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A Mother’s Double Loss

Sitting on the wet ground while leaning on the fence, a chill runs through me as I ponder over the past two decades of grief…not just any grief, but the deepest kind.…mother’s grief!

My little girl, Jaynie, was full of spunk. Despite her heart defect, she was full of life and a bundle of joy! If her “zipper” was hiding beneath her shirt, she appeared completely healthy. However, in actuality, she was extremely sick. Jaynie had a condition known as  Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS). HLHS is a severe heart defect, in which the left ventricle of the heart is either non-existent or simply too small to pump the blood. In spite of receiving treatment by only the best of doctors, she suffered a stroke during her final open heart surgery, and she died at 2 years and nine months old.

The grief was unbearable at times! The deep inner pain was so sharp that it took my breath away. My arms ached to hold Jaynie again, but she was gone! Getting out of bed each morning was grueling. Surviving the day without her was unfathomable.

Living day by day after the loss of my toddler was not optional. I had a 5 year old boy, Jeremy, to look after. Poor Jeremy. He was grieving over the loss of his little sister, his playmate, and his best friend. Life would never be the same for him. His devastating loss forever changed the way he viewed the world. As he grew, he got more frustrated, angry, desperate and depressed. Nine years after losing my little girl, Jeremy died by suicide right in front of my eyes! He was only 14 years old.

Following this terrible ordeal, I wrote a memoir. I put my grief into words. These writings have been published in a book entitled, Double Dollow. Regarding my autobiography, one reader stated, “Incredibly heartfelt and touching. A true story of courage when facing the worst life has to throw your way. A definite must read.”

Compassionate Friends taught me that I am not alone. I shared my story to remind you that you are not alone. Together, we can walk through our journey of grief. And together, we can bring out the hero in ourselves!

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