holidays and hope

December 30, 2015 at 10:44 pm | Posted in Anniversaries, Grief, life after loss, Sawyer | 7 Comments
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The anniversary of Sawyer’s death (the Jewish yahrzeit and the English date) were both this past week.  I know that these anniversaries can be tough for me so I try to keep extra busy.   I have been volunteering for an organization called Second Helpings.  Restaurants, grocery stores, corporate dining halls, farmers markets and schools with a surplus of food are connected with shelters and food pantries.   I signed up as a substitute driver for a few shifts over the holidays.  The twins are on vacation from school so they helped too.

It is just basically driving and loading/unloading the food.   The twins sat in the car listening to their books on CD while I navigated from the store to the shelter.  All was going fine until I realized that the drop off location was around the corner from the Atlanta Medical Examiners Office.  After the emergency room this is the building where Sawyer’s body was taken.  Evan and I went there to meet with one of the pathologists a few weeks after the autopsy.  All my attempts to distract myself failed as soon as I saw that building.

I miss Sawyer on the anniversary of his death, on holidays and every day.  I know that this season can be hard for a lot of people.  I wish I could make things easier for everyone but since I can not I send you all hope and hugs.

The only outfit I bought for Sawyer



August 26, 2015 at 11:44 pm | Posted in Anniversaries, Grief, Jake | 3 Comments
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“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)

Look for the Happy

May 24, 2015 at 5:55 pm | Posted in Anniversaries, life after loss | 6 Comments
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On the road of life, it is not where you go
but who you are with that makes the difference.

Author Unknown

A very happy Birthday to my brother!


And, a very happy anniversary to Evan!


Another Yahrzeit

December 10, 2013 at 10:20 pm | Posted in Anniversaries, Grief, Love, Sawyer | 13 Comments
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The word “yahrzeit” means anniversary (of a person’s death) in Yiddish.  The word originated from German  – Jahr, meaning year, and Zeit, meaning time.

Sawyer’s yahrzeit this year is on December 12th which means the candle should be lit the evening before (tomorrow).  I have done my best to lose track of the days, in the hopes that this anniversary would not ever come.  I know that time does not work that way but you can not blame a girl for trying.   It has not been hard to keep busy and forget the date.  I feel like the twins just started 1st grade but somehow Thanksgiving is over and despite my best efforts to stop time it is once again December.

I am extremely thankful for the time we did have with Sawyer and I still try to live in the present but I so wish I could hold him again even if is just for one more moment. . .

Sawyer's Bris 010

Happy Anniversary Evan!

May 28, 2013 at 9:58 pm | Posted in Anniversaries, Grief, life after loss, Love | 9 Comments
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Most of the anniversaries I write about are not really anniversaries at all.  They are really Deathiversaries.

This past week Evan and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary.


In 10 years we have had 4 miraculous children.  We have buried our oldest and our youngest sons.  I am afraid to count how many other funerals we have attended.

The divorce statistics after the death of a child are debatable.  Some say it is a very high number, others disagree.   I am not sure which to believe and I do not think it matters.   It is bittersweet.  All marriages have difficult and stressful times (I think).

Our lives are not the “happily ever after” that I had imagined but

quote - happy ending

Silent and Stuck

February 18, 2013 at 10:30 pm | Posted in Anniversaries, Grief, Jake, life lessons, Sawyer, why I write | 13 Comments
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Sawyer was born right before Thanksgiving and died Christmas night.  So, since he died the holidays have been especially hard.  If I am honest with myself the holidays have been excruciatingly difficult since Jake died.  Pretty much November, December and most of August (the anniversaries of Jake’s birth and death) are not my favorite times of year.

Life is a roller coaster.  I definitely got that message.  On a roller coaster there are usually some ups after the downs.  However, this year after the anniversary of Sawyer’s death there was no up.  My grandfather died.  My cousin’s partner lost her battle to breast cancer.  Funeral. Shiva. Unveiling. Family drama.

Evan is fine now but had a few health issues that once again shook me to my core.  I have been stuck.  There might not be an up in sight but I have to keep moving forward.

Anniversaries (repost)

September 12, 2012 at 12:12 am | Posted in Anniversaries, Grief, life after loss, mourning | 2 Comments
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The tragedy of 9/11 and its’ anniversary are kinds of grief.  It is of course, an enormous source of grief for all of the families and friends who lost loved ones.  It is also the kind of grief in which you realize that the world as you knew it will not ever be the same.

Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans the week that Jake passed away.  A very close friend of mine took her 5-year-old son in for his check up and the pediatrician found a rare heart condition.  My grandmother had died.  I felt like the world was coming to an end.  So, I asked the rabbi who presided at Jake’s funeral about the possibility that the world was ending.  He replied with an analogy.  He said that it is like when you decide you are going to buy a certain kind of car.  Once you make the decision you start seeing the car every where.  So, my take away from his explanation was now that I was grieving I would start to see grieving every where. . . Turns out you don’t have to look too far for grief in this world.  The record 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit Haiti shortly after Sawyer died.

I know that 9/11, where close to 3,000 people died; Hurricane Katrina, where 1,500-1,700 people died; and the earthquake in Haiti, where almost 230,000 people died are tremendous losses compared to the death of two babies.  But, those babies were mine.  And, my world will never be the same as it was before they had died.

There is not a contest for who has the most grief.  I am not trying to compare my losses to these catastrophic tragedies.  There are not any winners here.  In grief we have all lost.  However, there is still the next day and the day after that.  And one day, there is a point where we will realize that our loved ones are dead but we are still alive.

I have previously posted this on 9/11.  On the anniversary and every day, my heart, prayers and thoughts go out to not only the victims but to those who they left behind in this world. 

August Again

August 4, 2012 at 10:54 pm | Posted in Anniversaries, Death, Grief, why I write | 10 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

August comes every year.  Right after July.  I have lived through these anniversaries of deaths and births before.  There are happy days this month too. 

Unlike the first year after Jake died not all the days are dark.   I will try my best to take care of the twins, keep busy and smile.  I will not always succeed. 

I have learned that part of my journey since Jake and Sawyer died is that grief at times sneaks up and knocks the wind right out of me.  Grief does not take me by surprise in August.  I know that it is there and I will brace myself for it.

Purple & Sparkly

May 12, 2012 at 10:14 am | Posted in Anniversaries, Grief, Love, silver lining | 10 Comments
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Some time after Jake died one of my favorite friends and college roommate suggested that I read the blog The Sphors Are Multiplying.  Years later and some time after Sawyer died another of my favorite friends suggested that I read another blog, Rockstar Ronan.  At that time I could barely deal with our own sad story let alone read about the deaths of Maddie Sphor and Rockstar Ronan.  I am not sure when but some time along the way I realized that I needed to see/read how other parents survive the deaths of their children.  It helps me to read how they are continuing their lives while always remembering and honoring their children.  I wish no parent had to live in a world without their child/children.  This is not the reality and unfortunately the Club continues to add members.

Today would have been Ronan’s 5th birthday.   I hate that he is not here to celebrate.

I just miss you

December 6, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Posted in Anniversaries, Grief, Love, mourning | 12 Comments
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Dear Sawyer,
It is me.  Are you there?  I know that I wrote a few weeks ago that I could handle the holidays.   I was wrong.  The dark days are back.  It is part of the deal.  This new normal life that I have been trying to create includes dark days.  They creep up.  I expect these days between your birthday and the day that you died to be hard.  I try to lower my expectations of what I can handle.  I wish the rest of the world would do the same.

I try to keep myself so busy that I cannot think.   It is not working this time.  So I try to act as if everything is okay.  Most of the time I can fake it till I almost believe myself that life without you and Jake is perfectly fine.  I cannot pretend.  Life without you and Jake is not okay.   

My arms physically ache to hold you.  Every day that passes is another day farther from when you were last with me.  When I hear other babies cry I can still tell that it is not your cry.  Will the day come when I have forgotten the sound of your cry?

We have given away or packed up most of your things.  We just cannot seem to go through the last few piles.  The gifts that were sent to you the week you died.  The clothes you wore that last few days of your life.  The condolence cards.  Your death certificate.  The cards of the police detectives.  They are all still here.   I wish that you were here too.

I do not want pity.  I want you.  I am just sad.  Life without you and Jake is so excruciatingly painful and bittersweet.  I know that there is still light.  I see it every time I look at your big brother and sister.

I just miss you. I will see you in my dreams sweet Sawyer.

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