By Deborah Cross Werner

Why do I feel so sad? I have a good life, a fantastic family and friends, why do I feel so sad? I can look at the setting sun – or for that matter a rising sun – I can listen to the ocean work it’s magic, I can laugh at a joke and enjoy the company of others but the sadness always catches up. I can see my children smile, laugh, and move forward but deep down I feel so sad.

I was very sad when my grandparents died and then my parents, but that is the way life is supposed to go – the normal cycle of life. But to outlive your child, the baby you gave birth to and watched grow into a fine young man is just plain wrong, horrible and not fair! So that is why I feel so sad.

So we move forward by trying to help the opioid crisis with Shatterproof walks, a PSA about our son and eventually we will start some kind of foundation in honor of Jamie. For the time being it is important that friends and family understand what the loss of a child does to the parents. We are dealing with a life-long journey of deep grief- we are on a journey that we never chose and one that will never end. We will forever feel the loss of Jamie.

Paula Stephens, who is a certified wellness coach, lost her oldest son to a prescription drug reaction. She wrote an article entitled, “What I Wish More People Understood about Losing a Child,” which really rang true with me.  She writes:

1) Remember our children. Remember Jamie – if you have a fun story about him, tell me. If you never met my son, ask me about him. I love talking about Jamie. He is sitting on my shoulder and I know he loves to hear us talk about him.

2) Accept that you can’t fix us. Our lives will never be the same. We live with the pain of Jamie‘s loss each and every day. For me it is hourly. Time does not heal everything. Accept that we will never be the same.

3) Understand that there are at least two days a year we need your understanding. On August 3, Jamie‘s birthday, we will forever wonder what he would be doing if he was alive. Would he be married, would he have children, would he be a head coach, would he still be a teacher? February 9, 2017 – Jamie‘s death date – will always affect us, it was the worst experience one can imagine. We had to see the EMS folks put our son in a body bag after we gave our son CPR that never worked. I re-live his death every night, every time I hear sirens and every time I walk into his bathroom.

4) Realize we struggle with happiness every day, and I mean every day! Holidays, weddings and milestone celebrations are so difficult, but don’t not invite us. We want to feel other people‘s happiness!

5) Our loss may make you feel uncomfortable. Paula Stephens writes that our loss is unnatural, out of order, it challenges your sense of safety. I would rather cry because you spoke Jamie’s name then to think you have forgotten him.

Grief is the pendulum swing of love. The stronger and deeper the love the more grief will be created on the other side
Paula Stephens
I’ve come to realize that nothing in life prepares us for losing someone we love, nothing.
Angels at My Door
What We’ve Learned – Part Three
Happy Holidays 2018

15 Comments. Leave new

  • So very sad for you and for all of us who knew and loved Jamie.
    Love, Jill

  • Kathy Connelly
    December 10, 2018 2:57 pm

    Deb, we will never forget Jamie, and we will always know that you are living with the unbearable loss of your beloved son. Any discomfort I feel is that I just want to make you feel better and I can’t. We will never forget August 3rd or February 9th and we will always speak his name. Love you, K

  • Debbie- thank you for reminding those who love and cherish the Werners of #4. “We want to feel other people’s happiness” and #5, “I would rather cry because you spoke Jamie’s name than to think you had forgotten him.” 💕 Ginny

  • You named all this loss and grief so much Debbie. I’m so sad reading it but thankful you have the courage to write about something so hard. Thanks for taking the time to share your sadness. You KNOW we will never forget Jamie cuz he was unforgettable. Love you friend.

  • Great Post
    From the outside so many of us would like to make things better but feel helpless. knowing you accept that things will never be the same pits it out there so that those that love you do not walk on egg shells.
    I will say that in the spirit of the Jamie and the Werner having fun and loving to laugh.
    The Werner family while not on top right now is still the most loving and fun family anyone could ask for.
    Keep going! You are all an inspiration!

  • Rarely does a day go by, when I don’t think of Jamie and all of the Werners. He lit up the room and is unforgettable. Thanks for helping us try to understand what every day is like for you. Always ready to listen, Deb♥️

  • Theresa Griffin
    December 11, 2018 9:24 pm

    While you put one foot in front of the other every day and continue to be there for Morgan and Stephen, and they for you, it must be so difficult to live with this loss of your beloved son. No one can truly understand the depth of the pain you must feel every day but Kev and I will always be there to listen and talk about Jamie. Love, Terry

  • I love you guys and your family so very much! Jamie was the best ring leader amongst our kids! I feel your pain and think about you every single day. ❤️💔❤️

  • Dave Dickieson
    December 12, 2018 5:24 pm

    I remember Jamie every time I see the memorial magnolia tree in the cul-de-sac circle and every time I bike by your house. We will never forget him.

  • Our thoughts and prayers go with you. Always.

  • Susan Hostetler
    December 15, 2018 4:53 am

    Thanks Crossie for giving voice to your sadness. I read this quote yesterday: “They’d crossed over to that continent where grieving parents lived. It looked the same as the rest of the world but wasn’t. Colors bled pale. Music was just notes. Books no longer transported or comforted, not fully. Never again. Food was nutrition, little more. Breaths were sighs.”

  • Carol Schaengold
    December 29, 2018 2:01 pm

    Thank you Debbie for helping those who love your family understand your grief, coping and delight from the memories of Jamie’s bright life. I found a picture the other day of our kids huddled around Jamie giving him a big bear hug. I’ll make you a copy. Mike always laughs when he remembers Jamie’s funny “walk into the street sign” trick! We feel honored to have you all in our lives and remember Jamie often. Love, Carol and Mike


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