Category Archives: Mother’s Grief

The Feelings Behind Twelve Years of Grief

2004 vacation – Puerto Rico

Will It Ever Go Away?

This month brings me a lot of emotions. On Tuesday, July 9, is the angelversary of my son’s death. It’ll be 12 years now. It hurts the same as the day of. I can think about all the joyous times we spent together. My mind is well-aware of what happened and accepts it. My heart does not understand. How can I repair this broken heart from the loss of my son? I don’t believe there is any way to repair it. I’m at a good place with my grief now. But, every birthday, holiday and this month, in particular, will always trigger these feelings. I don’t have to think about it. It’s only natural. It’s called love.

Can’t Help the Feeling

A person who grieves the loss of a loved one does not plan on riding the rollercoaster of emotions. It just happens. The feeling isn’t welcomed. It just shows up. We do not entertain them either, they just linger there. We don’t relive the tragedy. It just seems like the events of that day/night will haunt us forever. This feeling just grabs ahold of a person like it or not. No two griefs are the same and none compares to the loss of a son/daughter – the worst grief you can experience.

Even after 12 years, I keep the feelings between my husband and myself. I know he understands, he goes through it too. I asked my daughter how it affects her. She responded that she tries not to think about it and keep herself busy. I too, keep myself busy. That’s why I write. It makes me feel better to jot it down. It helps me release the tightness in my chest and lifts up the tension on my shoulders.

It’ll Be a Good Day

Yes, July 9 will be a difficult day for me. I am doing my part to make it a good day. Will I go to work that day? Maybe. I’ll keep a positive attitude and hope for a good day. And, as I’ve done these past 12 years, I will continue to do for him what he could not.

My advice to the rest of the world is to hold your loved ones tight and let them know how much you love them. Let go of the petty things and embrace each other. Life is short and not worth clinging on to the resentment. Don’t waste precious time in meaningless things. Blessings to all.


A Tribute to My Son

Words in poem below

The Great Eternal Silence

By Aquinas T. Duffy

Missing in the darkness, vanished without a trace.
With only the memories and photographs to fill an empty place.

Frequent prayers and fervent cries. Is there anyone there?
But the only sound was the silent, eternal fanfare.

For a long time, it’s a deafening sound,
subdued by a path through lost and found.

Laughter and sorrow, anguish and grief;
all the moments of life but with no relief.

Everything and nothing, one within between all;
gentle, loving, penetrating the eternal silence falls…


Not Just An Ordinary Day

La Pieta by Michelangelo

This image is the sculpture of La Pieta in the Vatican sculpted by Michelangelo. It shows the Virgin Mary holding the dead body of Christ after his crucifixion, death, and removal from the cross, but before he was placed in the tomb. It is behind a plexiglass to avoid damage to the sculpture, hence the glass union line from top to bottom. I chose this image because I can relate to the pain Mary felt with the death of her son.


July 9 is just another day, not a holiday nor a recognized day of some kind, but just another ordinary day. That is for others but not for me. July 9 marks the “angelversary” of my son’s death, it’ll be 12 years. Time sure does go by fast. But, unlike the saying, “Time heals everything,” guess what? It doesn’t. There are things that cannot heal, and the loss of a son/daughter is one of them. At least for me. I just learned to live with it.

It is not that I dwell day and night on the fact that my son died. Nor do I live anticipating for this day to come, or his birthday. It’s something more and it’s uncontrollable. It’s the love we, as Moms, so strongly feel towards our children. Simple things can trigger the emotional rollercoaster, some so simple as looking at a calendar.

One day I was updating my calendar with future tasks reminders when it struck me. Right there in front of me was “July 9,” which caught me by surprise. It was there, glaring at me, tearing me apart. It felt like a dagger straight between my ribs and into my heart. All the memories of that night flashed through my mind and the tears started to build. What were just mere seconds of staring at the date on the calendar felt like hours. Our last conversation, our last hug, and the last “I love you” swept through my mind.

The smile that I had before seeing the date just melted away. I felt the sadness building up. But I didn’t speak to anyone about it – not even my husband as I usually do when I feel the sadness creeping over me. I just turned towards my son’s photo and whispered “I love and miss you” and continued to work. The more I tried to concentrate on my work, the more the thought of my son crept into my mind. I could see his beautiful face just smiling at me. It was as if he were telling me, “Mom, it’s okay. I’m fine.” And I know he is okay but, try to explain it to my heart which doesn’t understand it. My heart only knows that there’s a permanent hole which cannot be healed.

Grieving Mother Free Loving Memory Cards to Share

I don’t think there is a grieving mom who can say that she has healed after the loss of her child. Oh, I’ve had a person tell me that I will heal because based on her experience, after losing the love of her life through a divorce, she has fully recovered. Yes, she compared her divorce to the loss of my child. I wish it were that easy, but it’s not. She was able to rebuild her life with a new husband, but grieving parents cannot replace a son/daughter and that love does not subside. It’s impossible for it to disappear because each child is loved unconditionally. Grieving parents may or can have other children, but each child is their own person. Therefore, no one child can replace another. There’s nothing – absolutely nothing – in this world that can replace the loss of a child.

I know I will continue to grieve for the rest of my life and it’s because of the immense love I feel for my son. That’s okay to feel the way I do. I feel that my grief makes me work through the everyday battles we come across. It makes me stronger because, my thought is, if I am going through life without my son, I can get through anything. For me, there has been no worst pain. And I know that every time I feel that grief, it is a sign of what a loving mother I was to my child and still am to my other two children. This strength I owe to the Lord and am grateful to Him every day.


So, will I work on July 9? I don’t know. It all depends on what my heart is feeling that day. I will prepare to stay home and celebrate his life with my family – maybe cook his favorite meal and remember all the great times we had together. Yes, July 9 is an ordinary day for everyone else but not for me. It is a commemorative day which will stay with me for the rest of my life, and I thank the Lord for not abandoning me in these moments.

To my son in heaven, “I will never stop loving you or forget you. May you rest in peace.” ~ Love Mom


Diary Of A Grieving Mother’s Heart 
by Debbie Centeno

Throughout these past years, I wrote about my journey through grief. My ups and downs, rants, joys, struggles and what I did to reach the peace I now feel. Diary Of A Grieving Mother’s Heart can be found on Amazon in both, paperback and Kindle version.

No One Grieves the Same, Nor Better or Worse

Photo by Kat Jayne from Pexels

Grief Is Always Different for Every One

Grief strikes differently. No one grieves the same. So when you compare your grief with mine, it makes me uncomfortable. There are many reasons to feel grief. It could be the loss of a beloved pet, loss of a job, a divorce or a breakup between two lovers. Losses are tough and I don’t wish it upon anyone. But, just as there are different reasons to feel grief, there are different ways to grieve. No grief is the same – even if we both lost a child.

Different Types of Grief

I can understand where a person may come from. I have a dog and I love him as my child. Losing my dog would devastate me. But there’s no way that losing a pet can compare to the loss of my son. I know a woman who had the audacity to compare her divorce to the death of my son. I asked her how is it the same? She said she lost the love of her life, not in death but in a divorce. It did not sit well with me. She will get over her divorce and maybe even remarry. But I will never be able to replace my son. How dare she compare her loss with mine?

Don’t Compare Our Grief

You can’t compare griefs even if it was of your child. My relationship with my son was different from yours with your son. Our griefs are different so please don’t compare them. I will never compare my grief with anyone else’s. I hope people understand the importance of not comparing such sensitive feeling because it is not the same. Let’s be sensitive to other people’s feelings and don’t compare.


Diary of a Grieving Mother’s Heart

Diary Of A Grieving Mother’s Heart is a compilation of my grieving journals, rants, sadness, and joy. I’ve been through many different scenarios – both good and bad – which have helped me reach the place of peace that I now have. I invite you to explore my journey and I pray that, as it helped me, it will help you. You can find it on Amazon in paperback and in Kindle version too.

Available on Amazon

Is It Human Nature To Judge?

Photo by Jonas Mohamadi from Pexels

We Judge Without Knowing

We, humans, have a tendency to judge sometimes without even noticing it. Why do I say we? Because I have done it too. I don’t like judging people and never do intentionally. Let me explain myself.

Birthday Party Celebration

A week ago I was at a birthday party for a 16-year-old which I’ll call Ann. Among the visitors was Ann’s 6-year-old cousin, which I’ll call Becky. Becky is autistic. I don’t know what type of Autism she has. She does speak and is quite hyper. Her mom, which I’ll call Catherine, kept an eye on her daughter at all times. Believe me, she did not sit down to chit-chat with anyone.

Party Gone Wrong

Catherine was ready to leave so she gathered Ann’s belongings and said her good-byes, as well as Ann. Someone opened the door and Ann sprung out with her Catherine right behind her. As Catherine was approaching her opened vehicle she sees that Ann was not in the vehicle.

The Search Begins

Catherine looked around and didn’t see Ann. She shouted Ann’s name but there was no answer. Catherine returned to the house and asked if Ann had come back inside by any chance. We didn’t see her come back inside but searched the house. Where is Ann? All visitors still hanging out at the party sprang into action searching for Ann. Most walked a few gathered their vehicles and circled the neighborhood. The neighbors began looking once they knew that a 6-year-old autistic child was missing.

She Outran Everyone

Some people did spot her and Ann outran anybody that tried to catch her. She would not stop. A woman told us that at one point she blocked Ann’s path with her car. The woman placed her car in park and got out. Ann ran between two houses and evaded the woman. She could see Ann eyeing alternative routes. The police were on their way and they immediately released their K-9 dog to trace her down. They received calls of a little girl with Ann’s description running past by the Dollar Tree. Ann had run out of the subdivision and was quick to evade all those looking for her. There was even a drone searching the area which police had released.

The Search Is Over

Catherine managed to stay calm and answer the deputy’s questions. The deputy at the house with us received a call. The deputies found Ann. She was 2.3 miles away at a vacant lot where a new subdivision was being built. There were 8 deputies surrounding her who tried to coerce her to come to them with her favorite toy. She paced from side to side, like if getting ready to run at any given moment. Ann kept them on edge while they desperately tried to close in on her. Catherine’s presence was needed because they knew Ann would not allow them to get any closer.

The Mother-Daughter Reunion

Catherine was taken to Ann on a patrol car running through lights and intersections. Catherine was in shock and doubted that the child was indeed her Ann. She thought Ann could not possibly have run that far. When they finally arrived, Catherine was overwhelmed with joy when she saw her beautiful child. Catherine collapsed to the ground and called out to Ann. Ann ran to her mother and they embraced in a hug and had a little mother-daughter moment.

How Did Ann Do It?

It was such a relief to see Catherine walk in with Ann. How did this little girl appear 2.3 miles away from the house? We don’t know. Thank God she is safe. Yes, Ann is an autistic child and a very smart one too. The way she outran the woman who blocked her path and reroutes her way through; the way she manages to cross two busy streets and end up at a vacant lot where there was a new subdivision going up; and to keep 8 officers on edge trying to figure out where to cut through, takes a lot of analyzing from a 6-year-old.


What Does This Story Have to do With Judging?

Well, I’ve read about similar cases or heard them on the news and the first words out of our mouths are, “Where were the parents?” That’s the problem! We immediately judged the parents without knowing. In Ann’s case, I know for a fact that Catherine was there with her daughter. She walked out right behind her daughter. In a blink of an eye, Ann had dashed away from her mother’s sight and disappeared.

Moral of the story

Let’s agree to never judge anyone for any reason. We just don’t know what’s going on in their life.


Diary of a Grieving Mother’s Heart

Diary Of A Grieving Mother’s Heart is a compilation of my grieving journals, rants, sadness, and joy. I’ve been through many different scenarios – both good and bad – which have helped me reach the place of peace that I now have. I invite you to explore my journey and I pray that, as it helped me, it will help you. You can find it on Amazon in paperback and in Kindle version too.

Available on Amazon

Life After the Loss of Our Child

I Need A Magic Wand

I’m not perfect and I don’t have it all figured out. I am at a good place in my grieving process. So, when I see someone who I’ve befriended on Facebook or that I know struggling with the grief of losing their son/daughter it breaks my heart. I wish I could help them get to that place of peace that I have reached. I would love to help them try to live fully in memory of their child. If only they knew what I’ve learned on how to live life after the loss of our child. Can I get a magic wand to make that pain go away?

The Pain is Unbearable

It hurts, I know. It seems as if there is no hope in sight. The days are long and the nights are longer. We don’t think we’ll make it. There’s no space in our mind for anything else except to grieve the loss of our loved one. There is only plenty of space to relive every second of our last moments with them and mourn every day of our lives.

There Truly Are No Words

We know people mean well, but we really don’t care to hear anyone’s advice or comforting words because there aren’t any that will help us understand why. This holds true especially when coming from people who have never experienced such a loss. And, believe it or not, a simple hug will do much more than words. We don’t want to think about anything else other than our deceased child so trying to divert our attention towards other things won’t help either. I know because I’ve been there.

What Were Their Dreams?

My only advice to those who are grieving the loss of their son/daughter is to try to live for them. If your child(ren) were of talking age, most likely you’ve had conversations with them. Try to recall those conversations. What did they like? What did they want to do and didn’t have the chance to? Where did they want to go? What were their dreams? So, once you’ve identified those things, try living for them. Do, in their memory, what they could not. Try fulfilling those dreams for them.

Keeping Their Memory Alive

If they loved horses spend time at a stable, volunteer at one or go horseback riding in your child(ren)s memory. Did they enjoy dancing? Then take dance lessons, teach dancing to another child or something to that effect. What was their favorite color? Paint a wall in your home in that color and make it a memorial wall for your child. There are so many things that to do in memory of our child(ren) which will keep us busy, give us a sense of accomplishment and believe me, make us feel happy once we reach our goal. Most important of all, our child(ren) will be so happy and proud of us even though they’re in heaven. And, there’s no better feeling than knowing that our child(ren) are happy.

We Shall Live

I wish I had a little magic wand to make my grieving friends whole again, but I don’t. That little magic wand is within each one of us. Only you can make it happen and believe me, it is possible and it does help us continue to live.

My heartfelt blessings to all. {{Hug}}


Diary of a Grieving Mother’s Heart

Diary Of A Grieving Mother’s Heart is a compilation of my grieving journals, rants, sadness, and joy. I’ve been through many different scenarios – both good and bad – which have helped me reach the place of peace that I now have. I invite you to explore my journey and I pray that, as it helped me, it will help you. You can find it on Amazon in paperback and in Kindle version too.


Getting Into the Christmas Spirit After the Loss of a Loved One

It is nice to see all the beautiful holiday decorations and how people are so jolly during the Christmas season. I try to do my best to hide my grieving emotions and to convince myself that someday, eventually, those emotions won’t come around. But, while speaking to a Mother, which I’ll call Emma, who lost her daughter in a car accident more than 20 years ago, I realized that is not the case.

Emma came into my office and commented on the photos and quotes on the frame with the clothesline I made. I told her that I try to do as much as I could in memory of my son. Including the Christmas tree which we put up every year as a gift to him.

I explained that we decorate Richie’s tree with 3×3 picture frames which hold photos of Richie throughout his life. I was able to place some of the photos inside clear glass ornaments too. And, every year when I travel abroad, I bring an ornament for Richie’s tree. 

She gasped in surprise and told me, “How did you do that?” “How were you able to get past that you had lost a son and put up a tree?” “It’s been more than 20 years for me and I haven’t been able to get back into the Christmas Spirit!” “I haven’t decorated or put up a trip since then!”

At this point, I was a bit taken aback and told her it was our way of giving Richie a Christmas gift from us – my children, husband and myself. But, I do understand where she’s coming from. Especially since her daughter, along with Emma’s father, died during the Christmas season. I don’t blame her. I  can honestly say that I am at a good place in my grieving process. And, I wish I could help others who grieve find that place of peace that I’ve been able to find. It wasn’t easy but I managed to get there and my sincere wish is that other grieving parents reach that place.

To all those who are grieving the loss of a loved one, many blessings to you and may you find that peace in your grieving process. Merry Christmas to all.

The true spirit of Christmas is love…

Diary Of A Grieving Mother’s Heart is a compilation of my grieving journals, rants, sadness, and joy. I’ve been through many different scenarios – both good and bad – which have helped me reach the place of peace that I now have. I invite you to explore my journey and I pray that, as it helped me, it will help you. You can find it on Amazon in paperback and in Kindle version too.

Diary of a Grieving Mother’s Heart

A Christmas Miracle Right Before My Eyes

A Christmas Miracle

The holidays are fast approaching and for those of us who grieve the loss of a loved one it stirs up emotions. It’s been my case for the past few days. On a particular day last year, God performed one of His miracles, a Christmas miracle, which I want to share with you.

What Is An Angel Tree?

I work part-time at a church. The church is one of the sponsors for the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree Program. One of the church volunteers was looping a string on the Angel Tree tags to hang them on the tree. Curiosity got to me, so I asked what she was doing. She explained the program and how it works. Each tag has a child’s name with information such as age, favorite color, their needs with sizes and their Christmas gifts wish. The tags hang on the Church Christmas tree in the narthex for members and friends to select, purchase the gifts, and return the gifts to the Angel Tree. 

A Great Cause to Participate In

I returned to my office and called my husband where we talked about the Angel Tree Program and what a great way to help less fortunate children. We both agreed it was a great cause and decided to participate.  After that call, I thought about my angel in heaven. He is always on my mind but with the holidays approaching, it seems to be more. God knows how much I miss him and so I thought, “I can’t get my angel Richie a gift, but I can get a gift for a young child and make their Christmas a happy one.”

My Angel Tree Tag Is My Angel

I returned to the reception area and asked the volunteer, “When can I grab my Angel Tree tag?” and there it was. Just as the volunteer fumbled her fingers through the tags searching for a little girl, my eyes caught sight of the one on the top pile. The tag read “Ricardo. Not Richard or Ricky, but “Ricardo.” It was staring right at my face, I just stared at it in shock. The volunteer was oblivious of what was happening. She said, “Well I found a little girl’s tag if you want it.” I responded, “You know what, I’m going to take this one right here.” Look at the name, it says Ricardo. My son’s name was Ricardo” and I proceeded to explain to her what had just happened.

It Was God’s Gift to Me

She smiled at me and said, that’s God’s way of letting you know your son is always with you and that you can indeed get a gift for Ricardo. Tears were already filling my eyes. I felt that God was listening to me and letting me know that Richie is always with me. God always has my back. Thank you, Lord, for such a beautiful message.

Diary Of A Grieving Mother’s Heart is a compilation of my grieving journals, rants, sadness, and joy. I’ve been through many different scenarios – both good and bad – which have helped me reach the place of peace that I now have. I invite you to explore my journey and I pray that, as it helped me, it will help you. You can find it on Amazon in paperback and in Kindle version too.

He Was God’s Child and I Was Chosen as His Mom

I Found the Book

While clearing out some clutter in our home office I came across a book called, Food for the Soul – A “Best of Bereavement poetry collection.” I opened it to the page that affected me the most and began to read. The one that answered my questions and made me realize that I was very much-loved especially through my grieving. So I decided to share my story with you.

The book came in the mail during the first few weeks after my son’s death. It had no sender name or information. At that moment, I was grieving heavily and was upset that God had taken my child from me. I questioned God why did He take my child? What had I done wrong? My tears were tears of desperation. These tears came from within my heart and soul. The cry that was heard from afar as the pain tore through my entire body. I needed that cry, I needed to let it out. It was within that time frame when I received this book.

Personalized Memoroal Jewelry

I opened the book wherever – not at the beginning. It happened to be page 44 where there’s a poem by Edgar Guest called,  To All Parents. As I read, I felt the hand of God touch my soul and I understood many things. Even though I was still grieving I was able to understand many things in my life and my anger diminished. The more I reflected on the poem and compared it to my life, the more the anger diminished. My selfish attitude began to transform into one of gratitude. Yes, it is hard to understand how could I feel gratitude after my son’s death. Maybe, after you read the poem, you too will understand.

To All Parents by Edgar Guest

I’ll lend you for a little time a child of mine, He said.
For you to love the while he lives and mourn when he is dead.

It may be six or seven years, or twenty-two or three,
But will you, till I call him back, take care of him for Me?

He’ll bring his charms to gladden you and should his stay be brief,
You’ll have his lovely memories as solace to your grief.

I cannot promise he will stay since all from earth return,
but there are lessons taught down there I want this child to learn.

I’ve looked the wide world over in my search for teachers true,
And from the throngs that crowd life’s lanes, I have selected you.

Now will you give him all your love nor think the labor vain,
Nor hate Me when I come to call to take him back again?

I fancied that I heard them say, Dear Lord, Thy will be done.
For all the joy Thy child shall bring, the risk of grief we’ll run.

We’ll shelter him with tenderness, we’ll love him while we may.
And for the happiness we’ve known forever grateful stay.

But should the angels call for him much sooner than we’d planned,
We’ll brave the bitter grief that comes and try to understand.


Diary of a Grieving Mother’s Heart
by Debbie Centeno

The death of my son was the worst thing to happen to me. For the six months that followed, I felt numb, depressed and lonely. I didn’t want to continue living. Even though I had my daughter and younger son, it did not make me feel any better. I did not know what to do to make them feel better. How could I continue on without him? What would I do to become whole again? I had two choices. I could either succumb to depression or live for him. I decided to live for him. I decided that I wanted to do what he could not and so my journey began. I learned a lot from my son through the memories of our conversations. Even in death, he was teaching me what I did not know. I learned to live from my son. And, with this journey also began the spiritual connection between my son and me.

We Exhumed and Cremated Our Son’s Body

Quotes-Life--Sorrow-quote--9748
Photo property of Angie Radillo

At work, I had a conversation with a coworker. It was an uncommon topic, maybe morbid to some. We talked about death. I told him how I never thought about what I’d do if any of my children died. Would I cremate or bury my child? Of course, it’s not something we, as parents, talk about or even think about! We believe, or should I say, expect that our children outlive us. That’s not the way it is and there are so many decisions that we are not ready for if we outlive our children. My coworker had a different experience when his dad died. He had the opportunity to sit with his father beforehand and write what arrangements his dad preferred. When the time came they were able to grieve and not dwell on the arrangements.

When my son died, we didn’t know what to do or where to go. Granted we were in a state of shock but had it not been for my boss at that time, who happened to be a pastor, we were clueless. From what funeral home to have the wake, to the casket type, color, memorial cards, clothes for the deceased, etc. there were so many questions that we were not ready for. After looking at what was available we made our choices. Frankly, I just agreed at whatever. I was too consumed with grief to focus on those things. I think my husband made most of the choices and I just went along with it.

Richie_1

After the burial, I felt worst. I felt as if I had abandoned my son in the rain, cold and heat. Many might say it was just a body lying in a grave, but for me, it was more than just a body. He was my son. I felt so tense. The tension ran from my shoulders up towards my head and extended through my arms. My jaws were clenched so tight that my teeth hurt. My chest ached with every breath I took. Nothing helped the pain I felt. The Xanax numbed it but did not take it away. I cried every single day – in the morning, in the afternoon, while driving, while showering, at work, before going to sleep – at any time. I just wanted to bring my son back home.

Almost a year after his death, we, as a family, decided to exhume my son’s body, cremate him and bring him home on the first anniversary of his death, July 9. And, on the year after he was buried, July 12, we brought his ashes home. We had a small gathering with some family and friends to celebrate his life and the Pastor did the blessing of his ashes. We also enjoyed Richie’s favorite meal, dessert, and drinks.

Richie's Urn

I know that many people didn’t agree with what we did. There were too many opinions on the matter, especially from different religious groups. But I didn’t care. The important thing was that I felt at ease and content with my decision. It was as if the weight was lifted off my shoulders. My jaw relaxed, and I was finally able to breathe without feeling the pain in my chest. Plus, I truly believe that the Lord would not have given me the peace I felt once we cremated Richie’s remains and brought him home if it were not meant to be or if it were wrong.

That was when we realized that we needed to have a plan. It’s a gruesome topic for some but if you think about it, it’s better to have a plan in writing than to try to figure things out at the last minute while grieving. Like my coworker said, it helps to avoid confrontation within the family on what needs to be done. Should you be buried, or would you prefer cremation; where to be buried or where to scatter the ashes; what music to play and so many other questions. If we plan these things ahead of time we will spare our loved ones from the agony of having to go through this. In the case of the loss of parents, it will avoid any conflicts that may arise if one sibling prefers cremation while the other wants to bury the deceased parents. The siblings would just have to honor the parents wish, as simple as that.

Yes, it might be a gruesome topic to talk about but for the tranquility of all involved, it should be discussed. What are your thoughts?


 

Dreams That Comfort and Are Full of Sorrow

I had a dream. It involved my husband and three children. In the dream my children were still young – about 9, 8, and 7 years old. They looked just as they did back then. Richie was just as curious and extrovert, my daughter with her big sweet cheeks and a tremendous appetite even though she was thin, and my youngest was his loving and hyper self. I don’t know what the dream was really about. All I remember was that we were happy to be together and that my husband and I enjoyed watching our children run around, play and then come running to us with big hugs and kisses.

Even though I enjoyed my dream and was happy, I realized that it was just a memory, a beautiful memory that will always live with me. My heart feels partially happy, but there is an inevitable, non-healing hole where sadness seeps through.

The part that Richie took with him when he left this world and that I know will never seal again. Whenever I enjoy a moment of happiness, it becomes bittersweet because my thoughts always turn to, “If only Richie could enjoy this,” or “ Richie would have liked that,” and sadness takes the place of the hole. I can’t patch it up because nobody will ever be able to take his place. I know my two other children and husband feel the same way.  We only have our memories to live by. While many say that I should think of the good times we spent with Richie, it doesn’t mean that those memories will make us happy because sadness will immediately follow.

I had a dream last night that brought me happiness, but in the end, it also brought me sadness. Even though it’s been more than 10 years, I realize that it doesn’t matter how long it was.  My son will always be in my heart, and I will miss him forever.

Rest in peace my son. Mom loves you.


Diary of A Grieving Mother’s Heart

by Debbie Centeno

Ten years of journaling my grief, anger, sadness, and joys now available in Kindle version and paperback on Amazon.