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On our Radically (a)Parent podcast we discuss the experiences of parenthood that are often overlooked or less explored out in the open. When our stories are heard, and we understand the stories of others, we all feel more connected and less alone. Let's bring these lesser acknowledged experiences into the light for greater awareness.

Jan 24, 2018

Join host Stacey Lindgren for a conversation with Mary Murphy, who lost her son Dylan at 6 years old to a tick bourne illness. 

In our conversation, Mary discusses her stages of loss, the lessons she's learned along the way, parenting after loss and the experience of continuing to be a mother to Dylan - even after his death. Mary says:

Somehow, as parents we go on. ‘Other’ parents, those that have not experienced the death of a child state emphatically “I couldn’t do it. You are so strong”. And of course, we cringe at those words, wondering ourselves how we continue to live on this planet without our beloved children.

If you continue - day after day, to rise from your bed, get dressed and move through your day. When you may least expect it – you will feel it again. First it is a twinge of happiness. A soft breeze against the face that actually feels peaceful. Later, you can laugh at a joke – truly laugh and wonder ‘am I feeling, just a little happy?’ Then one day, it is there! - Unabridged joy! The long lost emotion that we thought was buried with our child. It is the miracle of our human spirit.


Below are some organizations that Mary mentions during our conversation:

Bereaved Parents of the USA - Bereaved Parents of the USA (BPUSA) is a national non-profit self-help group that offers support, understanding, compassion and hope to bereaved parents grandparents or siblings struggling to rebuild their lives after the death of their children, grandchildren or siblings. 

National Organization of Parents of Murdered Children, Inc. - NOPM  provides support and assistance to all survivors of homicide victims while working to create a world free of murder. This organization's goal is to provide on-going emotional support, education, prevention, advocacy, and awareness.


Mary also has allowed us to share some of her writings about her experience as a bereaved parent. 

What I Wish the World Would KnowThis piece was an address presented by Mary at Emerson Unitarian Universalist Chapel on the first anniversary of Dylan’s death – August 1992. This is read by Mary on the podcast.

Who Am I Now That My Child Has Died? - This piece was written for a candlelight memorial service in 1998.