The Last Kiss

A Collection of Memoirs about Living with Grief

 

A My Friend Linkin Publication

 

Everyone will grieve at some point in their life. The pain of losing a child is one of the most difficult unwanted journey's a person can go on. My Friend Linkin has gathered women across the country to share their journey. These brave women have written their story as they have lived it in hopes of helping others who will or have gone down the road themselves. The human connection is so strong that a written story can help a stranger you may never meet.
That is exactly what this book is meant to do.
Our Authors:
Theresa Owens
Melissa Hamilton

My name is Theresa Owens. I live with my husband in a suburb of Milwaukee, WI. I have two daughters and three stepsons. I also have three granddaughters, Angel (2005-2018) and Aubreana. We will be welcoming our 3rd granddaughter, Anastasia Angel in January of 2021.

 

I have decided to be a part of this book because I was searching, begging for help, guidance and knowledge on child loss. The first 3 months, I literally made myself ill in my search to know avail. I then had to face the reality that this journey is a personal journey as individual as a fingerprint.

 

I thought if I could tell Angel's story as well as my own heartbreaking grief journey that it may help someone out there to know they're not alone in their thoughts and feelings. It is all a part of our new normal, learning to live with this hole in our hearts and lives. 

My name is Melissa Hamilton.  I am a fire wife and the mother of five children, four daughters on Earth and one son in Heaven.  I have been an elementary teacher for sixteen years and currently work at a very emotionally rewarding job teaching in a residential treatment center in central Texas. 

 

About two years ago I began a journey no one ever imagines they will be on, the journey of grief.  When my seven-year-old son, Luke, suddenly passed away from an aggressive brain cancer, my life was turned upside down and I was left wondering where I belonged in the world.  After a great deal of introspection and soul searching, I have been able to slowly find my way to joy again.  If my son cannot live, I will live for him.   

 

Grief can be such a lonely journey, especially after all of the well-wishers leave and somehow you are supposed to pick up the pieces of your life and continue living it.  I agreed to be a part of this book to give hope and understanding to parents walking this path with me.  

Kate Ferguson
Kelsey Hau

My name is Kate Ferguson and I live in Ohio with my husband, Eric.  We have three daughters- Molly, Lucy, and Emily, and one child waiting for us in Heaven.  I am a licensed educator and a licensed clinical counselor- you will either find me in a classroom teaching, working with kids in a clinical setting, or training adults in Trauma Informed Care. 

 

I said yes to this project because I want other families who have experienced the loss of a child- no matter the age, to feel like someone out there sees them, hears, and can empathize with them.  If my words and story can help just one person then the pain and the experience is worth it to me. 

 

“Death leaves a heartache no one can heal; love leaves a memory no one can steal.” -Unknown   

I am Kelsey Hau and I am the single mama to my little angel, Asher Robert. Asher was born on September 18, 2017 with a debilitating brain condition which we soon realized would be terminal. He fought with us to be here for nearly two years before leaving his earthly life on July 1, 2019. During his lifetime, we loved snuggles, time outside, eating and soaking in as much time together with our family.

 

Losing Asher was devastating and I feel his absence every single day, but loving him, and getting to have him here for 2 years, was a dream come true. I love sharing his story and his light, so I immediately was intrigued by this book idea. Grief is so hard and the healing process changes rapidly. I hope this book will help others understand the complexity of child loss and grief, and in writing it will help me continue on this healing process. 

Justine Marroquin
Danielle Biddy

To all the amazing and strong beautiful people out there, I am Justine Marroquin. I am a 29-year-old bisexual Latina, single mother of 1. All my life I have been told how to express myself because I was told society would judge me and criticize me, which it has and continues to do so. I want to help other people who have experienced trauma and loss. 

 

 Our story, that of my brother and I, can be a story that speaks beyond love, affection, and understanding and I think it can help others. It’s the story I remind myself that I experienced and has kept me going when I thought I was weak and done. I want my words, my experience, and our story to remind others there is a reason why we experience things and why we must never believe it’s the end or not worth fighting for. His loss was also a win and people may not see it that way but it’s our story and my strength that can prove otherwise.

 

He may be gone and I may be a work in progress, but in my heart we will always be together. 

My name is Danielle Biddy. I live with my husband, Matt, and two dogs, an English bulldog named Lola and a French Bulldog named Stevie, in Holly Springs, Georgia. I am a pediatric occupational therapist for a local school district, and I have a passion for working with children with special needs. Our daughter, Caroline, was born in March of 2019 and passed away 3 months later from complications of a brain injury sustained in the womb.

 

I started my writing journey through social media in hopes to connect other people to our story and ask them to pray for our precious baby. My writing turned into a sort of therapy for me to help me filter through all of the swirling emotions that come with losing a child. It also helped me connect with others so that I didn’t feel so alone. I hope others are able to feel that connection through this project. I also hope that I am able to help to offer hope to those who feel hopeless after losing a child. Hope for the fact that we can survive this until we can see our sweet babies again one day.

Jessica Wolff
Jessielyn Roxas

Hi! I am Jessica, the mother of twin daughters; twin “A” in my heart and Lily in my arms. My husband Patrick and I underwent years of fertility treatments in order to conceive our twins. My pregnancy was riddled with obstacles including gestational hypertension, symmetrical IUGR diagnoses, placental complications, preeclampsia, and blood clotting disorders. In August of 2018, we lost our first born twin, who we affectionately refer to as “A”. Three days later, our daughter Lily was born extremely prematurely at 24 weeks gestation.

 

Lily spent 256 days in the neonatal intensive care unit and underwent several surgeries and life-saving measures. Lily finally came home in April 2019 with a tracheotomy, ventilator, g-tube, and oxygen support. 

 

I write about my journey with infertility, perinatal loss, NICU time, medical parenthood, and mental health for several publications such as the Today Show, Motherly, The Mighty, and Love What Matters. I spend the majority of my time as Lily’s “honorary RN” and enjoy gardening, cooking, and playing with Lily and my dog, Bo. 

My name is Jessielyn. I’m a blessed single mother to two amazing children from God: Allan Roy 17, (our angel) & Christian John 26. 

 

As soon I saw the post about this upcoming project, it lit up my spirits & it made me happy & excited. I’m pretty sure Allan had something to do with this. I want to share my son Allan’s life and his brave fight with Osteosarcoma. Allan peacefully gained his angel wings February 12th, 2020. We always say, cancer didn’t beat my son. It didn’t stop him from living his life to the fullest. Even while fighting, he continued to attend school and graduate with his diploma. In fact, Allan made another history...he was the ONLY high school student batch 2020 that had completely graduated with complete a Graduation Ceremony in Canada.

 

In addition, I also want others to learn from us about fighting as a family and community. Allan created a beautiful, united and loving community from all over this country & other countries. Allan’s life will also show how the Infinity’s Brothers Love for each other made everything beautiful & peaceful during our painful & sad time. 

Candace Schadrie
Wanda Welch

I was born and raised in Wisconsin and married my husband, Brian, 24 years ago. I'm a mother of three beautiful children and one of them happens to be in heaven now. My 18-year old Jordan, passed through the veil August 29, 2019.

Our story is one of great courage and strength. An ending full of sadness, but also love and compassion. I choose to tell my daughter's beautiful story to inspire others to keep fighting and enjoy life to the fullest. Jordan showed us how each day is meant to be lived with love, faith and compassion. She had a faith so deep and strong it carried her through the storm.

Our faith was a center part of our lives, and we raised our children in the church. We lean into our faith and it supports us and keeps us afloat even in our hardest ties.

I want to let you know there can be healing after this kind of loss. There is a choice: you can decide to heal or you can harbor anger an pain. Do you choose to enjoy life again or do you stay hidden under the sadness?

There are not many who will tell you that there can be deep healing after a loss of a child, but I am here to tell you there can be. I choose to live my life with both grief and joy walking hand in hand down the path. I choose love and healing as my journey continues.

Hello, I am Wanda Welch, a Christian who grew up in the church. My father is a pastor who founded a church in St. Louis and I am a mother of three boys and one girl. I have three surviving children. I got my degree from Marquette and was a teacher and administrator. I'm also an author. I own a health care business and a group home facility for adults. These positions afford me the opportunity to use my caregiving, passionate, personable, patience, attentive, dependable, trustworthy, and activist qualities. I love and am honored to be the voice for other people.

I am an activist by nature. “Activism runs in our family.” “My sisters and brother are also activist. It’s in our blood.” I am involved in public education, voter suppression and improving neighborhoods. One of my most recent goals is to improve the neighborhood where my son was murdered. I feel that is apart of my purpose to use the death of my son to make positive changes in the world. “God carried me when I found out my son was killed.” 

 

Three of my favorite scriptures are Proverbs 3:5, Psalms 28:7 and Psalms 147:3. I believe that with God all things are possible. “I aim to help people find and follow God through the loss of their love-one.”   

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