ForeverMissed
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This memorial website was created in memory of my son, Devin Velastegui, 22, born on April 10, 1991 and relocated on September 16, 2013. This was the last card I wrote to him:

How did you get to be 21? It seems that only yesterday I was awaiting your arrival with wild anticipation and fear but here you are, on your way to a new life – one without me in it, well at least not a major contributor anymore. I am so excited for you but so very sad for me. You were my lifeline, my reason for being, for getting up each morning and for trudging through the bad times and for cherishing the good. Without your knowing it, you nurtured me as much as I nurtured you, making me a better person. I just can’t imagine my life without you in it. The day you got your driver’s license I cried and I smiled, as you drove so confident and “free.” I knew from that day forward our relationship would begin to change. I was no longer the person you counted on to chauffer you to and from and I knew our in-depth conversations were about to come to an end as you had passed a major milestone. I managed to survive that as I knew I was still a huge part of your life.

Sometimes I miss your presence, your intrusions into my world and then I realized you were my best friend and biggest, most loyal supporter and I yours. These last 2 years have been an awakening for me as you come home less and less and need me less and less. I am so very proud of the man you have become – strong, wise, and independent but above all else you managed to keep that sense of wonder you always had and you still practice random acts of kindness and most importantly have remained true to yourself.

I am learning to live without you in my life but for the daily phone calls, and now I know you are moving on with your life and are off to bigger and hopefully better things with school and then ultimately a successful JOB, but again this is bitter sweet. Instead of feeling that I am losing my best friend, I now know you are soaring to new levels. As I said, I am so very proud of you and so very excited and happy for you. I can only hope that I gave you the base you need to move forward and the encouragement to succeed but now I must step aside.

I love you my dear son and wish only the best for you but most of all my wish is that I continue to be a part of your life as I still relish in your successes and feel the pain when you hurt but this is a growing experience for both of us. If someone had asked me if I would have felt this way 21 years ago I would have laughed but you have become so woven in the fabric which is “me” it is difficult to give you up even though I know it is time for the final threads to come loose, but I assure you they will never break entirely.   

April 10, 2023
April 10, 2023
Happy birthday Devin , you are sorely missed . Your mother is a strong women who keeps your light alive with each passing day , may you forever watch over her
September 16, 2022
September 16, 2022
I’m so damn sorry for all the stuff you’ve missed Devin. We all love and miss you so so much This life is not the same without you 
March 17, 2022
March 17, 2022
I never met Devon, I ride a bike on the service road of the LIE. I just want you to know, that every time I pass Devon’s memorial, I say a prayer for him, and his family. May he Rest In Peace until you’re reunited with him.
September 16, 2021
September 16, 2021
8 Years.. yet feels like yesterday! I won’t forget where I was, what my feelings were, how I ran home to call Edna because she was the closest to you and I needed to get to you somehow, someway because I knew and no one else knew how to help or what you were going through. Wrote you a letter…I instantly wanted to protect you and help you! I still do!! I love you, I see your son everyday on my wall, I love him through you and I won’t ever forget him. Breathe, know he’s ok, he’s so proud of you and loves his mommy so much!! Hugs my friend!! I love you
September 16, 2021
September 16, 2021
There will never come a day, hour, minute or second I stop loving or thinking about my son.
Today is 8 years since I’ve lost my Devin, my heart, my best friend. A journey I wish for no one to travel. Life around us goes back to normal, not for me, not deep in my core to the depth of my heart. Life will never be the same. The longing to have the life back that I once knew, the physical pain I feel when I place myself in his life (I can’t explain that feeling). The sorrow that I feel as the memories get farther away is a whole new level of pain. I’ve learned so much along the way. I’ve learned there are only two choices…you gain strength or you drown. There is no in between. But the biggest thing I’ve learned is that it’s love and silencing my thoughts that get me through every single day! My son was such a powerful force…a leader in everything he did, and I try my hardest to find gratitude that we loved each other SO much and I never have to wonder where he’d be or who he’d be…because I already know

I am living yet dying, breathing yet suffocating, laughing yet crying. I am a mother like you yet a bereaved mother all at the same time. I am a mother’s worst nightmare, only it’s not a dream. It’s my life. 

Thank you to the most amazing children who are truly the one and only reason I’ve worked so hard to stay present and be their mom ♥️

Thank you to everyone who continue to love us! Especially my “safe place” people.

I can’t say it enough! Please drive safely!!

What is Normal after your child dies?
( Written by A Grieving Mother )
Normal is having tears waiting behind every smile because your child is missing from all the important events in your life.
Normal is feeling like you can't sit another minute without getting up and screaming, because you just don't like to sit through anything anymore.
Normal is reliving the day your child died, continuously through your eyes and mind, holding your head to make it go away.
Normal is having the TV on the minute you walk into the house to have noise, because the silence is deafening.
Normal is telling the story of your child's death as if it were an everyday, commonplace activity, and then seeing the horror in someone's eyes at how awful it sounds. And yet realizing it has become a part of your "normal."
Normal is a heart warming and yet sinking feeling at the sight of something special your child loved.
Normal is having some people afraid to mention your child.
Normal is making sure that others remember your child.
Normal is everyone else eventually going on with their lives.
Normal is weeks, months, and years after the initial shock, the grieving gets worse, not better.
Normal is not listening to people compare anything in their life to your loss, unless they too have lost a child. Nothing compares.
Normal is realizing you do cry everyday.
Normal is being impatient with everything and everyone except someone stricken with grief over the loss of their child.
Normal is sitting at the computer crying, sharing how you feel with other grieving parents.
Normal is being too tired to care if you paid the bills, cleaned the house, did the laundry or if there is any food.
Normal is learning to lie to everyone you meet and telling them you are fine. You lie because it makes others uncomfortable if you cry. You've learned it's easier to lie to them then to tell them the truth that you still feel empty and lost.
And last of all...
Normal is hiding all the things that have become "normal" for you to feel, so that everyone around you will think that you are "normal."
September 16, 2020
September 16, 2020
I can’t believe it’s been 7 years, think about you always! I hope you are resting in paradise sweet deebo xoxo
September 17, 2019
September 17, 2019
Love you more everyday,miss you more everyday,love Gammy.
September 16, 2019
September 16, 2019
Man oh man. I’ll never forget this whole weekend before this terrible day happened. I got to spend it with you and for that I am grateful. I will never forget you standing over the couch sticking your finger in my eye and nose while I was asleep; usually I would get so angry at you and yell at you, but on this morning I didn’t, I looked at you, I smiled and you smiled back. For that moment, I will forever be happy to have. I have tissues in my safe from when I cleaned your hands at the hospital. Although that day replays in my head everyday, I am happy I was there to hold your hand one last time and hug you and say my final goodbye. I miss you so much. I love you so much, always forever ❤️ And I hope the day I go, you’re the first person I see ❤️
August 3, 2019
August 3, 2019
Continue to watch over your mother as I know you do .Continue to help her feel your presence and your love .Give her continued strength and heart to triumph over each day . Help her heart to be happy again until once again your souls meet .
August 3, 2019
August 3, 2019
Rest peacefully beautiful boy..id like to think you and my son Anthony are friends in heaven watching over your angel moms♡ soar with the angels xo
August 3, 2019
August 3, 2019
I finally had a dream about you the other night,about the day before you left us,im grateful that i was there with you and got to hug you and tell you i love you one more time,we miss u so much please keep watch over ur brother and sister and your Mom.Love Gammy

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Recent Tributes
April 10, 2023
April 10, 2023
Happy birthday Devin , you are sorely missed . Your mother is a strong women who keeps your light alive with each passing day , may you forever watch over her
September 16, 2022
September 16, 2022
I’m so damn sorry for all the stuff you’ve missed Devin. We all love and miss you so so much This life is not the same without you 
March 17, 2022
March 17, 2022
I never met Devon, I ride a bike on the service road of the LIE. I just want you to know, that every time I pass Devon’s memorial, I say a prayer for him, and his family. May he Rest In Peace until you’re reunited with him.
Recent stories

Wish I didn’t know

February 3, 2023
People have asked me what's it like to live life with a deceased child because they "just can't fathom"... Well let me do my best to explain it in a way that can be understood.
It's being dead but still being able to breathe, barely. 
It's like having your entire world thrown into a blender and mixed up to a liquid. Having your heart and lungs ripped out of your body so violently and never put back. Leaving a hole in your chest that will never heal and seeps pain, tears, anger, hate and regret. 
It's like living in a dream that you can never wake up from, except it's a freaking nightmare. A life long freaking nightmare.
It's like having a large glass jar filled with happiness and you drop it on the ground and all the happiness blows away in the wind to never return. 
It's like having a million people around hugging and loving you but you still feel completely alone. Going from having people to talk with to having not one person message or call anymore because they don't know what to say to you ... at all, about anything...
It's standing in the kitchen cooking food for the ones still here and crying so hard you can't see yourself burning the food. 
Some days its falling to the floor, screaming so hard that no sound comes out and you run out of breath but don't stop screaming until you are hyperventilating and dizzy.  
It's a a million little demons battling one single tiny angel in your brain, testing to see if youre strong enough or not to survive this. 
It's like always trying to convince yourself that people want you around even though you feel like youre just a placement for convenience in this world and in people's lives. 
Honestly. It's like knowing that your going to die eventually and embracing it with open arms like a long lost friend.
It's like this picture below of you holding on with everything you have and feel it all melt away.
No it doesn't get better. It doesn't get easier. You just learn to live, to survive.
Written by Amber Davenport

Let Me Tell You Who I Am Now

August 2, 2019
I am still a person like you, with a life like yours, yet not. I am still a mother like you, yet not at all like you, all at the same time. I wish there was some way you could understand me, without becoming who I am now.

You see, there’s a pain I carry, unlike any pain you carry, unless you are a bereaved mother too. This pain I carry is always there. It doesn’t nap during the day, or get safely tucked into bed at night. It follows me everywhere, it never leaves my side– like my son used to do, only grief is not cuddly, nor sweet.

No, a mother’s grief is a torturous life sentence, that no one wants to live. It’s bargaining for a different ending, over and over again, one where no one dies. It’s the panic of it happening again, any time, anywhere… It’s the toxic self-blame that never turns its finger around to blame itself. It’s the spiraling of obsessive thoughts, (what if… if only?) seeping its poison through every crevice of my mind. It’s the regret, so convincing that I failed as a mother, powerless to protect my child from death. Yes, grief’s emotions are as unpredictable as the ocean tide, crashing down on me to drown me alive.

I have three kids, not two. My first son died.

There, I said it. I know you may not want to hear it. Neither do I, yet I have to say it over and over and over again to slowly wrap my mind around the incomprehensible truth. My son is dead.

It might make you uncomfortable for a moment, yet I am uncomfortable for a lifetime.

Either I pretend he never existed, for your comfort, or, to my own discomfort, this new life of mine comes with dreaded and sometimes hostile reactions– blank stares, awkward silences, big eyes bugging out of shocked faces; or worse, looks of despair, pity, shame, judgment; even, turning of backs, that walk away, leaving me in mid-sentence of my pain. Or, worst of all, altogether ceasing to be my friend, upon discovering that, I am a bereaved mother.

Please, do not judge me by circumstances beyond my control. Do not think you are more powerful than God, that this could never happen to you. Do not imply by your words or your looks that I am a bad mother because my child died. Do not think I didn’t try everything humanly possible to save my son from death.

Let me tell you something, if a mother’s love was enough to protect her children from all harm then children would never die.

Please remember, I did not choose this version of my life. I am living yet dying, breathing yet suffocating, laughing yet crying. I am a mother like you yet a bereaved mother all at the same time. I am a mother’s worst nightmare, only it’s not a dream. It’s my life.  

While you complain about your kids spilling milk or painting on the wall, I swallow my grief whole, silently choking on my wish for my problems to be just. Like. Yours. Paint splattered all over my walls, milk spilled, covering my kitchen floor. I am aching for the signs of my toddler living, breathing, playing, alive in my home. I am longing for iterations of what could have been.

Instead, I have an empty chair at every meal, the contents of my son’s entire life neatly stacked in sharpie-marked boxes in storage that now smells more like mildew and dust than of my son.

Instead, my lap seems full, but it is always one-third empty. I’m left with a math equation that never equates.  No matter how many times I count, my children never add up to three. One is always missing. And a million more could never replace or erase the pain of missing the one who now lives only in the confines of my memory.

There is an eternal hole in my heart, in my life, the size and shape of him and only him, that no one and nothing will ever be able to fill.

I am a bereaved mother, a grieving quasi-supermom; I straddle time and space. You might feel pulled in two directions, but let me tell you how it feels to be pulled between heaven and earth, as a mother to an angel and a mother to two living, breathing, laughing little boys. A mother to the living and the dead.

Let me tell you how it feels to have my son deleted, his existence denied because it makes people uncomfortable to hear he lived and he died.

He is as real to me now as he was in life. He is not some inconvenient truth– he is my son. He will always be my son, just as I will always be his mother, because love never dies.  

Next time you see me in the grocery store, at the playground, or across the street, please remember:

I am still a person like you, with a life like yours, yet not. I am still a mother like you, yet not at all like you, all at the same time.  I am a bereaved mother, a grieving quasi-supermom; I straddle time and space.

I wish there was some way you could understand me, without becoming who I am now.

Grieving and living go hand in hand

October 3, 2018

It is human to survive by adapting and evolving. Grieving is a natural part of how we evolve as individuals to respond to the challenges we face. It’s amazing the way we can be catapulted toward life even in the midst of loss. Loss creates an unbelievable amount of space for life to enter in. What you feel as emptiness is life’s new home, and what you feel as loneliness is the urge to hold life’s hand again. Don’t wait for time to heal you. Time does not heal all wounds; only action can do that so make sure that you cry and laugh all in one day.

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