Father’s Day

June 18, 2017 at 6:18 pm | Posted in Grief | 6 Comments
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Several years ago I adapted this poem (A Mother’s Day Wish From Heaven) by Jody Seilheimer, for Father’s Day.  Then I came across another (more accurate, I think) poem for a bereaved father.  It was sent by a reader to Kelly Farley, author of a Grieving Dads To the Brink and Back.   Hoping all the fathers out there have the best day possible.

Dear Mr. Hallmark ….. One More Time

Hello there Mr. Hallmark man,

I wrote to you in May

To ask that words of love be shared

With my mom on Mother’s Day.

Just as there is no card for Mom

To let her know I care,

There is no card for my dad, too,

And I have so much to share.

It’s very hard for my loving dad

To know that I’m okay.

To protect me was his job, he feels,

So he thinks he failed some way.

Although I had to leave this world,

While still considered young,

There is no way he ever failed—

There’s no more he could have done.

My dad he tends to question

Those things he cannot see.

I always send him little signs

To say, “Hey, Dad, it’s me!”

I hear him crying in the car,

The shower hides his tears.

He feels he has to be so strong

For those he holds so dear.

My dad he often gets so mad

At what became of me.

He wants so much to understand,

He says, “How could this be?”

I somehow need to let him know,

Though impossible it seems—

For him to live and laugh again

Will fulfill so many dreams.

The card I need to send right now

To a dad as great as mine,

Will thank him for the love he gave

Throughout my brief lifetime.

He’s still the one that I call Dad,

Our bond’s forever strong,

‘Cuz even though he can’t see me,

Our love lives on and on.

Please help me find a way

To tell my dad that when

It comes his time to leave the earth

I’ll be waiting there for him.

And also, Mr. Hallmark man,

Please help him to believe,

That nothing will ever change the fact

That my dad he’ll always be.

Mother’s Day when your child is dead

May 12, 2017 at 1:14 pm | Posted in Grief, Love | 4 Comments
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There are no rules for Mother’s Day without your child/children.   We miss our children every day but some days are harder than others.  This is one of those days.

  • Remember that you are and always will be a mother.
  • Know you are not alone.  This club has many members.
  • The baby/child loss club is not the only one out there.  There are those without their mothers on Mother’s Day and countless other loss clubs.   Buddha’s story about the mustard seed sums it up perfectly – “in the whole city, in the whole world,  there is not one family, not one person free from the certainty of death.  It is the way of all living things – we must at some time leave one another.”
  • Do one thing (no matter how big or small) for yourself – even if that one thing is crying or showering.
  • Honor/remember your child.
  • Hug your family and friends a bit tighter.
  • Talk about your child.  Say their name (or names).
  • Be kind to yourself.

I hope that you all have the best day possible.

 

what to do when reality bites

May 4, 2017 at 8:18 pm | Posted in Grief, silver lining | 4 Comments
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Here is my reality – I will never be able to bring Sawyer and Jake back to life.  I will never hold Sawyer again.

I will never hold Jake again.

I cannot change my reality but I can help others.   I will do anything and everything I can to prevent other children from dying too soon.  I do not want any other families to have to live in a world without their child/children.

This weekend what I will do to try to help is walk. Thank you to all those who supported our March of Dimes, March for Babies team this year and in past years. Thank you also to the hospital for matching funds.  We appreciate all of your kindness and generosity.   If you would like to support Jake’s Journey & Sawyer’s Strides please click this link.

 

 

“Don’t cry because it is over. Smile because it happened.” Dr. Seuss

November 17, 2016 at 1:52 pm | Posted in life after loss, Love | 7 Comments
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Sawyer,
Today is World Prematurity Day so I am wearing purple in memory and in honor of your oldest brother Jake and all the other babies born into this world too soon.  Today is Georgia Gives Back day so I just drove food to a shelter and will be making donations in honor of you and your siblings.

Today is also the day that we welcomed you to the world! Today I want to celebrate wonderful little you.  Today I am going to read all the congratulations emails we received after you were born because last night I discovered your Dad kept them all (and I have never seen them).  Today I will give presents to your brother and sister for your birthday because there do not seem to be any rules on how to celebrate your 7th birthday without you – so,  I am trying to make up my own.  Today I will try to smile, not to cry (but please forgive me if I do).

Today you gave me the gift of being your mama and for that I am forever grateful to you my sweet Sawyer.

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Happy Halloween

October 31, 2016 at 4:28 pm | Posted in life after loss, Love | 2 Comments
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Happy Halloween from Mudkip (a type of Pokémon) and the Friendly Polka Dotted Monster!

Mudkip and the Friendly Polka Dot Monster

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

 

 

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

 

 

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.

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

 

land of denial

August 8, 2016 at 9:14 pm | Posted in Grief | 8 Comments
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I am in denial.  Buddy (our older smaller dog) died last week.  I know it is true because I was there and because Evan posted it on Facebook but somehow it still seems unreal.

I should be some sort of grief expert by now.  I am not.  As the twins said, “It is okay mama, Buddy is now playing with Jake, Sawyer, Mom Mom and Grandpoppy.”

Wonder how long I can stay in denial. . .

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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

 

 

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