Tags: Atlanta Walk to Remember, death, death of a baby, Jake, loss of a child, Sawyer, thoughts, ways to honor the memory of your child
One of the difficult and important lessons that I learned after Jake’s death is that I cannot do this alone. After Jake died, Evan and I were told about support groups. At the time, I could barely come to terms with the fact that Jake was dead and I was not. The thought of going to a group where everyone told their own tragic story of their child’s death seemed unimaginable to me.
Then one excruciatingly dark day in January of 2006, I realized that I needed to know how other parents got up every morning and live in a world without their child/children. Evan and I decided that it was time to go to a support group.
Every year since Jake (and then Sawyer) died we have walked in the Atlanta Walk to Remember. It is an event to connect parents and families together to express grief and remember our babies, and to raise awareness. It is not a fundraiser.
It is just a time to remember our lost babies together.
This year the walk will be held on October 4th. For more information and/or to register for the walk click here:
Tags: anniversaries, death of a baby, deathiversary, life, loss of a child, perspective, post traumatic stress disorder, premature birth
Another August has come and gone – the 10th August since you left this world. I honestly was not sure that I would make it – 10 years seems like an eternity at times but I still find it so hard to believe that it has been that long since your dad and I last held you.
The first thing that I learned is that I will make it through the days, months and years without you. I do not like it and it is excruciatingly hard. But, your dad and I were not given a choice. We are still alive.
I started writing this blog when you were gone for 5 years. Five years also seemed impossible. You would have started kindergarten and your brother Sawyer had died so unexpectedly 8 months earlier. A therapist and a few friends suggested I try writing. I thought why not – maybe I can help myself and possibly help others.
I think I had visions that one day I would change the name of the blog to something other than a mourning mom. It turns out 5 years later I am still a mourning mom. I have not found a cure for hydrops or premature birth. In fact, we still do not even know what caused Sawyer’s death. I have not started a non-profit or a race. And, I still have days when I cannot stop crying because I miss you and your brother so much.
I wanted to write what I have learned in these 10 years living in this world without you. I thought I could write one post to sum it all up but it is not that easy. So, this my sweet Jake will just be part 1. I will write to hopefully help others through their own journey. And, even if I cannot help others I know that in another 5 years I will look back on these posts to help myself figure out how to survive the 10 year deathiversary of your baby brother.
Tags: dark days, death of a baby, deathiversary, Jake, loss of a child
“When you come to the edge of all the light you know and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing that one of two things will happen: there will be something solid to stand on or you will be taught to fly.” – author unknown (borrowed from the walk to remember program)
Tags: baby loss, birthday, death of a baby, H.E.A.R.T.strings Perinatal Bereavement Office at Northside Hospital, hydrops fetalis, loss of a child, premature birth, ways to honor the memory of your child
Jake never left the hospital. His short life was spent entirely in the NICU. The only other places Evan and I went with him were the consult room and a small outdoor balcony off of the NICU.
While helping with the special project of updating the consult room I heard that the balcony might need some new benches. It seemed to make sense to me that for Jake’s 10th birthday we should get the benches for the balcony. So that is what we did. We miss you Jake.
Tags: baby loss, birthday, death, death of a baby, gratitude, Jake, life, loss of a child
Happy 10th birthday sweet boy. Thank you for making me a mother. I have tried really hard today to focus on how lucky we are to have had you in our lives even for such a short time. The doctors and the statistics were not in favor of us spending any time on this earth together. You beat the odds and you were born alive. Then the doctors told us that you most likely would not live through the night – but again you proved them wrong. You were such a brave and strong fighter. Thank you for fighting so hard and for making Evan and me parents for the very first time.
I am trying to be brave and strong too but 10 years is an impossibly long time to live in this world without you. I miss you today and always. I hope that wherever you are you know how much you are loved and missed.
It is hard for me to believe but these 2 celebrated their 8th birthday! I am so thankful and lucky to be their mama.
And, the twins started 3rd grade last week. Here is a picture from the big 1st day.
I did my best to focus on the positive. The first few days of August were so busy with birthday fun and getting ready to go back to school that I almost forgot to brace myself for the bittersweet days.
I did not let myself think about Sawyer who would have started kindergarten. I tried to ignore the dates on the calendar. I know it is not possible but I really want to find a way to skip this month. I am not ready. I do not know how to live through the 10th anniversary of Jake’s death. I will get through this August just like the other 9 Augusts without Jake – I just do not know how.
According to the Jewish calendar the 10th anniversary/yahrzeit of Jake’s death was actually on Thursday. So maybe I lived through it already.
Tags: baby loss, death of a baby, H.E.A.R.T.strings Perinatal Bereavement Office at Northside Hospital, Jake, life, NICU, Sawyer, ways to honor the memory of your child
The “consult room” – every hospital has one or several. The “consult room” is where Evan and I held Jake for the last time. It is where we were when the ER doctor told us that Sawyer was dead. They were different “consult rooms,” in different hospitals but they looked the same. Standard issue plastic couch and chair. Generic flowery art. Striped carpet.
No one wishes to be in these rooms. The hospital where all 4 of our children were born has a Perinatal Bereavement Office where I volunteer at times. The extraordinary people who work at the office decided that they were going to renovate the consult room in the Special Care Nursery of the NICU. I was lucky enough to help with this special project.
One of Evan’s mother’s paintings is now on a wall of the newly decorated consult room. On another wall there is painting by an artist who is the great-aunt of other parents who also used the room when their little girl, Lily, died. Her parents helped with this special project too.
This is still a room that I hope none of you have to enter. I know that realistically there are people who will be in that room holding their precious baby for perhaps the first and last time. I wish that one day all babies will go home with their parents but until that day I am glad that there is now a warm comforting room where families can spend whatever time they have together.
Evan and I are truly honored by the dedication of this room and that this will be part of Jake and Sawyer’s legacy.
Tags: death, family, grief, life, perspective, thoughts
We spend precious hours fearing the inevitable. It would be wise to use that time adoring our families, cherishing our friends, and living our lives. Dr. Maya Angelou
My amazing cousin’s mother (who was also my cousin) wrote this poem in a comment to one of my posts last year. She peacefully passed away a few days ago after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in May. She did not want a funeral and followed the “honor me not by mourning my death but by celebrating my life” philosophy.
So on Monday, there was not a funeral but a memorial service/celebration of her life. My amazing cousin and my mom spoke – it was a beautiful tribute.
We decided that the twins should come to the celebration. They were not exactly at the service but they were running in circles in the entry way of the funeral home. As I left the service they both stopped running and came to hug me. One said “Mama, we will behave if you stop crying.” The other one said “Mama, you have to focus on the positive things.” As we drove away I stopped crying and I tried to explain to them that I am sad, I might cry again but I would try to focus on the positive.
“We all have life storms, and when we get the rough times and we recover from them, we should celebrate that we got through it. No matter how bad it may seem, there’s always something beautiful that you can find.” Mattie Stepanek
Tags: Gay Marriage legalized, gratitude, happy, hope, Love wins!, new normal, rainbows, thoughts
I am trying to stick to my spring resolution of looking for happiness. It is not always easy but I did not have to look very far today because when I went to write this post this is what I saw on WordPress:
How fantastic is it that the Supreme Court ruled today to legalize gay marriage nationwide?! And it is great that WordPress is helping to celebrate the good news.
Other, more local, happy moments I found are the following:
- I am always joking that I wish I could wrap the twins up in bubble wrap to protect them from the world. Well, the other weekend they wrapped themselves up. . .
- Did you know that there are shirts with built-in chest protectors? I learned about them this week. The twins went to baseball camp and came home asking for shirts to protect their hearts. How could I not get them?
Hope that you all have a fabulous weekend!
Tags: cancer, dark days, family, life, new normal, post traumatic stress disorder, Sad, thoughts
My amazing cousin’s mom and my mom are first cousins. I am heartbroken for my cousins, my mom and the fact that I feel so helpless.