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My Son! My Angel! My Inspiration

Your Heart, Your Child

Your Heart, Your Child
Letters From Mom
Mom has Set me Free
God Has Blessed Me
Special Loves In My Life
Billy and Dustin Best Friends for Life
Live Like No Tomorrow
Friends in Heaven
More Than Words
Love Generously.
Take The Time!
Happy Mother's Day
Feelings of a Mom
Mother's Day Letters of Support


These are letters of support concerning how others feel and that  talk to their loved ones as I do. Do not let anyone take away the way you feel and the connection you feel with your child or friend or anyone you may have lossed that now reside in Heaven. Think before you speak because one wrong word can set this person back trust me I know. Sometimes saying nothing is best.


Hi Patti,
i know exactly how you feel about Dustin perhaps lying on the ground calling out for you even for a split second, that thought often comes to me about Tony...God rest them both gently.
 I am certain God was there in that split second to take them to himself, and i also believe they never really leave us and that they can hear us...A priest told me once that our dead are nearer to us in the next life than they were ever in this life, and that they can do more for us now where they are. So keep talking to Dustin as i do to Tony everyday.It doesent matter what anyone else says, we are their mothers and we know they can hear us.
You can beat yourself up everyday with one type of guilt or another "if only this and that" but that is our human the end of the day that was their time to leave this earth and as a nun said to Paul's mam they didnt get a minute longer than God had allocated to them to live. I am not saying he wanted them to die in this way, but he knows whats going to happen to us before we are born. He loves those boys more than we can ever understand and they wouldnt want to come back to this old earth now they have seen the face of God.
One day they will come to meet us and take us where they are too. Each day is a day nearer to that day.
The foot is still in plaster until July 9th, hopefully will have healed by then...cant wait to get the cast off its a nuisance in the heat...not that its been too hot, but at night i keep tossing in the bed trying to get comfortable. Ah well a little bit of penance i am trying to offer up to God for someone maybe, who knows.
You keep doing what helps you to keep going each day you are always in my prayers.
Take care now,
Love Carol


Hi Patti,
you have every right to be fragile....its part of the grieving kind to yourself.
Glad i am being of some help to you.
 You will get stronger and better able to bear the awful pain, but right now your loss is so raw. I remember the slightest thing anyone said to me would upset me at the early stage of my grief. Somehow thank God, and to the intervention of the two boys too, i got stronger little by little. Its the worst kind of pain any mother can suffer...its not natural for your child to die before you. They were part of us before anyone else knew them for the 9 months we carried them. They took part of us the day they were killed.
Be fragile now don't apologise for being so, you are entitled to be. People often say the wrong thing without thinking it through, sometimes i wish they would say nothing at all if its not good. We don't need their penny or cent worth of what they think, we have enough to deal with coping with our pain and loss. so you just keep on going girl and Dustin is never far away, he will walk with you through your life because they never really leave us.
Take care, and remember be kind to yourself,
God bless you and yours,
Love Carol


There was a article in this weeks TCF Newsletter that really  hit home and is good to know I am not the only mom or person that feels this way. No one can possibly understand how one feels after loosing a loved one and being a child you gave  birth to is nothing you can even imagine unless you have experienced this yourself. And is not for them to try to understand or to judge your feelings.
After reading  this I emailed Mr. Carmody and below you will see his reply and then the original  letter that impressed me so.

Signs From Our Children Whom Have Died, Fact, Fiction or Fantasy?

To read more stories and poems and writings about Grief please  click on the picture below. I read alot  on how to live this journey  and tonight was the first time I have read Mt. Carmody's site and learned even more how to help travel this journey I am on  and most important I am not alone. 
It will also help you that have not lost a child to see how fragile a person is and how easy it is to set one back with just one wrong word. The healing is not a month or even a year but it is a life time process. One thing I know and have learned  is NO ONE has the right to tell you to move on and get over it just because they think it is time you should. I can tell you from my personal feelings those are words that can really set me off real quick. Trust me I tell myself that enough I do not need to hear it from one that has no clue. I do not understand this journey  so how can one that is not  on it with me .  People have to know we do not like the roller coaster ride we are on,  happy one minute and with no warning burst into tears, We do not sit around and plan our days on what can we cry about today, or what can we feel today to make us sad. We more than anyone would love to be happy inside and out, to wake up and the pain all be turned to joy but instead the pain  takes over  our body and we have no control  of our new life without that child that is now in Heaven  and you can not control it for us.


From: Mitch Carmody(TCF)

Date: 6/25/2008 6:42:32 PM

To: Patti Rawls

Subject: Re: TCF Mom



Hello Patty

Thanks for writing, I appreciate your response. I am so sorry about your   Dustin, you are still so very early on your journey and know of your pain.

I used to think that too (being crazy), now after talking to thousands of bereaved parents who are saying the same thing I have come the the realization we are too many to be wrong, call us desperate or crazy, who cares? I now shake my head, pray for them for they are too blind to see the truth that we see, that we feel, and know to be true.

  What is important is that we feel it, and we know its reality.  Losing a child changes you forever, we become less tolerant of stupid things people blindly say and do and believe, we become defensive because no ones understands our pain and the length of the journey. I figure nothing canhurt me more than I have already have been hurt by losing my son, so if people call me crazy, so be it, guilty as charged: I am crazy in grief for

my son, I always will be, no one can ever take him away from me, society  tries to make us bury them with their body, we have to resist, they live on and I am proud to say so, I am tired of feeling like I have to keep his life like some dark secret, when the truth of our continued loved is so beautiful. I celebrate both my children's lives, wherever they reside, here, out of state or the other side of the rainbow, when I don’t see them I miss them and always will. Our children die a second time when no one

says their name. I will never let that happen.


God bless you, may it be some comfort that as his mom you knew Dustin the best.








Signs From Our Children Whom Have Died, Fact, Fiction or Fantasy?


As most of you well know losing a child, a grandchild, or sibling is a life changing, life altering event. An experience that rocks your world, brings you to your knees, and brings you to a grief so profound, so pervasive, and so intense it seems surreal. It is impossible to be real, impossible to be happening. It tests your limits of emotions and challenges your spirit to even want to survive; how can I live with this daily pain?  How can I ever smile or laugh again when I know that my child is dead?  I am truly living a nightmare because the truth is unreal, too painful to accept; how can this be happening?  Every morning when I open my eyes I revisit denial and my day begins like Bill Murray in the movie Groundhogs Day; the same day all over again. The fresh pain of reality stabs my heart once again and as I force myself out of bed when my eyes first open; again unwilling to accept the horror of the truth I am a bereaved dad.


Moms and dads, siblings all over the world are forced by circumstance to deal with the reality of the death of a child in the family.  We are vulnerable from the moment the our  first cell splits and divides in the comfort of our mothers womb, until that time our heart can no longer pump its own blood; the limits of it beats per minute per year were reached and it stopped.  The human heart can pump non stop for almost a hundred years but our earth is a harsh environment and there are so many things out to get us; even our own genes can try to kill us; death can strike at anytime. Our children can even end their own life; no one is immune to the possibility of losing someone you love.


In the struggle to survive the enormity of the death of a child we look for anything we can find to assuage the pain.  Weeks, months, years go by and we still find ourselves looking for some end to this madness. We look for something to fill this huge void that is so pervasive in our daily life; to seek and find a sign-post that points in some direction besides destination unknown.    The intense missing them so much seems to almost cripple our attempts to survive. In healing, in moving forward, we feel we are abandoning them or letting them go.  Its impossible for us to say its okay I know that you are dead it is not okay, it never will be okay, but we have to survive. We have to follow our path given to us and fulfill our personal destiny. We did not die; its up to us to live.


Many bereaved parents believe that although their child died in the physical sense, their spirit lives on forever and can in many different ways get back to us in spirit.  This experience validates life after death and is hugely comforting to the bereaved parents, family and friends who have interpreted a phenomenal event as a sign from the child or loved one whom has died.  Reality or wishful thinking, can our children whom have died somehow communicate back to us with messages of their continued existence?


From personal experience I have to say yes it is a reality. I have had many signs from my son who died more than 20 years ago.   Months following the death of my son I wrote him a letter and   I asked him for a sign, I asked him to make something grow in our yard I had not seen before.  That next spring three cornstalks grew in our back yard lawn, I quit mowing that lawn and in the fall the one cornstalk had produce an ear of corn.  On the first anniversary of his death that late fall I picked that lonely corn cob. When peeling back the husk of the ear of corn I found the cob had rotted and that the mold had formed and stained the back of the husk with the letters D A D.


Since that time I have spoken with thousands of bereaved parents who also feel that their child has communicated back to them in someway following their physical death.  I would say close to one hundred percent of bereaved parents I have polled  have had some experience that leads them to believe that love survives death; consciousness survives death, our children are in another realm of existence and can some how let us know that they are near. Many of these parents have also had experiences prior to their childs death, something their child said, did or dreamed of that when posthumously revisited gave them pause to think; that somehow, someway, at some level of spirit their child knew their time to leave was on the near horizon. Even though they themselves were not cognitively aware their soul knew.


There are many ways that our children communicate to us, alive or dead. Mothers intuition is fact not fantasy, it is that close connect we call love. Love does not die with physical death.  For any experience of this sort to happen it takes an open mind, a receptive heart, and the ability to slow done and listen.  I have talked to many mothers whom for some reason it seems the last to experience a phenomenon of this sort, especially early on the grief journey.  If the mind has not yet accepted the reality of the death, how can it receive messages from someone who is not dead in their own mind?   When we have finally allowed that reality to sink in, and believe that although they are dead, loves survives, then the messages will come. They come to all different people in all different ways, but come they do. We just have to try and recognize the signs when they appear, some are subtle, and some are bold, some come through others.


Has the most poignant song ever just come up on the radio when you needed it most?  Has a butterfly landed on your shoulder and refused to go away?  Has an orb shown up in a photograph at a special event?  Has your dog barked at the air in recognition of someone there?  Has that Eagle flown overhead at just the right moment? Has the bumper sticker or Billboard reached out and spoken right to your heart? Have you had the most vivid dream of your loved one that is still so vivid in your mind that it was like an actual event?  Have you found that penny, dime or feather in the oddest of places? Have you heard their voice, smelled their scent, and felt them sit on the bed?  Have they spoken to you through a third party?


There are man ways for the spirit of our children to let us know they survived death and that they can let us know that.  I believe strongly that there are gifted people out there that can provide the means for our children to communicate back to us and that they can be a valuable tool on the bereavement journey.  I also believe that there are those that could take advantage of the bereaved who are so vulnerable. So Caveat Emptor (buyer beware) when seeking help from a third party.  Some people have had dramatic evidential proof of survival, others have walked away disappointed when nothing happens or angry at information that made no sense.  One should not have to spend a lot of money to receive a message from your child or loved one. The foremost thing is in truly believing that their spirit can touch us at any time. It may take many years before you experience a phenomenon of this sort and for some may be not at all, but for most it does happen.  At my workshops this summer at the TCF National Conference in Nashville (and BPUSA in St. Louis) I will illustrate with a slide show and give testimony to many valid experiences that I believe are signs from our children whom have died. Love never dies and whispers of love not far away.


Peace, love and light

Mitch Carmody

Dustin Marshall Rawls
September 2, 1982 - September 27, 2007
Dustin Lives on Through All The Many People
 that had the honor to know him!
I love you my Son!
God Blessed Me So giving you as MY SON!
"When someone you love becomes a memory,
that memory becomes a treasure!"


2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.