Friday, January 30, 2009

Presidents and Grief

This is taken from the current issue of the Bereaved Parents of the USA newsletter

We often forget how many people have suffered the same loss as each of us. It is especially interesting to realize that many of our Presidents and their wives are not immune.

John Adams & Abigail had 5 children. One daughter, Susanna, died at one year of age

Thomas Jefferson and Martha had 6 children. Five died: 5month old Jane, a 2.5 week old son, a 4 month old daughter, 25 year old Mary and 3 year old Lucy. What a lot of grief!

James Monroe and Elizabeth had 3 children and their son died at 1 year of age.

John Quincy Adams & Louisa Catherine had 4 children. Catherine died at 1 year of age.

John Taylor & Letitia had 8 children and one, Anne, died in infancy.

Zachary Taylor & Margaret had 6 children. Octavia died at 3 years of age and Margaret at 1 year.

Franklin Pierce & Jane had 3 sons: Franklin died when 3 days old, Frank Robert died at 4 years and Benjamin died at 10.

Abraham Lincoln & Mary Todd had 4 sons: Edward Baker died at 3 years of age, William Wallace who died at 11 years of age and TAd who died at 18 years of age.

Rutherford Hayes & Lucy had 8 children. Joseph died at 2 years of age, George Crook died at 2 years of age and Manning Force died at 1 year of age.

James Garfield and Lucretia had 7 children. Eliza died at 2 years of age and Edward died at 2 years of age.

Chester Arthur & Ellen had 3 children. Willian Lewis Herndon died at 2 years of age.

William McKinley& Ida had 2 children. Both died: Katherine at 4 years of age and Ida at 4 months of age.

Calvin Coolidge & Grace had 2 sons: Calvin, Jr. died at 16 years of age.

Franklin Roosevelt and Eleanore had 6 children: Franklin Delano died at 8 months of age.

Dwight Eisenhower & Mamie had 2 sons. Doud Dwight died at 3 years of age.

John Kennedy & Jackie had 3 children. Patrick died at 2 days old and John died after both his parents.

George Bush & Barbara had one daughter, Robin, die at 3 years of age.

In this sad world of ours, sorrow comes to all. It comes with bittersweet agony. Perfect relief is not possible, except with time. You cannot now realize that you will ever feel better. And, yet, this is a mistake. You are sure ot be happy again. To know this, which is certainly true, will make you less miserable now. I have experienced enough to know what I say.
- Abraham Lincoln

A quick note about BP/USA: I haven't been to a meeting in person, but I AM attending their gathering this July in NYC and will be presenting a workshop. You can get more info about the gathering here.


1,000 Faces of MotherHenna said...

Sooooooooooo wish I could join you there, Em!! Some conference sooon :)

I think about these Presidents and First Ladies often. Some had children die while still in office. Imagine that? I know grief isn't a competition and is unique to us all. But goodness, I remember hitting the dark hallway floor. I can't imagine someone coming there to tell me they needed me to make world decisions! And no wonder Mary Todd paced hallways...I certainly would have!

Anyway... :) Miracles...

Marci said...

I never realized so many Presidents had lost their children. It just goes to show that no matter who you are or where you are, you can still be affected by such deep sorrow.
Hope you have a great time at the conference Emily. Thanks for this post!