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.

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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.

 

 

Hope

April 18, 2017 at 2:18 pm | Posted in life after loss, Love | 4 Comments
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Some days hope is hard to find.  On my running route, I have discovered a few hints that there is always hope.  One time I stumbled upon this sign of hope:

And, on another run I came across this one:

The signs are on telephone poles but that is okay with me.   I will take hope however and wherever I can find it.

On my run the other day, I noticed that one of the signs had been painted.

I like to believe that I can still catch a glimpse of  hope even though it is now harder to find.

 

 

Possibilities and Playing Pokémon

March 20, 2017 at 2:22 pm | Posted in Grief, life after loss | 5 Comments
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Yesterday turned into an unexpected mix of spending time with all 4 of my children.

The day started out with Evan and I dropping off the twins at Sunday school and then going over to the cemetery to visit Jake and Sawyer.

The twins (and I) play Pokémon Go.  The cemetery happens to have a crazy amount of Pokémon stops – which is where the balls to catch Pokémon are collected.  Below is a picture of the cemetery.  The blue squares are all Pokémon stops.

The odd thing to me is that apparently some people come to the cemetery just to play Pokémon.   What might be even more odd is that I like the fact that where Jake and Sawyer are buried is right near a particular Pokémon stop (see below).  I like to think in some cosmic way that Jake and Sawyer are playing the same game that the twins and I are playing.

In addition to playing Pokémon Go, the twins decided that yesterday would be a great day for a Lemonade Stand to remember their brothers.  They set one up at the end of our driveway and raised money and awareness for the March of Dimes.

Would you like to join us in our efforts?  You can just click on this link and then click the “Walk with Me” button to join our Walk Team.  If that is not in the cards (which we know for most of you it is not), consider whether you can support us in our fundraising efforts.  Every dollar counts, and every dollar is matched by the hospital where our kids were born, so $1 donated = $2 to the March of Dimes.  Click on this link and click the “Donate Now” button.  Thanks for your support and any donation you can make!

 

 

 

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

 

 

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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Marching for Hope

March 30, 2016 at 8:28 pm | Posted in life after loss, Love | 2 Comments
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I do not like it but I have accepted the fact that Jake and Sawyer have died.  However, I refuse to give up hope that other babies can live.  I do not know how to save these lives but the March of Dimes does.  Please if you are in Atlanta consider walking with us on April 30, 2016.  Click this link to join Jake’s Journey and Sawyer’s Strides.  If that is not in the cards, consider whether you can support us in our fundraising efforts by clicking this link.

Every day, thousands of babies are born too soon, too small and often very sick — just like Jake was almost 11 years ago. Likewise, thousands of babies are born with birth defects or unknown medical problems that cause great hardships or unexpected deaths — just like what happened to Sawyer more than 6 years ago. We will be walking in March for Babies again this year because we NEED to do something about this, so that no family has to go through what we dealt with when Jake was born at 26 weeks, and no family kisses their child goodnight and never gets to kiss them good morning the next day like what happened with Sawyer. And we need your help. Please support our walk and fundraising efforts. Every dollar makes a difference. And in our case, every $1 = $2 due to a generous match by Northside Hospital. The March of Dimes uses the funds on key research, education and outreach programs. But we need your support. Nothing can be more important than all of us having healthy babies. Making a secure donation is easy: just click here. Thank you for helping us give all babies a healthy start! And thank you for helping us honor and remember Jake and Sawyer’s far-too-short lives.

 

 

 

Still Marching

May 6, 2015 at 10:16 pm | Posted in after death?, Grief, life after loss, Love | 1 Comment
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This weekend our family is walking in the March of Dimes’ “March for Babies” just like we have in years past.  Originally our team was named Jake’s Journey.  After Sawyer died we renamed it to Jake’s Journey & Sawyer’s Strides.  This year the walk is on Mother’s Day weekend.  Although I wish we were walking with all of our children, I think this is as close of a perfect way to honor all 4 as possible.

The mission of March of Dimes is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.  I believe that the March of Dimes is making a difference and saving babies.

I cannot do anything to bring back Jake or Sawyer but maybe, just maybe, I can help spare other parents the heartbreak of having to live in this world without their child/children.

Thank you to all those who supported our team this year and in past years.  Thank you also to the Northside Hospital for matching funds.  We appreciate all of your kindness and generosity.   Please consider supporting Jake’s Journey & Sawyer’s Strides and click here.

How to Remember Your Child

February 28, 2014 at 1:00 pm | Posted in Grief, Jake, life after loss, Sawyer | 6 Comments
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I will always remember Jake and Sawyer.  How they looked.  How they smelled.  Their sounds, and the touch of their skin.

Over the years since Jake and then Sawyer have died, we’ve always looked for ways to remember them by trying to build more memories of them.  Maybe it is because we only had weeks with each of them.  Maybe it is because it is a way to keep them a more active parts of our lives.  Maybe it is because that is what we do when we loved ones are no longer present in our lives.

We’ve done things that have made sense to us to remember Jake and Sawyer.  I’ve also come across suggestions (some of which we have taken, some of which we haven’t done) from other resources about ways parents can remember their children who have died.  Some of those ideas include:

  • Create a baby album with all your keepsakes in it.  (This might take different shapes or forms depending on what keepsakes you have.)
  • Make a collage frame, remembrance or shadow box with pictures, mementos and other things that remind you of your child.
  • Plant flowers or a tree in your child’s memory, perhaps in a place you like to visit or that you associate with your child.
  • Participate in walks or runs in your community.
  • Buy memorial bricks (local parks often offer this as a fundraiser).
  • Name a star after your baby.
  • Write.
  • Light candles.
  • Volunteer or work on a special project in your child’s memory.
  • Donate to a child who would be the same age as your child would be.

Do you have any other ideas to share?

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