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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Just drive – help everyone arrive alive

April 18, 2016 at 10:08 pm | Posted in Grief, life after loss | 5 Comments
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We are all busy.  We all have too much to do and not enough time.  We often multi task which includes doing other things while driving.   Last week, the world lost an amazing person I was lucky enough to know.  He was biking with his cycling group and struck from behind by a car and killed.

I wish there was something I could do to make this nightmare better for his family and friends.  I know that there are no words that will bring him back. However, maybe if someone reads this and thinks to take the extra time to slow down or pay attention a similar tragedy could be prevented.

His death was sudden and heart breaking.  All was fine and then it was not.  I want there to be something good that comes from this tragedy but right now there is another mother living in this world without her son, another wife without her husband, more siblings without their brother and a community that has lost a beloved and wonderful person.

I wish there was something more I could do.  I wish no parent had to live in a world without their child.

http://www.ajc.com/news/news/crime-law/henry-county-physician-struck-killed-while-riding-/nq2Jg/

 

A bit of hope

February 26, 2016 at 5:48 pm | Posted in Grief, life after loss, Love, Sawyer | 5 Comments
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quote - caterpillar

Sawyer’s pathologist emailed in 2011 that “none of the genetic-DNA mutations that are known to be associated with/responsible for abnormal heart rhythms has been identified in Sawyer.”  No one knows what caused Sawyer’s death.  I try not to think about this fact often but about once a year Evan or I email Sawyer’s pathologist to touch base.  The response is always kind but does not have any new information.  However, this year the doctor wrote back that in 2010 they had “sequenced a limited number of genes and nothing was found.  We could go back and do whole exome sequencing” again (with 2016 medical advances). 

This email gives me a bit hope for so many reasons.  One, the doctors have not forgotten about Sawyer.  Two, there is the slightest chance that one day we might know what caused Sawyer’s death.  This will not bring him back but maybe it will prevent another family from losing their child. 

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

Dear Jake

August 14, 2015 at 11:18 pm | Posted in life after loss, Love | 8 Comments
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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.

A Celebration of Life

July 8, 2015 at 12:00 am | Posted in Grief, life after loss | 8 Comments
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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

 

i hope someone finds a cure for cancer

March 2, 2015 at 9:51 pm | Posted in Death, Grief, life after loss, Love | 9 Comments
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quotes - i hate cancer

Not too long after Sawyer died, the spouses of 2 of my cousins were diagnosed with cancer.  One lost her battle 2 years ago and the other lost her battle this past weekend. Having lived through Jake and Sawyer’s deaths, you would think handling death would somehow be easier (or at least not so damn hard).  I feel like I should have some wise words – or some magic way to protect others from living without their loved ones.  I am just not sure such magic exists.  Rationally, I know that death is part of life and that we will all die at some point but dealing with it is not easy.  Maybe it is not supposed to be easy.  If it were easy than it would mean we did not care for or love the person.

The cousin’s wife who died recently was only in her forties and they have young children.  It is not fair that their children have to grow up without their mother.  I know, no one ever promised that life would be fair – but I wish it could be (even if only for a little while).

quote - love

“How many brothers and sisters do you have?”

November 20, 2014 at 2:22 pm | Posted in Grief, twins | 11 Comments
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I have previously written about being asked “How many children do you have?”  Over the years, I have different responses to this question.  It may always be a tricky question for me to answer or maybe one day I will come up with the perfect response.  I will let you know.

“How many brothers and sisters do you have?” is the bereaved sibling’s version of this question.  They are both such common and polite questions but the answers for some of us are so complicated.

The other day on the playground a classmate asked one of the twins, “Do you have any brothers and sisters?”

She answered, “Yes, I have a twin brother and my 2 other brothers, Jake and Sawyer, passed away. ”

The second grade little boy answered, “Jake and Sawyer probably passed away to get away from you.”

Our little girl walked away.  She is not perfect, she has and will say mean things at times too.  I wish I could protect all of my children all the time.  Jake and Sawyer have taught me that I cannot.  As much as I hate it, there are things beyond my control.  I am going to do my best to teach kindness to the 2 who are physically with us.

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Ansley’s Angel Day

July 16, 2014 at 12:14 am | Posted in Grief | 3 Comments
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Glennon Melton, public speaker, author and writer of the blog Momastery, wrote the other day about a mother named Jessica and her daughter Ansley.  Ansley died on July 14, 2007.  No one talks to Jessica about Ansley.  Jessica feels like her daughter has been forgotten and that the “world is pretending she never existed.”  Glennon writes about it much more eloquently than I can in her post “This is how you stop the world.”

I wish that Jessica did not have to live in a world without her daughter.  I am so very sad that Ansley died.   She will not be forgotten.

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

 

 

Return to Zero – Breaking the Silence

May 16, 2014 at 7:26 pm | Posted in Grief | 5 Comments
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Return to Zero premiers May 17th (tomorrow) on Lifetime at 8 pm/7pm central.   This is the first movie made about the stillbirth of a child.   The mission of the film is to break the silence surrounding stillbirth, miscarriage and neonatal death.

“The impact that one stillbirth has on the mother, the father, their family, and friends is devastating — a shock-wave of pain, guilt and then, too often, silence. The majority of those affected, especially the mothers, suffer in this silence often believing that their grief and trauma is theirs to bear alone.

While planning to entertain and enlighten all audiences with a dramatic tale of the strength and resilience of the human spirit, RETURN TO ZERO intends to break through the silence and become a beacon of cinematic light to the millions in search of answers, understanding and healing.”

Unlike the new show Resurrection, I know that I will be watching Return to Zero.

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