February 28, 2018 at 6:28 pm | Posted in Love | Leave a comment
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Look for the Happy

May 24, 2015 at 5:55 pm | Posted in Anniversaries, life after loss | 6 Comments
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On the road of life, it is not where you go
but who you are with that makes the difference.

Author Unknown

A very happy Birthday to my brother!


And, a very happy anniversary to Evan!


“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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March 24, 2013 at 12:14 am | Posted in Grief, life lessons, Love, normal? | 4 Comments
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quote - John Lennon


Staying Present

March 18, 2013 at 9:56 pm | Posted in Grief, Jake, Love, normal?, Sawyer, twins | 12 Comments
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Recently, I was reminded once again to live in the present.  I watched an interview with Valerie Harper.  She spoke so honestly about how she is trying to live in the moment and live her life to the fullest despite her terminal brain cancer diagnosis.  In her interview, Harper reminded us all that “None of us gets out alive.  Don’t go to the funeral before the day of the funeral.”

I replayed her interview in my head when I saw a daunting hill on mile 12 of the half  marathon I was running.  My first thought was to jump to the future (at least for a couple of hours to when I was showered and not running).  I tried to focus on the moment.  It was a beautiful day.  Only 1.1 miles to go.  The run was rough but I made it.

I again thought of Valerie Harper as I was helping the twins with their homework.  One of the twins had the assignment to draw a family picture in order from tallest to shortest.

Who is the tallest?  No problem.  “Daddy is the tallest!”

Who is the shortest? Tougher question.  “Mama, who was taller, Jake or Sawyer?”

The “not living in the moment me” would have taken into consideration that Jake should be 7.  He should be taller than the twins and Sawyer (who should be 3).

I pulled myself back to the present reality.  I answered,  “Jake was the shortest.”

My therapist is always reminding me not to grow Jake and Sawyer up.  The loss of Jake and Sawyer as babies is horrible enough without also grieving the loss at every age.  I am still working on this. . .

A's art 2013


A light in the darkness

December 8, 2012 at 9:46 pm | Posted in Grief, Love | 3 Comments
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Eleanor Roosevelt  quote

The Compassionate Friends is an organization which was formed to support families after a child has died.  Its founder, Simon Stephens, states that the mission is “about transforming the pain of grief into the elixir of hope. It takes people out of the isolation society imposes on the bereaved and lets them express their grief naturally. With the shedding of tears, healing comes. And the newly bereaved get to see people who have survived and are learning to live and love again.”

The Compassionate Friends created a worldwide event to unite “family and friends around the globe in lighting candles for one hour to honor and remember children who have died at any age from any cause.”  December 9th at 7 pm will mark the 16th Worldwide Candle Lighting.


Doctors & Dreams

December 2, 2012 at 9:48 pm | Posted in after death?, Grief, Love, normal? | 10 Comments
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Dear Sawyer,
Three years ago we had your 2 week check up with the pediatrician.  You did fantastic.  You were gaining weight.  You were eating.  You were sleeping.  All seemed to be going well.  Was there something that we missed?

The doctor told us that you were perfect.  We even scheduled your 2 month check up in January of 2010.  As you know, we did not make it to that appointment.

I try not to imagine what you would be like as a 3-year-old.  I know that I should just mourn the loss of you as a baby.  It only makes it more painful to grieve the losses of all the other stages you sadly never reached.  Good night baby boy.  I love you.  I miss you.  As always, I will look for you in my dreams.




November 26, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Posted in Death, Grief, life lessons, normal? | 17 Comments
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Thank you Brooke from by the brooke for writing about the book, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar.  The book is written by Cheryl Strayed, who was formerly the anonymous online advice columnist, Dear Sugar.  The book is a collection of letters written to Dear Sugar and her responses.

One letter is from a bereaved mother, Stuck.  Stuck’s baby died.  I want to share the wisdom that Sugar so powerfully offers.  The following is part of the advice that Sugar wrote to her:

Dear Stuck,

I’m so sorry that your baby girl died.  So terribly sorry.  I can feel your suffering vibrating right through my computer screen.  This is to be expected.  It is as it should be.  Though we live in a time and place and culture that tries to tell us otherwise, suffering is what happens when truly horrible things happen to us.

Don’t listen to those people who suggest you should be “over” your daughter’s death by now.  The people who squawk the loudest about such things have almost never had to get over anything.  Or at least not anything that was genuinely mind-fuckingly, soul-crushingly life altering.  Some of those people believe they are being helpful by minimizing your pain.  Others are scared of the intensity of your loss and so they use their words to push your grief away.  Many of those people love you and are worthy of your love, but they are not the people who will be helpful to you when it comes to healing the pain of your daughter’s death.

They live on Planet Earth.  You live on Planet My Baby Died.

It seems to me that you feel like you’re all alone there.  You aren’t.  There are women reading this right now who have tears in their eyes.  There are women who have spent their days chanting daughter, daughter or son, son silently to themselves.  Women who have been privately tormented about the things they did or didn’t do that they fear caused the death of their babies.  You need to find those women.  They’re your tribe.

I know because I’ve lived on a few planets that aren’t Planet Earth myself […]

This is how you get unstuck, Stuck.  You reach.  Not so you can walk away from the daughter you loved, but so you can live the life that is yours — the one that includes the sad loss of your daughter, but is not arrested by it.  The one that eventually leads you to a place in which you not only grieve her, but also feel lucky to have had the privilege of loving her.  That place of true healing is a fierce place.  It’s a giant place.  It’s a place of monstrous beauty and endless dark and glimmering light.  And you have to work really, really, really hard to get there, but you can do it. […]

You will never stop loving your daughter.  You will never forget her.  You will always know her name.  But she will always be dead.  Nobody can intervene and make that right and nobody will.  Nobody can take it back with silence or push it away with words.  Nobody will protect you from your suffering.  You can’t cry it away or eat it away or starve it away or walk it away or punch it away or even therapy it away.  It’s just there, and you have to survive it.  You have to endure it.  You have to live through it and love it and move on and be better for it and run as far as you can in the direction of your best and happiest dreams across the bridge that was built by your own desire to heal.  Therapists and friends and other people who live on Planet My Baby Died can help you along the way, but the healing–the genuine healing, the actual real deal down-on-your-knees-in-the-mud-change–is entirely and absolutely up to you. […]


I have been living on Planet My Baby Died for 7 years.  I do not know if there is a separate Planet for when a second child dies.  If so, I have been on that Planet for almost 3 years.  Either way, here I am trying to live.


Thankful 2012

November 22, 2012 at 7:28 am | Posted in Grief, life lessons, Love, normal? | 8 Comments
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I am forever thankful for the people who supported and continue to support Evan and I through the darkest times in our lives.  I have not officially thanked you all but please know that you have our eternal gratitude.  Hope that you all have a very happy Thanksgiving!


November 17

November 14, 2012 at 10:38 pm | Posted in Grief, life after loss, Love, normal? | 14 Comments
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It is me again.  I keep losing track of days.  Your 3rd birthday would/should be in 3 days.  November 17th is not only your birthday but it is World Prematurity Day.  You were not premature but your big brother Jake was 14 weeks early.  In fact, you were 8 lbs and 1 oz and perfect.  I know that  if you were here you would be okay sharing your birthday with Jake’s cause.

This year is also the first Global Week of Action for child survival.  The 13th-20th of November this campaign will try to “bring people together across the globe to raise their voices against the unacceptable number of children dying before their fifth birthday from preventable causes”.   I do not know if your cause of death was preventable.  I am still hoping to know for sure one day.  I hope that where ever you are you know your dad and I would have done anything to protect you.  I still cannot believe that I could not save you.

I do not know if I cry because I am weak or strong.  I do not care either way.  I just cry and miss you.  Love you always and forever.

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