Category: Anniversary

Nature Helps Calm Mother Who Misses Son

debra reagan

Debra Reagan

It  was the 4th anniversary of our son’s death, and I was having a difficult time.  My husband was working out of town, and this meant for the first time we would be apart on this date.

I turned to the woods, a place I find myself often when I seek peace.  As I started the trail, I noticed a tree that was bent and twisted.  Despite the fact that the base of the trunk was nothing but a shell,  the tree continued to live and  strive to reach the sun.

The bent and twisted tree
A shell of a tree

I felt a kinship with that tree.  At times, I felt like a shell of my old self, yet a part of my soul was wanting to find my sunshine again.

Isn’t it wonderful that the universe remains constant? Even if our world feels like it has collapsed, the universe remains the same. In my early grief, I was angry that the rest of the world continued after Clint’s death.  Now I find comfort in that consistency.  The sun is in its place even if I don’t see it.

The world continues
The universe remains constant

Further along on the trek, my eyes embraced nature at work around me, and my heart began to understand that I could learn things from this adventure. Take the river, for example. I saw sections of raging currents of turbulent water followed soon by calm peaceful pools.  Some parts of the same river appeared impossible to cross, yet just around the bend of the trail, I found large boulders that created easy crossings.  My grief journey is like the river; at times, it is calm and other times, it is raging.

The River
The River

When I feel that my grief is impossible to cross, I need only to be patient and take it one step at a time.

Reagan-Nature Helps Calm Mother Who Misses Son3

This article was originally published in April 2010 on, a website whose mission is to help those who have suffered a loss to cope with their pain and invest in the future.

The Fourth Anniversary

Tracy Bradshaw

Yesterday was emotional to say the least. A friend had bypass surgery Parkwest Hospital, and Alan and I went after he got off work. I didn’t want to go, but considering the seriousness of the procedure I made myself.

We were driving to UT hospital about the same time, four years ago after receiving a call that Sawyer had been taken there – memories filled my head.

Getting out of the car – memories filled my head.

Walking in, I saw the Emergency area – memories filled my head.

Inside, we didn’t know where to go – memories filled my head.

Talking with a receptionist – memories filled my head.

Waiting and wondering – memories filled my head.

A nurse came out with a report. I hung on every word – memories filled my head.

Memories filled my head…

We learned that it would be approximately an hour and a half, so Alan and I left to grab a bite to eat. Upon leaving the hospital behind us – memories filled my head.

Nervously entering the hospital again – memories filled my head.

Making our way to the elevator, holding Alan’s hand – memories filled my head.

A man exiting the elevator, walking toward us and pointing at me said, with a pause between each word, “Sawyer — Webb’s — Mother.” Oh, how it warmed my heart to hear those words again. I hugged him. He was Sawyer’s boss and said that he remembered “this day every year.” He said that he “loved that boy.” We hugged again, and I was somehow better. He did love Sawyer. I could see it in his eyes and hear it in his voice. How calming it was to talk with someone who shared feelings similar to my own.

Sawyer Webb’s Mother, Tracy

Hearing Sawyer’s name, knowing that he was remembered and acknowledged, and being given back my identity felt like being wrapped in a warm blanket on a bitterly cold night. I swallowed my identity back down inside. Yes, I am still and will always be Sawyer Webb’s mother.

I had met Sawyer’s boss twice at the restaurant over four years ago, and I remember him coming to the funeral. How he recognized me and the timing of the encounter, I believe, is no coincidence. Sawyer (maybe God, maybe both) knew I needed those words at that moment, and my mommy heart filled with a familiar appreciation for my loving son, Sawyer.

In Memory of Thomas Wade Buchanan

Ruby Buchanan

April 21, 1983 – July 18, 2005
Son of Ruby and Mack Buchanan




Today is the second anniversary date of your death.


02-HHow the pain still feels sometimes causes us no rest.


03-OOne day life was so content,


04-MMemories flood our minds; we know that is how it was meant.


05-AAs we go on with our every day life,


06-SSome people ask, “How can you be so strong?”



07-WWade, if they only knew how they could be so wrong.


08-AAngels all around you up above


09-DDoing special things with all kinds of Love.


10-EEveryday we must go on, no other choice to make.



11-BBlessed we were to have you before God had to take.


12-UUntil we meet again, we must take one day at a time.


13-CCourage it takes, sometimes, not to lose our mind.


14-HHappy we will be to be reunited. Some days we can hardly wait.


15-AAs we wait for you to meet us at God’s Heavenly gate.


16-NNo one knows the things we learned from you at any rate.


17-AAnd your time on Earth was for a purpose.


18-NNo more tears in Heaven will come to surface.


(Always in our hearts!)
Sadly missed and cherished,
Mom and Dad


–This poem was originally written in 2007.

Another Year – Another Piece of the Grief Journey

debra reagan

Debra Reagan

This article was originally published in on Jan. 7, 2009, a website whose mission is to help those who have suffered a loss to cope with their pain and invest in the future.

I was sitting at my desk and glanced at the new calendar hanging on the wall. Suddenly, I was hit with the overwhelming thought of another. My heart ached over the thought of another birthday for my deceased child, another anniversary date, and all the other holidays that would come around another time.  Many questions came to mind.  Had I not gone through the depths of grief? Had I not walked through the Valley of the Shadows? Was this not enough? How could I be expected to do more??



julie mcgregor

Julie McGregor

I thought I would share a story regarding birthdays for our children gone too soon. It makes me realise that it’s hard for people to understand the ways of bereaved parents and how they individually do what they feel is right for them at the time, which possibly would and does, vary from year to year as our grief ‘evolves’.