A Stepfather’s Journey (no surviving children)

by Glen Nielsen

I am going to describe my journey as a stepfather over almost two decades, from August 1980 to the present. I am a step-parent who has experienced the death of a child. My story may be different from many of yours in that the death was a long-term illness, which, while it had some very difficult aspects, also offered some unique opportunities for really developing a very close relationship and for closure. Continue reading “A Stepfather’s Journey (no surviving children)”

Preventing Others From Forgetting Our Child

by Sandy Fox

sandyfox 175X219My deepest fear: that my precious daughter will be forgotten over time. Surely, that is understandable coming from a mother’s point of view. As time passes, others begin to continue with their lives, and I want to shout, “But what about my child? She lived too. She would not want to be forgotten”. And I would not want her to be forgotten, ever. Continue reading “Preventing Others From Forgetting Our Child”

Going the Distance

by Benjamin Allen

The death of Benjamin’s wife and two children through an HIV infection became the watershed experience that reshaped his life. Lydia was infected in 1982 at the birth of their first son, Matt. Three months after Bryan’s birth in 1985, the family discovered Lydia and the children’s HIV+ status. Bryan was 8 months old when he died in 1986, Lydia died in 1992 at the age of 38, and Matt was 13 when he died in 1995.

man and seaI wanted to go the distance. At the beginning, it was quite clear what that meant. When he died, distance became different, less clear, a nebulous path of a tenuous life.

Almost three years passed from Lydia’s passing to Matt’s. Bryan died four years before Lydia. From the moment we found out that they were going to die in that thirteen-year span, I wanted to go the distance.

I wanted to walk as closely to each one as I could before death parted us. I wanted to hold all of them with all of me. I wanted to emotional lean into every moment and not turn away. I wanted to place my hand on the flame and not run from the pain. I wanted to be there. Wherever they went I wanted to be there.

Matt and I were very close from the beginning to the end. When the pain of my love reached apex after apex and I wanted to run, I leaned in even further. I needed to go the distance because I knew the distance grows more distant. Continue reading “Going the Distance”

My Children Chose To Die (no surviving children)

by Kaylene Donohue

Kaylene Donohue154X193I was born in a small country town in New South Wales (NSW) called Wagga Wagga. My family lived on the outskirts of the town in a village called Lake Albert. I was one of eight children and the eldest girl with two older brothers. Our family was poor, and in those days if we went anywhere it was mostly on foot. We grew up playing with our ten cousins living next door and the rest of the village children. In those days, we were allowed to run free as long as we were in by dark or dinner. We never heard of kidnappers or people being murdered just for walking around the streets, life was so different from the way we live today.

My personal journey started when I had to make my own choices. Because it was unfortunate in those early years teachers knew nothing about slow learners or kids that really needed extra help, and because I changed schools several times, my education suffered terribly and I could not wait until I was fifteen years of age when I could say goodbye to the class room forever. At the age of nineteen, I chose to go to Sydney to study to become a nurse’s aid. I was not ready for the world out there, but I loved the nursing side of my job; however, my lack of education came back to haunt me. I worked hard learning the physical side of my job and I did enjoy it, but the written exams were another story. If I had never met a cheeky (charming or amusing) young kid who was recovering from burns to his body after his tent caught on fire whilst out camping with other army cadets, I would never have met my first husband and the father of my three children. Continue reading “My Children Chose To Die (no surviving children)”

My True Journey (no surviving children)

by Annie Mitchell, Author
Holding Back the Tears
Holding Back the Tears (UK)

My journey began on 6th February 2000, which tore my insides apart.

My son, Finlay Sinclair, age 26 years decided he had had enough of life and died through suicide.

for Mitchell lrg

For almost two years after his death I was in denial, I refused to accept I would never see my child again. I went out of my way to avoid any outside contact with friends and family or anyone who wanted to offer me their help. I believed I could cope on my own, so I pushed away any help offered to me. I finally realized I needed to seek professional help when the nightmares every night and the forgetfulness began to affect my daily life. I was not aware of leaving the pot boiling away on the cooker or forgetting to switch off the taps once I had started running the water or go out without locking the door behind me. The list was endless. I was oblivious to these facts, which were so obvious to everyone around me in my daily life except to me. Continue reading “My True Journey (no surviving children)”