dreams & denial

September 12, 2016 at 9:30 pm | Posted in after death?, Death, Grief, Jake, life after loss, Love | 8 Comments
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quote-dream

August, as I have written about in the past, is filled with happy as well as hard days.  This year August started out with our dog, Buddy, dying.  I wrote about how I was in denial about his death and wondered how long I could stay there.

On and off throughout the month I was haunted by a dream where I could not find Jake.  I would try to go back to sleep in hopes that I could go back to the dream and find him.  One weekend I slept as much as possible determined to search for and find Jake in my dreams.  It did not work.  If I had the dream about Jake I always awoke without finding him.

Last night I finally found Jake in my dreams – he was with Buddy.  So, to answer my own question about “how long can I stay in denial?” it seems like the answer is about a month.  I sure do miss them both.

“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

 

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Remembering

October 20, 2015 at 9:36 pm | Posted in after death?, Jake, Love, Sawyer | 6 Comments
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quote - thank you

For remembering Jake.

And many thanks for remembering Sawyer.

I am forever grateful to all who keep Jake’s and Sawyer’s memories alive.

Life goes on (as it should) but another one of the important lessons I have learned in the 10 years since Jake died is I am no longer the same person.  Some call it their new normal.  I do not think there is anything normal about outliving your child/children.

As a surviving parent I am left to make sense of the unexplainable.  Some say that we all have purposes in life which we fulfill throughout our lifetimes.  So does that mean that Jake and Sawyer just fulfilled their purpose very quickly and therefore they had very short lives?

I wonder what were their purposes?  Are Evan and I supposed to help or continue their purposes?  I may never know the answers to these questions but I do know that I want Jake and Sawyer to be remembered.

The other day there was a discussion in the back seat of our car about ages of the twins’ friends and their siblings.  One of their friends has a brother who was born in September of 2009.  Another friend has a little sister born in December of 2009.   After we had dropped off their friends, Evan and I talked to the twins about their little brother, Sawyer, who was born in November of 2009.

Remembering
By Elizabeth Dent

Go ahead and mention my child,
The one that died, you know.
Don’t worry about hurting me further
The depth of my pain doesn’t show.
I’m already crying inside.
The tears that I try to hide.
I’m hurting when you just keep silent.
Pretending he didn’t exist.
I’d rather you mention my child.
Knowing that he has been missed.
You ask me how I was doing.
I say “pretty good” or “fine”.
But the healing is something ongoing.
I feel it will take a lifetime.

 

 

Still Marching

May 6, 2015 at 10:16 pm | Posted in after death?, Grief, life after loss, Love | 1 Comment
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This weekend our family is walking in the March of Dimes’ “March for Babies” just like we have in years past.  Originally our team was named Jake’s Journey.  After Sawyer died we renamed it to Jake’s Journey & Sawyer’s Strides.  This year the walk is on Mother’s Day weekend.  Although I wish we were walking with all of our children, I think this is as close of a perfect way to honor all 4 as possible.

The mission of March of Dimes is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.  I believe that the March of Dimes is making a difference and saving babies.

I cannot do anything to bring back Jake or Sawyer but maybe, just maybe, I can help spare other parents the heartbreak of having to live in this world without their child/children.

Thank you to all those who supported our team this year and in past years.  Thank you also to the Northside Hospital for matching funds.  We appreciate all of your kindness and generosity.   Please consider supporting Jake’s Journey & Sawyer’s Strides and click here.

September

October 6, 2014 at 10:58 pm | Posted in after death?, silver lining | 7 Comments
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September is childhood cancer awareness month.  I know that it is now October but I had ordered these Spicy Monkey Spirithoods last month.  These amazing hats were inspired by Maya Thompson’s son Ronan.  He wore a spirithood after he had lost his hair during chemotherapy.  At the age of 3 Ronan lost his battle to cancer.  Before he died, Maya promised him she would keep on fighting.  And, she has been waging war on childhood cancer ever since.

The company Spirithoods is donating 100% of profit from the SpicyMonkey to the The Ronan Thompson foundation to help in their fight against childhood cancer.  The spirithoods  have places to keep hands warm (so it is a hat and mittens!). There are also super secret pockets to hide things in.

I was not the only one in our house who was so excited when the box of Spirithoods finally arrived. . .

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i cannot believe i am writing about this again. . .

June 30, 2014 at 10:50 pm | Posted in after death?, Cemetery, Grief, Jake, life after loss, Sawyer | 6 Comments
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Back in November the very kind cemetery people replaced Jake and Sawyer’s headstones. Jake’s headstone has now been replaced 4 times and Sawyer’s has been replaced 3 times.  All seemed fine with the new ones. . .until a few weeks ago.

It has been raining a lot here in Atlanta so I thought maybe there were just water stains on the nameplates.  I finally asked Evan what he thought about the stains.  He said he would call the cemetery people.  They went to check and the coating/finish is peeling off the nameplates.  I am not sure how to feel about this – it sort of seems like a cruel joke.  Should I cry?  Should I laugh?  Could the nameplates really need to be replaced again?  Or, maybe Jake and Sawyer are just playing tricks or trying to give us something to worry about.

The very kind people at the cemetery are looking into it and will let us know.  I will keep reminding myself that nothing is hurting Jake or Sawyer.  There is no urgency to get this fixed.  It might not be according to my plan but the world will keep spinning.

“I believe that if life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade… And try to find somebody whose life has given them vodka, and have a party.” Ron White

 


Jake’s Journey & Sawyer’s Strides

April 22, 2014 at 7:22 pm | Posted in after death?, Grief, Jake, life lessons, Love, Sawyer | 5 Comments
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No matter how far the distance you have traveled nor the failures that have gathered, hope would still meet you anywhere.

~ Dodinsky ~

Our family has walked in the March of Dimes’ “March for Babiesevery year since Jake died.  Originally our team was named Jake’s Journey.  After Sawyer died we renamed it to Jake’s Journey & Sawyer’s Strides.  We will be walking again this weekend.

The mission of March of Dimes is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.  I believe that the March of Dimes is making a difference and saving babies.

I cannot do anything to bring back Jake or Sawyer but maybe, just maybe, I can help spare other parents the heartbreak of having to live in this world without their child/children.

Thank you to all those who supported our team this year and in past years.  Thank you also to the hospital for matching funds.  We appreciate all of your kindness and generosity.   If you would like to support Jake’s Journey & Sawyer’s Strides please click this link.

Hoping for Milk

April 8, 2014 at 9:48 am | Posted in after death?, Grief, life after loss, Love | 8 Comments
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Some days it is harder than others to find hope.

After Jake was born at 26 weeks with hydrops, I hoped he would be among the 30% of babies who survive these enormous obstacles.  There was no miracle.

The horrible night we brought Sawyer to the emergency room, I hoped for the miracle that it would all be an awful mistake.  There was no miracle.

I hoped for a miracle that would cure the cancer that Evan’s mom had or at least give her back the life she had. There was no miracle.

On Friday a close family friend lost his valiant battle with brain cancer.  In case I have not mentioned it before I hate cancer!!  His family along with all of us who loved him hoped he would win this battle.  He did not.

When there is no more hope for our loved ones to remain with us we often shift to hoping to prevent that anyone else should have to go through this horrible journey.  So, his family has formed a team, Everybody Needs Milk, in the Race for Hope DC.  I hope that one day soon a cure for cancer is found.

This is a telephone pole at the end of my neighborhood running route.   It is a reminder to me that there is hope everywhere (just sometimes we have to look for it harder than others).

Hope

Do you think the twins have been talking to ABC?

January 20, 2014 at 10:36 pm | Posted in after death?, Grief | 6 Comments
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The other week the twins were playing pretend.  They were discussing their pretend characters and how they were born, lived and then died.  They both then agreed that if they truly believed in the “spirits” of the dead characters they would come back to life.  There was some further discussion that if we believed in Jake, Sawyer,  Mom Mom and Grandpoppy’s “spirits” then they too could come back to life.  I tried to explain that life/death does not work that way (no matter how much I really want it to be different).  They disagreed and I decided rationalizing with 6 year olds might not get me very far on this topic.

A few days ago, I saw a preview for the new show Resurrection on ABC.  The lead in is “Imagine the impossible.”  In case you have not seen the preview, the cliff notes version is that deceased people are somehow returned to their families.  A boy, who died at the age of 8, is returned to his parents 30 years later.

The twins and ABC have come up with a show that does imagine the impossible.  Every person who has lost a loved one has at some point hoped beyond hope that person would be magically be returned to them.  So, now the big question is to watch or not to watch?

2 of ABC's future writers?

2 of ABC’s future writers?

So glad to see you September

September 2, 2013 at 10:56 pm | Posted in after death?, Grief, Jake, life after loss | 8 Comments
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quote - breathe

August is over and Evan came up with a brilliant plan to get through the last few days of it.  The last week of August includes Jake’s deathiversary, my birthday and my grandfather’s (there are a few family wedding anniversaries in there too).

Evan planned a trip and we went away.  My parents were able to join us.  We usually do go away Labor Day weekend to see my grandfather for his birthday.  Our whole family for many Labor Day weekends has come together to celebrate his birthday.  I know that I am so lucky to have spent so many birthdays with my amazing grandfather.  However, this year there was no trip to see him to look forward to, so I had to find other ways to distract myself.

Evan’s plan worked like a charm and these 2 helped as well. . .

September 2013

Balloons

July 2, 2013 at 11:32 pm | Posted in after death?, Jake, life after loss, Love, Sawyer | 6 Comments
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quote - balloon - AA Milne

Whenever our daughter is given a balloon she wants to let it go and send it to Jake and Sawyer.   The balloons are not always just for Jake and Sawyer.  She also sends them to Evan’s mom (Mom Mom), my grandfather (Grandpoppy) and other members of our family who have died. I think it started with the balloon launch at the end of the Walk to Remember.  However, it has continued after birthday parties and school celebrations.  She usually wants to come home with the balloon and stand in the driveway.

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Next, she will find the perfect place to release the balloon so that it does not get caught in the trees.  Sometimes, she will try to attach a note to the balloon.  Other times, she will say a few words or give a few kisses to send with the balloon.

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When she has finally determined that the conditions for the balloon release are as good as they are going to get, she lets it go.

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We watch it for as long as we can.  She asks me if I really think that they will get her balloon.  I always say, “yes.”

Tonight at bedtime the twins were discussing the balloons that she sends.  They debated the obstacles the balloon could encounter – tree branches, the wind, the lack of wind, etc.  What would happen when the one balloon finally arrived?  Would Jake or Sawyer hold it?

I chimed in that it did not really matter who held it.  They could all look at the balloon and know that we are thinking about them.

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