'Empty porch, aching heart': Heartbroken mother shares emotional back-to-school picture after son's death
Heartbroken mother Angela Miller shares an emotional back-to-school photo tribute in memory of her son Noah who passed away a decade ago
It has been close to 10 years since the death of toddler Noah and his mother Angela Miller still finds it difficult to get through the years which would have marked many milestones for her first child.
This year, Noah would be stepping into seventh grade and would have been photographed along with his siblings. Instead, Miller photographed an empty porch marking where Noah would have been standing smiling in their family home in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Miller had first shared her story with 'A bed for my heart' and as reported by People, Miller said, "Empty porch, aching heart. An empty space where our child should be. I miss Noah always, but during milestones like back-to-school, it is even more visceral."
"I needed to take the three back-to-school pictures I was supposed to be taking that morning — not just two. I needed to be Noah’s mom. I needed to parent him, mother him, the only way I could, on what would have been his first day of seventh grade," she continued.
After Miller sent her sons Everett and Landon to school, she decided to take a third picture which only showed the green front door, a welcome mat, and a porch swing on the side. She posted the picture on her Facebook and the emotional post garnered many "likes" as well as encouraged other grieving parents to share photographs of their late children in the comments section.
"The picture has given grieving moms validation and permission. Permission not to be okay. It’s a powerful visual that expressed what grieving parents live with on a daily basis. Someone is always missing. There’s an empty chair at every table. An empty desk. an empty porch. We are always one less," she continued. Noah was only two-years-old when he passed away in a tragedy and Miller shared it was "a shock to my entire system".
"One minute he was perfectly healthy and happy, the next he was gone," Miller said. "Noah was my whole world. Noah was love and joy personified. When he died, a part of me died," she continued. Miller explained that posting the picture was not just to honor her son but also to reach out to other parents who have gone through the nightmare and pain of losing their children.
"Milestones like back-to-school are excruciatingly painful for grieving parents. Remembering their child with them and saying their child’s name is an absolute gift. Reach out to a grieving parent this back-to-school season. Acknowledge who they’re missing. Say their child’s name. Ask them what grade their child should be starting. Ask about their favorite memories, pictures, or what they miss most about their child. Be the one who remembers. It makes all the difference in the world," Miller shared.