The Lost Child


The Lost Child
By Bernadette A. Moyer

lost child

My grandmother on my father’s side, (my nana) lost a son (Jimmy) when he was just seven years old and just weeks after his first Holy Communion. She never got over it. It was an unexpected illness that quickly took his life. I imagine that a part of her died too. She talked about him all the time. She cried about him often.

I was just a little kid that visited her and I knew very little about death way back then, but I sensed enough to know and witness her heartbreak, sadness and uneasiness. She was tormented by her loss. It showed itself in her verbal and consciousness and stream of thoughts and words. Her actions showed intense grief. Today I can’t help but wonder how different her life might have been if Jimmy had not died so young.

The lost child changed her; it changed how she related to everyone including the remaining family members. How did it affect her marriage? How did it affect her relationships with her remaining four children? How much of the way that she was determined how her children became? Really we can never know but I think a reasonable person could agree that everything and everyone in that family was altered as a result of such a loss, like the loss of a child.

We can lose a child to death, to estrangement and to mental illness, where there maybe different types of loss, losing a child brings a wide range of emotions with it. We lose a piece of our hopes and our dreams. We lose a piece of ourselves and a part of our futures.

Mothers put so much of their own wellness on how their children are doing; they want their kids to be healthy and happy. I’ve read somewhere that “a mother can only be as happy as her saddest child.” I sure hope that isn’t true, but I do appreciate the thought.

I’ve never known the death of a child, thank God, but I have known losing a child. My first child was lost to me through estrangement on July 4, 1998. This year marked 19 years, she has been gone longer than I had her. For me she is a lost child. I too grieved her intensely and often talked about her too. I think that we talk about our lost children so that we can somehow keep them alive. It is all so unnatural for any parent to lose a child, regardless of the type of loss and a loss is a loss.

I changed. Initially my world was forced into an upside down position. Everything that I once held so near and dear in my own life like being a mother was shattered. I had to look at myself, I had to look at her and I was forced to look at everything. Being a mother meant everything to me, perhaps more than it should. I was consumed with grief. I went through all the stages from denial to acceptance. It felt like a death to me. A death of my child and a death of a part of myself, today I am different, very different. I see from a broader perspective from more of a life experienced, my head learned much, my heart initially shrank but then as the years passed by my heart grew larger with more acceptance and a greater understanding. Funny how that can happen, but it did.

Remember when the best stories ended with the phrase; “and they lived happily ever after”? After you experience enough life you soon realize that not everything ends with “happy ever after” but that does not mean that your happiness has to end.

You find new and different things that make you happy; you learn over and over again that true and sustained happiness comes from within.

Bernadette on Facebook at
All books by Bernadette A. Moyer on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

5 thoughts on “The Lost Child

  1. What a large experience this is! Always looming, lurking within your heart. Your very Soul. So many dimensions — like the crystal hanging in my window. How do words even try to tell of the pain? The process in pushing this out, and letting Life in . . . Thank you for your writing about this. Clearly. Deeply. It’s amazing the capacity a human heart has for pain. Hope. Life. In the long run, we have to make peace with whatever Life gives us. Gosh Darn !!! You have done this so beautifully. I know it still hurts. But your voice offers a healing balm to those of us working out our own issues of loss, estrangement, blunder. Your clear voice is a stairway up, offering the rest of us a pathway, into the light. Out of the mire of despair. Thank you !!! I wish hugs and kisses would make it all get better, I’d send you bushels full !!! Dawn

    Riding my horses always lifts my spirits — so I’m sending you some horse rides to lift up your Soul :))

    • Thank you for your thoughtful comments! You write beautifully I’m reading you and will attempt to answer the “11” questions in some up and coming blogs! Peace and love my kindred soul sister! ❤️

      • Good girl :)) I often wonder why I do all this blogging stuff — then someone like you comes across my desk, and it’s got meaning again :)) Having some angst with my daughter right now, and your writings really have helped me !!!!! :))

  2. Teresa


    Beautiful words that encourage me to keep working on acceptance of all that I have lost! I experienced both kinds of loss and pain. My son died at age two and words are an object when it comes to explaining the agony of this loss. Although my other children were young, I know it affected all of them deeply. Twenty years later I went through a brutal divorce from a man with several serious addictions and personality disorders. What ensued was a family split with some of my children believing the fantasy of his lies and me being branded the liar. Estrangement hit our family like a bomb and I lost five more children and several grandchildren. I grieved in the same way as when my son died. One son remained with me because he had the proof of his father’s misdeeds. I went through the usual process of estrangement ~ all the stages. I probably did more begging than I should have ~ all to no avail. It has been ten years now since the estrangement began. There are now several more grandchildren that probably don’t know I exist. But I feel blessed because my remaining son and his lovely wife have given me such happiness and love. I have a beautiful granddaughter whom I care for often and another baby is on the way. Acceptance is so hard to come by. Just when you think you have come to a certain peace, something comes up and knocks you backwards. As you have shown, we can never give up. There are no ‘happily ever afters’ but we can still enjoy life. Thank you for your inspirational words on estrangement. You always give me hope.

    • Thanks for writing and for sharing your thoughts Teresa! It is a process to come to acceptance and yes some days are easier than others. It’s starts with awareness and it seems you have that! Peace and love! ❤️❤️❤️

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s