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Tracy and her son Joshua
The Loss Of An Adult Child
The most difficult heart-break on earth is to lose a child. Tracy Bergin Huey shares her story of survival as a mom. Her words are gripping, powerful, and real. Tracy's answer to the question of what she has learned from her grief both inspires and tugs at the heart.
What is your story?
My name is Laurie Engelhardt
co-founder of SOS and I am a survivor! My Story
So let’s go back to the first year. I am not sure what I have learned from that year because I was frozen and numb. Most of that year was a blur; however, I believe it was God’s protection. I searched for Joshua’s face in every crowd. I could not listen to music or watch TV without relating it somehow to my loss. Everything reminded me either of him or that he was gone. I was completely empty, a black hole empty.
THE YEAR OF “FIRSTS”
Joshua passed away on January 7, 2010 on a Thursday. He was buried on a Tuesday, January 12, 2010. Every Tuesday and Thursday of every week was dreadful. The 7th and 12th of every month was dreadful. Then it seemed out of nowhere it was Mother’s Day. Are you kidding? How am I to be okay after burying a child? I wasn’t.
September 10th the day I celebrated and cherished every year arrived - the day I gave birth to Joshua. There would be no celebration. He was not here. Before I had time to take a breath it was Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The last and dreaded “first” the horrible nightmare day arrived, the anniversary which I call the Angelversary. Life went on for everyone else, but me. I just stood still. How can that be?
I woke up and thawed out. Wow! As I did I didn’t feel myself warming up. I was cold, cold to everything. I can’t explain it but I felt afraid to feel. As the months and years ticked off, almost seven without my Joshua, what did I learn?
THE FRUIT OF GRIEF
Time will pass whether or not I am frozen in pain. I decided I had to live. I had to find joy or at least go through the motions. In doing that I found the deepest relationship with God. I saw signs from God that He had Joshua’s soul and Joshua’s spirit was here with me.
I learned to look around and see beauty in life and for the first time I become aware of God’s creation like the earth, the sky, clouds, trees, plants, flowers, rocks and the ocean. Those were the things Joshua loved and now I did too. I found comfort, beauty and a connection to my son through nature.
Grieving is necessary and a process. I learned to breathe slowly, to take every moment as it comes, to feel every moment. Losing a child awakened a spiritual feeling I didn’t know was inside of me. Joshua may not be here in the physical but he’s everywhere.
A few years before Joshua died he found and gave me my “first” four leaf clover. I kept it and never thought about it until a warm spring day just after he died. Reeling from the pain, desperate to connect with his spirit and talk to God to make some sense of my feelings I happened to look down and right there in the place where he found the “first” four leaf clover I found mine!
Immediately I knew this was God telling me He was with him. I continued to save them until one day I didn’t have the need. Now when I see one I know it’s for me from Him.
Prayers always for Peace to us all,
"A friend asked, “What have you learned from your Grief?"
"To answer I stepped back six years when the journey began. There has been many twists and turns, ups and downs, ins and outs, over and under. Sounds like a roller coaster eh? Well that’s exactly how life has been. The first five years was not a fun ride and still isn’t but I have found joy in many things."