Inspired By My Daughter

My daughter Emily is the person who inspired me to get out of bed after my son Andrew died. I needed to be the mom she needed and show her how we can keep moving forward and pick up the pieces of our broken lives. Emily was barely 16 so she needed to have her own life and my support to help her get there.

A selfie of Emily and Susan. Emily is on the left wearing a tan coat and has her brown hair parted on the right side. Susan is on the right and has reading glasses on the top of her head. She's wearing a dark red jacket and has shoulder length light brown hair

What kept me upright was my responsibility to Emily, my job, maintaining our health insurance and the house and keeping what we had left so we could have a future. I couldn’t indulge in any escape activities as there wasn’t anyone else to pick up the pieces.

My surviving skills came from others moms who were in the midst of the battle and those who had already lost a child and gone on before me. I leveraged their stories of courage and strength to enable me to carry on. I attended every grief support group offered. Even if I didn’t go back, I always learned something. I read all sorts of books about grief, and I had a wonderful counselor who still helps me. I had/have a faith community that prayed for us constantly and provided support during Andrew’s illness, hospice and after.

Andrew playing X-Box on a tan couch. He's wearing red shorts and a black t-shirt with a masked super hero on it.

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