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What I Thought Then, What I KNOW Now

TAGS: coaching, life coaching, business coaching, coach, life coach, self help, personal development grief, grief coach, child loss, loss of child, bereaved mom, bereaved parent, child loss coach, survival, life, moving on

Smiles and Laughter are what life is all about

Experiencing loss

The days, weeks, months and early years after I lost my son Nick were so full of sadness and uncertainty.  During this time, I came to some conclusions that I thought were set in stone. Some were, some weren’t.

What I Thought Then:  Losing My Child Is The Worst Thing That Could Ever Happen    

What I KNOW Now:

Well this one was true and my opinion on that hasn’t changed. Losing Nick shook me to my foundation and has left me with an empty place that can never be filled. I will say it really put other things that happened in my life into real perspective though. Losing a business, a house, a marriage - none of that even touched what I experienced when I lost Nick. Losing my Mom was really hard - she had been my rock when Nick died. She was too young when she died too, but I have to say the feeling that she was going to be with Nick in heaven made us all feel a little comfort. And we live life expecting our parents will die before us, but not our children. So I stand by this statement - there is nothing worse than losing a child.

What I Thought Then:  I’ll Never Smile or Laugh Again

What I KNOW Now:

Thankfully this wasn’t the case. Surprisingly, I shared some smiles and laughs pretty early on. I was lucky, between having a beautiful, playful one year old daughter around made it pretty impossible NOT to let those smiles and laughs escape my lips. Recalling silly memories of Nick brought some moments of joy as well. To me, smiles and laughter are what life is all about. They are powerfully healing. Today, I am drawn towards people and situations that make me smile and laugh.  It’s who I was before and I am grateful that part of me has returned.

What I Thought Then:  I Can’t Go On

What I KNOW Now:

As you can see I am still here so whether I liked it or not, I did go on.  After the immediate shock of losing your precious child, reality creeps back to your life.  It doesn’t really creep, it charges in. Taking care of other children, paying the bills, going back to your job, cleaning your house - all that stuff does not go away.  Looking back on it, I know that this was good for me. It forced me to go through the motions of life even when I didn’t want to. After a while, those “motions” became my new normal.  At some point, the feeling that I couldn’t go on changed to “I MUST go on” in memory of my son.

What I Thought Then:  I’ll Never Be The Same

What I KNOW Now:

Thinking about this one makes me question - who was I before?  I was definitely a Mom who loved her children. I was a pretty carefree, fun-loving person.  But honestly, I was clueless about some really important things in life. I think to an extent, I took the good things for granted.  I didn’t really understand how precious every single moment is. So it’s true, I’ll never be the same. And yes, that empty space is one of the reasons.  But along with that, I am a changed woman because of what I’ve learned through loss. I am a better, kinder, more caring person.


Moving Forward

What I Thought Then:  Life Is Pointless

What I KNOW Now:

At first I felt that because Nick was gone, I should be dead too.  Really, what was the point of living when my first born son wasn’t here?  Everything just felt so insignificant. I thought why live a life of misery?  That’s not what life is supposed to be about. But as I have found so many times during this journey, time is a healer and perspectives can change.  Do you remember someone telling you “everything happens for a reason”? People say this all the time about so many things that happen in life. It’s seems like such a cliche.   However, I now believe it to be true. I am not sure exactly what that reason is but I am determined to complete my part of this mission. I will continue searching for a way to bring meaning to a terrible loss.  Trust me when I say this did not happen overnight. It’s been over 22 years of coming to terms with this loss. Right now my heart tells me to reach out to other Moms who have lost a child. Life is not pointless!  Life is to be lived. We have lost the most precious thing we could lose, but what we do with that loss is up to us. I feel obligated to life a life of joy, purpose and meaning in memory of Nick. He can’t be here to do it, so I have to live enough for the both of us.   

I wonder if other Moms out can relate to any of this?

Karen Camerato is the mother of 3 amazing children.  She lost her oldest son Nick at the age of 8 when he fell through the ice of a frozen pond.  Her website is, which promotes her belief that healing from the loss of a child starts with telling your child’s story, saying thanks to those that help you, being grateful for what you have and moving forward with purpose every single day in memory of your child - Rising Above in Memory Of.  Karen invites all Moms who have lost a child to visit her Facebook Group, whose purpose is to offer hope, help, motivation and experience to those who are newer in the journey.


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