Showing posts from June, 2017

No Smash Cake!

Hi Friends,

Charlie's party went beautifully.

On Saturday night, hubby was working overnight, so I was alone in the house. I'd been doing ok, knitting and watching movies, but once I started getting ready for bed, it hit me that it was Father's Day (it was past midnight), which was the day Charlie was born (of course, the dates shifted this year, which meant that part of my brain was constantly trying to figure out what was happening at "this moment" a year ago). I suddenly couldn't stop myself from thinking about the day Charlie was born and my experience, and everything suddenly weighed down on my and I started bawling. I was texting with hubby, but even that didn't calm me down, nor did cuddling with Pookie, so I was at a loss. I ended up calling my parents (at 2:30 in the morning!) and baring my soul to them. I had many things on my mind. Foremost, of course, was the combination of being alone and missing Charlie (and thus being sad). But I also had …

Learning and Growing

Dear friends,

I recently learned a phrase that I find beautiful, and really hits the nail on the head.

Have you ever noticed how, in English, we have no real, common word for a parent who has lost a child? We might call them a a loss parent, maybe. I suppose bereaved parent is pretty good.

However, in German, they can be called Verwaiste Eltern. This means orphaned parents. Sometimes I really feel this way - but instead of someone missing who should be caring for me, I feel like the missing person is one I should be caring for.
One of my German aunts told me this word. I'm really glad she did. I am more comfortable expressing myself in English - I have a better grasp of nuance - but every once in a while there is a word or phrase that just encapsulates an idea perfectly.

Edited to add: my mom pointed out there is an English book called "Orphan Mother" and that it's a phrase. Which is cool! I'd never heard that before. I like it.

I noticed I have started looking…

Happy Birthday, Little Charlie

Hi Friends,

I am doing something very difficult right now. On June 19th, 2017, it will be exactly one year since our son Charlie was born. Stillborn. Died. Was baptised. Everything. His whole life. And I am planning a party.

Well, not exactly a party. What would you call it? A get-together? A memorial picnic? A celebration? I don't know. It's complicated and emotional and weird. There are a few things that are fact, though:
Charlie was born on the 19th. Fact. He may have died 2 or 3 days earlier, but no matter what, this day is his birth-day.We also had our priest baptise him, and the only day that was an option, given our circumstances, was that day.I love Charlie, we love Charlie, and we want to honor him and our memories of him.
So, I'm planning a thing for him:
- and it's easy: Just reserve a picnic shelter, buy a cake, and send out an email to friends and family. Keep it small, keep it simple.
- and it's hard: I want a thing for him, but what do I want? A mem…

Book Review: Beyond the Sling, by Mayim Bialik

Hi Friends of all stripes,

I'm currently reading a book. A real book, with hardly any pictures! One of the things I've noticed on my grief journey is that I am having a much harder time reading than I expected. This is very odd for me, given that I used to read constantly, and fly through books at an amazing rate! Last summer, I did escape into books for a while, and did read a fiction series over the winter, but a book really has to grab me (and I have to find the wherewithal to start it in the first place). These are not problems I used to have.

A friend of mine really helped when she suggested graphic novels. There are some pretty amazing ones out there now! Not all of them are my style. For instance, not only do the writing and story topic have to appeal, but the artwork is a factor too. But, since I am visual, reading a book that is heavy on the visual and light on the text is actually a very natural way for me to ease back into reading. I also credit the library for runn…

A Little Bit of Magic in this Dreary World

Hi Friends,

Today I want to talk about how I see my Charlie act in the world. I have noticed, over the weeks and months of connecting to other loss-mamas and loss-papas, that an element of grief seems to be a higher tendency to "magical thinking". Bear with me while I explain!

To have "magical" thinking is to see coincidences or normal phenomena, and to attribute meaning or volition to them. For instance, if I see a cloud that is in the sky, which the wind has been blowing about, I may think that it resembles a heart, and it may remind me of my son. Magical thinking would say that the heart-shape is definitely there, and that it was formed by Charlie or by God.

I'm not saying that this is necessarily a bad thing at all. I would like to take a little bit of time to explain how I see things, though, which has some magical thinking, and some slightly different views. I try to be aware of the ways I think, and to be critical (not mean, just thinking hard), but also…