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.

 

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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!

 

 

 

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

 

Mother’s Day (& may the 4th be with you all)

May 4, 2016 at 10:04 pm | Posted in Death, Grief, Jake, life after loss, Love, mother, mourning, Sawyer | 12 Comments
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There is not a day that goes by that I do not think of Jake and Sawyer, but some days are harder than others.  Mother’s Day is one of those days.  Logically it is just another day.  They are both gone every. single. day.  It is not like the first days, weeks and months after they died when the tears so often streamed down my face without me even realizing.  Now most of the time my tears are tucked farther away.   The sadness and the joy of loving Jake and Sawyer is a part of me.

I know I am not alone.  There are so many other mothers in this club with me.  There are mothers who this is their first Mother’s Day without their child (or maybe it is the 2nd or 22nd since their child died).

There are also mothers who have died leaving behind their children.  This is perhaps their children’s first Mother’s Day without their mother (or maybe it is the 2nd or 22nd since their mother died).

There are motherless mothers and motherless fathers. 

There are spouse’s who are filling the role of both parents on Mother’s Day.

Death is part of life.  And no matter how hard some days can be life goes on.

As I have already written, Mother’s Day is not my favorite day.  I try to focus on the 4 positive pregnancy tests and the 4 live births.  I also try not dwell on the 2 emergency C-sections, the NICU, the miscarriage and the 2 deaths.  The truth is that all of these events have made me a mother.

I know that this day is hard for so many.  There are the other mothers in the club whose arms will also ache to hold their children.  There are others who are missing their mothers, grandmothers or partners.  I send hope and hugs to you all.

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Just drive – help everyone arrive alive

April 18, 2016 at 10:08 pm | Posted in Grief, life after loss | 5 Comments
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We are all busy.  We all have too much to do and not enough time.  We often multi task which includes doing other things while driving.   Last week, the world lost an amazing person I was lucky enough to know.  He was biking with his cycling group and struck from behind by a car and killed.

I wish there was something I could do to make this nightmare better for his family and friends.  I know that there are no words that will bring him back. However, maybe if someone reads this and thinks to take the extra time to slow down or pay attention a similar tragedy could be prevented.

His death was sudden and heart breaking.  All was fine and then it was not.  I want there to be something good that comes from this tragedy but right now there is another mother living in this world without her son, another wife without her husband, more siblings without their brother and a community that has lost a beloved and wonderful person.

I wish there was something more I could do.  I wish no parent had to live in a world without their child.

http://www.ajc.com/news/news/crime-law/henry-county-physician-struck-killed-while-riding-/nq2Jg/

 

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.

 

 

 

February 19, 2016 at 2:05 pm | Posted in Grief, hospital, life after loss | 8 Comments
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quote -darkness

On President’s Day I took the twins to a go-kart, bowling, ninja warrior play place.  Everyone had a fantastic time until one of the twins decided that he was a much bigger ninja warrior than he actually is.  He hurt his ankle and I took him and his sister home.

The next day he was still limping and still on winter break.  I decided I should take him to the doctor while he was home and preempt the call I might get from school about his limp.  After seeing the doctor she decided we should go get an x-ray.

At this point in the day it was close to rush hour in Atlanta.  The closest place to have the x-ray is the children’s hospital across the street from our pediatrician’s office.  I drive past the hospital where Sawyer died all the time.  I know that revisiting certain places (like the place where Sawyer was pronounced dead) should be avoided.   I was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder after Jake died and then again after Sawyer died.

I decided PTSD or no PTSD we were going for the x-ray.  And so we did.  One twin went into the x-ray room by himself while I stood with his sister in the hall.  I tried with every ounce of my being to shut out the thoughts of standing in this hospital hall staring at the closed door to the room where Sawyer was taken.

A few minutes later the door opened.  I held onto a hand of each of the twins and left the hospital.

ninja Fletcher

Little boy with just a sprained ankle and a mom who would like to wrap him and his sister in bubble wrap.

Hope is a 4 letter word

January 22, 2016 at 4:44 pm | Posted in Grief, life lessons, Love | 12 Comments
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quote - love - mlk

In 2015 we had a failed adoption.

Evan and I thought about adoption since we started talking about trying to have more children after Jake died.  We started infertility at that time too.   We were so lucky, fortunate and blessed to have had the twins and Sawyer with the help of lots of medical professionals.

In 2013 we revisited and moved forward with the adoption process.  There were a lot of rejections along the way but in August 2014 we were picked by a birth mother.  She was young, homeless and stated that the birth father’s whereabouts were unknown.  Evan and I met with her once for lunch.  On a separate occasion I was able to go to a doctor’s appointment with her.

On New Year’s Eve day we got a call that she was in labor.  Evan came home from work.  We told the twins and started to pack the car.  I took our dogs to be boarded with the vet. By the time I got home we had gotten another call telling us not to leave quite yet.   The birth mother started to have second thoughts and a potential father had entered the picture.

The baby was born on 12/31/2014.  Evan and I spent the next few days on a horrible roller coaster waiting for the birth mother’s decision.  A few days into 2015 we were told that she had decided to parent the baby.

Over the last year I have gone from sadness to anger (with lots of emotions I cannot identify in between).  I have rationalized that we helped this baby and his mother but he is not ours.  He is being raised by his mother, who, with help from us, is no longer homeless.  Hoping 2016 brings good things for everyone.

 

holidays and hope

December 30, 2015 at 10:44 pm | Posted in Anniversaries, Grief, life after loss, Sawyer | 7 Comments
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The anniversary of Sawyer’s death (the Jewish yahrzeit and the English date) were both this past week.  I know that these anniversaries can be tough for me so I try to keep extra busy.   I have been volunteering for an organization called Second Helpings.  Restaurants, grocery stores, corporate dining halls, farmers markets and schools with a surplus of food are connected with shelters and food pantries.   I signed up as a substitute driver for a few shifts over the holidays.  The twins are on vacation from school so they helped too.

It is just basically driving and loading/unloading the food.   The twins sat in the car listening to their books on CD while I navigated from the store to the shelter.  All was going fine until I realized that the drop off location was around the corner from the Atlanta Medical Examiners Office.  After the emergency room this is the building where Sawyer’s body was taken.  Evan and I went there to meet with one of the pathologists a few weeks after the autopsy.  All my attempts to distract myself failed as soon as I saw that building.

I miss Sawyer on the anniversary of his death, on holidays and every day.  I know that this season can be hard for a lot of people.  I wish I could make things easier for everyone but since I can not I send you all hope and hugs.

The only outfit I bought for Sawyer

 

 

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