Dawn was 35 years old when she passed away on March 28, 2007. It was the day after she gave birth to my third grandchild, Michael Dawn Andrew. The day after Michael was born, Dawn was in a lot of pain and was bleeding heavily. After about ten hours, she went into cardiac arrest from the blood loss, and the hospital staff couldn’t revive her. That’s when I got the 2:30 a.m. phone call that every parent dreads. Dawn was my only child, and now she was gone.

Our family and friends were totally devastated by Dawn’s death. It was so shocking and unexpected. I didn’t eat or sleep for three days after Dawn died. Finally, my family had to force me to eat. When I slept, it was only for two to three hours at a time. When I would wake up, I would realize once again that my child was gone, and I would cry because I was still alive to suffer another day. I felt isolated. I felt alone. I was numb. I had no thoughts or feelings about anything but Dawn. I felt totally disconnected from the world like I was fading away. My grief was swallowing me up. I was becoming my grief. I would feel intense emotional pain when I saw a mother and daughter together. It brought back memories of what I will never have again. No one will ever love me like Dawn did.

Nothing felt “right” anymore. Driving a car felt strange even though I’ve been driving for more than 30 years. Eating felt strange, and food had no taste. Going out in public felt strange, and the world seemed like a different place. When shopping or running errands, I felt like a zombie going through the motions. All the people I saw along the way seemed so happy and care free compared to how I was feeling. I wanted to scream at them, “WHY ARE YOU ALL TALKING AND LAUGHING? DON’T YOU KNOW MY DAUGHTER JUST DIED??!!” The pain of losing Dawn was so great I wanted to die. I didn’t think it was possible to hurt this bad or cry so many tears and survive. I didn’t think I would survive. I didn’t want to survive. My heart and my life were totally destroyed and nothing can ever fix it. When I was around family and friends or at work, I would pretend that I was doing alright because I didn't want anyone to know that I was suicidal and didn't want to live anymore. 

After I lost Dawn, I found no comfort at all in the things people would say such as, “things happen for the best,” or “you’ll be OK in time,” “God doesn’t make mistakes; everything happens for a reason,” “if you need anything, I’m here for you,” “Dawn is with the Lord and at peace now,” etc. Although I was polite and responded appropriately to their comments, I didn’t want to hear that stuff! I just wanted Dawn back so my pain would go away. But I knew that wasn’t going to happen.