to have had my beautiful Regan for almost 19 years and that we had such an amazing relationship.

I feel blessed to have been his Mum and see him achieve so much and have so much respect from the people whose lives he touched.

I am grateful for all the amazing people who knew Regan and continue to support me and for all the beautiful people who have come into my life who share my passion for wanting to make a difference.

Don’t get me wrong of course there are days when I feel such overwhelming pain and sadness. Pain that only a mother could feel.

I have an ache in my chest and a fog in my head. It feels as though I am right back at the beginning and I miss him so much.

I find on those days I have to be kind to myself and do whatever it is I feel I need just to get through that day.

It might be something like getting a massage, spending time with those I love, lying in bed a little longer than usual or simply getting out in the fresh air.

These days are for reflection and healing, those are the days when I find myself drawn to the ocean, I’m not sure what it is but I find it so healing.

Those are the days when I remember my boy and all the wonderful times we shared and how I felt when he was still here.

After all, when all is said and done all that really matters are the relationships we build with people and the way they make us feel. And I feel total gratitude for having Regan in my life.

When I packed up all of Regan’s expensive clothes after he passed none of them mattered. It was the way he made us feel when he was around that was important.

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