My sweet boy’s 3rd birthday…

Three years ago on 9/9/15, Baron came into this world-5 weeks earlier than expected-and made me a mother again.

My husband shed tears as I pushed with all the energy I had left more than 24 hours after I was admitted to the hospital.  His little shoulders were stuck as he was descending down the canal while I was begging him to come out safe and sound.

He was breathing a little fast so he was monitored in the NICU.  It felt like eternity waiting for him to be brought to our room.  I cried… I  prayed for him to be okay…

Baron lived life with us for 2 months and 5 days…  I used to take him on walks around the neighborhood to get out of the house.  I remember feeling so at peace outside with him.  We had our girl and we had our boy.  Life felt complete. 

I have memories of him that I demand my mind not to forget-picture a grieving (hysterical) mother on her knees begging for her child to come backI did that. And now I do that all over again with great fear that my memories will lose details, that they will become fuzzy.  As time ticks by… I fear I will lose all that I have left of him.  Memories.

I close my eyes and beg my mind to remember what those hours and days felt like with him in my arms… I crave to smell his scent…with my lips kissing his tummy… his chest against my chest… the way his grunts sounded like close to my ears… I want to be smiling while I stare at his every little detail.

Then I ask myself to picture what life would be like with him now.  Who would he be at three years old?  What would he look like?  Would I be working again?  How would sissy be treating her brother?  I pull up pictures on Instagram of friends with little boy’s that were born around Baron’s birthday and begin to fantasize… the emotions are overwhelming… and here I sit crying again writing a new post to try and deal with my loss.

I want to celebrate my son’s birthday… I want to watch him blow out candles and stuff cake into his mouth.  I want to see him run around with excitement because he got his favorite toy for his birthday.  I want to hear his giggles while he plays with friends.  I want to smell his stinky feet after the party is all over (gross I know, but he’d still be small enough at 3 before he had BIG kids feet).

BUT this won’t happen… so my fantasy ends.

And I ask myself to figure out a way to celebrate the life that he DID live… to celebrate that he IS forever my son.  One year we did a butterfly release, and another we did bubbles… we always get a cake, bring balloons and I put out a new birthday bouquet for his vase there at the cemetery.  I put out the photo album I made of his life to look through and we light a candle.

Maybe this year we will donate to a SIDS foundation or grief support foundation in his name to help fund research and help others.  How can I mother him while he is no longer on Earth?  What more can I do as his mother??  I now feel inadequate… that what I do in his honor is never enough.  

What have y’all done to celebrate your child’s life on their birthday??  Feel free to leave comments.



Another school year

It’s that time of year again…when a new school year starts for families all over the world.

If you are a bereaved parent, you are missing your child/children doing one or more of the following:  your child’s first time to ever start school, your child moving up another grade level, your child graduating!  These are HUGE “firsts” for parent’s.  These are special moments where you memorize every little detail to store in your memory bank FOREVER.

Leading up to this week, my emotions ping-ponged at high speeds.  I cried and thought too much.  I was exhausted and impatient.  My anxiety was high (it always is), but I was excited too.  I felt sad and nervous for the new life changes.  There are no words to explain how difficult it is to balance being happy and sad AT THE SAME TIME.

I felt exhausted because there was so much to do, and so little time to grieve.  I was impatient because the “to do” list was growing by the day but the kids still needed and deserved my full attention.  I was anxious because Stella was starting daycare and I worried that she might miss me, that she wouldn’t be taken care of to my standards, and I feared something bad could happen to her.  I was nervous about working again (I’m a teacher) and performing my duties to the best of my ability.  Naturally, I was sad because I DID NOT want to be leaving Stella and Emma after having spent so much time with them this summer.  On the other hand, I was excited to witness these “firsts” with them… to see them learn, blossom, and experience life.

Emma Grace just started 1st grade today.  My angel Baron would have been going into Pre-K3.  Stella just started Mother’s Day Out in the baby wiggles room.

Luckily, my oldest daughter Emma helped me drop off Stella for her 1st day of daycare.  I needed Emma more than she knew.  She calls herself the “little mommy” to her baby sister.  Emma and I spoke honestly about how we felt leaving baby sister as we walked Stella into school, and walked hand-in-hand with teary eyes back to the car.  I spoiled Emma afterwards with a trip to the nail salon, a haircut, lunch, and treats to celebrate her entry into 1st grade.

My girls are experiencing making new friends, meeting new teachers, learning, and growing… And Baron never will.

What would he look like?  What kind of kid would he be?  Who would his teachers be this school year?  Would he be excited or would he want to stay with mommy?  What would I be packing him for lunch?  Would he be potty-trained? 

Another school year bring so many emotions.  While I’m excited and nervous for my two girls to experience each school year, I will always be upset that my son will never get to experience school at all.



When Self-Control Is In Short Supply


Have you ever tried to squeeze into too-small jeans, managed to get them over your hips, sucked in and zipped up only to realize that all that extra “you” is now spilling out over the top of the waistband?  

toddler squeezing into jeansSometimes that’s how life after loss feels.  

Too much emotion, too much baggage, too much EVERYTHING that has to fit inside a very narrow set of other people’s expectations and tolerance for self-expression.

I find that I CAN squeeze my words and actions into that skinny space-for awhile.  

But then sure as anything, the real me pops out the top and there I am-exposed to the world- warts and all.  

I’ve discovered that self-control is not a limitless commodity.  

Now before my Bible believing friends remind me that it is part of the fruit of the Spirit, I want to say this:  it sure is!  And because the Spirit of…

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Who was I before loss?  Who am I now after loss?  I feel so different.  My thoughts, priorities, feelings, perspective, and knowledge have changed and grown.  There are some changes that I can’t quite put my finger on… and each day brings new and different emotions.  Trying to figure out who I was and who I am now is exhausting and confusing.  I was forced to change so suddenly.  Loss changes things in a physical and emotional way.  We lose our identity and struggle to find ourselves because we suddenly became someone different.  People find that their relationship with the bereaved will change, and they’ll have to figure out how to have a NEW relationship with them.

Who was I?

I felt braver then-although I still had anxiety.

I had more energy.

I think I felt like bad things happened, but probably wouldn’t happen to me… at least I remember crying and feeling awful for people who experienced loss.

I felt like I had been through the worst times in my life, and only better things would happen now.

I felt more resilient.

I laughed more.

I wanted to socialize more.

I was more open about my life.

I got to take care of my baby son (feed, snuggle, care for, pay attention to, kiss, hold, etc).

I got to observe “sissy” smile and hold her brother.

I don’t know who I was then, like I can’t remember specifics… maybe that’s my body/brain’s way of protecting me.

A mommy to Emma and Baron.

Who am I now?


My guard is up.

Hyper aware of tragedy.

Sometimes it feels awkward to be around others.


Need more routine.

Planner/researcher (I think I have always been this way, but what I plan and choose to research has shifted).

Mama bear even more so now.

Obsessed with keeping the kids safe.

Much more focused on being with kids/husband.

Trying to be as healthy as possible.

Loud noises bother me.

I crave silence.

My mind races way more than it used to.

I’m constantly sad, even when I am happy.

I have to go to cemetery at least 4 times a month.

The way I parent has changed.

Marriage has changed.

Because I have changed.

A mommy to Emma and Stella (on Earth) and Baron (in Heaven).  That is very hard to accept.  It is very hard to figure out how to be a mommy to someone that you can’t physically do things for.  I am learning.




At the same time

While this life feels unbearable, terrifying, and dark there are moments of joy…

… happiness

… pleasure

… excitment

… play

… sunshine and

… satisfaction

that peek through and ask to coexist at the same time.  It’s hard to balance feeling extremely sad and happy all at once.  But, I am thankful for the positive moments that help me bare the unbearable.

This unfair life

Ever since my son, Baron, passed away life has felt dangerous…

… overwhelming

… sad

… torturous

… dark

… claustrophobic

… demanding

… unsafe

… noisy, but silent

… irritating

… painful

… intense

… different

… excruitiating

… miserable

… hard

… unbearable, like grief is slowly destroying me from the inside out every single day.

I just want you here with me.  I love you so much Baron.