Katherine, A Phoenix Mom

I am Katherine. I am the mother of one child, a son, Donald Gwarjanski, born April 22, 1990. Donald (called Don by his friends) died on August 18, 2012. This blog is devoted to our story. It is designed to share my journey through the depths of hell after my son’s tragic death. I am going to share with you my grief and how I changed, and continue to change after Donald’s death.

Losing a child kills a part of you. You hit rock bottom. You want to die. You are different. You are changed forever. You are not the person you were before your child died. Most likely, you are only a portion of your former self. You feel different; you look different. You don’t know who you are anymore, and if you are going to live, you begin to build a new person from the remains of the old you. Very slowly, like the mythical and powerful Phoenix rises from the ashes, you begin to live again. Slowly, a little each day. Hesitantly, because it hurts and is terrifying. You feel alone. In many ways, you are alone. It is up to you to live. It is up to you to build a new life from the shattered pieces of the old one. It’s not easy. There are many obstacles along the way. There will be times you would rather give up. But, there are more and more moments when you realize that you are alive. Moments when you feel joy and peace. Then you begin to know that you are alive and that there is a reason you are alive. I’m sure every mother has a different reason to live. My reason is to make sure my son is not forgotten, that his life and death were not in vain, and to make a difference in another mother’s life when she hits rock bottom and does not know where to go or, even if she will go on.

I am not a therapist. I’m not a medical doctor. I have no training in this area. I’m sharing my journey and the things that have helped me. I have very good physicians, an excellent therapist, and my faith in God. If you are struggling with grief, I encourage you to seek help. As I work on this blog, I will post links to resources for grieving parents. I am sure you noticed my reference to my faith in God. It is a huge part of why I am still alive. If you do not believe, or have lost your faith during your grief journey, I ask that you not give up on my blog yet. Yes, my faith is important to me, but I will not be writing about it in every post. I hope that you may find a relationship with God, but that is up to you.

I hope that each reader will find some nugget of information that helps.

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3 thoughts on “Katherine, A Phoenix Mom

  1. Hi Katherine,

    I am so sorry for your loss. I have just recently loss my son Caleb and I have just been all over the Internet searching for answers as to why this would happen to me. I guess there is no real answer until I die. Your blog stands out to me because I just had a daughter and we named her Phoenix. My husband wanted to name her that and I thought it would be a new beginning to our marriage in a new city, new home a new life. Never did I think I would have to endure a new life without my son. I hope you are doing ok. I wish we could turn back the time for all of us. My son has only been gone a month, I can’t even imagine years of this.

    1. Caitlin, I am so sorry that I did not see this and reply earlier. I took a break, and any way, I am so sorry for the loss of your precious Caleb. I pray that you are coping. Take each moment as it comes and try not to worry over how you will get through the rest.
      I love your daughter’s name. You have been through so much with the loss of Caleb, and a move to a new city, house, job, trying to make friends and most of all, trying to breathe.

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