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August 14, 2018 at 7:36 pm | Posted in Death, Grief, Jake, Love | 5 Comments
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Happy birthday Jake! I am so very thankful that you were born. Your dad and I miss you every day, but some days are just a bit harder.

What kind of teenager would you be? Would you be testing my and your dad’s patience? What would you look like? Would you have had a bar mitzvah?

There are so many questions that will never be answered. However, I do know that your dad and I love you. We miss you today and always.

Happy birthday sweet baby boy. I will look for you in my dreams.

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Atlanta Walk to Remember 2016

September 28, 2016 at 8:18 pm | Posted in Grief, Jake, Love, Sawyer | 5 Comments
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Atlanta Walk to Remember 2015

Losing a child is one of the most devastating and lonely events which can happen to a human being.   I wish that none of us lived in a world without our child/children.  However, the reality is that parents from every religion, class and country have outlived their children.

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 children together.

The 12th Annual Atlanta Walk to Remember is the first Sunday of October.  For more information about the walk in Atlanta click here.  For information about walks and events in other locations click here.

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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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

 

Eleven

August 14, 2016 at 6:18 pm | Posted in Grief, Jake, life after loss, Love | 7 Comments

Happy Birthday sweet baby Jake – we miss you and love you today and always.

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Research & Rainbows

July 22, 2016 at 4:44 pm | Posted in Grief, Jake, Sawyer, silver lining | 2 Comments
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Evan and I have spent the past few days at the March of Dimes national conference. We met amazing people and other family teams from all over the country committed to the cause of healthy babies.  We heard doctors speak about the research that is being done to lower the alarming rate of infant mortality.

Every year 23,000 babies in the United States of America do not live to celebrate their first birthday due to prematurity alone (this number does not include still born babies or babies who die due to known or still unknown birth defects and genetic conditions).

Jake and Sawyer will forever be a statistic of infant mortality from the years 2005 and 2009. I cannot change those facts.

I can commit to doing whatever I can to help reduce those 23,000 deaths of babies born too soon. I do not want any other families to stand by/watch their child/children take their last breath.

In one discussion at the conference, the topic of “Rainbow Babies” – babies born to families after the prior death or stillborn birth of a child – came up. I am so thankful to the March of Dimes’ doctors, researchers and volunteers.  Without all of their hard work ours and many other families’ rainbow babies may not be here.

As I have written about before, the twins and I are always searching for rainbows.  We have not had a rainbow baby after Sawyer (he was a rainbow himself, of course), but perhaps our rainbow is a part of lots of other little babies we are helping through the March of Dimes.

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.  – Dolly Parton

A “rainbow baby” is a baby born following the death of your child.  Urban Dictionary defines a rainbow baby as the following:

“In the real world, a beautiful and bright rainbow follows a storm and gives hope of things getting better. The rainbow is more appreciated having just experienced the storm in comparison.

The storm (pregnancy/child loss) has already happened and nothing can change that experience. Storm clouds might still be overhead as the family continues to cope with the loss, but something colorful and bright has emerged from the darkness and misery.”

After Jake died Evan and I both knew that we wanted to try to become parents again.  I mistakenly thought that after your child dies you should get some sort of “get a baby free pass”.  There was no pass for us.  When we did start trying again we found ourselves on the roller coaster of infertility.  We started with cycles of injectables.  We moved onto 6 rounds of IUI’s (think turkey baster if you are not familiar with this term).  Finally after 2 IVF cycles we were so very lucky to have our own rainbow babies in July of 2007.

In the fall of 2009 we once again had a rainbow baby.

Who knew another storm would come so soon?  I am trying to learn from the twins how to look for rainbows everywhere.  Some days it is harder than others to find any light through the darkness.  The twins are pretty good teachers because the other day I looked out of the office building where I was working and this is what I saw. . .

After a hurricane comes a rainbow – Katy Perry

 

 

Mother’s Day Marketing

May 12, 2016 at 11:10 pm | Posted in Grief, Jake, life after loss, Sawyer | 6 Comments
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As I have done every year since Jake died, I went to the cemetery on Mother’s Day .  It is a very busy day at the cemetery, possibly the busiest day all year.  I understand that the marketing people want to make the most of the day.  There is always a little table set up.  Last year they gave out gift bags.  The year before there was a Mother’s Day cookout (along with free t-shirts).  This year they opted to give out a survey and a rose.

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I do not have any better ideas for their marketing team but I do appreciate their effort.  Death is a part of life that is difficult to talk about.  I appreciate their efforts to help grieving family and friends.   I think I will write on the survey that a flower and a survey are better than a cookout at the cemetery but I do wonder what they will come up with for next year.

 

Mother’s Day (& may the 4th be with you all)

May 4, 2016 at 10:04 pm | Posted in Death, Grief, Jake, life after loss, Love, mother, mourning, Sawyer | 12 Comments
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There is not a day that goes by that I do not think of Jake and Sawyer, but some days are harder than others.  Mother’s Day is one of those days.  Logically it is just another day.  They are both gone every. single. day.  It is not like the first days, weeks and months after they died when the tears so often streamed down my face without me even realizing.  Now most of the time my tears are tucked farther away.   The sadness and the joy of loving Jake and Sawyer is a part of me.

I know I am not alone.  There are so many other mothers in this club with me.  There are mothers who this is their first Mother’s Day without their child (or maybe it is the 2nd or 22nd since their child died).

There are also mothers who have died leaving behind their children.  This is perhaps their children’s first Mother’s Day without their mother (or maybe it is the 2nd or 22nd since their mother died).

There are motherless mothers and motherless fathers. 

There are spouse’s who are filling the role of both parents on Mother’s Day.

Death is part of life.  And no matter how hard some days can be life goes on.

As I have already written, Mother’s Day is not my favorite day.  I try to focus on the 4 positive pregnancy tests and the 4 live births.  I also try not dwell on the 2 emergency C-sections, the NICU, the miscarriage and the 2 deaths.  The truth is that all of these events have made me a mother.

I know that this day is hard for so many.  There are the other mothers in the club whose arms will also ache to hold their children.  There are others who are missing their mothers, grandmothers or partners.  I send hope and hugs to you all.

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thank you so much and a bit of happy

March 1, 2016 at 6:36 pm | Posted in Cemetery, Jake, Love, Sawyer | 3 Comments
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Last week I went to the cemetery and someone left flowers for Jake and Sawyer!  I have not been able to figure out who left them but I want to thank you so much for being so thoughtful and for remembering Jake and Sawyer.

Remembering

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

 

 

October 15th

October 14, 2015 at 9:32 pm | Posted in Jake, life lessons, Sawyer, traditions | 3 Comments
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Tomorrow is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.  As part of the day, everyone is invited to light a candle at 7 pm in all time zones, all over the world.  The idea is that if everyone lights a candle at 7 pm and keeps it burning for at least 1 hour, there will be a continuous wave of light.

Today and every day I miss Jake and Sawyer but tomorrow at 7 pm we will light candles.  This year I will once again hope that the light from all the candles will make the darkness of the unknown a little brighter.

Update – October 15, 2015 at 7:30 pm:

Remembering Jake and Sawyer and all the other babies gone too soon

Remembering Jake and Sawyer and all the other babies gone too soon

 

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