Bereaved Parent Support – summer with 1

28 Jul

PR July 22 2017.jpg

summer with 1

Summer is here. I’ve let far too much time go by (as usual) between blogging. I have topics. I have things to talk about. The struggle for time to myself and what to share is where the problem is.

But here I am.

We just got back from a mini family vacation. We went to my peaceful oasis; Point Roberts, WA. This is where I grew up all of the summers of my life. It’s a generational thing and my daughter will be the 4th generation to keep the tradition going.

It is such a wonderful place to go; Point Roberts. For me. It is where I feel the most connected to my Mom. The smell of the cabin, the ocean, the beach, the air, all of it. Makes me feel closer to her and to remember my times as a child, teen-ager and young adult (she passed when I was 21). I miss her terribly and being there soothes my soul.

We had a wonderful time. The weather couldn’t have been better. Every day there was a big sand bar to play on. Just like the summers I remember and cherish. My heart was pretty full.

BUT, my son wasn’t there. I didn’t dwell too much on my grief but it’s there. It always will be. As the week goes on it has been tough on my heart and mind. I had dreams of taking Kenneth to the same beach I played on. Kenneth’s cousins (both boys) are only 4 months older and 2 years younger. I always pictured the 3 boys playing together. Now we have my daughter and I picture the 4 of them playing together.

Mostly as I said, it was a beautiful family time but I always get anxiety when we go somewhere where I know there will be a lot of children playing. I have to watch that I don’t put that on my daughter. She’s innocent enough not to know what I do or what I fear. I fear seeing siblings. It gives me so much anxiety. I wait for the day she begs me for a living sibling or asks why her brother can’t be with us. I worry about the interaction with other children. It’s my issue, not hers. When I see siblings being loving towards one another it kills me. I want that for her. She should have it. We did have it. I watch her reaction to it. It is a hard one.

One morning my husband took our daughter to the park on the trip. He said there was a brother and sister there. Our daughter told them that she had a brother too and that she loved him so much. She told them his name. My poor husband. When he told me the story he completely broke down. I’m breaking down now thinking about it. It’s weighed heavily on my mind. It’s grief and it’s guilt. I’m glad she knows about her brother but it hurts me for her.

So of course like I do every few months I think about more children. I always wanted a big family. I still want them but I can’t physically have any more children. I had our daughter at 41 and that was my 2nd high-risk pregnancy. I was advised to not carry any more children after I gave birth to our daughter. It was a blow for me to hear but I knew it. It has been very hard for me as a woman to not decide on my own that I am done having children. Very hard. Besides losing my son and Mom, that has probably been one of the hardest things in my life that I’ve had to deal with mentally. I don’t feel done. I don’t want to be done. My husband doesn’t want to adopt. I respect his decision. That is a decision we absolutely have to be mutual on. I constantly have to resolve this in my heart and mind and so back to it I go.

I know that we have a beautiful little family. We create many good memories big and small. There is always someone missing. My son. It’s a balance. It’s so difficult some times to know we have a 4 person family but only 3 to show for it. Like I said, it’s a balance. A tough one.

summer with 1 – should be 2. I don’t think I’ll ever be ok with it.






Easter then and now

15 Apr

Easter egg beach 3

Easter then and now

In 2008, Easter Sunday was on March 23rd. 5 days after Kenneth was born.

A holiday with our son. Needless to say, Easter is very important to my husband and I.

It’s not a holiday about being sad, for me it’s about celebrating. Of course I will have my moments of wishing my son was here and remembering Easter of 2008. It hurts of course but I also feel fortunate that I had my little boy for at least one holiday.

Easter of 2008. Kenneth had just had a little heart surgery. He was doing very well. We have a special photo of Kenneth that was taken by some lovely people in the NICU from that Sunday. I am so thankful for this photo. You can see the little Band-Aid from the surgery and my baby’s perfect beautiful little face. Life was turned upside down with having a baby in the NICU. My husband’s friend’s Mom made us a lasagna for dinner. 9 years later I will never forget. It was so touching and so thoughtful of this Mom to do this for us. It helped so much. It gave us a nice dinner for Easter and got us back up to the hospital quickly to see our little love. I will forever have a special place in my heart for this Mom. As well, we now have lasagna every Easter. A tradition that is special to us. It’s the little things. Little things that make special memories.

So as Easter Eve is here I thought I would write about how special it is to us. I am missing my son. I wish he was here with us to have an Easter egg hunt in the morning and to enjoy the sunshine that I’m hoping for tomorrow. (he’ll bring it I’m sure) To enjoy the special lasagna dinner we’ll have. To see my children playing and enjoying the day. But I am thankful that I have a memory of one holiday with my beloved Kenneth.

Easter then and now … still special ❤




Bereaved Parent Support – 9 years

20 Mar

Kenneth cupcake March 18 2017 2

9 years

On March 18, my little boy turned 9 years old in Heaven.

This was a rough one. Every year is hard but some are harder than others. This was one of those years. This year felt as hard if not harder than the 1st year.

So as always, the lead up to the 18th is full of anxiety, thoughts, replays, heartbreak etc. The actual day itself wasn’t too bad to start with. After writing the initial blog on how I was feeling leading up it was a good emotional release. It always is.

The night before, my husband went up to the hospital on his own. It’s just not something I want to do. It always is too hard for me leaving there without my son and leaving always brings me back to that night that we left without him forever. It’s not my thing. I don’t think it ever will be. Even when we left with our healthy daughter 5 years after losing our son it still was so hard leaving without him. My husband is very much the opposite. He needs to be there, he needs to be with the tile. It’s where he feels the most connected. It was good he went on his own.

My thing is putting the yellow roses in the ocean. We did that. Our daughter is 3 and she also puts them in the ocean. It was hard this year. I tossed them in and I bawled. I usually cry but I really felt it this year. My daughter put the roses in and said “Happy Birthday Brother”. Heart in a thousand pieces.

BUT it was a beautiful afternoon. The sun came out, the weather was gorgeous for our rose tossing. That made a difference. We had a nice afternoon and evening.

We got cupcakes to celebrate. What was ironic about this? My husband got a lemon cupcake for our little boy! He hadn’t read the blog I wrote about the “sourest lemon”. I hadn’t told him about it and here he picked a lemon cupcake. I still haven’t said anything to him but there was something almost comical about it for me and I had a little giggle. Damn lemons!

That was my son’s 9th birthday here for us. It is always mostly remembering, loving and celebrating the life of my beloved first-born. Tears and heartbreak are part of it too. It’s a balance.

9 years – …


Bereaved Parent Support – the sourest lemon

15 Mar

lemon sand rocks

the sourest lemon

I cannot believe I didn’t blog last year at this time. Well I can because I’m so conflicted about blogging about bereavement worried that my daughter will read it one day and if she doesn’t talk to me first will think I was always sad. Which I am not. This time of year. I am.

This time of year is about my son.

Yesterday, March 14th – 9 years ago I went into premature labour with my son.

I will get to that, although I don’t know how much of the details I’ll go into.

I call this blog “the sourest lemon” because I’ve started watching the tv show “This Is Us”. Without giving much away but already known for the most part, the couple on the show lose a baby at birth and the doctor refers to it as getting the sourest lemon life can give you.

Did that ever resonate with me. The tears came down hard and they came down fast. As I embark on watching episode 16 I tell myself each time this is the worst time of year to start a show like this. Yet I keep watching. It almost gives me an excuse to cry at least once a day without having to have a conversation about what’s really happening in my heart and in my mind.

My son’s birthday.

My little boy’s 9th birthday. Fast approaching. March 18.

March 14-March 18 were a whirlwind of days. Doctors, nurses, 2 hospitals, an ambulance, monitors, phone calls, it was the most terrifying time of my life.

I can’t stand the replay of events and as I’ve mentioned many times before it makes me feel so guilty to dread my child’s birthday. I dread it because we know we have to do something special and he’s not here. We’re celebrating a little boy who lives in Heaven and it completely kills me. My husband wants to go to the hospital where our son was born to visit his memorial tile there. I really don’t like going to that place. Not the hospital because my daughter was born there as well but going to the tile makes me so sad. We’ll find a compromise. The sourest lemon.

Of course I have been torturing myself this birthday. A natural torture bereaved parents think of because we need to know. What would my child look like? I so desperately went through a few days where I looked at his picture and so badly wanted to picture his face today. At 9. I looked at pictures of my daughter and imagined my son’s face without the long hair. Yah, those weren’t good days. The sourest lemon.

I love my little boy. My love still grows and I guess that’s why it hurts so horribly. We will celebrate his special day but it’s not easy.

the sourest lemon – 😦



Bereaved Parent Support – my son

12 Apr

night you were born

my son

12:01 a.m. April 12, 2016. 4 minutes until my son passed away 8 years ago.

I wrote a blog last night with the heaviest heart. That writing lightened my heart and my mind enough that I am doing ok today and tonight.

I have thought about how I relive everything and what came to mind yesterday was that my little boy wouldn’t want me to relive those tragic moments. As much as it hurts me to remember it probably breaks my son’s heart to have to watch me feel so awful.

So tonight as it approaches the time of my little love’s passing I will honour my son by talking about how much he means to me.

12:04 a.m.

My Kenneth. When he was born it was all very whirlwind but I caught a very good look of him and he was beautiful. He had the sweetest little nose and I said that’s MY nose. He had the sweetest little face. So perfect. So beautiful. He had such long limbs. Like his Daddy. He had such beautiful light coloured hair. His hands were amazing. Our hand holding was so special. He was so perfect.

12:05 a.m.

8 years ago. My son.

I had many hopes and dreams for my little boy. The love I had and continue to have for him is so great. It is what gets me through the darkest hours. He was so brave and he had such a fight for life. It will always inspire me when I’m at the lowest points.

I wish he was here. Desperately wish. I know he’s in good hands with my Mom and Anthony’s Dad. With my Nana and Anthony’s Nana.

I am so exhausted by the grief this week. I really wanted to end another year’s anniversary of Kenneth’s passing on a note that focused on the love I have for my son. I could write about him forever. Every aspect but I feel like now that 12:05 a.m. has come and gone I can finally rest without such anxiety. Tomorrow we will find a special place for some yellow roses.

Missing my little boy. Loving my little boy. Remembering my little boy.

my son … always and forever.


Bereaved Parent Support – reliving

10 Apr

pr june 2015 18



April 10th. I have a pit in my stomach as I am writing this. This was a topic I thought about in the last few days. Reliving.

We all relive memories. Days. Special occasions. Tragic events.

It’s going to happen. It’s nearly impossible to suppress. Good or bad.

I can recount every single moment of my wedding day. With fondness. I love reliving that time of my life. That’s what we do. Who doesn’t want to remember the brilliant fantastic beautiful moments of life?

Then there’s the bad.

As I said, it’s inevitable. Something so tragic as the loss of a child in my case is something I can’t forget. I can’t NOT relive. I hate thinking about the worst times but they are there. They don’t leave.

So around this time 8 years ago we walked out of the hospital and we were encouraged. We felt lighter in our steps. We drove home with cautious smiles in our faces. We thought we had a chance. We thought our son had a really good chance of making it.

April 11th. Walked into the hospital and it all was much different from when we left. A tragic critical urgent day. I don’t even want to go into details any more about it. I can feel the anxiety starting and will just leave it at that.

April 12th. Officially at 12:05 a.m. my son passed away. Cue my anxiety now turning into bawling.

I just really feel I needed to put it into words.

My little boy. My God I miss him. I love him with my whole heart. My heart is so much more broken this time of year than any other part of the year.

reliving … no thank you.





Bereaved Parent Support – family of 4

20 Dec

Xmas tree 2015 2.pngBereaved Parent Support – family of 4

I want to start by saying I can’t believe how long I let time go before writing a new blog. As I’ve said before, my therapy played a big role in scaling it back but also I find it a struggle at times to talk about my grief without feeling I could be judged. Perhaps that sounds bizarre but with having our daughter it is a balance for me. I don’t want to sound like I’m not grateful that we have another child and I also don’t want my daughter to read these ever when she’s older and think that I wasn’t happy. I am happy. It’s just a struggle to have one living child and one that is not.

Now that it has been said … here we are. 5 days until Christmas. It’s hitting me. I don’t need a reminder that my son isn’t here. Daily I know this. Christmas is an extra “special” kind of grieving. The fact is, we are a family of 4. Nothing can take that away. The struggle (this might be the word of the blog) is how to make sure our son is remembered and our daughter isn’t cast to the side because of it. I don’t want her to grow up thinking that I am always sad at this time of year. I am and I’m not. Struggle.

So we do things in memory of our son and we do them as a family so that with being a family of 4 it is tradition and it’s important and we find a gentle peace with it. Some things change and some traditions stay each year.

This year for our daughter’s Christmas pictures she held a stocking with a “K” on it. It happened to be the first stocking I picked up from the props and knew this would be how I could get both of my children in a special picture. At home, we put up 2 stockings. One for my son and one for my daughter. We have a beautiful ornament with my son’s stocking. We’ll fill it with a special “K” chocolate initial. We all have one for our individual initials. Our mini tree we have up this year has all of our 4 initials on it. Instead of one star at the top, we have 4 mini ones. Last night we went and looked at homes with Christmas light displays. One in particular we made a point of going to. It gives donations to the NICU at our local hospital. Our son wasn’t in that hospital but all NICUs are special to us. We had our little girl put the donation in the box. It took everything inside of me not to bawl my eyes out. I managed to keep it together. After that we went to the mall so my daughter could look, yes look at Santa. Once that was done we went to The Bay where each year we buy the Christmas teddy bear for that year for our son. In his memory. For us. A special gift just for him.

On Christmas Eve we will start a new tradition. There is a tile in memory of our beloved little boy at the hospital he was born at. This year the 3 of us will go and visit it. It will be the 2nd time our daughter will see it. The first time she “saw” it we were leaving the hospital with her after she was born (6 years after her brother was born). They were both born in the same hospital. I’m a little anxious for this event. I think and I hope it will be ok. I will just have to see. It’s very important for my husband that we do this and I think it’s important we do it as a family.

Christmas Day we start the morning by putting yellow roses for our son and red roses for my Mom and my husband’s Dad in the ocean. This tradition is an important one. We started it the 2nd year after losing our son and it brought us much peace for the day. It didn’t cure the grief but it made it easier for us for that particular day.

This is how we are keeping the memory of our son alive. This is how we stay a family of 4 at this time of year. We may add some more as the countdown continues …

family of 4 – forever and always