Memorials, Mickey & Moments

January 8, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Posted in Grief, life after loss, Love, silver lining, twins | 12 Comments
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This week was Sawyer’s yahrzeit, the anniversary of the Hebrew date he died.  Evan and I lit a candle and said Kaddish (the prayer recited to honor the memory of those who have died).  My mom recently emailed me an article titled “Memory is a Blessing” which discusses the prayer. 

It is the responsibility of the Kaddish – the mourner – to keep alive the memory of the person who has died, to not forget and not to let others forget. . . .

Recite the prayer for him – yes – but also to remember – even if it hurts, even if it brings tears. To “be the Kaddish” is to be willing to talk about the person who has died, to tell stories and share memories even when it makes others uncomfortable.

During Sawyer’s yahrzeit, my parents so happened to take our family away on a vacation.  I am so thankful to my parents for such a wonderful trip. 

However, as a bereaved parent it feels wrong at times to have fun while also trying to grieve.  I know that I am alive and Sawyer is not.  It is complicated.  I want to be happy and live with the twins while honoring Sawyer and Jake. 

It is bittersweet. 

Here is some of the sweetness:

 

And here is some more:

And although Sawyer and Jake were not physically there they have left us their own sweetness.

By love they are remembered, and in memory they live. . .
Even when they are gone, the departed are with us. . .
We remember them now; they live in our hearts. . .
                                                                                          Rabbi Hannah Orden

 

Trick or Treat & Too Tired

November 2, 2011 at 11:50 pm | Posted in Death, Grief, silver lining, twins | 8 Comments
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It was a game day decision for the twins.  They decided over a month before Halloween that they were going to be a rocket and a unicorn.  This decision was prompted by the fact that I could not get them to leave Target without these costumes.  I was too tired that day to fight with them.  I am often tired.  I am sure that most, if not all parents are sleep deprived to some extent.   I know exhaustion is linked to depression.  In my alternate universe where Jake and Sawyer did not die would I be so tired?

I took the easy way out.  I opted to avoid a double meltdown and bought the costumes.

As I expected they changed their minds quite a few times before the big day.

The Viking and the Dress Up with the Umbrella were ruled out because they belong to our good friends who live in Colorado.

The crazy hair was ruled out because I cannot recreate that or anything closely resembling that hair do.

The others each were vetoed for some other reason.  And, we ended up back at the rocket and the unicorn. (Just in case you are wondering, that is pumpkin bowling in the last picture).

The extremely tired Cat in the Hat rallied for Halloween long enough to follow the rocket and the unicorn to a few houses for trick or treating.  Then the rocket offered to go home and help pass out candy.  Overall, it was a successful night.  No major meltdowns and no one turned into a pumpkin.

99!!

August 30, 2011 at 11:51 am | Posted in silver lining | 7 Comments
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August is a bittersweet rollercoaster for me.  Luckily, it always ends with a happy day.  My grandfather’s birthday.  He is 99!!   I just want to wish him a very happy birthday.

Just Jake

August 14, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Posted in Death, Grief, hospital, mourning, parents, silver lining | 21 Comments
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Dear Jake,
I cannot believe that you would have been 6 years old today.  In some ways it seems like so long ago since I held you and in some ways it feels like last week.  I have so much to thank you for and I do not think I have ever told you.

First, I would like to thank you for choosing us to be your parents.   I remember running downstairs after taking the pregnancy test and seeing the positive result.  I could not wait to tell your dad.  I was completely filled with joy.  I have not been truly happy since that day.  Do not take this the wrong way, I have been happy.  It is just a different kind of happy and it is often bittersweet.  That wonderful March day I was just so blissfully unaware of the tragedies that life could and would bring.

Second, you made me understand how short and precious life really is.  You showed me in your brief time with me how pure and simple love can be.

Lastly (at least for now), I want to thank you for the strength you have given me.  It is difficult for me to explain but the night your youngest brother Sawyer died you are who was with me.  In the emergency room, you are the one who held me up in the hallway.  I am sure without you I would not have been able to stand let alone walk.  I kept telling myself if I could live in a world without you, I could and would somehow find a way to live without Sawyer.

I wish that we were having a birthday party with you today.  We are not.  Perhaps you are having a cosmic celebration with your little brother, your Mom Mom and your great-grandmother.   Whatever you are doing please know how much I love and miss you.

August Attire?

August 12, 2011 at 11:48 am | Posted in Grief, mourning, silver lining, twins | 6 Comments
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It might say August on the rest of the world’s calendars but here in our house we are getting ready for the end of October.  Halloween to be specific.  The Princess and her puppy would like their own calendar so that they can cross off the days until the big event.

 

The Power Ranger (who is really wearing an evil Spiderman costume – but please do not share that information with him) does not want his picture taken.  Additionally, he does not want to change out of his costume until after Halloween – despite the fact that Halloween is approximately 2 1/2 months from now and it is currently averaging 100 degrees outside.

It looks like I will be having wardrobe battles with Spiderman for the next few months.  I have to go print out some calendars for the Princess now.

 “One joy shatters a hundred griefs.”
– – Chinese Proverb

Thanks to the twins

July 28, 2011 at 10:42 pm | Posted in Death, Grief, mourning, parents, SIDS, twins | 14 Comments
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Thanks to the twins I have to get up every morning.  After Jake died, there were days I did not see the point in getting out of bed. 

Four months after Jake’s death, Evan and I spoke to a neighbor who had 2 older boys and a 3 month old baby girl who died.  As Evan and I spoke to the parents about the death of their daughter, the 2 little boys were running around us.

As we walked away from their house I thought about how I could cry all day and go on long walks.  I thought how much harder it must be for them to have to get up every day and take care of 2 other children while grieving for another.  And, if I am honest with myself I envied that they had other children at home as we walked back to our empty house.

The birth of the twins did not make me forget Jake but my life became much busier.  My grief for Jake became a part of me and helped me to (hopefully) be a better mother to the twins.

The morning after Sawyer died our house was not empty.  The twins were home waiting for us to take care of them.  I cannot compare Sawyer’s death and Jake’s death at all.  However, after Sawyer died I had to get myself together and take care of the twins.  I cried as I changed their diapers, fed them and put them to bed but I did it.

The twins have no idea how grateful I am they were born and are alive.  I tell them all the time how much I love them and how lucky I am to be their mom but I do not have the words to express how important they are to me.  I hope they do not feel the weight of my world on their little legs.

Happy Birthday!!

 

Beaches & Bad Questions

July 24, 2011 at 10:36 pm | Posted in Grief, mourning, parents, twins | 3 Comments
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I have always found the beach to be very peaceful.  However, it is not always super relaxing when you go with children.

I had to leave the last few days to go to work.  I did not plan the week this way but had to change things around because of the previous week.

I am a consultant and often go to offices where I have never met anyone before I arrive.  I taught a class where we were waiting for a few minutes for everyone to show up.  While waiting the people already there were talking about their dogs.  They asked me if I have any dogs.  Easy question.  I have 2 dogs.  I even showed pictures of the dogs with the twins.  All is well.

The last person to leave the class turns to me and says, “I do not mean to get personal but are you going to have more children?”  I thought I had completely avoided the “how many children do you have” question with the easy dog conversation.  No such luck.

After thinking for a few moments, I tell her that we already had more children.  Jake was very premature.  Sawyer was full term, went to sleep and did not wake up.  I quickly change the subject.

Later the same day, I am working with someone who is receiving texts from his daughter.  He asks if I have children.  I answer that we have twins at home.  I think this answer sounds pretty good.  And, then there it is again. . .”Do you think you will have more children?”

Sometimes I think that I should consider going into some kind of work where talking is not required.  .  .

Happily Ever After & Hope (part 2)

July 16, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Posted in Grief, mourning, silver lining, twins | 6 Comments
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It was so nice to write such a happy post last week.  Life has ups and downs and I know that without the bad times it is hard to appreciate the good times.  I recently read about the concept of “nexting” – always thinking about is going to happen next.   So I am trying very hard to appreciate the good moments right now:

After Sawyer died someone said to me that Evan and I will never live happily ever after.  It was not said with with cruel intentions.  It was an honest statement that that after burying a child (or children) life is bittersweet.

We may not have lived happily ever after even if Jake and Sawyer had lived.  And there is no alternate universe in which I can find out.  Life, marriage and kids are hard at times even if you are not a bereaved parent.  I am hoping that good times continue and when they do not maybe the bad times will not be quite as bad.  In the meantime, I will go watch the twins dance the robot:

And, I am going to confess to “nexting” because the twins and I are going to the beach soon.  They are so excited to go see their Aunt, Uncle and cousin!

Super Star

July 10, 2011 at 12:38 am | Posted in hospital, silver lining | 12 Comments
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Our little super star was such a good sport.  He happily played while waiting for his surgery.

He was not able to eat or drink that morning.  I dreaded him asking for something and not being able to give it to him.  Luckily, he was so busy playing with his cars that he only asked once.  I responded by handing him more cars.

Evan and I could hear him chatting as the nurses and surgeon wheeled him away down the hall.  We waited in his room.

He was brought back to us from the recovery room. He was in and out of sleep.

When he did wake up the first thing he asked for was his car.  The second thing he asked for was more cars.  However, he did not turn down the apple juice or popsicle the nurse offered him.

And before we knew it our super star, his blue tongue, Lightening McQueen and all the other cars were happily on our way home.

Thank you all so much for sending positive thoughts, good wishes and love!

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