Category Archives: Death of a child

Reggie, my heart therapy

Boys and dog

December, 2005, Sam, Joey & Reggie

He sees me

June 27, 2014. He loves a freshly cut lawn. He does a down-dog-stretch before squeezing through the rectangular flap of a door. Outside. Sniffing a path, he finds a patch of sun and flops onto his side. Lying still for a minute, he soaks up the warmth then rolls onto his stomach. Sphinx-like, his front legs out, chest high, ears alert, nose twitching, reading the air. He starts when a dragonfly skips by him, and I laugh. I’ve been watching him from the patio, learning from him how to be in the moment. He sees me and stands up, tail wagging. Making his way back through his magnetic door, he prances over to me and presents himself for a back rub.

I knead him from ear to tail. How’re you feeling today, Reggie? He is entranced. When I stop, he licks my hand. More, please. So I continue, and he seems to smile. I check beneath his fur. The infected lesions are healed, but the scabs can still be felt along the length of his spine.

I took him to the vet in May, a few weeks after I posted this:

I got my coffee and noticed then, that my dog was staring up at me with big apologetic eyes. Not for the death of my fridge, I’m pretty sure. Although he does sense when I’m sad or stressed. No, he was apologizing for the big, messy, grassy, puddle of puke on the carpet.

“Aww, Reggie. It’s okay,” I told him. How could I be angry at that face? Meditating and writing were moving to the bottom of my list. Deep breath.

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Quote: Issa

Does Issa speak of longing? His tears? Or continuing, despite the tears? I first read these lines a handful of years ago. When I was too attached. Unwilling to go on without

My beautiful boy. I was unable to save him. The smartest doctors in the world were unable to save him. And then, I couldn’t bring him back. No matter how hard I cried, or what magic I performed, or how many letters I arranged.  Continue reading

Think of the “Like” button as a “Support” button

"Like" Button

Happy stories, sad stories

Happy or funny stories compel people to “Like” and “Share” them. Inspirational, uplifting and amusing stories sometimes go viral. That’s the incredible thing about the internet. It can inform, inspire, entertain, and connect us.

But, it is counterintuitive to “Like” mournful stories much less “Share” them. Isolating further the one who is sharing from the most desolate and lonely place.

The following quote is from Why I Want You To Like That My Baby Died: Supporting Grief Through Social Media by Devany LeDrew, which I found here.

“When I post about my grief, your like is a silent nod of acknowledgement. I understand that you may have no words. While a heartfelt sentiment is best (even a ❤ or typing my daughter’s name is comforting), I know that you may be pressed for time or struggling with what to say. Clicking like makes me feel less alone.

“If I say I miss my daughter, you can like that. I give you permission. I know that you don’t “like” my grief. Instead, you are letting me know that you remember her instead of just scrolling by.”

Stories of death, especially the death of a child, are dark, taboo even. And have been, since…well, always. It is the scariest notion any parent can fathom. My child died and I am still afraid of this unfathomable idea. Afraid it could happen again. But being afraid doesn’t help, or keep us safe, does it?  Continue reading

“Wanna see a picture of my baby that died?” she said.

Life had different plans

The day before yesterday (Thursday, May 1, 2014), I had plans to hit the month running, or at least walking. Post the first entry in the new series I’ve been working on. And then meditate—for at least ten minutes (a day)—a personal goal I’ve set for this May. Neither happened though. This day, life had different plans in store.

Reggie dog MayMorning road blocks. My old refrigerator had been crying for a few months. A sick, whining sound. On this morning it shook and sighed; lights out, literally. It stopped running. I got my coffee and noticed then, that my dog was staring up at me with big apologetic eyes. Not for the death of my fridge, I’m pretty sure. Although he does sense when I’m sad or stressed. No, he was apologizing for the big, messy, grassy, puddle of puke on the carpet. “Aww, Reggie. It’s okay,” I told him. How could I be angry at that face? Meditating and writing were moving to the bottom of my list. Deep breath.

Reggie watched me spray, clean, dab, wipe, spray, clean…and I sensed him thinking, Man, if I just had thumbs like you I’d help you clean up that mess, I would… I kissed his little coconut head and tried to be in the moment—the way he was. Interested, helpful, even without thumbs his eyes were cleaning, focused, devoted. I tried to use these cleaning minutes to breathe and not think about anything else. Not quite the meditation I’d had in mind, but…  Continue reading

Deanna

April 30, 2014

Poem #30: “S”

In a dream
a small boy visited me,
golden nimbus around his face,
lucent white skin
and lustrous eyes,
green like the Nile.

His features captivated me,
but I loved his humor the most.
His laughs were musical sounds
from another place.
He stamped smiles and danced
with pure energy,
and acted out his thoughts
for me to see.
For he didn’t speak,
yet he clearly understood my words
and appeared to delight in them.

I held my dream child close,
and he knew I would love him
forever.

He circled me with joy
and ran on airspace, laughing.
Then whispered by me,
waving his hand,
Be right back.
I called for him to stay near.
When suddenly he was felled
by some unseen collision
that took his breath.

Dead?
I fell to my knees and cried
over my small angel child.
I buried my face in his whiteness
and heard unrecognizable cries
that haunt me still.
“Wake up! Please! Please! Please, wake up!
No! Oh, no. No. No…”

His glow lingered and reflected off a mist
that enveloped me and echoed my wails.
The steam wept with me for that small,
spotless, sleeping soul
dissolving in my arms—ashes.
I held nothing but myself—skin and bones.

And beside me his dust grew into a tree,
as if blown with breath
through a straw, painted on canvas.
The branches spread out and multiplied,
ready for leaves yet to come.
And in the tree’s center—its heart,
the initial, S, was engraved.
And it went up as the tree grew tall.

 ♥

In memory of my Sam. My son. My beautiful boy.
March 2, 1998 – April 30, 2007

Deanna

April 24, 2014

Sam, up high

Poem #24: “Returning”

As a child, I looked
When I heard the jingle
Of my lost dog’s metal tags
Paper phone numbers fading
Blowing away
I looked
Just in case
And there she was…
Returning

Now, I look
When I hear the sound
Of my lost child’s melting voice
Footsteps on the carpet fading
Years away
I look
Just in case
But there he isn’t…
Returning 

Deanna

April 18, 2014

My apologies for this snarky poem. Starting to show some NaPoWriMo wear and tear. Wrote commentary (below) to explain more.

Poem #18: “Interview”

What do you do?
I’m into haiku

Where do you work?
In my head (smirk)

How much does it pay?
Nothing, but Namaste

So how do you eat?
At a table, on a seat

No, I mean—
I know what you mean

And how do you dress?
In tie-dye no less

Do your words always rhyme?
No, and I
’m out of time

I see…so we’re through?
I am, aren
’t you?

No, just one question more
Look, I really don’t need another chore

Just tell me, my friend, why your eyes are so sad
Because…because…my son is still dead

I’m sorry, real sorry, to hear of your sorrow
Call me again, then? Maybe tomorrow?

I will…I’ll do that…I’ll try you again
And maybe then, I can ask how you’ve been

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