when your child loses a friend

When your child loses a friend to death it’s a painful experience for you both. You must comfort your child while trying to explain the loss. When your child loses a friend to murder it’s a different kind of pain because it is combined with confusion.

When my son was 11 one of his closest friends was murdered. It was a Saturday morning when I received the hysterical call from my best friend. I won’t forget the day because I had family in town from out of state to celebrate holiday festivities. I took a minutes to wrap my head around what she was saying and then I called the principal of their school to notify her so she could prepare to have counselors at the school.

My son, my best friend’s son, the little boy who was murdered were a tight group. They attended school together, did homework together after school, and hung out on weekends doing normal boy things (video games, sports, movies, etc. I knew this would be devastating to him. And I had to be the one to break the news to him.

So I called him into my room and gently told him that he would never see his friend again because he had passed away. I had to be honest and carefully tell him when he asked me how. I had to tell my son the horrifying news that his friend had been murdered by his own mother. The look on my son’s face is etched in my mind. The confusion, the fear, the pain. It’s heartbreaking to think of it today. And I won’t ever forget the pain and fear in his voice when he quietly asked me how a mother could kill her child. All I could do is hold him close and assure him that I loved him and would take my last breath protecting him.

Gossip was hard to deal with because it took the gruesome details of a mentally ill mother murdering her child and magnified those details 100 times. The truth was hard enough to deal with, the children didn’t need the added stress of hearing someone’s fabricated version.

It’s been a few years since we laid that little boy to rest but there are times when we remember things he said and did and we smile in his memory. And there are sad moments when we think of him and all that he was not allowed to experience. And we miss him.

Something so tragic impacts a young child’s mind significantly. Later when another friend passed away from a long-term illness I saw the sadness in his eyes. And we talked about those who are gone to soon. Those that never have a chance to live life. And I see that he appreciates the gift of life and his blessings. But, as a mother I wish my child did not have to feel the loss of someone he cares about. I wish he didn’t have an up close look at death, one that makes no sense, one that made him question the love of a parent.

I’ve been thinking of his little friend a lot the past few days. I’m praying his soul is at peace and that he knows how much he is missed and loved.

God bless, and be blessed.

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