Category: sibling loss

a letter to my surviving kids

Kids. This ones for you. I recently said I was excited to get old. That my age only bothers me because I am still so young. One of my brothers is turning 40 this week and I thought I know exactly what I will think when I blow out my 40 candles.. The same thing I think every year now.. One year closer… a little bit closer to my grave. And that makes me happy.. Then I was asked about my other kids.. Do I worry about how those feelings might impact them? So kids. This one. This ones all for you. .. ..your mothers love letter to you.. They all are really though.. Just not in the typical fashion. Every word I type here is my fight for you. My digging into the infection that is grief. A wound created by the loss of your sister. One that if left[…]

growing up with grief..

Grief has a place in our family.. at our table. Its kinda like a sibling to them.. One that grows and changes right along with them. Parenting a child through grief is something I never really imagined myself having to do. And most of the time I don’t feel well equipped to do it. Its much harder than I thought it would be. I am so grateful I am not alone in doing it though.. I feel so deeply for parents that lose their spouse and have to face this alone. .. Right now its Nicholas. His struggles are deep and loud and real. The disappointment he felt flipping through the most recent yearbook and realizing his sister wouldn’t be in it.. The look of settled in disappointment in his eyes. It was unnerving and unnatural to see that in a boy of his age. I ached for him. I[…]

is 3 real?

Tomorrow morning I wake up to a 3 year old little girl… and it makes me sick to my stomach. and really really angry. I, like all moms, get a touch melancholy about their birthdays.. about how quickly time passes once you are a mom.. But my ridiculous decorating the night before their birthday has helped it become a fun night.. Birthday eve. The other kids get to stay up and help decorate and wrap presents. I make the birthday kid a birthday chair horrifically decorated in balloons and streamers.. Its made me happy to have them turn a year older. A day all about them. . and I like giving them that. Nothing expensive.. just attention and traditions. I’m usually excited about their birthdays. .. even after Jennifer died I still have loved.. maybe even more if thats possible.. decorating and getting the house all ready after the birthday[…]

forgiveness for mothers day

Another mothers day is coming. .. I dread it. And then I feel so much guilt over that. I still have my amazing mom and I know so many others that don’t. .I am lucky not just to still have a mom.. but to have her be MY mom and my kids Coco. I am a mother to 4 of the most incredible people you could ever hope to meet. They love me. They will want to show me they love me… in simple and often sticky ways. ..but .. the one that made me a mommy. The one that bestowed the most important title on me is missing.  I remember that first year so well. And that first Fathers day. How surreal it was after years of infertility.. 5 losses.. We finally got to celebrate. Tony and I promised each other we would always make a big deal out[…]

her Christmas gift

We woke up all with Jennifer on our hearts and minds… And as it turns out the feeling was mutual. My niece came over last night and saved Christmas for the second year in a row. She came over to wrap presents for my kids. Without her to talk with and to honestly do most of it I don’t know if it would have gotten done. It is so hard to not be wrapping for her.. So I just avoid it at all costs. As I fell asleep silent tears hit my pillow..  as I was helplessly wishing I could give her a present.. This morning the very first thing Nicholas did was ask my a question about sissy.. He was groggy, wiping sleeping from his eyes and asked if she used to wear boxers.. I was taken aback and at first said no.. but then realized she probably did[…]

back home

Children are resilient. But they are also vulnerable and trusting. They believe. They hope. They try to make things right. Jennifer always did. She fought. She hoped. She trusted. Children are supposed to be innocent. I stole my 4 year olds innocence. .. Another piece of it at least.. I had to rip more of it away from him. I get told not to put my grief on them. To not misplace my feelings as theirs. They are so young they won’t remember. They barely knew her .. or never knew her.  That my kids are innocent. But they aren’t. Cancer. Her death. Lack of funding. It stole their innocence. Charlotte was only 9 months .. and Bridgette wasn’t even born yet. .. The boys decided to donate their birthdays to Unravel. Instead of presents from friends they asked for donations they could make to save other kids. One thing[…]

follow the signs

The tears are close right now.. Seemingly just below the surface and that really surprises me. But I feel like my strength is also. .. Because I am feeling her again. Its like she knows when I need her the most. Jennifer guides me.. when I allow her to. I am finding that when I just go with things.. that she sends me signs to say she agrees.. And somehow I know its her. It’s been something that has bonded me not just with her.. but also with Jonathan in particular since he always seemed to have that easy and strong belief that it was her way of connecting to us.. He struggles with that a lot lately. Trying to explain the logic of what happens. Wanting the sign to be so obvious that there is no room for doubt. It has bothered me lately hearing that coming out of her[…]

full circle

  My head is swimming. I feel like I am in a room without a vacuum. Like I am trapped behind glass and I can’t get back to the real world. Because today I was terrified I was going to come full circle. Jonathan. He just started kinder and just turned 6. Jennifer. She started kinder and then her eyes started to change. One started turning inward. Subtle at first I though she was doing it on purpose. His eyes are changing now too. He just turned 6. He just started kindergarten. I tried to avoid noticing. Tried to pretend it wasn’t happening. But it is. Tony and I never talked about it. Other than me telling him not to get mad at him for it. Not to scold him since I knew for sure it was out of Jonathan’s control. But last night in the middle of the night[…]

did sissy die there?

I try to prepare.. especially for things I think will be hard for the kids. Not sure why.. I am pretty much always wrong. Jonathan had a kinder prep day today. I was worried about how hard it would be for him.. and me.. But he was nervous in the more typical jittery way. Being at Jennifer’s school didn’t seems to knock him the way I thought it might. He was bummed at first when he found out he wouldn’t be in her room.. But that was really all. No kids in uniforms.. lining up in a different spot and I guess just knowing it wasn’t a school day made it easier for me than I prepared for. ..until I got in the car. Nicholas. “Mom did sissy die there?” Like being slapped in the face. A sudden and harsh burn. So we talked. He asked who was there when[…]

we’re coming

When we get close to home I have a silly tradition that we will call out to whoever is waiting for us that we are on our way. Today it was just me and Charlotte and I started the call.. I called them one by one.. Daddddyyy and she would echo me..then  Bubbassss ..and  Brotherrr .. then I stopped. . I guess I must usually have at least 2 of the kids in the car because today it made me choke and gag. I gripped the steering wheel as tears bypassed the stinging stage and immediately began to fall. One missing. I whispered.. Jennifer.. over and over again. Charlotte already knowing the routine had continued on with it. “We’re cominggg” she was so damned happily yelling from behind me. I pounded the steering wheel. And then I said louder.. Sisssyyy .. Charlotte giggled and kicked, swinging her legs out.. Calling[…]