Wave of Light 2016

October 18, 2016 at 7:00 pm | Posted in life after loss, Love | 5 Comments
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We lit our candles on October 15.

candles-2016

This year and last year I made the candles we lit.  I made candles that were given out at the Atlanta Walk to Remember.  There is not much I can do to lessen the pain that a bereaved parent carries throughout their lifetime.  I am hoping that the candle makes their path a little brighter (even if it is only for a little while).

quote - candle - 2015

 

 

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Families take ‘walk to remember’ to honor children they’ve lost

October 4, 2016 at 11:32 am | Posted in life after loss, Love | 4 Comments
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Walk in Fulton County honors children lost.

Source: Families take ‘walk to remember’ to honor children they’ve lost

Click on the picture above to see the local news coverage of the Atlanta Walk to Remember. Jake’s name is read in the first sentence of the story.

The mention of my child’s name may bring tears to my eyes, but it never fails to bring music to my ears.   If you are really my friend, let me hear the beautiful music of his name.  It soothes my broken heart and sings to my soul.  — Author Unknown

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

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.

October 15th

October 14, 2015 at 9:32 pm | Posted in Jake, life lessons, Sawyer, traditions | 3 Comments
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quote - candle - 2015

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

 

Walking to Remember – Together

September 30, 2015 at 10:36 pm | Posted in Grief, life after loss | 4 Comments
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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:

Atlanta Walk to Remember

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

October 14, 2014 at 10:14 pm | Posted in Grief | 1 Comment
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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 Atlanta Walk to Remember 2010 program)

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.

The candles that we will light were given out at the Atlanta Walk to Remember 2014.   We will be lighting our candles at 7 pm hope you can join us.

October – Pregnancy and Infant Loss Month

October 12, 2014 at 9:08 pm | Posted in Grief, traditions | 4 Comments
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October, in addition to being Breast Cancer Awareness month, is also Pregnancy and Infant Loss Month.  In 1988, President Ronald Reagan issued a Presidential Proclamation making it a national event.  This year the Governor of Georgia also wrote an official proclamation making October Pregnancy and Infant Loss Month.

Across the world there are many walks to remember.   Families and friends walk to remember their little loved ones.  The walk also symbolically joins people who are working towards raising awareness of perinatal loss and care.

The year before Jake died, 10 years ago, three bereaved mothers in Atlanta started the Atlanta Walk to Remember.  Last weekend we walked for the 9th time.  Originally, Evan and I walked to remember Jake.  In 2007, we were lucky enough to walk while pushing the twins in their stroller.  Starting in 2010, the 4 of us have walked together every year to remember Jake and Sawyer.   The walk this year had the  biggest turn out yet.  It was in a new location and it was a very special day.

This was also the first year that one of the twins had an activity conflicting with the walk.  One of the twins had a flag football game.  Evan and I decided to talk to him about it and give him a choice.  I was a bit surprised, but maybe I should not have been –  he decided to go to the walk.  He said “I can play in the game next week.”

Each week in his 2nd grade class they write the “Weekend News.”  Here is his from last week:

weekend news

In case you cannot read this, it says “My dad’s a[u]nt came over.  I went to the walk to rem[em]ber. With my spicey monky.  I went [to] the walk to rem[em]ber bec[a]use two of my brothers died.  I had a good walk.”  And so did we.

 

Spreading Awareness

October 6, 2013 at 9:14 pm | Posted in life after loss, Love, silver lining, why I write | 9 Comments
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This past weekend, I walked in one day of the Atlanta 2-Day Walk for Breast Cancer and in the Atlanta Walk to Remember.

In addition to walking, Evan has been talking as well.  Last week he went to Capitol Hill with a group from the March of Dimes.  They spoke to members of Congress about the importance of newborn screening and funding prematurity studies.

This week, Evan spoke at the Atlanta Walk to Remember.  Below is his speech:

“Dad and Father”

I am the father of four children,
but I am “Dad” to only two kids.

Our six-year-old twins call me “Dad” or “Daddy”
– or sometimes other silly things, or things I won’t mention here.

Our first child, Jake, never left the hospital
and lived only 2 weeks.
He was born 14 weeks early
and with other ultimately unsolvable medical complications.

Our fourth child, Sawyer, was born happy and healthy
and came home with us.
But six weeks later, with no warning,
and for no reason that has yet been fully figured out,
his heart stopped working.

Neither Jake nor Sawyer ever got to call me anything.

My family and I grieve the deaths and loss of our boys,
as you all grieve the loss of your children and little loved-ones.

As their father, I grieve the loss of Jake and Sawyer’s childhoods,
the big moments that they were supposed to have but never will.
I grieve the loss of their chance to grow up, to flourish,
to become teenagers, young men, husbands and “Dads” themselves.
I grieve the lost ball games and trips and adventures we’ll never have.
I grieve all the missed hugs and high-fives.
I grieve even the cranky wake-ups and bedtime fits we know so well from our twins,
but never got to experience with Jake or Sawyer.

I grieve all the truly heart-warming bedtime snuggles
that will never happen with Jake or Sawyer.
Beyond all those missed tender moments,
I also grieve the loss of my belief that horrible things won’t happen to me or my loved ones.
I am all too aware now that they can happen to anyone – as they have happened to all of us.

It’s all I can do most of the time
to just hope nothing like losing Jake and Sawyer ever happens again.
As a father, I also grieve the loss of my once unshakable belief
that I could always protect my wife Lanie and all our children
from such terrible pain and anguish; that I can “fix” their problems;
that I can always make everything all better.

I know that I cannot make Jake or Sawyer all better or bring them back.
I’m not sure that grief is something a father can ever overcome.
Of course, I have learned that you do not overcome or get past grief.
You just go through it.
I hate that my family has to go through it too,
but thank heavens I have an incredible wife and wonderful kids
to travel along with me as I go down that path.

So I guess I will always grieve the loss of never being called “Dad” –
not even once – by Jake or Sawyer.

But that doesn’t mean I am not their father.
I am and always will be a proud father of all my kids,
no matter what they call me
or what they were never able to call me.

And, I am so very proud of Jake, Sawyer and the twins’ dad and father.

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Weekend Walks

October 4, 2013 at 6:22 pm | Posted in life lessons, Love | 6 Comments
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Do you know that along with Breast Cancer Awareness month that October is also Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month?

There are so very many facts that I have had to accept are out of my control.  At the top of the list are the facts that Jake and Sawyer are dead.

However, I am still here.  I am going to do my best to bring awareness to Pregnancy and Infant Loss along with Breast Cancer.  So, this weekend I am going to walk in the Atlanta 2 Day Walk for Breast Cancer and the Atlanta Walk to Remember.   I will let you know how they go.

Hope that you all have a great weekend!

Atlanta Walk to Remember

September 8, 2013 at 10:48 pm | Posted in Jake, life lessons, Love, Sawyer | 5 Comments
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“A wife who loses a husband is called a widow.  A husband who loses a wife is called a widower.  A child who loses his/her parents is called an orphan.  But there is no word for a parent who loses a child, that’s how awful the loss is!”  Jay Neugeboren

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 babies together.

This year the walk  will be held on October 6th.  For more information and/or to register for the walk click the following link:

www.northsidepnl.com/atlanta-walk-to-remember.html

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