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ROCKS / Mom

My son sends me rocks.
I know, that sounds so funny doesn't it?
But he leaves rocks in the shape of a heart for me. I've found nearly a hundred in the past year!
I would like to set them up and take pictures of them to put on his website. I just need to wait until the weather breaks.
It's crazy, I'll be balling my eyes out while taking the dog for a walk and I'll look down and there will be a beautiful heart shaped stone or rock. I've never seen one before and that would be something I'd notice. So I like to believe that Taylor is sending me signs through those. 

I also have butterflies that stay near me and land on me -- and they don't leave until I'm done crying -- which can sometimes be an hour or more! The darn things will fly onto me or land next to me and just "wait." I swear it's Taylor. I mean, come on......... I have never witnessed anything like that before! Now I find I'll talk to the darn things when they come by. It's like I'll see one fly by and go, "Oh look, there goes Taylor."
And here's the kicker -- they only stop if I'm crying!!!!!
Gosh I really miss my son Taylor.
Thanks for giving me this opportunity to talk about him.

Dealing with grief - A must read for newly bereaved parents  / Lori Burgstahler (Mother)

I had found this article about losing a child and what we as parents go though. I found it helpful in knowing that the feelings I have had are normal for a parent in grief. I know that there are so many issues that we all have to go through and maybe this will be able to help some.

Losing a Child ...Losing Your Future?

It has been said that parents who lose a child also lose the hopes, dreams, and expectations they had for that child. They lose a part of themselves. They lose their future because their child represents their sense of ongoing life. Psychologists believe, because of these reasons, the death of a child is possibly the most difficult loss of all to accept.

People who have children often feel that parenting is life’s most important role, regardless of the child’s age. Therefore, the death of a child can be a tremendous assault on a parent’s very identity.

What to Expect

If your child has died, you will most likely experience several common reactions of bereavement. However, your grief can be more acute than normal. You may go into periods of shock and denial. You will likely become depressed. If you are normally a committed, caring person, you could find that you do not care about anything or anyone. You may find yourself preoccupied with the circumstances of your child’s death, recreating them over and over again in your mind. You may think you see or hear your child. You might have dreams and nightmares about them.

The intense grief caused by your child’s death can take a physical toll as well. You may lose weight, have difficulty sleeping, become irritable or listless, or feel short of breath. Grief has even been known to cause hair loss. 

Anger and Guilt

Perhaps the most acute feelings you will experience are anger and guilt. Because the death of a child does not follow the normal order of nature, there is a strong urge to place the blame on someone or something. You may be angry at the doctors or nurses who could not cure your child’s illness, or at G-d for “letting” your child die. If your child died because of a traumatic accident, you may be angry at whomever you believe caused it. If your child’s actions partly caused the death, you may be angry at him or her and then feel guilty about your anger toward your child.

Parents often feel terribly guilty for simply living. If you had an argument with your child or had to discipline him or her shortly before the death, you may feel guilty for those actions.

You may feel the most guilt because you believe you should have prevented your child’s death. You may find yourself consumed by thoughts of “if only.” A father tends to suffer guilt over failing to prevent a child’s death. While both parents feel responsible for their child’s safety, men have often been taught that protecting the family is their primary role.



The Grief Experience

While bereaved parents know they will experience intense grief, their child’s death can have another effect they did not anticipate. The death could alter their feelings toward each other. Almost always, the marriage will never be the same. The change could be for the better or for the worse. However, the relationship rarely stays the same.

Parents think their grief will be similar because they have lost the same child. This similar type of mourning rarely happens. The relationship the father mourns is different from the relationship the mother mourns because each parent shared a different relationship with the child.

Fathers may have a more difficult time expressing their grief, believing on some level that “big boys don’t cry,” or that they need to be strong for their surviving family. Unfortunately, this may keep fathers from working through their grief and resolving it. It may become necessary to seek counseling or spiritual help.

Couples may experience difficulty in communicating after the death of their child. The intensity of grief comes at different times for each parent. One parent may use work as an escape while the other finds solace in photo albums and home videos. Dad may feel the need to box up and store the child’s personal belongings while Mom cannot bear to look at them. A physical resemblance to the dead child can also cause difficulties between the parents.

A child’s death may cause sexual problems within a marriage as well. Time, patience, and communication are key elements to resolving these problems. It is not uncommon for these effects to last up to two years or more following the child’s death.

Answering the Questions of Your Other Children

Your other children will look to you to explain the death to them. A child’s questions will depend on their age, but your answers should always be honest. Guard against telling children that their brother or sister is “sleeping,” or that “G-d wanted their brother or sister.” These may simply cause other fears in your children that may be more difficult to resolve than a more direct answer. Be direct, without offering more information than necessary.

Young children sometimes fantasize that they caused the death by being mean to the deceased sibling or by fighting with them. In this case, it is important to assure your child that he/she had nothing to do with their brother’s or sister’s death.

Remember, your other children need to resolve their grief. They will take their cues from you, so support them in their grief by being open in showing yours. You will not do them any favors by protecting them from the grieving process; in fact, there is no way you can.

Dealing with Grief

It may not be possible to work through your grief alone. Your funeral director can recommend support groups, counselors, books, and videos which deal specifically with child bereavement. Ask your funeral director to recommend a specific book, or visit your local library.

It is important for parents to realize that severe grief can make them feel like they’re going crazy. If you are afraid your grief is out of control, you might consider asking your  rabbi, clergy, doctor, or funeral director to suggest a counselor. You may be relieved to find that your problems, in this situation, are normal.

Finally, remember that other people will likely feel very awkward around you because they will not know what to say. You can help bridge the gap by simply telling them what you need and letting them know it is all right to mention your deceased child.

what now  / Pops

Your birthday is coming again son. A tribute to the most purposeful day in my life. And here you are, trying to give me gifts.

It's so like you, always humble, confident, giving.

I feel you Taylor. You're in my heart so strong. There are so many times it feels that I can't live anymore without your physical self beside me, so keep sending your wisdom and guidance. It helps to ease the pain and sadness. I'm trying to catch on.

I feel you carving a path for me. I don't know where it leads yet but I have so much faith in its direction. The angels you have sent my way already are so beautiful, thank you for them all.

My love for you grows more and more each day.
You will never be without me. You are amazing.

Talk to me often, be with me always. Share what you're learning from God with me so that I may follow the path. I am listening all the time.

I love you Taylor

I can't believe you are not here with us  / Nick Roehm (one of his best friends )

I will NEVER forget Taylor.  he has left me with SO MANY unbelievably ridiculous yet HUMOROUS stories!!!!!  Like going to the Princess Resort and using Nick Allens name at security while laughing so hard we had tears in our eyes. Or going to magic mountain for the Physics trip and following someone aound completely different (we thought it was Yacobson) Or even the time we stayed up all night prank phoning girls and asking them to PROM!  

Taylor was a GREAT FRIEND and an even better BROTHER!!!!   

I will never forget his silly phrases like, "What up Playa?" or "Holla, holla, holla!", or my favorite -- "I'm Ron Burgundy??????"  Hysterical!

There are just to many memories to fit here.  Thank you for being in my life. Taylor, you are a true blessing.  I love you man, and i miss you so much.  I promise to watch out for Brooke, she could use a few big brothers.

about that............  / Carter

RACING BOW LEGGED THROUGH THE HALLS OF HIGH SCHOOL IS SOMETHING I WILL TREASURE -- EVEN THOUGH I LOST MOST OF THE TIME.

LOVE YOU SO MUCH MAN.

CARTER

Crazy Purple Cat Suit!  / Brogan Saunders (friend)

I went to school with Taylor since Desert Mountain and all of Desert Mountain.  He ALWAYS knew how to make me smile and laugh.  My favorite memory of him was when he was dressed up in a big purple cat suit & came to Kevin Hassett's house for our big dance sleepover.

He scared all of us so much, but it was SO FUNNY when we found out who it was.  We were hysterical!  

I will miss him dearly, but he will ALWAYS be in my heart. 

I love and miss you Taylor Burgstahler

Brogan Saunders

I miss you "big brother"  / Andrea Mee (sisters best friend )

Taylor was like my big brother.... he always stuck up for you and always made you laugh.  No matter the hour, you could count on Taylor to take us TP-ing (shhhh).  That is when we had the most fun.  Taylor will always be in my heart forever and i will always have undying love for him.

I love you big brother and I miss you so much.

I miss you dude  / Tyler Chalfin (friend)
Taylor,

You are an amazing kid with a passion for life and happiness.  You bring out the best in everyone.  The memories -- of all the great times, Halloween to poker will always be remembered.  Your life which was lived to the fullest will never be forgotten.  God Bless and may you live in Peace.
Miss ya  / Ryan Gleason (Friend)

It is now nearing the bulk of the holiday season and i can't help remembering all the great times we had together. Basketball during the freezing nights at zuni is always a popular memory, especially when we went home with new bruises. Well i miss ya bro and will think of u with me during the holidays. Peace and love

I'm sorry I'm moving - written by Taylor  / Taylor Burgstahler
I found this amongst Taylor's things. I wish we had never had to move, I realize now how much harder it was for him than he let on.


                                      Moving/Apology

I just wanted to tell you that  my family is officially moving to Pittsburgh after this year. I told some of the kids in STUGO, but not everyone because until Tuesday, we were still undecided.  However, my dad accepted the job and we will be leaving after this school year.

I'm not sure however, if I will be going with.  If I do well (very well) in my classes, my parents will let me stay with a friend for my senior year (David Blakeman, the Saguaro Jr. Prez).  I regret not informing you  sooner, but even I was unsure what exactely was going to happen until a few days ago.
Note from mom: I realize it's my fault that Taylor is dead because if he hadn't felt so sad about moving he never would have taken the risk of going fishing on that hill. I'm sorry Taylor, I wish I could take your place. I don't deserve this life, you deserve all the wonderful things life has to offer. I'm so sorry.


Hopefully, I can do well and not move, but I realize it is up to me to succeed.  Pittsburgh would not be horrible, but I absolutely do not want to be uprooted my final year of high school.  Of course, I also know that everything will work regardless, and that the opportunity my father had was phenomenal, and much too good to decline.


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