Saturday, April 4, 2015


One of the neighbor boys, who is now in eighth grade, recently took his entrance exam for the college prep school he will attend in the fall.  The essay portion of the exam he took asked students to identify and discuss someone who has had a meaningful impact in your life.   

He could have chosen anyone.  A parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle.  God.  A coach or teacher.  An author, musician or sports figure.  Someone he looks up to, someone who inspires him. 

He chose to write about Zachary.  Yes, my Zachary.  When his parents asked him about the exam, he explained how he wrote that Zachary taught him about life's frailty and to never take his siblings for granted.  His mother told me a few weeks ago and I wanted to collapse with gratitude in her arms.  

I long to hear Zachary's name on the lips of others.  I want to know that he is loved and missed, that his life was and is significant to others, even while it was miserably and painfully short to his immediate family.  To know that this (then) seventh grader was deeply affected by Zachary, so much that he chose to write about him over other meaningful influences in his life (and over a year after Zachary's death), touched my grieving heart.     


  1. For this pain to have meaning....

  2. That is so beautiful. What a thoughtful and sweet person!
    I am glad you were reminded of how Zachary touched lives and how his memory lives on in the minds of many.

  3. This is beautiful! I'm so glad that his Mom told you. XO

  4. To know that our babies are thought of does mean everything. This is incredibly touching. Zachary is lucky to have such a thoughtful boy thinking about him.

    When I hear Owen's name, it makes me cry happy tears. To know that our babies lives were and are significant to others means the world.

    Thank you for sharing.

  5. Gretchen, I found your blog yesterday and read it from the start to this beautiful post. I cried for our similarities and differences. Our Zachary was born at term on 21 January 2015 and died 13 days later. He was not born healthy, he suffered a chronic foetal maternal haemorrhage in utero after 38 weeks. I had no idea. He fought hard to repair his failing organs. On day 9 they told us he had suffered severe and extensive brain damage. We removed him from the ventilator. He passed away in my arms on 3 February 2015. Our Zach has an older brother who is shortly to start school. Like your C.T. he is beautiful on the inside and out. My grief journey is not far along. I get some comfort from reading blogs like yours and theheartseesclearly knowing I am not alone but I still feel so lonely. I wish you ladies lived closer so we could meet, share, listen and cry. Thank you for sharing your journey. Anne-Marie from New Zealand

    1. Anne-Marie -

      I'm so very sorry to hear about your precious boy, Zachary. You are the first person I've "met" who has lost a Zachary too.

      Watching him suffer and fight and then agreeing to remove life support, for this little person you love desperately. It's just unthinkably wrong - all of it. I'm sorry you were/are in such a similar situation with your Zach. It is all so new for you. I hope you are just taking one minute at a time.

      I wish I could give you a real hug too. Please email me if you want to...