Sunday, November 21, 2010

Baby Showers

Uuugh - part of me loves them - in fact I used to really love them. They just aren't the same anymore. I went to a baby shower today - it was the first since Daniel died 2 1/2 years ago and of course it was for a little baby boy. Everything was lovely - little clothes lines of new baby boy clothes, lots of food and plenty of gifts. I caught myself a few times deep in thought and very sad almost on the verge of tears looking at the sweet little sleepers and onesies. I just don't think it will ever be the same for me - not now.

The parting gifts for all the guests were beautiful glass ball ornaments with swirls of different shades of blue throughout. I immediately thought of Daniel. I think I'll write his name on the ornament and hang it on our tree this year. I think its sort of funny that it was so hard to be there and he was resting so heavy on my heart for that time and in the end its as if he had a gift waiting for me to remember him. Like I said - everything is different no matter how hard I try to be the same.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Grief Revisited

I'm not sure why things have been so particularly hard for me lately. It feels as if I've stepped back two years - back to the early months after losing Daniel. I find myself crying more frequently, searching the Internet to look for direction and thinking of ways I can turn his loss into something positive. It could be the holidays or possibly the change in season - whatever it is I just have been so down and revisiting many of the feelings I was paralyzed by after losing Daniel.

I'm not who I used to be - in some ways good and in many ways bad. I don't know how to fix myself. I wish I could control my feelings - I'm so angry and my perception of things at times are distorted. When I take a moment to really digest my feelings I think that is when I realize that I still haven't dealt very well with my little boy's death. I still carry a lot of guilt - not just the guilt of not saving him or the guilt of all the things that I "think" I might have done to cause his loss, but the guilt of not loving and honoring him the way I should have for the short time we had him.

I was so damn disconnected from my feelings. I feel much anger because I was never taught how to express my emotions openly. It was only after everything was said and done - after Daniel was buried in his tiny grave that I was able to think about what I wished I had done BUT I couldn't get him back again to do it the right way. I wish someone would have told me and if they did - I tend to be pig-headed - I wish I had listened.

Only a few months after losing Daniel, a young teacher at Sean's school lost her son due to stillbirth. I had the opportunity to talk to her prior to her giving birth and provide what ever guidance I could at the time. I told her everything I had felt during my period of loss and what I had done or wished I had done. As much as she may have felt this was helpful for her - it was some what therapeutic for me. I didn't want someone else to have to carry the same regrets I was carrying. This helped me so much at the time - possibly more than it may have helped her.

I wish I had had someone to talk to immediately following the news of Daniel's death - someone that could understand what I was going through and provide me with guidance. This came later on but too late for me to change any of the things I had already made permanent. I wish I had looked at his little hands and toes, I wish I had held him longer and told him how much I loved him, I wish I had taken more pictures - of him and of us holding him, I wish I had purchased a nice outfit for him to buried in and I wish I had made his funeral open to everyone - he deserved that much.

I could say I wish I could go back in time and change what I did, but I don't want to go back. At times it feels like I'm still there - 2 1/2 years later. I fully comprehend our human inability to go back and change what happens in the past but I still dwell on it. I need to remind myself that we still do, however, have the ability to change the future and I think I need to focus on that more. I'm not sure where I'm going with this but then again I don't think I knew where I was headed the last time - April 23, 2008 - grief picked me up like a huge tidal wave and slammed me down upon its shore.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

October 15th - Pregnancy and Infant Loss Rememberance Day

In 1989, President Ronald Regan declared October as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. This has proven to be instrumental in bringing the needs of bereaved parents to the forefront. In addition, several years ago, October 15 was declared Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. On this day, parents, grandparents and friends around the country light candles at 7 PM in honor of babies who have died.

Please take a moment to light a candle for one hour on October 15th at 7PM to remember all of the babies who have died.

An Angel in the book of life wrote down our baby's birth and whispered as she closed the book... too beautiful for this earth.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The After Life......

It has literally been forever and, of course, its not because I haven't thought of my little boy or missed him dearly - one of the hard parts of losing someone is that you have to move on with life and continue to live without them. I have been very busy - too busy and actually way too tired to post - but not too busy to keep my little boy in my heart and on my mind.

Today as I drove into work there was a psychic - Angelina Diana - on the radio station I normally listen to. She was talking to the dead for people - listeners would call in and she would describe to them the messages being sent to her from loved ones that had passed away. One woman called in and Angelina said she was sensing an older woman and a baby - a baby that hadn't been able to live in this world. After some discussion the woman determined it was her grandmother and the baby was one that she had lost. Angelina basically said that she was getting the sense that this woman wanted her to know that this baby was a part of the family and should not be forgotten - further affirmation that a person will carry the loss of their child to the grave.

I would love to hear (real or not) that my little boy is okay. I just want to know who is with him... I want to believe that he is surrounding by all our family up in heaven and that he is so much better off up there than down here. I know I probably sound like a fruit cake but sometimes when a person is sad they have to do what ever it takes to help themselves feel better.

Not a day goes by that I don't miss my little boy.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

My Grandmother June 27, 2010

Since I never got the chance to read this at my grandmother's funeral a couple of weeks ago, I wanted to at least be able to have the opportunity to put it out there for others. She lost 4 children - three as infants/toddlers and one as an adult so its somewhat fitting for this blog. I tried not to dwell on that too much, but after I lost Daniel I remember seeing her and she seemed like she truly understood and she didn't have to say much, as usual - she hugged me and I cried. I will love her for that always.

This is in no way meant to be an all encompassing recollection of my grandmother’s life. I’m speaking from my perspective on who she was and how her life played out. I’ll try my best to be brief while at the same time try to honor and pay respect to a woman who so rightfully deserves it.

My grandmother was the heart of our family – the matriarch. She wasn’t just my grandmother - she played the role of mother for her grandchildren and for many of the people who just happened to walk into her life. I spent the majority of my childhood living in her home and she was, at least for me, a constant presence in my life. I always knew I could depend on her to be there, to listen, and provide support – and she could do this by saying only a few words or by simply shrugging her shoulders and raising her brow. She was this way with everyone.

My grandmother loved to tell stories. I always enjoyed listening to her narrate her life back in Portugal on the farm. As she got older, the stories would change and sometimes you didn’t know whether or not to believe what she would say – but they were all still really good stories. I looked forward to reminiscing with her and to tell you the truth it is one of the things I will probably miss most.

“A mother is one to whom you hurry when you are troubled.” ~ Emily Dickinson
…. And we were all certainly troubled! No matter what the situation, my grandmother always had a place for you to stay if you needed it. There are handfuls of people here today who have at one point or another lived with my grandmother. In fact she may have single-handedly reduced the rate of homelessness in the state of CT between the years of 1985 and 1993. It didn’t matter to her why you were there or how long you were staying – to her giving someone a place to stay was the right thing to do and it made her feel good to know that you had a roof over your head and food to eat.

Although her generosity was often taken for granted, it never stopped her from unconditionally giving to others. She would give you her last dime if you needed it and if she didn’t have anything left to give she’d go ahead and write you a check anyway. She lived a simple life and didn’t need much – she had grown accustomed to giving everything she had leaving herself with very little - which I have to believe is why she was so frugal and saved everything she ever owned – to include the 27 pairs of scissors she kept stored in her underwear drawer. Believe me, it was hard getting her to let those go!

As thoughtful and as giving as my grandmother may have been, she was by no means a push-over. If she was taken advantage of it was simply because she allowed it – because things like money or material possessions were of little importance to her. Every now and then she would remind you of who was boss. She stood up for herself when she needed to – it took a lot to get her to yell, but when she did – watch out!

“The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness.” ~ HonorĂ© de Balzac

…….. And forgiveness she gave. I have to believe that in order for her to be so caring and giving she would have to have the capacity to forgive those in her life who, regardless of how she treated them, treated her poorly.

Her life wasn’t easy. She suffered the loss of 4 children – 3 young children and one in his adult life – that alone is such a heavy and painful burden to walk around with each day. She gave birth to a child prematurely and had to watch him struggle to survive not only in infancy but throughout his entire life. Some of her children lived tumultuous lives – lives which I’m sure she had not pictured them to live. She worked hard just to keep the roof over her family’s head and food in their mouths. With all of this and much more than I have mentioned here today, she was still a wonderful and caring person. I don’t know what some of us would have done without her in our lives.

Growing up I never fully understood or appreciated the rough road my grandmother had to travel. It wasn’t until just recently, say the last few years of her life – when she needed more help from others than she was able to give in return - that I began to realize just how difficult her journey has been. I pray that my grandmother finds peace and solitude in her passing and that heaven is a final resting place for her where she no longer has to deal with the hardships of life. May she be reunited with those who she has loved and lost – her friends, family, husband, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Rest in peace Grandma.

Reposting Nicole's Note June 27, 2010

I really wanted to repost a note that my husband's niece (she's my niece too)left on this blog. First, because she speaks from her heart and second because I want to comment on her words.

Hey Guys, Its been awhile since I stopped by, its really hard to. Some may agree, some might not, I dont really care to be honest with you. People who havent lost a child the way that you lost Danny and I lost my boys have no idea how hard it is sometimes to relive and talk about it. You can never forget and for me, years later I havent moved on either. Its not the same as loosing a mom, dad, or even a sibling. Its worse. You never get the chance to hear them cry, or even watch them while they sleep. Opening this blog sometimes really makes me cry. The day that I lost Terrande the only Uncle that called was you, Uncle John. MILES away, going through whatever it was that you were going through, and the words "Nic, Im so proud of you, and I LOVE YOU" are imprinted in my heart. I WOULD NEVER WISH such a terrible thing on anybody! I just want you to know that even though I might not say it often, I do think about my baby cousin, and I do hope that the boys found eachother, cause as I was told my grandmom many years ago in the end you only have your family. So play nice boys, I will see you one day, until then, know that I love you and IM AWLAYS thinking and praying for all three of you!

The day Nicole lost her son John was in Delaware and I was home alone. Early that morning our clock fell off the wall. The clock is John's grandmother's and is probably about 100 years old. When it fell it just started to tick erratically and it wouldn't stop. Finally after I picked it up and sat it on the table it stopped. I think that was a sign - only a few hours later John called to tell me the news. Somehow my husband knows how to handle the most difficult situations with grace and dignity. He knew to acknowledge the loss of Nicole's son - just like he knew to make sure that he carried Daniel's tiny coffin out of the funeral parlor and into the herse because, as he said, "he's my son I should carry him". He handled everything so well and I am so proud of him for being such a strong person for our family.

Nicole - I didn't call you. I didn't say anything. I couldn't because I didn't know what to say. At that time I didn't understand. Now I do - but, as you stated, its only because I lost a child, I'm so sorry Nicole. Sometimes I still don't know what to say - I also understand why many haven't said anything to me. I try to talk about Daniel and do things to remember him so people know its okay to talk about him to me and so that no one forgets about him. Its one of the hardest things to do - live life without your child.

Monday, May 3, 2010

2 Years 1 Week & 3 Days

I intentionally did not post on Daniel's day simply because I just needed to soak it all in. This year was some ways easier but in other ways harder. I suppose it was easy because it wasn't the first, but hard because it just makes you realize the permanence of things - there will be lifetime of April 23rds for me to go through. I wonder if each year will get easier or if we won't make the day as special as time goes by?

This year I raised money in honor of Daniel for the March of Dimes. It gave me the opportunity to speak about him and to bring some awareness to others about pregnancy loss. Most surprising to me was the amount of support I received from people I barely knew.....and yet I have family who couldn't even acknowledge my son on his day. Strange how that works. I try not to be angry because I know people just don't know how to be, but its really hard to not feel some animosity towards the people in my life who call themselves "family".

I will say this - a very special friend placed a beautiful candle in a lantern on Daniel's marker. The candle is supposed to burn for a very long time, but when my husband and I arrived at the cemetary it appeared to be out. As we stood over Daniel's grave and talked, a stream of smoke came out of the lantern - we took it as a sign and it was just really nice to have something like that to reassure you that our loved ones in heaven are with us.

We should walk away from the loss of a loved one having learned something - whether it be how to grieve, how to continue to love, or how to let go - our losses should not be for naught.

Monday, April 19, 2010


I spent almost two years trying to put together a collage of photos for Daniel and its finally finished. You see, I only have one picture of him - something I regret. If I had known that I was going to miss him forever...that it wasn't going to get that much better.....if I would have known that it was going to be this way - I would have taken pictures. Thank you to the nurse at the hospital who almost insisted that she take his picture. She must have known......

I did my best. Between the small keepsakes, memorial photo projects, and symbolic art, I was able to create something beautiful that helps to remind me of my son.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Almost Two Years

The last week or so Sean has been talking about Daniel quite a bit. He got really upset one night before bed just as I was brushing his teeth and said he really missed Daniel. I find it hard to believe that he is still so sad, but then again, we are so why wouldn't he be.

I remember reading once that children may not have a specific date related to the loss they are grieving but they will still show signs of grief and sadness relative to the season or close to the time frame in which the loss occurred. Daniel died in the spring just when the trees were starting to bloom and the cold weather was beginning to fade -the day we found out we lost him was a beautiful much as I love the warmer weather the start of the season seems to sting a bit. I suppose Sean is experiencing some of that seasonal grief that I tend to feel.

Today was Sean's birthday and he asked that after his party at school we stop by the cemetery and bring flowers. We have been so busy this past year that this was the first time we have all gone to visit Daniel,to include Mia, as a family. It felt a little surreal knowing that Mia wouldn't be with us if we hadn't lost Daniel.

I am proud of Sean for working through his feelings and for remembering his little brother on a day that should really be all about him. Its almost been two years since the most horrible day of our lives - our hearts feel the pain of Daniel's loss like it was yesterday. I hope people can understand that the loss of a baby is just as painful and just as difficult as the loss of a father, a brother, or a friend. When we lose a loved one we grieve the loss of having that person no longer in our life, but when a baby is lost we lose the hopes, dreams and possibility of ever having that person in our life.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

This Time of Year...

Believe me when I tell you that I think of Daniel constantly - every single day of my life since we lost him. There is something about this time of year that just makes my heart sink.....the start of March means that April will soon be hear and some how my body instinctively knows that the anniversary of Daniel's silent birth is upon us once again. This time of the year is when I'm probably at my worst.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Another Year.......

I don't really have any particular feelings with regards to a new year and my little angel - it all sort of just melts together. Ups and downs, here and there with no particular pattern. I guess as time goes on I'm realizing that "yes I still hurt" and "no you can't change what has already happened". I still live with regrets and I have to admit, as much as I hate to, that when I hear about babies who have made it alive into this world I am happy for the families but in my heart I secretly ask myself why us...why Daniel...why couldn't he be one of the babies that made it?

I still want to continue to parent my child....I think we all do. I see blogs dedicated to lost babies and people who have started all sorts of services to provide support to bereaved families. I've never been one for fighting for a cause or being deeply involved in helping others. I know it sounds terrible, but I guess its just how I grew up - I took care of myself first because there was no one else that was really ever there to look out for me.

So I asked myself "What can I do for Daniel?". Bringing things to the cemetery only to see them get thrown out is discouraging and sad. I hate to pour my heart into something and have it just get tossed. I'm not much for cemeteries far as I'm concerned he's not there. I've come up with a few things this year that I would like to accomplish that I hope will help remind people that he is still my little boy and that I will always miss him.

(1)Tattoo - well this is somewhat ironic....I got a tattoo when I was 18 (young and dumb) and it had two hearts - one broken and the other with the initials DW in it. The hearts are encompassed by the "MAD LOVE". How I could have foreseen this I will never know - at the time the initials stood for a "very ex" boyfriend. I wanted so badly to have it removed and promised myself that after Daniel was born I was going to have it covered up or something along those lines. Well several days after he died I realized how fitting the tattoo now was DW - Daniel Wade (meaning "god is our judge" and "to go") and MAD - My Angel Daniel. I still plan to have the tattoo worked on because it needs to be spruced up, but what ever I do it will be in tribute to my little boy.

(2)Wall Frame Collage - I started a collage of wall frames that I wanted to put up in my bedroom - nothing overtly obvious but all things that represented Daniel. Some of the wonderful works of art done by other grieving moms like To Write Their Names in the Sand or Abiding Hope Collages. I just have to finish a few more things and then hang it up. This year definitely.

(3) Running - Only a couple weeks after losing Daniel I started running - mostly to get in shape but I soon found it provided an emotional release from all the pain. I remember running and then just crying so hard as I ran and feeling so much relief afterwards. I picked up running again and I hope to run the Hartford 1/2 Marathon in October. You can run for a charity of your choice so I would like to, if I can, run for Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. I only have one picture of my little boy and I regret not having more. This is a wonderful organization - capturing moments in life that we can never get back - like our angels.

Sometimes we have to embrace the things we can and let free the things we can't.