Chasing a Breathing Ghost

It wasn’t necessary for me to lose five children to begin feeling like I was losing my first-born child, Julian, as well. By my second loss, maybe sooner, it was already happening.

My most vivid sensation of this was on our daily walks together. Before school took over our lives, Julian and I walked outside together every day. In rain, sunshine, wind, and even snow…we walked. Sometimes, for hours at a time, because there were days when I needed to escape my house…this is where they all died…and somehow, I think he knew that.

But while I felt weak and depleted on our walks–during this time still anemic and not fully recovered from one loss after another–Julian was young, energetic and playful.

“Hey, Mom! Come over here!”

I could never keep up with him. If I did try to walk faster, so did he, staying a good ten to twenty feet in front of me on the path, his backside in and out of my sight on our usual wooded trails.

It was like tunnel vision–“Julian?”–chasing after my son through a foggy haze of…what? “Wait!”

He must be a ghost, I remember thinking. Is he real? Am I…dead? 

If I was dead, it wasn’t Heaven that I was in. It was Hell.


He must have felt during that time that something was wrong with me. He must have known that I was a bit “off-kilter.” Yet, my son, he is a kind soul. He never gave up on me. Not once.

“I’m here, Mom,” he would appear by my side. And then I would feel his hand, softly nudging its way inside of mine. The sun would hit his face…the fog would start to clear…and for me, at least in that moment, I felt the ability to breathe again.

Time…it takes time to heal from grief. I think we forget that. And sometimes, it takes an awe-inspiring amount of patience from everyone around us.

“Thank you, Julian.”

“Love you, Mom.”

Thank you for “sharing” and “liking” any blog that moves you. Have a special day…♥

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

A. A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh


awakeningwildflower Written by:


  1. Bev Donner
    October 30, 2017

    So special, I am enjoying every word.

  2. Erin Bang-Knudsen
    November 10, 2017

    Beautiful post.

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