Losing a Child

The WLF knows what it is like to lose a child.  The foundation was created by the parents of a little boy who is no longer with us.  This section is dedicated to those who’ve either lost a child, know someone who’ve lost a child or want to understand more about what it’s like to lose a child.

Wyatt’s Story

Little Pie Man in his First Month

If you’re reading this now, you’re probably familiar with the story of Wyatt “Pie Man” Leamon.  The happy, healthy boy was 9-months-old when he passed away due to complications from acute liver failure (brought on by an adverse drug reaction to Amoxicillin prescribed for an ear infection).

The WLF knows firsthand what it is like to lose a baby.  The parents of Wyatt Leamon watched their son go through the medical nightmare of severe illness, drugs, blood draws, transfusions, neurological sickness and ultimately, saw him succumb to the disease brought on by the drug reaction.  It was 30 days of hell that Wyatt’s parents will never forget.

What’s Next?

While it is nearly impossible to recreate the environment of losing a child within the confines of an internet article, the emotional roller coaster of such a tragic loss will often consist of deep, uncontrollable weeping, feelings of hopelessness and despair, random outbursts of anger and sadness, confusion and resentment toward others and how they are treating you and of course, a desire to “quit” on life.  Especially in the immediate aftermath, day-to-day life is a minute-to-minute struggle.

That being said, the WLF can testify that moving forward and finding happiness again, even rather quickly is possible.  Here is what we recommend to anyone who loses a child, no matter how traumatic the circumstances:

1.  Confront and process the grief, preferably with a professional

Grief is a real, almost quantifiable energy that must be processed and worked through.  The best way to do this is to talk to someone, preferably a professional therapist with experience in working with patients who’ve suffered a loss.  Wyatt’s parents spent over a year talking to a therapist who helped them process the stress and depression that losing a child produces.  Oftentimes, it simply meant that they could talk to someone about how sad they were, how they missed their little boy, how people around them made them feel and how their own grief may be influencing the feelings they were experiencing.  Ultimately, it was one of the best decisions they made once they had lost little Wyatt.  The emotions and psychology of the human being is fully equipped to deal with these types of tragic circumstances as long as one can embrace and acknowledge them.  Talking and working through the grief is the first step to happiness after the loss of a child or any traumatic experience that may render life on Earth a hopeless existence.

2.  Don’t bury the loss, share it!

Pie Man and his Tools!

The WLF knows how important this aspect of the equation is.  You see, the Wyatt Leamon Foundation was born out of the desire of Wyatt’s parents to share, talk about and confront the issues surrounding “Pie Man’s” death rather than burying them alongside his body in the cemetery.  Instead of taking down his pictures and forgetting that he was ever alive, Wyatt’s parents went the other route, making sure he was never forgotten, making sure that his story helped others.  Wyatt’s parents used various “projects” to honor and carry on the memory of their son.  These projects included a memorial site (www.wyattsleamonadestand.com), photo albums, videos, manuscripts for a set of childrens books and so much more.  A blog, a blanket, a special section of your home, there are many ways to honor the life of your child big and small and you’ll find that while difficult, these projects will help you grieve, work through the sadness and bring about a feeling of accomplishment for remaining strong.  In the end, the love you continue to feel for your child will live on through these projects.

3.  Others will never fully understand, but you need their support

When you’ve lost a child, no one, and I mean no one that hasn’t experienced something similar to what you’ve been through will be able to understand what you’re going through.  No matter the religious affiliation, political circumstances, information available on the internet, your feelings and emotions will be unique to you and whoever experienced the tragedy of loss with you.

It’s very easy to misinterpret your grief as a reflection of how others are failing “being there” for you.  Just know that these kinds of situations do not come with a handbook, that most people have such a hard time understanding and related to the ultimate emotional tragedy and this will ultimately lead to disappointment for you since you are looking for answers in a situation that almost always provides little if any comfort.  Your interactions with your friends, family and support group will often be frustrating at times, but ultimately, these are the people who truly care for you, care for what you went through and will support you as best as they know how.  When the years have passed since the initial sting of the loss, you will discover that you’re closer with the friends and family who really matter.

Bouncing Back

Several years after the loss of Wyatt “Pie Man” Leamon, his parents have found a way to bounce back.  They worked with a trusted therapist, found their project in www.wyattleamonfoundation.org and are busy raising Wyatt’s brothers Parker, and the twins Morgan and Warren.  But they miss and think of Wyatt constantly, a memory that never escapes them.

And while the memory of Wyatt will always be with them, from the good memories to the chilling, traumatic memories of the hospital experience they had with him, they can at least move forward knowing that Wyatt’s life was not a complete loss.  That it still holds so much love and value for the family who so desperately wishes he could be with them yet knows fully that life can move on without him.

If you’ve lost a child, or know someone who has, please know that a brighter future is possible.

To your natural health,

The Wyatt Leamon Foundation