A New … Grieving Mother

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@GeeGranny on Twitter


A new, grieving mother just got on the long, dark road of grief I’ve traveled since my own child died … I cared with my Heart. Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee



Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@GeeGranny on Twitter



My eyes overflow with tears

Heart overwhelmed with grief

I’m sad as sad can be

I’m a grieving mother who has traveled far

Today I met a new grieving mother

Who has just found herself on this road

Road of grief, pain no one knows

But … only someone who has lost a child

My Heart pure breaks for her

I looked at her today … I saw myself

Standing there … I wanted to weep

Her face lined with pain as she looked

Looked at her child, her beautiful daughter

Laying on silk … like Sleeping Beauty

My Heart cared more than I could possibly say

I put my arms around her shoulders

I wished to take the pain away

I looked closely in her face

She’s in shock now … she’s not begun her travels yet

Along the road of grief, pain … darkness

I hurt for what she must go through

I met a new grieving mother today

I’m so sorry for the pain she must go through

No one can take it away …

No more than they can take away her love

For her child, that’s why she must grieve

Grief is pure love … pain for the loss of a loved one

I wanted to wrap my arms around her

Like a mother hen does with her babies

Comfort her until all the pain goes away

No one can do that in reality

We have to walk our own roads in grief

Travel through darkness, raging storms

No one can do it for us … if they could

I would surely walk for this new grieving mother

To keep her from feeling the pain I know

My Heart is broken … filled with many tears

Tears and love, caring

For this new grieving mother I saw today



Note from this author:

My Heart pure breaks for the new, grieving mother I saw today … not only grieving mother … oh my, the grieving father, also.

I looked in their faces, saw … felt their pain.  I saw the grief etching itself into their faces … swollen from the tears they have cried.  Their eyes were darkened with such grief that makes you want to weep when seeing.

I am a grieving mother … even after five years.  My pain is just as deep as it ever was.  From time to time I go through bouts of pure grief … pure agony in my soul.  A mother never gets over losing her child.

Today is my first time seeing a grieving mother who doesn’t know what grieving is yet.  She is in pure shock of losing her child … she hasn’t begun grieving.  I wish I could grieve for her … because I’ve already traveled down this road.  I wish I could give her comfort … I can only say I care with my very Heart.

My Heart breaks … because each day she will have to go pure … living Hell … knowing her child’s gone … never coming back.  She’ll never hear the special sounds her child made when laughing, speaking, doing things, walking.  She’ll never see her special smile that melts a mother’s heart, again.  So many … nevers.

I can only say this has affected me deeply … I feel it to my very soul.  I hurt for this special family I saw today … grieving mother, grieving father … grieving children.  There’s not a thing I can do to take away the awful pain they are going through for a very long time.  I would if I could … my grief has only made me stronger.

Photo, true poem, story owned, written by Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee.

What You Need To Know about Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@GeeGranny on Twitter



From time to time I have to remind others ‘why?’ I write. I don’t write to gain pity … I write to live. Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee.



Think of me as the strongest, biggest Redwood tree in the forest.  I’m still standing after all Life’s storms.  Pray that I have beautiful, calm weather until the end of my days.  I would love to know that for the rest of my life.  Gloria Faye Brown Bates/Granny Gee.

Artwork by me … Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee  … I’m still standing.



This is the link to this story I wrote today … 2-29-2016 … I want to tell my new readers, friends, followers ‘why?’ I write ……. I want to remind everyone who knows me why I write grief, pain … I write as I promised about grief, pain when it happens, how it feels.  






Don’t you dare feel sorry for me.  Think of me as … envision the biggest, strongest Redwood tree … I’ve weathered many of Life’s storms … twigs, limbs are missing … but … I’m still standing.  I hope now … at this point in my Life … that the weather be wonderful … calm … until the end of my days.  I’ve had enough grief, pain for several lifetimes.



I have been writing since November 2010 …( I’d been writing all my life … but, I began my blog: ) … just a few months after my son … Tommy … died. When I began my blog I made the promise to all my readers/followers/friends I would describe pure grief, pain of a grieving mother.


I didn’t need anyone’s sympathy … I never thought of anyone as I wrote my pain. The truth is … writing my grief, pain … saved my life. While I was in darkness, the keys under my fingertips gave me comfort as well … as an outlet for my grief.



My grief, pain flowed like the biggest river in the world … rocks hurt like h___ … I still flowed on to … wherever. In fact, before someone says something to add more pain, grief … say empty, useless words … I asked people to just come into my blog to read quietly, leave just as quietly, go their way.



My beautiful Son … big as life … in a truck stop on his way to somewhere … taking a selfie.  I miss you, Tommy.  Your Mama miss you with her very Heart.


They could see how it all felt, never having to experience in their life … grief, pain of a grieving mother. I promised my readers that I would write grief when it happened … as it happened … and I would tell the raw truth about grief.



No pity … no feeling sorry … read like you are reading something else … if you learn something from my grief, thank God. I pray no one ever goes through losing a child … only child like I did.



This logo was made just for me by Donnalyn, several years ago.



I didn’t need all those comments that you are going to always hear people say … such as … ‘oh, he’s in a better place now … he’s sitting down at the Lord’s table eating … you don’t have to worry about him anymore … oh, you’ll get over your grief in no time, like in the next few weeks … the worst one I heard, that fills me with pure, white anger is … oh, I understand, I know how you feel.’ I understand, I know how you feel … can you imagine someone telling you that when they’ve never experienced grief?



Needless to say … I didn’t say a word to those people … I never forgot them … I forgave them for their careless words. Can you imagine modeling your life after someone who has never experienced what they are ‘selling’? Can you? Can you imagine listening to a pastor preach empty words when he has never experienced being saved, the true feeling of love, compassion, caring for his congregation?



My son, Tommy … holding his newborn son … Tommy had one son, and one daughter.



Can you imagine telling a grieving mother that you understand how it feels, her grief should be over in oh, probably … 2 weeks? Can you imagine being told that by someone who has never lost a child? Can you imagine someone who has never experienced the pain, grief in their life … try to tell you how it feels? How you should handle it?



Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee



I want to share with my new friends … and new readers/followers on my blog … what happened to Tommy one year almost to the day he died … what he suffered … what his mother suffered, what I was grieving for …. before he died. I was already grieving for Tommy one year before … he died. Tommy ‘died’ … one year before he …. died.



Every writer knows that in order to write … be real, sincere … they have to write what they know best in life. You can’t fool your readers .. they know when you are being an imposter.



I write what I know best in my life since being a child … all the way until today … I’ve known grief, pain … awful things throughout my life. I know grief, pain … best. Just remember this when you read ‘me’ … I don’t write to gain your sympathy, pity … I don’t need it. I truly don’t need anyone’s pity.



Tommy is holding his newborn son …



I have grown very strong throughout time … think of me like you would a … redwood tree. I’ve withstood many, many terrible storms. I’m weathered, beaten … missing a twig or two … but, I’m still standing. I’m still weathering storms … I do pray for sunshine, calm weather … I would like to rest from battling the storms in my life.



Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee



I would like to tell you this … to remember also, about me … Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee … I’m the most positive, happiest person you’ll ever meet who is a grieving mother … a person who has battled cancer … congestive heart failure, motorcycle wreck … lost over 19 family members (not just any family members but, the ones I truly loved with my very Heart) … whose husband has battled cancer, almost dying again twice with strokes, heart problems … blood infection in his body from a tiny cut from old wire … lost all in a housefire … the ultimate loss … losing the only child whom I loved the ground he walked on. These are only … a few things ‘BAD’ that’s happened in my life.



My published book of grief, pain … writing this book saved my life … if you asked me what is in it … I can’t tell you … I can’t remember … I can’t open the book to read it.  Over a thousand pages of pure grief … pure pain.  You are looking at my life raft … writing this book is why I’m here today.  Writing this book makes sure my son, Tommy, is remembered forever.  It doesn’t matter that it doesn’t sell … doesn’t matter at all.  I have my copyright from Library of Congress on this book ( I have 3 copyrights on the 3 books I published).  They don’t sell … that’s okay … I still have my copyrights, and I’m proud to have them … I did it all when I was in the deepest throes of grief.  Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee.




This is only a fraction of what I’ve battled … so, this is what I write best … pain, grief, sadness. I write it to tell you that no matter how bad … things DO get better … no matter how BAD … they will get good again I can smile now … when I thought I couldn’t ever smile again … I mean how does a mother ever smile again with the knowledge that her child died?



It does happen … a grieving mother can smile again … but … this grieving mother had to make a choice … either stay in the darkness and not cope with the loss … or … meet it head-on … no matter how bad it hurts … battle it like you would battle with a bear … I did … I was going to either live … or die.



Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee



I’m smiling … I am here five years after my son’s death … yes, I still go through bouts of grief … oh my, I really do. Those times are farther apart … and I recover from them quickly now. Does it … lessen the pain, grief … when it comes again … no.



To write my story … on my blog for maybe the last time about what happened … I had to transport me back deeply into the darkness where I knew my grief, pain was for my son … doing this … something I don’t do anymore … took something out of me … for several days until now … I still feel the pain deeply. I can’t do it anymore … if I do … it may be years down the road.



For now … in order to understand me, my type of writing … one will have to go read on my blog … this is the link to what happened to Tommy … exactly one year leading up to his death. Link to my Blog: Colors in My Life … /2016/02/this-may-be-last-time-i-tell-anyone.html



A grieving mother … Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee



These are only words trying to describe by writing … living pain, grief … they are in no way the same. I couldn’t describe how … it really felt. Know that as you read … there was so much more than what I wrote.



Unless you are a mother who suffered with her child … then … her child die … you can’t understand at all. The closest you can come to that is … get very quiet … think of one of your children … think of what that child means to you … what you love so dearly about him/her … think of the sounds that child makes when they laugh, talk … everything that makes that one person your child.



Now … the phone rings … you see your child’s cellphone number pop up on the caller ID … you smile! You answer … you become confused because a stranger is trying to tell you something. What? What did you say?



Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee … a grieving mother who can smile today.



“Ma’am, I have a man collapsed here on the sand … he’s not breathing.” You have just found out before anyone knows … you are 200 miles away … you learn from a stranger that … your child is dead … he is laying on the soft sand at the ocean where he’d just arrived on vacation to play with his own little boy.



Your son has just collapsed on the sand … died that fast … 3 blockages to his heart. No one knew he was sick.



At that very moment … only you and the stranger and his family who cares for the man’s little son to keep him safe … knows your … son is dead.



The little son is wanting his daddy to get back up … “Let’s run, play … Daddy!”



I see you can’t bear to think of your child being … dead. I know you can’t … I couldn’t before my own son died. I’m sorry I made you feel pain, grief when imagining losing your child.



It’s the closest you’ll ever come to understanding a grieving mother … until … I pray you’ll outlive all your children. That’s the way it’s supposed to be … parents should never outlive their children.



My beautiful Son, my only child … Tommy

Born November 20, 1969

Died May 29, 2010




Children are our world … our family support when we have no one else … children carry on our name, inherit all our possessions and knowledge. Children are truly the … wealth of our world … when we teach them to be the best they can be.



Children are our everything. Now … I only have Skip, my husband … and our 2 dogs … they are truly the only family I have left in this big, old world … they are my whole world.



I have no one else … but, you … my online friends, readers and followers. So, my whole world, Skip and our 2 Pups … and you … mean everything to me.



 Tommy Mitchell Sidden … my only child, my Son.  This is the last photo taken of him driving to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina … he died that evening … collapsed to the soft, damp sand by the ocean’s waves washing ashore … where he and his little son played just minutes before …  May 29, 2010 … on a Saturday evening.




Just remember whenever you read anything sad, painful that I write … that it’s coming from a most positive person who has traveled many journeys in life … who has felt the pain from many things … who knows how so much feels … who truly knows no matter how bad … everything will be alright.



Good comes from … bad. Don’t even feel sorry for me … feel how strong the redwood tree looks when you stand below it … it’s still here after many storms have tried to take it down.



I am short, 5′ 2″ … but, I’m tall in spirit. In soul, I’m larger than life … from all the experiences, journeys I have taken in my life.



I have no room for pity … I’m not a ‘poor little thing’ … all broken into pieces … I worked very hard … to put ‘me’ back together. Sure … a piece falls off … now and then … I begin scuffling to put it back so … I can be alright again.



So now … you have an idea who Granny Gee/Gloria is … a strong person who when knocked down … jumps back up, dusts her pants off … holds her ground to meet life head-on … no matter how painful it is. Sometimes, it takes a little time to get up … I always manage.



Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee … in this photo you can see the gold nugget necklace that was around Tommy’s necklace when he died.  He wore it always … it is my class ring melted down into a gold nugget … 11 grams gold.  I gave it to my son … his wife gave it back to me … it meant the world.




Don’t feel pity for me … don’t think when I write my grief … I’m reaching out for someone to feel sorry for me. I don’t need it. Just care … go on … open your eyes wider when you see a grieving person … have compassion, not pity. Just simply … care with your Heart.



If you say something sincere in your own words (not a bunch of ___ you’ve always heard) … it’ll mean the world to that grieving person. Don’t recite a bunch of nothing just to have something to say … don’t say anything … just hug … care … if you can’t say anything … real.



Know that I am a for-real good person … I’m most real. I love everyone … see through fakey people … don’t waste time on them. Life’s too short to let others in my life that aren’t sincere.



I will voice my Gloria Opinions in a moment … I’ll respect yours and you respect mine … I won’t argue anything with anyone. Why? Because I simply don’t have to … it’s not worth the grief, pain it causes.



Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee




One last thing … I’m known for some times, writing long stories. I have to … it’s part of being me. You don’t need to tell me … I already know. I don’t do it all the time … only when … it’s important.



Photo/story owned … written by Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee.



Photo is of the only tattoo I most likely will ever have … in memory of my son, Tommy. He loved dragonflies … dragonflies show up in my life at the oddest times.



My Tommy Dragonfly Tattoo created for me by Jason Wilkins at Revelation Ink & Piercings … his new shop will open in early March 2016 in Raleigh, NC (Wakefield area).  Until then, you will find him at his shop in Louisburg, NC at Dystink’d Tattoo.



Disappeared Like the Light She Blew Out …



Disappeared Like the Light She Blew Out …

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@GeeGranny



Photo of Dining Area in our previous home … dining area, living room and den were like a huge room …



She stood in the middle of the room … actually three rooms together … no doors … only a wall here, there.  It was a wonderful ‘big’ room.

One area was for the living room … another area was where the fireplace was … this was the den.  The other area was the dining room where the china hutch sat in it’s glory … she could see all the colorful, happy pieces of glass she had collected … inside.

The short walls around the dining room had decorative glass … the frosted, decorative glass gave the atmosphere of cosy privacy … like in a quaint, little restaurant.

On this particular day … the house looked warm, cozy … happy.  She turned slowly around thinking this was the first time she had really looked around her in several months.  She felt a surge of happiness that quickly … went away.

She had no right to be happy … her son had just died.  How could she forget that?   Her shoulders dropped … she couldn’t do this … she sat down, placed her head in her hands.

Tears began running down her wrists … teardrops wet, cold.  She had wanted to call someone to share her moment of happiness with.  There wasn’t anyone to call … she had tried to call her husband.  He didn’t answer … he was a thousand miles from home, on a big truck.

She couldn’t call her mother … her cousins she was close to … her aunts … grandmother … her brother.  Her mind went over the list of all the people she loved with her Heart.  They had all died in the past few years … the very ones she loved dearly.  There wasn’t anyone left in her family she even desired to be know, be close to.



This photo is the last photo taken of my son just a short time before he collapsed, died at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  May 29, 2010 … Saturday evening.  I miss you, Son.  My son, Tommy.  No one knew he was sick … 3 blockages to his heart.




She thought of her son.  Her shoulders shook as she cried silently.  She never cried aloud … her sobs were always hidden … they came from deep inside.  She cried now … her son was dead … so was all the rest of her family.  She had no one left … only her husband, her dogs.

Nineteen people … a major number of people in her life … had died, gone away … forever.  She took one last look around the big room … she thought how pretty it looked.

There were candles in the fireplace … they burned brightly through the glass doors.  She looked out the sliding doors … the trees were beautiful, green.  Some of the leaves had already turned red, yellow.  Fall time … her favorite time of the year.

Her husband called her often … he worried about her.  Sometimes, their cellphones couldn’t get through … they lost signal.  At this moment … she couldn’t reach him.

She stood up … looked toward the fireplace … she watched the flames burn … tried to draw in the happiness of watching them … failed.  She had no right to be happy … her son had just died … her mama was gone … her precious brother was gone, too.  Every person she thought of … gone.  All were gone away to never come back.

She walked to the fireplace, opened the doors … blew the big, fat burning candles out, closed the door.  She stood, looked through the glass on the doors … pure, black darkness … now.


Den Area … Kissy on the ottoman … he was born November 02, 2010 … my only child, my son Tommy … was born on November 20, 1968 … Tommy died May 29, 2010.




Pure, black darkness … for a moment her candle inside had burned to match the brightness of the candles in the fireplace … now, inside … matched the pure, black darkness inside the fireplace doors.

There wasn’t anyone to ever know she had become aware of the world once again … it was short-lived.  She never reached her husband for the short time she was aware she was in the world.

She lay on her side of the bed … blankets wrapped around her.  Her dogs laid around her … everyone was asleep.  She never heard the cellphone when it rang.  She was gone now … wouldn’t become aware of anything for months later.

She had done like the candles she had blown out … disappeared like the light did … became pure, black darkness.


Tommy’s Chest … this is all I have left of my son.  This chest is always sitting there quietly … waiting for me to come to open it … take all out to touch, look at … to … remember.  The times I’ve tried to open it … to take something out … I became physically sick.  I couldn’t go on … I closed Tommy’s Chest up … it’s still waiting for me to come open it.  When I do, I’ll keep my promise to let you know … maybe with photos … show you several things in it.  I’ve forgotten what’s inside.




Note by this Author:


True story, photos are written, owned by me … Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee.



I can look back and remember those few moments of feeling aware of the world around me … it was briefly lived.  There wasn’t anyone to talk to … no one to call … I was all alone in this big, old world.

I might have gotten better quicker if I had had a family support system.  I had no one.  Skip had to work, be gone long periods of time.  I had no one at all.

Before … I used to call my mother, brother … there was always someone to call to share news with … happy or sad.  At the time my son died … I had lost all of them … only briefly did I remember.

Afterwards … I didn’t remember anymore because during the next several years … I don’t remember thinking at all.  I know I did … but, it didn’t matter … my son had died.  My world had come to an end … The End.



Describing Shock of Learning Someone Had Died …



By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@GeeGranny



Disbelief … not sure I heard right.  I need something … to validate what I just heard.  Why?  Because … just because there might be that possibility … it isn’t true.  I just pray it isn’t true.

Someone has made a mistake.  I will try to find out in a discreet way … I don’t want to hurt anyone by asking outright.  If it’s true … oh my God … people are hurting … people are going through such undescribable grief, shock.  I … know how grief, shock feels.

No one needs a nosy-ass person asking questions … it would be like a firecracker going off inside a quiet library … a bull clomping through the house on a white carpet.  It would be just damn awful … and insensitive.

I’ll look online to see … I did … the strange thing is I found the name of someone who died unexpectedly … a year ago … with the same name.  I kept thinking … okay, it is a mistake … someone is talking about this person.

An hour or so later … I looked online once again … and there it is.  It isn’t a mistake.  My Heart instantly fills with sorrow … like when you fill your tank full of gas … overfill your glass … liquid spills over the sides.

I’m full of sorrow for someone who has passed away with so much in life going for them.  Both Skip and I held such high regard for this person … liked them a lot … a whole lot.

Skip admired this person … said this person’s life was everything a life’s plan should be … this person had accomplished everything.

This person did everything in life a man should do.  He excelled in all he did.

Academically … military … family … this person did it all.  He was someone in life … one couldn’t do any better.  Not only that … he was a witty, fun person to talk to.  Also … he ‘was the sharpest knife in the drawer’.

In fact, I will say that it’s rare I see Skip look up to, respect another man as much as he did this person.  That made me know … this person was special.  I liked, respected him very much … moreso … Skip thought ‘he was someone’ … that meant he … really was.

All evening I kept feeling grief for his family, friends.  When someone who is strong … so alive, vibrant in life … unexpectedly dies … there’s no way to describe in words what it does to the people left who loved them … whose world that person was such a huge part of.

I know … my only child unexpectedly died.  He was so strong, alive … so vibrant in life … and like one of the legs on a table … he was a huge part of mine, Skip’s world.  Not more than 3 weeks ago … I almost lost ‘another leg’ on the table … my world would have crashed.  Skip almost died in the hospital.

Skip said it made him question his own mortality … the person who died was so strong, healthy … had a good life.  It’s hard to believe he died.  Skip said here he was … going through medical, financial, mental stress … he made it through … when he had a stroke, his heart rate went so low.  He can’t believe it.  He thinks if anyone should have died … it would have been him.

Below are my thoughts I can’t say to this person … so, I write them.  Sometimes, I write to Tommy, my son … how do we know that our words we write … travel out through the universe … doesn’t also, travel to Heaven … to be read, heard?

So in case … I will write my words as well … as think them.  These are my words to this Special person.




To YOU …  May my words travel into the Universe, Heaven to you.

I can only think … I am so, so sorry you are gone.  We truly liked you very much.  I’m so glad we had time to carry on a conversation the last time we saw you.

You were so funny … and interesting to talk to.  Skip and I went away from you … glad to have talked to you … saying what a wonderful person you were.

In my mind … when I ‘look back’ … seeing us all talking … it’s like seeing a flash of sunshine … smiles, laughter.  All good things … we have a good memory of you.  I feel the world lost a good person … and Heaven gained someone who will help the sun shine brighter.

Skip was impressed, talking about how you did so much in your ‘young’ life … he wished he’d went on to do such.

We will never forget you … though it may seem we do.  We never forget people who made us feel good … happy to have met them.  YOU were one of these people.







Note by this Author:

I promised to share grief whenever I experienced it … this is grief for another person other than my Son.  This grief is for a person who made an impression on both mine, Skip’s life … a good impression.

He made us glad to know him … not everyone can say that.  Anytime … one can ‘look back in their mind’ when thinking of someone who has died … see, sense sunshine … that lets you know that person made a positive impact on your life.

My true words, thoughts … and photo are written, owned by me … Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee.

I Haven’t Forgotten How It Feels To Be a Mother …



I Haven’t Forgotten How It Feels To Be a Mother

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@GeeGranny on Twitter



My Son, Tommy and I … I was so proud of him.  He was my only child whom I loved with my very Heart.  I’m fortunate to have my photos of him … and all the others.  They survived a house fire … in a big suitcase soaked with water from the firemen’s hoses.  I treasure them.  A lot of photos … I put in a rose box … gave them to my grandson’s mother for him one day … when Tommy died.  If something happened … I wanted him to have them.




Well … yesterday was a big surprise to me.  I got up not knowing that it was going to be a day of grief for me.  It was exactly what it was.  I began to grieve for my Son, Tommy.  It’ll soon be Christmas … he won’t be coming home.


I still haven’t forgotten how it feels to have … my son and his family … come home on holidays.  I haven’t forgotten the warm feeling of love … happiness whenever my son came home.  I can’t forget that just as one can’t forget how it feels to come in from the cold … stand in front of the fireplace.  Safe, cozy, warm … happy … everything is going to be all right.  My world changed when my son died.


I learned to accept that every holiday Tommy won’t be coming home ever again.  I accept I’m going to always see him in my memories … and I want to.  I can’t forget having my own child for forty years.  My only child.


Visions play in my mind like videos … I can see Tommy smiling as he opened presents from us.  I can feel his hug and hear his soft voice say, “I love you, Mama.”  Or when eating special holiday foods … ‘That’s good, Mama!”


Yesterday morning the pouring down rain triggered this bout of grief … and looking outside at the gloomy day.  Skip had just left for several days … so, it was just me and The Pups.  Grief settled on me like a soft blanket of darkness.  I just couldn’t shake it off.


I felt the same old sensation of trapped birds in a bird cage … wings beating against the bars … wanting desperately to get out, fly away.  This is something that has happened many times since Tommy died.


I become afraid … I have to be careful when thinking too much … death … my child … gone forever.  I begin to become panicky … I have to help myself be all right.  I do it by writing … I have no other outlet … I sure don’t discuss it with anyone by talking about it.  I can only write about it.


I couldn’t get away from myself.  So, all yesterday I coped with it by writing … and I even went to bed to sleep myself away from it.


When I feel grief … I feel like Death is close by.  Really, if one thinks about it … it is.  Why do you grieve?  In my case, I grieve over all my many, many loved ones who are gone (most, prematurely) … and my Son.  Death.  Grief … Death.


If you knew the circumstances of each death … and the people I loved with my very Heart … you would understand why I grieve.


Nothing is normal … everyday like probably in … your world.  I grieve because of … how … my loved ones died.  I don’t talk about them … that pain remains inside me.  It hurts more than my words can say.  My son’s death hurts much more than I can possibly say.


No matter how much I write the pain … it’s always there.  I can’t write it away.  It hurts but, I’m all right.  I just don’t run from thinking about it …


Do you think I sound morbid?  I promise you I’m not at all.  It’s just how I think about things.  I face things head-on.  I face reality … I don’t stick my head into the ground.


I should be a mean, cold, bitter, angry ‘old’ woman.  I am completely the opposite.  I am a most positive person … I still believe in good … I know no matter what … no matter how bad … things do get better.  They do get all right.


Grief is ugly … as ugly emotion as you’ll ever feel.  There’s nothing pretty about grief.  Your face reflects such pain … your eyes deepen with that pain.  Do you ever look into people’s eyes?  Do you see the difference in people who have been through a lot … almost dying, losing a loved one, suffered a trauma?


If you really take a moment to really see … you can tell the difference … people who go through bad things … recognize it in another when they meet them.  Their eyes tell it all.


In fact, if the shock, trauma has been recent … you’ll see deep emotion … their eyes will instantly tear up if talking about what happened in their life.  I recognize it all the time.  I know what it feels like to suffer many things the average person hasn’t.


I’ve walked many journeys in my life … no two alike.  Many … bad … things.  I’ve felt that emotion all the way to my very soul after I almost died several times in my life.


I’ve felt how thankful I was to still be living … after surviving cancer, congestive heart failure, and several other things.  I couldn’t talk about them … I would instantly choke up … tears filling my eyes.  Powerful emotion would fill my Heart.


I will say this … you have to help yourself when you come through bad things … you have to get your ass up off the ground, ‘dust them britches’ off … meet life head-on again.  There are no ‘ifs … ands’ … you either do it … or lay there.  Don’t you ever, ever give up.  Oh … this is so much easier than said.


I know things get really bad enough to want to die, sometimes … I know that very well.  As soon as you are aware of that … open your eyes full of tears, your Heart filled with such pain … fight like Hell … bring yourself out of it.  Sure, you’ll fall back into darkness … so many times I did, I couldn’t see my way out … don’t give up.


You just have to keep taking baby steps.  Who am I to preach … I failed miserably for the first 3 years and even into last year … and at times this year (the 5th year) when Tommy died.  The good thing is now … I can look back … oh my … I have come so far.  When I thought I had given up … something happened to bring me back.  Even I am amazed I have ‘come back’ from losing my only child.


You know I have kept my promise to write about grief when it happens just exactly as it happens … I think sometimes, my new readers don’t know that, become alarmed … and want me to be all right.  I would like to tell them that this is what I write about … grief, pain in my life.

It doesn’t mean I’m some poor soul lost out in the darkness floundering around.  I’m on stable ground … I have coped with my grief.  It’s at times, grief comes back … unexpectedly.  I write about that just as I promised.  I always will write about grief, pain.  It is what I know best in my life.  Grief never goes away.


If you notice … I’ve lost over twenty family members I loved with my very Heart … but, I write about my son, my only child all the time.  I haven’t even written at all about all the grief in my Heart … because my own flesh and blood … my own child … died.


Losing my only child … is worse than anything I know or have ever experienced.  The grief is so much … that was all I could think about when I lost him.


To my new friends, readers, followers … just know I am fine.  This is what I write about, share with everyone.  If grief, pain … death upsets you … you might not want to read what I write.  When I write … I face up to the same fears you may have … I meet them head-on.  You may not want to do that … I understand.  It’s scary … sometimes, too scary … uncomfortable.


I study them in my mind … find different ways to think about things.  I’m always looking for something to learn to understand ‘the whys?’ … in my Life.

I will write forever because I can’t write the grief away.  I can try, and I can share what I experience … what I try to learn through time.  Maybe it could help someone … maybe not.


Maybe my words can connect with others who might need them.  I’ll never know unless someone tells me.  At least … if you are interested in real life, real thoughts … feelings … you can be entertained.  I do share good, funny, happy things … also.  I try to find good in everything … even if it’s bad … and … impossible.


Yes, I’m afraid … I cry … I fall down … I get right back up no matter how bad it hurts, or how scared I am.  I will until the day I … die.  If you’ve read me long enough to know about my Grandma Alma … you will see I have my Grandma Alma’s fighting spirit.


I have a Gloria Fighting Spirit …  and though I do … I still haven’t forgotten how it feels to be a mother.




Note by this Author:


Story/Photos both owned, written by me … Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee.  All I have written are true thoughts, feelings that I think … have.

I Feel a Rainbow Coming On In My Heart …


I Feel a Rainbow Coming On In My Heart …

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@GeeGranny on Twitter



My son, Tommy … and I … he was 11 years old in this photo.  I was so proud of my son, and he was proud of his Mama.



Today has been a strange day … one of sorrow, grief appearing from nowhere.  That’s how grief does … it comes … out of the blue.  What triggered it?


Rainy days can trigger my grief.  I’ll speak for myself.  As it rains … my teardrops flow inside my Heart.  Standing, looking through the window at the rain … I forget which are teardrops … raindrops.


Looking at me … you wouldn’t see a thing.  I hide my grief … so you don’t have to see … I smile brighter if I see you looking.  All the while, the teardrops fall … in my Heart to my Soul.


Thankfully … the times this happens isn’t as often as before.  Before when my every waking minute was nothing but, pure grief.  Pure torture to wake up to remember my Son was gone … pure torture to have to live with myself.  Such knowledge was too big for me … yet, I had to find a way to live with it … if I wanted to live.


If you’ve never lost a child … you can’t possibly understand.  I know you try to … you try to offer advice, kind words.  Sometimes … no words are needed.


When I write my grief … I share it with all my followers just as I promised I would.  I tell you exactly how it feels … it’s not pleasant.  When talking about fear … fear and death … it’s scary … one becomes afraid.


When I write my grief … and you read it … you don’t have to say anything to me.  You don’t have to feel sorry for me.  You just read, go your way … I’m very strong now.  I’ve made it this far. Everything is going to be all right.


When grief appears in my everyday unexpectedly … my outlet is my writing.  I write my grief until it goes away.  I’m like a river … my words flow forever.  You have something to read … I get relief from something bigger than I … before it consumes me.  Like a dam … water has to be released so, it doesn’t burst.


My son, Tommy … and I (Gloria Faye Brown Bates)

Ever so often I let my new friends, followers, readers know why I write about grief.  They aren’t aware … that writing is my outlet.  They aren’t aware of my promise to all of my oldest, faithful followers that I keep a promise to always share, describe such grief when it happens.  I’ve done this for almost five years … I’ve kept my promise.  Grief, pain is what I know best in my life.  One writes about what they know best.


My readers/followers/friends can come read about pure grief, pain.  What they take away with them afterwards may help them with someone who is experiencing such.  They do get to see what it’s really like to be a grieving mother.  I don’t sugar-coat it.  If you feel my pain … you are feeling only a tiny fraction of real grief.  When you see a grieving mother in your own life … your Heart will have compassion.  Not pity … compassion.


I hope you never lose a child.  Parents should never lose their children.  They are supposed to die before them.  We bring our children into the world … we have hope, dreams of what they’ll become … dreams of grandchildren one day.  This is what we as humans do … when that chain is broken … the pain is unlike any you’ve ever felt.


My son, Tommy … his only son was born on March 16, 2007.  He was so happy … proud.



I’ve lost most all my family on both sides.  I know what it feels like to lose mother, brother, father, grandmothers, aunts … cousins.  I’ve been on this path in life for at least 15 years.  I can’t tell you how many times I have suffered shock, pain … pure grief.  I can tell you that no matter how many times it happens … it still hurts so bad.


When I lost my child … I almost lost my own life.  If I had died, I wouldn’t have known it.  I was too-far gone … I was lost.  I still can’t remember so much for the first 3 years after my son died … nor do I care to.  I can’t bear it.  If it hadn’t been for Skip and our Pups … my online friends, readers, followers … I couldn’t have found my way to … today.  I had no one else.  No one was … there.  They are all gone.



My Precious Son, Tommy.  See how his smile can compete with the sunshine?  As bright as can be!



Can you imagine losing a child at the age of 40?  Never knowing he had 3 blockages to his heart? Never knowing he was standing there so alive, so happy … looking forward to going to the beach to play with his little son … never knowing that would be the last time your eyes … saw your child.  The last time … your ears heard his soft voice, his laughter … say … “Mama”.  The last time you saw his twinkling eyes that smiled, competed with the sunshine.


The evening before he died … I did ‘many last things’ … never knowing it.  I made for my son his last sandwiches … the strange thing is I’ll never forget that moment when I gave them to him.  We were sitting outside at the picnic table … I had made him several sandwiches with cold cuts from Sam’s Club.


He looked up at me, smiling his beautiful son smile … he said, “Mama, these are the best sandwiches I have ever eaten!”  I remember noticing that a lot, and I said, “Son … you know they aren’t the best sandwiches you’ve ever eaten.”  I was smiling at him.  He began nodding his head … “Yes, they are, Mama”.  I watched as he enjoyed those sandwiches.  My Heart felt such love for my child, my son … such warmth like being cold and standing close to a fireplace.


Tommy … getting ready to go into the Army.  He was so happy that day.  My Beloved Son.



Those were the … last … sandwiches I ever made for Tommy.  Boar’s Head cold-cuts from Sam’s Club.  I had my … last … hug from my son when he left.  I heard him say for the … last … time … “I love you, Mama.” So many … last times … in a short time … just before he left … leaving only what my eyes saw that evening … my precious son.


Grief has many layers … I’ve just went down to a deeper layer I usually don’t think about, much less speak about.  I want to tell you honestly what I think, feel while I am experiencing this bout of grief.  It really hurts … it makes me cry quietly … inside.


Normally … one thinks someone’s child is dead … that’s as far as their mind goes.  They don’t think about the mother … how she thinks about the … last things she saw, heard from her child.  Maybe you will if you have a grieving mother somewhere in your life.  Maybe my grief can be a ‘good’ thing in your life, to help somewhere along your life’s journey.


My handsome Son, Tommy.  From the time he was a little boy … older girls loved him.  He was just as nice as handsome.



After being sad all day … since the rain began this morning … I can see I’m like the weather … I’m clearing up … the sun is going to shine … no more clouds for a while.  I’m going to be all right.


Thank you for being here through time for me.  You all know who you are … I know who my followers are who have been here since Tommy died.  You mean the world to me even though we don’t talk often.  My new followers/readers/friends, you mean the world to me, also.  I need all of you … you are a huge part of my life.


Now, you can see that I’m not all of a sudden sinking into grief, going crazy, all sorts of things.  I smile here … this is where I let water out of the dam … so, it won’t burst wide open.  Writing about my grief is my outlet.  You get to see as you read … what it’s like.


My son, Tommy and his little son, Taban.  I loved them with my very Heart.  Date is wrong on this photo.



Oh … don’t even feel sorry for me.  I’m very strong from all the pain, grief in my life.  Like a redwood tree, I’ve weathered many storms … I’m still standing.  I can still cry easily, hurt easily … but, that’s because I have a big Heart.  I love, I care, I feel.  Grief is pure love … pure raw pain at the loss of someone close to your Heart.


For now, I’ve survived another storm … like a brief summer storm that clears the air … the sun is shining once again … I feel a rainbow coming on in my Heart.


My son, Tommy and his only daughter, McKenzie.  I loved them both with my Heart.

My son, Tommy and his son, Taban.  I miss you, Tommy … I miss my Grandchildren.

Last photo taken of Tommy on May 29, 2010 … he died shortly after this photo was taken. So strong, so alive … no one knew Tommy was sick … 3 blockages to his heart.  He collapsed on the beach where he was playing for the first, last time with his little 3 year old son.  He made it just in time to do what he wanted to do … then, the angels called him home.


Note by this Author:

This is a photo of me after Tommy died … you see the face of a grieving mother.  I was fighting to come back … at that time I couldn’t.  Grief would overtake me, pull me back down into darkness.

It seems this day has been one of great sadness for me.  The rain that began this morning … triggered grief in my Heart.  I began missing my son very much … I began ‘feeling the birds in the birdcage struggling to get out, wings beating wildly against the bars’.  (This is my description when I feel grief).


Tonight I can see the sunshine once again … I am all right.  I realize this will happen ever so often … it’s how I cope with grief that’s most important.  I prefer to cope in a positive way.

Photos/story are both owned by me … Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee.  In this photo, I had a brace on from accident on October 3, 2015 (broke my kneecap, spiral fracture in fibula on my left leg).


Writing Until the Grief Ebbs Away

Writing Until the Grief Ebbs Away

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@GeeGranny on Twitter





Eyes closed, all is quiet excepting for the sound

Of raindrops falling onto the metal box outside

I’m sad today … grief crept back into my world

Really … it was there all along

It sits, waits for days like this

Days without brightness … colors

Oh God … please let the sun shine

Shine on me … keep the darkness away

Let colors of the rainbow fill my world

Never no more black … gray

I’ve had a lifetime of grief … pain

I know how it feels to lose all my loved ones

They are gone I’m still here

To mourn their loss to the day I die

Death to death … no more pain

Death, grief … death takes it all away

Rain, rain go away … raindrops become my tears

Falling heavy upon the metal box outside my window

I am so sad … grief has sneaked into my day

I feel the birds in the cage begin to panic

Panic, beating their wings against the bars

Of the bird cage … please let me out

Death is close by in my thoughts

I’m afraid … I have lost my son, only child

I can’t bear this pain … I don’t want to think about it

Please grief let me go … I wish the sun would shine

Filling my world with a rainbow

With many colors to take away my pain

Sunlight to brighten every corner of my mind

Until no more shadows remain

I listen to the raindrops fall as I cry in my mind

Wind sweeps bare branches back and forth

Cold, wet … I want to get warm

Grief go back where you come from

I take several breaths … rest my head on my arm

I open my eyes to see … golden sunshine

Smiling, I sit up straight to look around me

I see colors in the bright light

I know that once again everything’s going to be alright

Grief has gone away until another rainy day

I sit here writing these words

Writing until the grief ebbs away




Note by this Author:

Today I am writing the grief away.  It has crept up on me through the shadows of the rainy day.  I’ll be alright as soon as the sun shines on me … making colors bright again.

I can say that this year I am more myself than I have been since my Son, Tommy … died.  I knew the holidays would probably bring on grief.  I also, knew this time I would be alright.  I am … you are just seeing me write until my grief ebbs away.

Poem/photos owned by me, Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee.









By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@GeeGranny on Twitter

(I dedicate this poem to a special person who was once in my Life … Earline Jackson Williams)



I’m not here … but, there

I’m not here … but, there

I just can’t tell you where

I’m inside myself

I have nobody left

To hold, love me

I’m just the shell you see

My life here on earth is done

All I can do is wait for Death to come

No, don’t try to bring me back

My Life’s spirit … I lack

My love has gone away

I have nothing more to do, say

You see my shell moving around

I live in my house without sound

The only life you see are my tears

That fall on on my face as Death nears

Let me go to him … let me die

I’m so lonely … I cry

I sit in my chair each day

I can’t focus on life … what did you say?

I hear you but, I don’t … why?

Because I’m already gone I sigh

I’m not here … but, there

I just can’t tell you where

Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

Note by this Author:

I woke up thinking about our elderly neighbors (couple) we lived beside once.  They loved Skip and I … we loved them.

In fact, I was the first person she called when he was dying.  I held his hand as he took his last breath, talking softly to him … telling him everything was going to be alright and that we loved him.

I’ll never forget watching her as I would check on her … I never saw anything like it.  She began to ‘be not here’ … she turned off all sound in her home … when I would knock on her door, I would see her sitting in her chair through the window … staring into space.

It broke my very Heart.  This woman who was full of energy, laughter … loved her flowers … always working in her yard or making something … quit living once her husband died.

She was here … but, she was … there.  I dedicate this poem to Earline Jackson Williams, whom we loved with our Hearts.  She and Bill were the best people in the world to us … we all were close.  We didn’t think ‘neighbors’ … we thought of best friends we trusted to look after each other.

They were close just as Skip and I are close.  When he died, she died inside.  All her beautiful Life sounds of laughter, talking left her body.  She became a shell of herself.

I tried to bring her back by encouraging her to turn the tv back on … get happy sounds to surround her.  To do the beautiful things she always made, always was working on.  She would smile her sad smile at me, nod … being polite.  Her family took her away to live with them.  I never saw her again.  She died not long after.

I loved you, Earline and Bill, with my very Heart.  You both were a big part of my world.

Photo/poem owned, written by Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee.

I Won’t Cry Today …



I Won’t Cry Today

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@GeeGranny on Twitter



A grieving mother … I miss my Son with my very Heart. Gloria Faye Brown Bates



I’ve accepted Tommy is gone … he died on May 29, 2010.  I realize I can’t bring him back.  Time is the only thing that helps grief … wait!  Didn’t a woman tell me not even a week after Tommy died … that I should grieve only a couple of weeks and be alright?

No, I’m not going to cry today.  Everything is alright.  I’ve coped with my only child’s death.  I’ve lost my son … now, I pay attention to mothers who have sons … it’s so beautiful to me.  Do they realize that their sons could be here this very minute, be gone … in the next?  Do they realize that’s how quickly it can happen?

On Memorial Day weekend 5 years ago … all I had on my mind was saying a prayer and praying Tommy and his family would be safe driving to Myrtle Beach, SC.  All the traffic … was worrying me.  You know how everyone wants to get to the beach on that weekend … now, with all the ‘extra’ thousands of people who have moved here … the traffic is ungodly.

When Tommy called me to say, “Mama, we are 7 miles away from the hotel” … I took a deep breath of relief.  Thank you, God … for letting my son and his family get to the beach safely.  Only 7 miles to go.  I felt so happy!

I relaxed and went around doing whatever I was doing … happy inside.  My son and his family were safely at their destination.  They were going to enjoy being at the beach for a week.

Tommy had ended the phone call with the promise he’d call back soon to let me know when he and his 3 year old son, Taban went down to the beach to play!  Oh, how excited he was.

If you notice … I don’t write about the evening before … the last time I saw Tommy.  I think at this time I won’t because I don’t want to cry today.  I … could.

The next phone call came less than an hour … Tommy!  I answered it with a big smile.  I knew he was going to tell me that he and Taban were at the beach, playing.  I knew how excited he was to go to the beach and play for the first time with his own little son.

This is last photo taken of Tommy on that evening as they were driving to Myrtle Beach, SC on May 29, 2010.  My Precious Son, how I miss You with my very Heart.

I heard a strange voice saying, “ma’am, I’ve got a man collapsed on the beach … he’s not breathing.”  I heard him, I didn’t hear him … I knew it didn’t have anything to do with me.  I asked the stranger why did he have my son’s cellphone.  The man said again … “ma’am, I’ve got a man collapsed on the beach … he’s not breathing.”

Tommy made it to the beach just in time to play with his little son for the first time.  It was sadly … his last time.  He did leave a beautiful memory behind for a little boy to know his father died loving him, playing with him.

Tommy made it safely to his destination just in time to play with Taban … then, leave on another journey.  A journey he could never come back from.

My thought here is … Tommy died doing what I knew for a fact … doing exactly what he meant to do, wanted to do with his heart.  I remember his expression the evening before as he told me … twinkling eyes, sunshine smile, excitement!

No … I won’t cry today.  That’s because I’ve already cried.

Tommy’s Chest … I still can’t open it, take the contents out to look at them.  I’ve tried … as I handled them … I became physically sick, upset.  I’ve tried several times in the past 5 years.

Note by this Author:

Tommy was born November 20, 1969 … he died May 29, 2010.  He was my only child.  I lost the rest of my family when he died.  His death almost was … the end of me.

Thankfully, I had Skip and our two Pups … they are my whole world.  Thankfully … I had my writing and … you, my readers … this is what saved my life.

I’ll stop now … because I don’t want to cry today.  The tears are beneath the surface just as fish in the water.

I write in memory of my son, Tommy.  I make dragonflies of gold wire and colorful beads, leave them just anywhere for someone to find to bring a little happiness to their heart … and they help me remember Tommy.  Doesn’t matter if they ever knew him … or know me.

Photos/true story are owned, written by me … Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee (Granny Gee is the name Tommy gave me for Taban to call me … I am Granny Gee in name only … my grandson doesn’t know me anymore … nor my granddaughter).

I Don’t Want to Get Lost in the Darkness … I Feel it too Near Me For Comfort

I Don’t Want to Get Lost in the Darkness … I Feel it too Near Me For Comfort

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee




Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@GeeGranny on Twitter




I don’t know about you … but, I can become very down when it rains for days at a time.  It’s too close to the darkness I try to stay out of.

I have to watch myself so, that I don’t become very sad.  I have many things to feel sad about … so many people I love have died.  Not only that … some living people I feel sad about.

You know how it is … some things can trigger us to pull us down if we let them.  This is one of the triggers in my life.  Sunshine is the magic weapon against it … no darkness in the sunshine, only warmth and … comfort.

Today, I have been tempted to go to bed, stay there.  Of course, my legs have pulled my mood down since the accident.  Today, it’s raining and I’m sure that makes the pain much worse.  So … I may go to bed after I feed the Pups.

When I go to bed, I will turn the electric blanket on low … warmth, comfort.  I need that on this very gloomy day.  Not only that, I feel it will help the awful pain in both my legs.

I’m not letting myself become depressed.  I am going to just enjoy the luxury of laying down on our comfortable bed, being warm.  I may take several naps, wake up … watch tv … nap again.

I will admit this very quickly, and let go.  I felt grief trying to consume me earlier today … a friend called, and how Tommy died was talked about.  I felt the tears from my soul wanting to flow from my eyes like a diamond waterfall.  I’m going to be alright, I’m not going to cry.

This is the month (November 20, 1969) Tommy, my son was born.  I have been thinking about it.  It was a difficult birth, not only that … the night before he was born … there was an earthquake.  I try not to go back right now to think about it.  I don’t think it’s a good time.  I don’t want to get lost in the darkness … I feel it too near me for comfort.

Note by this Author:

This is one of those times that could pull me down … grief.  It’s been raining for two days … no sunshine … only gloominess.  It promises to be a couple more days like this.  I have to help myself not to become depressed, sad.

When Skip is around … I love rainy days.  His love for rainy days is contagious … I feel happiness, then.  When he isn’t around … you can see what happens.

Photo/story owned … written by me, Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee