Life without you

October 26, 2012 at 9:42 pm | Posted in Love, normal? | 4 Comments
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Dear Sawyer,
There are days that I just cannot stop my arms from aching to hold you.  Today was one of those days.  I think of you and miss you every day.  Time is marching on as it always does.  Soon it will be November again.  Another November without you – just like every day since that awful night.

I carry the book of pictures of you that my thoughtful friends gave me.  I hold on to it.  It is not the same as holding you but I am so thankful that I have it.  I cannot look at it often but I always have it with me.  I love you to the moon and back sweet Sawyer.  I will look for you in my dreams.   Love you always.


The Balancing Act

October 4, 2012 at 11:14 pm | Posted in Grief, life lessons, normal?, venting | 5 Comments
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Areas of my life which I wish I could find a balance:

1. Answering the question, “how many children do you have?”

The twins started a new school this year. There are new teachers. New parents.

The twins started preschool the week after Sawyer died. We did not plan it that way but it is the way it worked out. It was a small preschool. I had already answered the questions. I had cried the tears in the parking lot.

Sawyer has been gone over 2 years so I can usually answer the question without the tears. The balance I am trying to find is answering the question without the pity that always seem to come along with it. It is hard to explain but I do not want people to feel sorry for us. I just want to be able to answer the question and talk about Jake and Sawyer.

2. “Being so busy I cannot think” coping technique

In 2005, Jake had died. I was still alive and forced to figure out how to live in a world without him. I searched and searched for steps to follow. A guide. Anything to help me get through the excruciatingly painful moments. I realized that being busy was the way to go. I desperately filled every possible moment.

In 2009 after Sawyer died I continued to utilize my “being so busy I cannot think” coping technique. I am at a point where I need to rethink just how busy I keep myself.

I do not know how to find the balance. There might not be a balance. Or, maybe there is and I will find it one day.  Till then I will try to take Dr. Seuss’ advice and “step with care and great tact.”

7 years minus 1 day & I still miss you

August 26, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Posted in after death?, Grief, hydrops, Time | 15 Comments
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It has been said, ‘time heals all wounds.’ I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.  Rose Kennedy

Dear Jake,
Tomorrow it will be 7 years since your Dad and I held you. I am still not sure how anyone got me to leave the NICU that Friday night.  I have nothing really new to tell you.  It is another day without you.  Tomorrow will come and you will officially be gone for 7 years.  The numbers do not matter.   I will miss you forever.  Love you always.  I will look for you in my dreams.

A Happy Day

August 16, 2012 at 11:42 pm | Posted in life after loss, Love | 13 Comments
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“Today you are you! That is truer than true!
There is no one alive..…who is you-er than you!
Dr. Seuss “Happy Birthday To You!”


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Thank you Jake

August 12, 2012 at 9:52 pm | Posted in after death?, Grief, twins, why I write | 12 Comments
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“If there ever comes a day when we can’t be together
keep me in your heart, I’ll stay there forever.”

Winnie the Pooh,  A. A. Milne

Dear Jake,
It was 7 years ago today when I was admitted to the hospital.  The doctors said there was no other option.  You were not ready for this world.  I suppose the world was not ready for you.  Your dad and I were terrified when the doctor told us my contractions were 3 minutes apart.  I could not believe at 26 weeks it could possibly be real.  I did truly believe you would live.  You held on for 2 more days before we actually got to meet you.

I still cannot understand how it is 7 years later.  I do not need a calendar to tell me the time of year.   My tears are much closer to the surface.  The lump in my throat is back.  My irritation and impatience have also risen just below my skin.  My nerves are so raw.  I wish to lock myself away so that I do not snap.  I already have apologized to your daddy.   If only just for a few moments I could be with you and your littlest brother.  I know that it is not possible.  However, this time of year I frequently seem to find myself back on the island of denial.

Your Yahrzeit was this weekend.   (The Yahrzeit falls annually on the Hebrew date of the deceased relative’s death according to the Jewish calendar as opposed to the secular calendar.)  Your dad and I lit a Yahrzeit candle for you.

You have 2 new cousins!  Welcome to the world Eli and Owen!!  I wish you could meet them.  You probably already know this but your sister asked if she could have one of the babies.  She desperately wants a baby brother.  She talks about you and Sawyer almost every day.  This morning she brought me two blankets she found for each of you.  She is so sweet and thoughtful.  I am trying my best to keep it together.

Thank you for chosing us as your parents.  Thank you for the time you were able to spend with us.  Thank you for sending us your baby brother and sister.  They are shielding us from all the rain.

I miss you so much.  I love you to the moon and back baby boy.  I will look for you in my dreams.

It is complicated

August 8, 2012 at 9:26 pm | Posted in after death?, Grief, life after loss, Love, normal? | 10 Comments
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It is complicated to explain.  Or maybe it is not.  The twins are doing and will continue to do things that Jake and Sawyer never did and never will.  This is a fact.  A bittersweet part of our lives.

There will be no first days and no last days.  And nothing in between.  Sometimes I play the pointless “What if” game.  What if there were more time with Jake and with Sawyer?

I just read True Compass: A Memoir by Ted Kennedy.  He included a letter his father Joseph Kennedy Sr. wrote to a friend whose son had just died:

Dear Jack,
There are no words to dispel your feelings at this time, and there is no time that will ever dispel them. Nor is it any easier the second time than it was the first.

And yet I cannot share your grief, because no one could share mine. When one of your children goes out of your life, you think of what he might have done with a few more years and you wonder what you are going to do with the rest of yours.

You never really accept it; you just go through the motions. Then one day, because there is a world to be lived in, you find yourself a part of it again, trying to accomplish something–something that he did not have time enough to do. And, perhaps, that is the reason for it all.  I hope so.

Sincerely, Joe

I hope so too.

August Again

August 4, 2012 at 10:54 pm | Posted in Anniversaries, Death, Grief, why I write | 10 Comments
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No matter how far the distance you have traveled nor the failures that have gathered, hope would still meet you anywhere.  – Dodinsky

August comes every year.  Right after July.  I have lived through these anniversaries of deaths and births before.  There are happy days this month too. 

Unlike the first year after Jake died not all the days are dark.   I will try my best to take care of the twins, keep busy and smile.  I will not always succeed. 

I have learned that part of my journey since Jake and Sawyer died is that grief at times sneaks up and knocks the wind right out of me.  Grief does not take me by surprise in August.  I know that it is there and I will brace myself for it.

Boy with the dragon tattoo & his sister

July 26, 2012 at 10:57 pm | Posted in Cemetery, Grief, life lessons, normal? | 9 Comments
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Thank you for all the well wishes.  The cast has not slowed him down one bit.

Here he is with his toy green teeth chasing the girl with the butterfly tattoo around the house.

Ok, the cast did eventually tire him out. . .

Blue casts can really weigh a boy down

Now that he stopped chasing her she was free to accessorize a bit more.

Tattoo, a Crown & a Ring
What could be better?

They are making the most out of their last days as 4 year olds.  She caught me off guard yesterday when she asked, “Will you take us to go see Sawyer and Jake for our birthday?”

“Yes, sure.  Why?’ I responded while trying to figure out what happened that made a visit to the cemetery pop into her toddler brain. 

“I love them.  You don’t take us to see them often enough.”

She is right.  I have not taken them to see Sawyer and Jake since the spring when she carefully arranged stones for her brothers.  Over the past 5 years Evan and I have made the decisions about when and when not to bring the twins to the cemetery.  Now that they have their own opinions I did not imagine we would be discussing trips to the cemetery.

“In the book of life, the answers aren’t in the back.”  – – Charlie Brown


July 24, 2012 at 8:58 pm | Posted in Grief, life after loss, normal?, silver lining | 2 Comments
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I, along with the rest of the world, do not understand the horror that took place last week in Colorado.  There are no words which seem adequate for such a tragedy.   The families left behind have a devastating hole in their lives and way too many unanswered questions.  Life is not fair.  However, a few things I read gave me some hope:

1.  An article  about the “Tales of Heroism. . .”.  “Even as a masked gunman kept firing a hailstorm of bullets in a Colorado movie theater, acts of selflessness and heroism sprouted from all across the room.  Three of the 12 people killed died while shielding their girlfriends from the gunfire. And a young woman risked her life to aid her wounded friend, refusing to leave her side.”

2.  My friend Kelcey over at Mama Bird Diaries focused on the helpers in the tragedy.  Kelcey posted the following quote she found through Ann Imig.

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of “disaster,” I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.” -Fred Rogers

There is so much darkness in the world that sometimes it is hard to see the light.  But light, hope and rainbows are there, just some days you have to look much harder than others.

More kindness.  The MISS Foundation’s Dr. Joanne Cacciatore started the Kindness Project in 1996 as a way for families to cope with the tragedy of a child’s death. Since then, more than 1,000,000 kindnesses have been committed around the globe in memory of children, gone too soon.

Anyone can participate in memory of anyone!

Here’s what you do:

Visit the MISS Foundation’s International Kindness Project Day website:

Imagine this:
All around the world,
on this one day of the year,
mourners will be transforming their grief into a
powerful message of
love, hope, peace, and kindness!

Odd but Ok

July 20, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Posted in Cemetery, Grief, life after loss, normal? | 6 Comments
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Ever since Sawyer’s unveiling I have been watching the earth move farther and farther away from Jake and Sawyer’s headstone.  Ground settles.  No big deal.  I kept checking.  I thought about bringing some dirt and trying to fill it in.  Stones started to fall into the crack.  The split grew larger and larger.  I decided to ask about it.  I went to the office at the cemetery.  The groundskeeper explained to me that a combination of ground settling and rain can cause headstones to sink.  Not what I wanted to hear.   He asked if I could show him the headstone and then he could determine the best course of action.  Great.  Action is good.  In fact, fix it right now, please.

We drove out to Jake and Sawyer.  I showed him the crack.  He told me that they would lift up the marble and pack it down with more dirt.  Ok.  I asked, “Can we do that right now? ” He replied that he would put in a work order but it would not get done for a week or 2.  I thought about it.  Ok.  Jake and Sawyer are not going anywhere.  There is no urgency.  The more I thought about it the more I realized that I was actually taking care of something for them.  I will never give them a bath, brush their hair or help them get dressed.   Oddly, I felt good about placing the work order to fix the crack between the earth and the headstone.

I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme,
and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end.
Life is about not knowing, having to change,
taking the moment and making the best of it. . .” – Gilda Radner

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