…on Recently Losing a Young Child

(NOTE.  This is one of a series of requested letters that will be posted under “Form Letters” for those of you who would like an idea or a template for a letter of your own. I get many requests for letters about losing children.  I feel inadequate to express others’ feelings on this.  It is a difficult letter to write and I must apologize if it in no way portrays your thoughts and feelings.   Let me know if you feel it should be changed or removed.)

My Darling Child,

Why?  How?

Where are you?  The warm bundle of love with perfect fingers and toes who lay peacefully in my arms not so long ago?

You are yesterday and you are always, but you are not with me today.  I can’t feel your hand in mine or smooth your hair as I pass by you.  I needn’t lift my heavy head from my soft pillow in order to feed your morning hunger. I can’t  lie next to you at night with your hand on my arm as a soft reassurance.

I lie on your bed in the darkened room.  If I close my eyes your scent may fill my nostrils as a vapor on the evening breeze.  Your breath may light on my cheek,  your head a soft weight on my arm.

It is only a dream that ends  in a nightmare of reality.

You are gone.

When I think, I ache with loss.  Your face must come unbidden, wafting by as if you are with me…without thought, without conjure…as a fleeting joy that lets me forget.   Right now I am fighting my memories. One photograph and I am drowning in a sea of sorrow that washes over me in giant waves.  There is no relief.  The grief does not ebb.

It is too soon to think of my next hour or next day.  I must lie with shallow breath, not stirring, for fear I will breathe in the dull ache of the future with out you.

I must wait.



  1. Wow. Nothing more to say.

    I believe losing a child is an experience that touches the boundaries of what can be beared. I see it in the category of experiences-you-cannot-comprehend-until-you-have-gone-through-them-yourself. Like heavy traumatization. Near-death experience. Rape. Very, very serious illness. Torture. Probably some more.

    Words cannot really express the feelings you have about an experience like that, because it goes so much deeper, and touches such very old, essential layers of your existence that usually works without words, rather with feelings and intuitions. Your letter is beautiful, though, and probably the closest you can ever get to capture loss in words.


    • Kath,

      I feel you are exactly right. I feel totally inadequate to this subject. I’m thinking I may remove this post. Just can’t decide because I get so many requests.


      • Oh, I hope that didn’t sound too hard or offended or made you sad in any way! It was rather meant as a compliment: Given this is an experience that cannot be put into words, I think you got the closest you can get. What I mean with that is: I have never read a better description of loss before. You tried to square the circle with this one, and I think you did very well.

        If you get many requests for a letter like this, that shows that people have a need to put their feelings into words. Writing comforts the soul and clears the mind. But the more terrible the experience and the more you need it, the less you can usually write at all. Your letter will help people in that situation to find some comfort at least, because you feel that you put a lot of your heart into those words. Therefore I’d be happy if you didn’t take it down.


        • Oh no, Kath. It’s just that I agree about the impossibility…both of feeling the grief of someone else..and of expressing it. I vacillate constantly over whether to post this, and yet, I would love to help if someone needs a start in self-expression. What I DON’T want to do is to say it a way that would hurt more than help. And one never does, does one?

          I appreciate your strong support and your willingness to respond to trembling plea for help. I love seeing you name pop up…I know it will be good and good for me, no matter what.

          Thank you.


  2. Here my name is popping up again. 🙂

    Your response made me happy. I’m sure your words bring more help than hurt.

    Also, no one has ever said to me that I bring good things when I show up, no matter what.

    *wipes a tear from the eye*

    Thank you so much! 🙂


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