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Liz's story

My Lost Child

Every Mother who has lost a child feels bereft. Her grief is deep and endless. Her story unique.

May I tell you mine? Does anyone out there have a similar story?

I hope you will not mind that my story includes much about my daughter’s personality and life but that is because she is no longer a child. But to me of course she will always be my precious child.

My name is Liz. I am 94 years old. I lost my beautiful only child, my beloved daughter Jane in April this year. She was 69 and had been in the best of health until mid-March when she received the startling news that she had developed Pancreatic cancer and her time was then limited. And indeed very limited. Just 5 weeks later she had gone from me and from this world.

I try to make sense of this. How can it be? At my age, I am the one to leave not she.

Indeed just a few months before, she had helped me tidy up my affairs and put things in order in case of my sudden demise. She knew what my wishes were regarding my funeral and I was happy and confident that they would be carried out.

I have been widowed almost 43 years having lost my husband from a sudden heart attack whilst out walking our dog in the park. Jane and I were both devastated but eventually we were able to console each other and move on.

But there is no consolation for me now. There is no moving on. What is there left.?

When her dear husband Graham died in 2009 her heart was broken but with strength and fortitude she eventually learned how to live without him.

Now I have to learn to live without her also.

Unfortunately she had no children. I have no grandchild to love as I love her.

I deliberately use the present tense as my love for her will never die and when I depart this earth, that love will go with me.

I am very lucky and privileged to have shared 69 years with the most beautiful, loving and caring girl that ever lived.

She was generous, kind, loving, mischievous, and had the most delightful sense of humour and fun. She was the brightest star among stars

After all these years I still remember the day she was born. I remember her beautiful eyes looking up at me as I held her close. I remember her growing up, her illnesses, her likes and dislikes, her school days., her tantrums, her tears and above all her laughter.

I remember her teen age and sometime rebellious years, I remember too how our home was filled with friends and laughter.

Jane loved music and was an accomplished pianist and guitarist. Her taste was wide and varied. She was also a very fine needlewoman.

She tackled many household tasks. She was a “handyman” of the best order and would never allow herself to be defeated. What she was able to do she did well.

She was a keen gymnast and also loved Pilates. She loved her high-powered Subaru car and although it was some years old, would not part with it as it had also been her husband’s great love. Whenever she was able, she sped along like the wind and it was always a fear to me but I did trust her as she was an excellent driver.

She was also fond of fine-dining. Enjoyed eating out in the best restaurants whenever there was an opportunity. She took me with her on many occasions. Each year she took me to a season of classical concerts at our beautiful local concert hall which we enjoyed together.

She worked tirelessly to keep her home and garden immaculate

She was always there for me if I needed help and was cross if I did not ask her when such times became more as I grew older.

In spite of leading a very busy life, she spent time with her numerous friends, walking regularly, socialising, assisting them when necessary and enjoying exotic and exciting holidays with them.

Jane was a popular lady and her company was sought at every social event held by those friends. When her funeral was held in May, I had numerous requests from those people whom I had to disappoint as I was limited to 15 guests but I did make a promise that when our lives returned to normal (whenever that may be) we shall hold a joyful celebration of her life for all to attend.

Listening to other bereaved parents talk, they have tried to focus on one point to give themselves something to aim for in a future without their lost child and a celebration is my point of focus. It is what I want to do for my child. And I hope to be able to do that one last thing.

With regard to friends of my own, I no longer have any of similar age as they have all pre-deceased me. I do have a few acquaintances but speak with them very occasionally and if I dare to mention my daughter’s name and cry they immediately cut short the conversation. I have no doubt that if I was able to walk out either from my own ability or the confinement forced upon me by the current health issues, I would see people I know crossing the road to avoid speaking with me. That I believe is commonplace.

What is it about bereavement that people cannot face? It happens and it has happened to me. My grief is deep and hard to bear. Never a day goes by when I do not talk with Jane. I hug the box of her ashes and tell her that soon I shall join her. I tell her that my ashes are to be combined with hers for scattering with our beloved husbands.

My tears are falling as I am writing now. I know they will continue to fall for the rest of my life but maybe they will become less in time. What will not diminish in time is my great love for my lovely girl and my unbearable loss and loneliness.

Thank you for allowing me to relate just a small part of my story and hope you like my poem below


This precious child is gone from me

My life an empty shell

But in my heart will ever be

The face I love so well


Why was I dealt this cruel blow?

So quickly she is gone

Something I will never know

A reason? – There was none


I never will be made aware

Of why she had to go

The grief is much too hard to bear

Because I love her so


I held her in my arms that day

And stroked her silken hair

And as she quietly passed away

She knew that I was there


And now a broken life I lead

My heart is full of pain

Just memories to fill my need

Until we meet again


Goodbye My Darling Girl Goodbye
Mum xx

Comments: 7 (Add)

Christine Chate on 15 April 2021 at 10:51

Liz - you write so beautifully- the love and the loss come over so strongly.
I lost my beautiful, vibrant daughter Claire to cancer when she was 33. So much of what you write speaks to my heart.
We were ‘lucky’ in that we could hold the funeral we wanted for her. Over 300 people came and it just felt ‘right’. I can’t image the extra stress caused to bereaved folk in making arrangements in these challenging times.
I hope you can soon organise the farewell for Jane that you so need to do. There things are so important.
My heart goes out to you. ❤️

Rose on 10 March 2021 at 16:11

Oh Liz, your story is so sad. I am so sorry you lost your beloved daughter in this way. There are no words to make this any better.
My son was 38 when he died of bowel cancer. He was diagnosed 18 months before and the cancer was too advanced for any curative treatment. There is never a minute that goes by when I am not thinking about him and feeling sad. I am lucky in that I have other children and grandchildren too, I need to carry on to support them as they too are grieving.
Your poem is beautiful.
May you find peace xxxxx

Sue on 30 December 2020 at 10:44

Dear Liz, I read your story only yesterday and I have been crying for you ever since, your plight just brings my own to the forefront.
My son was 44 and died mid May - he was such a big part of my life I don't know how I will carry on through this thick fog of grief. I am 66 and like you had just finished my power of attorney and such stuff. I seriously cannot be bothered to get this changed.
One thing I have learnt from this site is that is matters not how old your child is they are still your child and you were with them for their first breath - nothing can ever take that away - the incredible bond.
I love your poem for Jane - what can I wish for you, nothing really as everything is just so bleak and sad for all of us I think we are beyond wishing,
I shall continue to think of you,

Helen on 9 December 2020 at 17:13

Thank you Liz for sharing your story. X

Denise walker on 8 December 2020 at 17:24

Dear Liz thank you so much for sharing your story and talking about your beautiful daughter Jane. My youngest son, Sam died last year suddenly at age 28 of sepsis. Sam was a little chap with a big heart and personality. Sam and our eldest boy Dan are both disabled but live with us. Sam lived a full life with enthusiasm for music concerts horse riding and swimming. We all miss him greatly. On Saturday 12th dec he would have been 30.
Disappointingly friends of over 30years standing have just avoided us and we have no family support. It's a lonely journey for us all. We are fortunate in that we have each other and in addition to Dan aged 38 we have a daughter Sarah 37 and a couple of good friends.
I would be happy to be on pals if that is allowed. If it is then I can send our address to compassionate friends. Take care sending peace to you. Denise xx

Noleen on 8 December 2020 at 14:22

I just wanted to say that what you have written is beautiful and I have tears in my eyes as I read your poem. Your love is very apparent as you write about your beautiful daughter. I too have lost a child but mine a baby boy. The pain seems the same even if the circumstances are different.

Margaret on 8 December 2020 at 04:22

That's is beautifully written, and the poem very moving. Thank you for sharing your story, your daughter, and your heartfelt poem x

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