Thursday, March 20, 2014

Heather's Story: A complicated grief

I feel guilty writing this, as my circumstances are so very different than most here, and I can only imagine the losses any of you are feeling.

My first child, a son, was a surprise at my young age. I've since had two fairly healthy daughters as well. With my son, when I was right at three months, I started bleeding. The military doctors rotated. The one on duty the day I went in wasn't concerned, so I headed several states away to visit family. My spouse was deployed.

I had my first of several ultrasounds while visiting family. Since my spouse was deployed, my mom went with me to this unfamiliar doctor's office in the medical building she was employed in. I can't remember everything that was said, as I was 18 and this was in 1997.

I remember the term "dissolving twin" being tossed around. When I asked my mom, she dismissed that thought. I assumed she knew more than I did and stopped talking about it. She would correct me when I did share in front of others. I didn't bother telling my spouse at that time. He had enough stress being in the Middle East.

Fast forward several years, and I found the ultrasound pictures and medical records sealed up from that day. My mom had them still.

I don't know if my son was a twin. He overheard me talking about it and said he is sure it was his twin and feels a piece of him is missing. I don't know how to process this honestly, so I haven't allowed myself to. I allow him to share anything, though I wonder if it's wishful thinking for a brother on his part. Beyond that, I'm clueless what is "ok" for me to feel.

Eventually, we did have a young man live with us his senior year. Neither of his parents would allow him to reside there due to his past issues. We loved him, and he went off to college eventually. He was stabbed two years ago and died from this. He wasn't my child in reality, yet I silently mourn his loss daily.

What I do know is that each day, I hug my kids tighter. Earthly existence is temporary. All in my family, including this young man, are children of God's, so we will be together in eternity someday. My heart will then be able to find peace.


Thank you, Heather, for sharing. Please, don't feel any guilt at all. A loss is a loss is a loss. I'm sorry that your losses have been complicated, which makes it that much harder to know how to grieve. You are so right -- in heaven, our hearts will finally be at peace. Rachel


  1. Hugs. I am sure the college-age son who passed away thought of you as his Mother and that you were an excellent Mother, too.

  2. It may be complicated, but it still sounds a very sorrowful loss. =(