Category Archives: Death of a Child

The Mary Mac Show | Grieving an Infant Death

The Mary Mac Show PodcastIn Episode 98, we discuss the death of a baby through Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) or Infant Death where a child dies a few months or years into their life and how their parents and family deal with the unanticipated devastation of their loss.

Losing a baby to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, known as SIDS or Crib Death, is a shocking loss as the child can be perfectly healthy, lays down for a nap or at bedtime and when the parent goes to awaken them, they have died.

No one expects that this will ever happen to a child under the age of one and it leaves parents wondering what could have happened, what they could have done differently, if any of this was their fault.

And the answer is that none of this was their fault and, often, even medical professionals cannot explain crib death.

A child can be perfectly healthy, but still succumb to crib death.

Another Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) is when a baby is accidentally smothered during the night when a parent leaves the child with them in the parent’s bed and they don’t realize that they rolled on top of the child suffocating it.

Or when a child is strangled by loose bedding or pillows wherever they have been laid down to sleep and cannot move those items by themselves to breathe.

Or when they fall through the railings of the bed and strangle themselves.

And there are also so many other ways infants die – car crashes, homicide, shaken baby syndrome, illnesses like cancer, etc.

Experiencing an infant death is devastating. It leaves the parents numb and wondering exactly how did this happen and often blame themselves.

In Episode 98, we talk about how to help yourself if you are grieving an infant death and how to deal with the reactions that family and friends might have which can also leave you bewildered.

Bless you my friend.
xoxo

Additional Notes:

As you know I am a great believer in the power of the Emotional Freedom Technique. Here are a few videos that I think will help you tremendously.

EFT Video for Death of an Infant, EFT Video for Grief after Death of a Loved One, How to do Surrogate EFT.

If you need someone to chat with, don’t be shy. It’s totally confidential. Go to Crisis Connections page on my website MaryMac.info to find telephone numbers for Crisis Hotlines around the world.

If you need help finding people who will understand your exact pain, visit my Grief Resources page and look under “Infant Death.”

Visit my site MaryMac.info/books for additional help, especially my book Understanding Your Grieving Heart After a Loved One’s death, the first and best book to reach for as you deal with your grief and How to Help a Grieving Child After a Loved One’s Death to help your surviving children.

You’re welcome to send your questions to the Contact page on my site.

You can obtain my free ebook entitled 21 Things You Must Know About The Grieving Process, available for immediate download right here on this site.

Please subscribe, rate and review on The Mary Mac Show website or Apple Podcasts!

And I’d love your support of my podcast by buying me a coffee.

Thank you.

The Mary Mac Show | Grieving the Death of a Sibling

The Mary Mac Show Podcast

In Episode 88, we discuss our feelings and pain after the death of a sister or brother, stepsister or stepbrother, the nuances of our relationship and how to help ourselves through the grieving process.

A sibling’s death is a very painful and usually unexpected death.

We knew them almost all our lives, were brought up together, loved each other through thick and thin.

We expected to grow old with them, raise our children together, go on vacations together, enjoy family gatherings together for holidays, events and other life events.

We expected that they would be there for us when we had difficulty emotionally because most times they were our go-to person growing up and now that they’ve died or were killed, whom do we turn to when times become hard.

Experiencing the death of a brother, sister, stepbrother or stepsister, whom we were raised with, is something that shocks us to our core.

This was not supposed to happen.

Our parents were supposed to die first, not them!

Listen in to today’s episode to learn more about your responses and others’ reactions after you’ve experienced a sibling’s death.

Your grief will be intertwined with your sister or brother-in-law’s who lost their spouse, your parents who have now lost a child, and your grandparents who have lost a grandchild.

Also remember your own spouse and children may be highly affected too.

Sending you my love. xoxo

Additional Notes:

My book Understanding Your Grieving Heart After a Loved One’s Death is perfect for those beginning their journey. Click here to get yours by downloading it immediately.

Visit Crisis Connections at my website to telephone a trained counselor to speak with whenever you are feeling lonely, overwhelmed, confused, frightened, fearful or any host of emotions. Even if it is a suicide hotline, do not think they cannot help you. You do not need to feel suicidal to speak with these wonderful counselors. They are there to listen to you.

Use the Emotional Freedom Technique for Healing.

You can watch Marissa Peer’s “I Am Enough” meditation.

Treat yourself to a lovely gift from our Heart of Gold “I Remember” Products from The Mary Mac Store.

Remember, a portion of all proceeds help fund The Foundation for Grieving Children, Inc., the first national non-profit public charity which benefits children, teens, young adults after a loved one’s death which I established many years ago.

And remember to sign up for my private email list so we can always stay in touch, since social media is no longer reliable. Receive my ebook 21 Things You Must Know About The Grieving Process for immediate download.

We’d love your support for our podcast and the work I do for grieving individuals. Buy me a coffee is an easy way to help me. Click on the purple coffee cup on this page! Thanks.

What Suicidal Depression Feels Like – Therese Borchard

Yesterday, in my own community here in Lake Mary, Florida, not even a mile from me, a 14 year-old boy in our middle school went into a bathroom stall and shot himself to death. With the recent death of Robin Williams and the suicide deaths of so many whose parents and siblings I have worked with over the years, there is a great need to truly understand how depression wreaks havoc on an individual’s ability to reason.

Nothing comforts me more than when another writer has the guts to truly put it all out there. I have done this many times on my blog, telling the good, bad and ugly of the aftermath of death and, while it’s difficult to read and comprehend that humans feel and live through such crisis, it is very, very real and very honest and should never be taken lightly, either by family, friends and especially business colleagues, who are usually so busy they dismiss many emotions.

I know how difficult it is for those who love you to grieve a death by suicide. There are countless questions, self-blame, years of trying to recover, if it’s even possible, and the guilt, shame and anger. If you are even considering this and find yourself in a deep depression either because you yourself are now grieving the death of a loved one, or you are dealing with what seems like insurmountable challenges, please read Therese’s work below.

If you need to speak with someone, please go to “Crisis Connections.” Click on there for help in your area. Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed. You can remain anonymous. Let someone listen. You deserve to be heard. Continue reading What Suicidal Depression Feels Like – Therese Borchard

30 Years Ago Today…

101When I look back on my life, there are a few days that stand out with such significance that I can’t help but acknowledge them, regardless of the pain.

And while there are happy days I can recall, like when I completed both my degrees, when I was given wonderful awards for my work, when my books were published, there are several difficult days that I’ve lived that caused me and those I’ve loved great trauma.

One was the death of my beloved grandmother, who lived, almost exclusively, a healthy life till her death at 93. She was my anchor when life handed me difficult times while growing up.

Another was my little dog, Daisy, who brought me so much joy every day for almost 13 years. My constant companion, she was always there to snuggle with when I needed her most.

But there was one particular day that, when I look back on my life, shaped and changed who I was and, even though I had helped so many in my life before who had struggled with bereavement, it was her death that catapulted me into leading support groups, writing books, speaking, and starting a national foundation for grieving children.

107She is Angela.

A 10 year old who came into my life when I met her father. Her older brother was then 13 and younger just 9.

I remember her bubbly personality, her courage to ask me those most pressing questions you’d never think would come out of the mouth of such a young lady. But I answered every one and she went away satisfied.

Many who knew her longer than I described her as a firecracker. And for the short time I knew her, they were right.

I specifically remember how much she loved shopping together. How she couldn’t choose between the pink or blue cotton candy.

Or the last holiday she and her younger brother spent with us. It was Easter, 1984 and I made a special dinner for us.

At one point after dinner we took a long walk together. I wanted to purchase film that day to take a few pictures but we didn’t pick it up. And that moment was lost to me forever.

Angela at 11; her last school picture.Because just a few short months later on this day in 1984, that bright, bubbly young girl was murdered on Long Island.

And what followed were 18 years of an unsolved murder.

It took until 2002 to have enough evidence to charge the initial suspect and another two years to go to trial.

We endured a six-week emotional rollercoaster from the time they began picking a jury for her 20 year old murder, to the time he was convicted.

I often wonder what life would have been like if she were still here with us. Would she have been in my bridal party when her father and I married?

Would she have studied for a college degree? And what career might she have chosen?

Would she have married and had children? How many would she have had and what would they have looked like?

But today, I guess there is a part of me that, as my stepson texted me today, which says “I can’t believe it’s been 30 years.”

And he is so right.

Rest in Peace, Angela. You were with us for far too short a time, but the impact you had on our lives, both in life and death, will remain forever.

When Mother’s Day Stings

When Mother’s Day swings around I usually have mixed emotions.

I’m grateful that my own mother is still with me, along with the other ‘mothers’ I have the privilege to still enjoy…my Aunt, my Godmother, and my friend Jeanne, all who really ‘get’ me since I’m anything but conventional in my thinking.

But my heart is with women, today, who are reminded that ‘motherhood’ hasn’t worked out quite as they’d expect. And I’ve met many who have had these experiences; some have had a few.

Like the lady who has lost a child, something she never anticipated. Perhaps her only child or all her children have died. The one who never knew her mother because her mother died before she was old enough to meet and enjoy her.

Or the woman who never had the honor to even becoming pregnant for a whole host of reasons. And the one who is still able to bear children but can’t keep a pregnancy.

We look at loss in many different ways; we see things others don’t see on these types of occasions. We don’t bring it up in conversation, instead we simply let it remain buried deep inside where a lot of that pain still sits.

My mother has graciously gotten to the point where she’ll wish me a Happy Mother’s Day with the caveat, ‘because you are a mother to many’ which is her way of soothing that wound and I’m at a place where I might well up with a tear or two but at least it’s not the piercing pain that I once had years ago.

Sometimes it’s not an actual loss of a mother, for some, that is difficult to grieve. It can also be what hasn’t occurred that can sting on a day like today.