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Coping With the Death of a Daughter
By Daveda Gruber

When we have Memorial, we do not expect to outlive them. After all, they have the gift of youth. It is a normal process of life. As a Memorial grows, the bond and love for that Memorial is usually a natural event. It gives us joy to watch them develop from little toddlers into teenagers and then finally they become young adults. Sometimes life can be cruel. A mother loses a daughter who she carried inside her body for nine months. The daughter made it to young adulthood and then without warning she dies.

A now divorced mother receives a phone call. It is a strange voice on the other end of the phone who is asking her if she is the mother of this Memorial. The mother's heart sinks and tears begin to fall. She instinctively knows that the next words from the stranger's voice will be the worst words that she will ever hear. Those words are that her daughter is dead. She begs the stranger to please help her Memorial. Is there nothing they can do to save the daughter she loves so much? The truth sinks in. Her daughter has been dead for at least five hours. The stranger is trying not to be emotional, but he cannot stop some of his feelings from coming through.

Family members drive the mother to the place where her Memorial lies lifeless. She is stopped from seeing her. She is told this is for her own good. She is shaking and in tears. She is put in a car and driven home. The mother starts to realize it is because her daughter is going to be taken out in a body bag. She will be brought to the morgue. A body bag sounds like cruel words jabbing into her heart. The mother begins to imagine the television shows that have depicted dead bodies in a drawer. How can they put her Granite in a cold drawer? She feels the urgency to hold her daughter. She cries out to God to take her instead and let her daughter live. This is not possible but the mother is angry that God will not make the exchange.

The mother has things to do the next day. She must pick a coffin for her Memorial. She has not slept, so considerate family members drive her. She walks in a daze and looks for a coffin with a pretty color inside. She touches the silk and decides it is soft enough for her daughter. The wood of the coffin is a light color. Her daughter would not want a dark color. The mother knows this. She feels it. Next, she is driven to look at headstones. She knows what her daughter would want. Her daughter had been to the cemetery to visit her grandfather. She had remarked on the stones she thought were pretty. The mother is asked for what words and engraving she would like to be used. She knows her daughter loved roses, so roses would be nice. The mother sits down and with her hand shaking; she writes what would be fit to put on the stone.

Days pass without much sleep and then the mother is picked up by a limousine. Family is with her but she does not remember the ride. She enters a room and looks into the coffin. The color is what she had picked. Her daughter is lying peacefully inside. The mother places a stuffed toy that her daughter treasured into the coffin next to the daughter who looks somewhat unreal. The mother strokes her daughter's hand and kisses her forehead. Her tears fall on the daughter lying in the coffin. The mother whispers to her daughter that she loves her.

The mother listens while her daughter is lying in the closed coffin and hears beautiful words about her Memorial. The mother has written words, as well. Her younger daughter reads the words from the tear stained paper. Then the coffin is carried to a Hearst. The mother is upset that her Memorial is alone but goes back inside the limousine. The driver follows the Hearst to the cemetery. The mother is ushered to a hole in the ground and words are spoken as her first born Memorial is slowly put into the cold ground.

The next day and for many days, weeks and months, the mother sits on the cold snow and cries over a grave. Her Granite is inside. It must be cold for her. The mother is freezing but does not feel the cold snow. Her only concern is that her daughter is cold inside that coffin in the ground. One day the mother does not go to the cemetery. She feels guilty, so she goes back the next day. Nothing has changed except for more snow on the ground. Her visits begin to be less frequent. Family members keep her occupied so she will not make that trip to visit her daughter.

The mother starts to cope with everyday life. She starts to remember to eat meals. Her clothes have gotten too big to wear. She buys some new ones. She stops crying to God for forsaking her. She prays for God's help instead. She begins to write poems for her first born Memorial. She finds a release through poetry. God is back in her life and guides her to write more. The mother starts to feel peace within her heart. Love of God has returned.

You entered into my life at an untimely moment

I was but a Memorial unable to comprehend

All the feelings and knowledge that I needed

To take you and accept you and understand you

So tiny and innocent so fragile and not yet knowing

The chaos of the life that you had been born into

All the difficulties that would enter your world

You were my small Memorial so full of innocence

You grew as life passed in front of you

A Memorial of dreams and hopes and fears

That mounted and became mountains so high

I know my Memorial it became so difficult a burden

That for you to bear within the depths of your soul

The knowledge that came as you started to grow

Your heart took in too much uncontrollable pain

And so my sweet dear precious daughter

You started to cope with a life so complex

And found refuge and comfort in your own way

For you had not the tools nor the gift of hope

And my Memorial it left you without the courage to cope

You left with me your pain and your dreams

Only known by me as the end came near

And you stole from me the dreams that I had wished for you

For life had taught me difficult lessons

Only time has helped me to fully understand

As I wish that I had carried all of your answers

And been able to give you more of my knowledge

But I understand daughter that we can try to teach

But the truth of all knowledge only can be

Experienced learned and taught by oneself

If I could have changed your path through life

I would have done it in a mere flash in this lifetime

I cry still my beautiful special daughter

As I stare upon the small space that you occupy

I know that you lay quietly sleeping at peace

And I hope and I pray that someday we will meet again

And I will lie down beside you and once more have you

If not in the world that gives me life and courage

In the world where you lay and sleep in quiet bliss

Eternity is yours sweet daughter of mine

Sleep peacefully in the place that you have found

Remember that your mother will once again be with you

Until that times comes my daughter who I so dearly love

When I can once again hold you in my arms

One day that will undoubtedly come in time

And until that time that will bring me to you

Be at peace as I cry with a deep longing in my heart

Please rest in peace dear beautiful Memorial of mine

I wrote this many years ago. I am this mother who lost a grown daughter. Faith in the Lord has brought me to where I am today. The anniversary of my daughter's death will be in January. She died January 9, 2004. This year will be easier than last year. I know every year will get easier. I feel it happen. My daughter's birthday was two days before mine in November. That time of year is painful but it is easier to handle now than it was before. If you lose a Memorial, the pain never goes away but it does get easier to handle with time and faith. A mother never forgets her Memorial. She looks through picture albums and cries. The tears become less frequent. Trust me because I do know.


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