Monday, February 16, 2015


I was a healthy and vibrant tree
Violently uprooted and moved
Eventually replanted.
Scarred and misshapen but nourished again
Roots fully entrenched
Growing anew in a place I thought was to be my forever home. 

Then blasted from my foundation
Starting at my roots, as if by dynamite.
Trunk, limbs and branches splattered recklessly into the air.

Dried bits of what I had become remain
Shards of kindling now 
Strewn too far and wide
To be or rebuild a recognizable or cohesive whole again. 


Phrases and sentences fail to communicate what *this* has done to me.  I want to go back to the fifth and sixth lines above.  I had finally accepted B.W.'s death.  I had accepted that I would love him and grieve his death for as long as I lived.  Zachary was alive, came to be part of my re-made reality, in that time.  I worked to embrace everything about my life in that time.

When my face is twisted or vacant or furious or...
If I don't respond, not in an acceptable way or on an acceptable timeline... 
What can't be ignored, that exists in between the lines, in my silence...
When nothing can distract or comfort...
In the way I am no longer the person, friend, daughter, wife, sister, mother you knew... 
It is Zachary. 
It is Zachary's suffering and death, after having rebuilt my life in the wake of B.W.'s death. 

Friday, February 6, 2015

Ambivalence about where I'm at

Good things still hurt. 

Nature's beauty.  C.T.'s birthday.  Delicious food.  Pleasure.  Laughter.  A hug.  Planning ahead for something "fun".  Believing we will effortlessly live to see that moment.  Even looking put together still hurts. 

I acknowledge a bit of good, or someone attempts to call my attention to some good in the world, and immediately, the regret, the anger, the guilt and resentment rains down furiously. 

All of his good things were violently taken away.  Zachary never - not once in his two weeks - felt the sun shine on his skin.  It is mind boggling that I should feel anything good again.  

THEY insist I will see the world's beauty again someday.  None of THEM have lost two children. 

I wonder if its possible to feel more alone in my disillusionment.    


Tomorrow Zachary would be 13 months old.  Would he have taken a couple of unassisted steps yet?  Would he be weaned?  Would he devour cubes of steamed tofu like his brother did at this age?  Would he be as enamored with C.T. as I imagine he would?  How is it possible that I'm pondering these things about a second dead son?  I miss him so much.  Two weeks was not enough.   

I am a broken record.  


I am sometimes frustrated that I can't seem to muster the resilience, now, that I did in the years after B.W. died.  That I'm not finding hope or appreciating good things again.

In multiple losses..., the shock lasts much longer.  The denial is much stronger.  The anger is more intense and the sadness and depression deeper..., In these cases it becomes hard to know whom you are grieving at any given moment...  The losses all naturally meld together on their own..., ...we may wonder who is next. 

~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler from their book, On Grief and Grieving

My shoulder relax ever so slightly when I read these simple affirmative words.  I must allow myself to sound like a broken record,... for it is me who must learn to live with this unbelievable loss on top of loss.    

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Reactions to the unfathomable

Many people reacted strongly to the Nationwide commercial broadcast during the Super Bowl on Sunday.  It depicted a child actor - his sweet, innocent voice talking about all of the things he will never be able to do because he died in a (presumably "preventable") childhood accident. 

I thought about writing about this, about my own response whilst actually having to accept and live with the fact that my child died due to a preventable illness, and then I saw this perspective piece,

::::::::::Becoming::::::::::: When the Media Utter the Words: Child Death

written by Dr. Joanne Cacciatore, a well-known expert in traumatic death and bereavement, and a bereaved mother herself.  I have followed her blog for years.  Ever since B.W. died and I found a book she wrote called "Dear Cheyenne".  In this blog post responding to the Nationwide ad, Dr. Joanne says...

First, I know the non-bereaved were not expecting this commercial.  People may tolerate commercials about domestic violence. Feminine hygiene girl power.  Even alcohol related sentimentality. But something to awaken them from their delusion that, somehow, their child will never die? Nope. That is absolutely unacceptable.  A "buzz kill" to quote one blogger. "Debbie downer" to quote a news reporter.  "What were they thinking to air that ad?" to quote another.

Please read Dr. Joanne's full piece.  I couldn't have said it better.