Friday, December 31, 2010

Merry Christmas Kai

Family holidays without a member of your family is SO difficult! Almost too difficult when it is a child... but we managed. I decided to participate in two infant loss holiday exchanges hoping that it would get me into the holiday mood as well as give me some time during this busy season to slow down and think of my son and hopefully add a little bit of a bittersweet smile to some other parents' holiday because their little babies are now known and thought of by one more person. 

In exchange for the two ornaments I sent, I received another hand decorated ornament and a gift package!
The ornament is decorated with Kai's name on the front and his stillbirth date on the back... all done in glitter. It's beautiful! Subtle colours. I love it and it looks great on our tree! 
The package contained items for Kai, me, my husband and daughter. Kai's name means "the sea" in Hawaiian and he was born during a snowstorm. These are things I associate with my son.  In the package were items that symbolized snow and sea!... many were wonderfully handmade! On Jan. 7th we are going to have a little birthday party for Kai.  I'm going to play the CD when we use the "FLying Wish Papers" on his day! The shell ring, feather, shell and stone that looks like ice are all in his Butsudan in the living room. His beautiful blue ornament will go there as well when we take down the tree.
This is the beautiful ornament that I received in the ornament exchange from the Remembering Together Holiday Swap.
Thank you SO much Tracey for the beautiful ornament! 
A very thoughtful gift from the Faces of Loss gift exchange.
Jackie included two very special rings for my daughter and a special calendar for my husband.

Jackie made this snowflake ornament with beads spelling out Kai's name. We hung it outside on his red flowering dogwood tree with the other ornaments we made.

I picked up these aluminum heart tags at the Movies and Makers Craft  Show that I participated in. I thought they would be perfect for decorating and putting on Kai's tree for the holidays. Martha (the craftsperson who made them) gave me an extra package when she found out what I was going to do with them so I was able to give some to members of the PBSO support group I go to!
Thank you Martha!
Ornament from mommy.

Ornament from Kai's big sister.

Ornament from Daddy.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Holiday Ornament and Gift Exchange

This year I decided to participate in two Holiday exchanges for mom's who have lost their infants. For one exchange we were to send an ornament and for the other a small gift. I decided I would create personalized ornaments for both exchanges. Focusing on creating these ornaments was my way of spending time with Kai.  If not for him I would not be involved in these wonderful little gestures of friendship, sympathy and understanding. I think of him and talk to him while I do these little projects.

Both ornaments were made out of cotton pulp and cast in the shape of a heart. I letterpress printed the infants' names and dates on pieces of my handmade paper and used it as part of the decoration of the heart. I think they turned out quite wonderfully. Now I must make one for Kai and his big sister!

The holidays are so difficult. Even our daughter is finding this Christmas difficult. Yesterday was her last day of school before the holidays. I guess she got sad thinking of  two holidays ago on the last day of school when she was looking forward to playing with her baby brother in the new year. The principal found her crying in the afternoon. Our daughter didn't mention anything to us. We didn't know until we received a telephone call from her principal asking if she was alright. She's almost ten now and I'm guessing that the reality of the death of her baby brother is starting to set in. She started crying again tonight because she missed Kai. I know how she feels. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

PBSO Walk to Remember and Dove Release

Families gathering under the canopies to hear a short speech given by the son of the Children's Garden creator and some poetry read by families in memory of their infants.
Oct. 2010

In the foreground is the Children's Garden that was created by a mother some 20 years after her infant son died. She had been told to forget about that child by doctors!!

The doves waiting quietly in their baskets.

Most families took turns saying their infants names and dates of birth/death out loud. Afterwards we were each given a carnation.

... and the doves are released.

The dove release totally delighted the children that were there!
After this there was hot tea, coffee, water, juice boxes and cookies. 
I was busy talking to other parents and I missed out on the chocolate cookies!!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A wee snail on the big beach at low tide in Cape Cod. Oct., 2010

I haven't written anything for a while. Writing doesn't come naturally to me and sometimes I wonder if it's worth it. I still end up missing Kai. On vacation two weeks ago I missed him. He should have been with us, toddling on the beach with his arms out... maybe eating sand. His sister would have had someone to play with and share her discoveries with. This was our second fall vacation without him. Three fall vacations ago he was with us while I was pregnant. 
We were so hopeful at that time. It felt safe enough to buy him some baby clothes at Carter's and at Target in Buffalo on our way home. We had NO idea... Those clothes are still in a storage bin on top of the wardrobe in our room. Sometimes I look at the bin and think I should go through it and give his unworn clothes away. I think that, and then I do something else. Anything else. I'm afraid to open that the bin. I imagine it is like Pandora's box. Once I open it all the fears and pain will come out and consume me. Am I strong enough? Probably. Am I brave enough? No. Not yet.

Monday, November 1, 2010

I am so glad that there is more information in the news about infant death and how to help! For me... more awareness = improved knowledge, better treatment and care!

New programs for 'silent grief' of miscarriages, stillbirths

November 1, 2010 on parentcentral

...feel SO sad for her. Their hearts must be breaking. I think this is where being famous isn't helpful. I hope people give them time and privacy to go through the long mourning process. Sigh.

Lily Allen Loses Her Baby

Nick Sadler/Startraks
Lily Allen has again suffered the heartbreak of losing a child during pregnancy.
“It is with great sadness that we have to confirm that Lily Allen and Sam Cooper have lost their baby,” the British singer’s rep tells PEOPLE in a statement.
“The couple ask that their privacy be respected and that they be left alone at this deeply distressing time. No further comment will be made.”
Allen, 25, announced a few weeks ago that the baby, a boy, was due in January. This is her second such loss – coming almost three years after she suffered a miscarriage during her relationship with musician Ed Simons.
Allen and Cooper, an upmarket decorator, hadannounced their pregnancy in August. Allen had also Tweeted a pic of herself excitedly holding up a newspaper with the good news.
Allen has spoken of having children as “ultimately my main goal” in life.
– Simon Perry

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Oct. 15th! Toronto, ON Canada

Please do what you can to support this cause. After our son Kai's death I learned that most people know very little about Perinatal death (unless you've gone through it) even though it can randomly happen to any pregnant woman. I also learned that most people, including doctors and other professionals are ignorant about the affects of this kind of loss on the mothers, fathers and siblings. We need this day to help us not be ashamed of remembering our wee lost children.

My daughter's friend releasing a butterfly for Kai at this year's PBSO Butterfly Release

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day ~ October 15th~ recognized in Ontario Canada

Hello All,

I am putting a call out to all of you who are living in Ontario, Canada. On October 15th, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day, Perinatal Bereavement Services Ontario will be hosting a rally at the Ontario Legislation Building at Queens Park in Toronto.

We need your support to help us make the Ontario government see that that October 15th should be recognized all across Canada.

Come out and rally with us at Queens Park. We will then gather petition signatures.

You can view the online event at!/e...

Come out and show your support on October 15th.

Friday, October 15 · 10:00am - 11:30pm

LocationLegislature Assembly of Ontario
Queens Park

More InfoOur Rally is being held on the grounds of the Legislature Assembly of Ontario at Queens Park.

The rally will last approximately one hour and we will then leave Queens Park and gather petition signatures to have Oct 15th recognized as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day in Ontario.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Envy and anger - why?

Life seems so unfair so much of the time.
I had an OB appointment today. Just a visit so that they could tell me the  results of my blood test that was taken to see if I still had healthy eggs. We've been trying for 9 months to get pregnant. Not a long time, I know, but our daughter and our son were conceived on the first try. Also, now that I'm 43 I really feel that clock ticking. Kai was supposed to be our last. A girl and a boy. Two children who would hopefully help each other out and keep each other as family when we were no longer here. I do consider myself a mother of two, but as my daughter said, "I want a brother or sister that I can talk to and play with.". I understand.
This afternoon I just found out that a friend who is the same age as I am is having her 5th child. They thought they were finished, but life happens. I'm very happy for her but at the same time I'm sitting here crying, feeling like a loser who can't keep a child alive and who can't even get pregnant. Is something wrong with me? Is there a decree somewhere that says I'm only allowed to have one live child? If there is, I wish someone would tell me so that I don't go through all this trying to conceive, dissappointment and heartache over and over again. I feel like I shouldn't even try to think that I can get pregnant and have a healthy child again. Is it because I am in art? Have I poisoned myself with all the fumes from ink, dust from paper? Why?
WHY did my son DIE?
WHY can't I get pregnant as easily as I did the first two times?
WHY can't I get pregnant NOW?
Why do I feel like I am cursed?
Have I let my family down?

i know that these feelings are considered normal, that any emotions I'm feeling are there for me to go through and experience and that they will probably pass in a day or so... but it still sends a stabbing pain to my heart that makes me want to rip it out and stomp on it so that I don't feel it!!

Monday, September 20, 2010


I wonder if this feeling will be with me forever? Feeling like something is not quite right. Like I am missing something or need something to be added. A feeling of not being complete
therefore nothing quite makes sense.

It's different than the feeling of dis-jointedness I get when I am depressed. Like my consciousness is two seconds behind what I am doing, seeing, hearing, feeling.  That is not the feeling I have.

It's as if there is a space somewhere inside me that needs that one perfect something and then my world will feel whole. Sometimes that space feels like it's in the pit of my stomach. Sometimes it's in my heart, and sometimes it's in my head... wherever it is, I don't think that there is any way I can  make it complete.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Beautiful clouds above our neighbourhood on Sept. 10/10

This is a note I wrote in a discussion page for group called Stories of Babies Born Still (S.O.B.B.).

We lost Kai about a month before you lost Seth! Kai was stillborn on Jan. 7th, 2009 at 38 weeks. My sister has never spoken or aknowledged that Kai existed. Even during our stay with her for a week on vacation. My husband, daughter and I talk about Kai several times a week. The only people from our families that were helpful after the funeral were my sister-in-law who would come and help me look after my daughter on the nights my husband worked late, and my brother who would babysit my daughter on the nights we went to a perinatal loss support group. They were great... but now no-one talks about him and in many ways they act like Kai never existed. 

Yeah. I don't really care what others think. I know in my heart that he is a part of my life and always will be, just like my living daughter! The pain and heartbreak I feel when I think of him is just a reminder that I love him and miss him. There aren't many parents who wouldn't wish for all their children to be safe and with them, especially when their children are young . Why should it be any different just because our child died? 

I am very lucky. My husband understands my need to remember Kai and understands that it's better for us to keep Kai in our lives. Our daughter keeps a photo of her brother beside her bed and talks about him with her friends (ie. You are SO lucky you have a brother/sister. I wish my brother were here!) We were all looking forward to sharing a future with him. This isn't the future I pictured, but I still want to share it with my son. I recently miscarried at 9 weeks. When we told my daughter she wanted to know if it was a boy or a girl and what we should name the baby! I told her it was too early to know the gender so she suggested a name that could be a boys or girl's. Her choice..."Bean". So now, in her mind she has two siblings!

We have a Butsudan (a Bhuddist shrine for family and ancestors) in the living room with his photos, ashes, little poems, gifts, etc. I make a point to put fresh flowers or pretty weeds there. My daughter makes cards and notes for him and put them there. I figure, everyone in a family gets a space like a bedroom for themselves and their things... well, Kai doesn't need a whole room. He didn't live long enough to have many things so he only needs a small area in our living room. 

Some people are uncomfortable about the things we do to keep our sons memory alive. We don't do anything dangerous or crazy! Balloons, a tree, candle lightings, birthday gathering, photos, talking, making things, very normal! 

Whatever other people think or feel, I love my children with all my heart and soul! If one of them is not here I will miss them with all of my heart and soul until I see them again. I don't think that is a bad thing.

Yes, please keep your child's memory alive! It can and will be at times, painful and heartbreaking to be a parent of a living child! Having one baby die brings those two emotions into your life much earlier. Either way, you are a parent!

Much love and hugs,

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

12:44 am, 20 months later.

In one hour it will be 20 months since I gave birth to our still born baby boy, Kai. I still wonder how a perfectly healthy, strong baby can suddenly die two weeks before his due date. I do understand that he suffocated and his heart stopped beating because the umbilical cord "broke" off from the placenta. His life line "broke". But no one can tell me why or what might have caused the cord to detach from the placenta. No clots (that might have explained the withered look of the cord where it was supposed to be attached to the placenta). Nothing abnormal. He was a healthy 7 pounds when he was still born. When he was born his colouring was purpl-ish. His lips were a bright deep red. In my mind I see him all pink-ish with rosebud pink lips. The black and white photos I have of him that were taken by a NILMDTS photographer barely hint at the fact that he was born without breath. He looks like a healthy baby in a timeless black and white baby photo.

How have 20 months gone by? When I gave birth to him I just wanted to die. I wished I could die. I couldn't imagine going past that moment. For days and says and weeks and weeks I wanted to die - unable to understand how I managed to still be physically alive each moment upon moment when all that was going through my mind was that I had somehow failed my baby and I deserved to die. Needed to die...
" My older daughter would be fine with her dad looking after her. Kai would be out there without a parent. I could be there with him. Did he even know how much we love him? Did he know that his death was so unbearable that sometimes I thought it wasn't true? Was he feeling abandoned? I definitely felt I was abandoning him when I had to leave the hospital without him - but what could I do? I needed to know that he knew we love him. I needed to take care of him; keep him warm, cuddle him, sing to him, love him."

Twenty months later I still sometimes have the urge to be with him, holding him out in the universe. All those moments have turned into almost two years. I still love him. The memory of Kai still hurts to my core, but it isn't as acute and desperate anymore. I don't think of the pain I feel when I remember him as a bad thing anymore either. As I explained to my daughter, "The pain you feel when you miss someone is a positive thing. It reminds you that you love that person and that you want to see them again - that you will take notice of their absence and look forward to being with them again."

We miss you and love you every day, Kai.

Monday, August 9, 2010


At my mother-in-laws birthday a few weeks ago I was still dealing with the after effects of my miscarriage. Not so fun since I was at the cottage and there were a whole bunch of people all crammed into one cottage with one bathroom! I managed to lose myself by puttering along the shore of the lake gathering tiny shells. During the birthday celebration my mother-in law exclaimed how lucky she was to have all her children and all her grandchildren there for her birthday. Yes, she was very lucky and I know that she did not mean anything by it - but all I could think was, "...but one of your grandchildren isn't here! My baby isn't here! He should be here." I went someplace away from everyone to cry for a bit. I'm glad I have learned to let allow myself time to cry. It didn't last long and I was able to get back to the celebration and feel pretty much okay.
There is a closet door at the cottage where all the grandchildren's heights are recorded every year when they are there. I've asked my husband if he thinks it would be alright to add Kai's height to the door and so the next time I'm up at the cottage I will take the black 'sharpie' and add our son's name, birth/death date and length of 17 inches to the door!

 Puttering around at my in-laws cottage.

Last weekend we attended the Haliburton Scout Reserve Alumni Weekend and camped at the water's edge like we did last year. It felt very strange doing the same things as we had done a year ago. A year. Last year I was at this same spot thinking  and crying about our son who had died less than a year ago. We were using the same tent that we had gotten in anticipation of having a second child that we would be camping with. There was lots of extra space inside. I put my photos of Kai in a spot beside my sleeping bag. The Saturday was the 7th of the month marking Kai's 19th month. My husband picked flowers to keep with us at our campsite. They are in the foreground of the photo below. Nothing fancy -they're sitting in a Tim Horton's cup - but it was nice having something to look at that we brought just for Kai, to symbolize his special day and our memory.

 Camping in Haliburton and making jewelry from nature!

Last year the little guy below was nine months at the Alumni Weekend. He was the first baby boy I had held since Kai. He's now almost two years old! I loved playing with him and watching him play and discover! He's such a happy, good natured child! As much as I loved playing and watching A, I did have a couple of times where my heart dropped to my stomach and I thought of Kai who would be a month younger than this cutie. What would my son be like? Would he be as happy? would the two of them "play" together? How big would Kai be? What would he look like?... Is this what it would be like playing with Kai? The thoughts hurt my chest. I cried and let the tears soak into my husband's shoulder for a couple of minutes and then they were gone. The heartache lifted and I was once again able to enjoy watching A play.

What a cutie! A. is just a month older than Kai.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Photos taken at friends' land near St. Mary's.

I'm finding time to be a weird thing to wrap my head around. Time is linear, right? But my mind is not willing to understand that concept. My mind is confused, thus I am confused, agitated.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Back to almost where I was

Kai's Dogwood tree, spring 2010.

This is the Dogwood tree that we planted last October for our son. It only had a couple of buds on it last fall when we planted it, but this spring it was full of blossoms! My mother planted the miniature white roses that we had at Kai's funeral. She put them in the front of the house. Apparently they are no longer miniature roses! They are two regular size white rose bushes filled with white roses! I love that these two plants have thrived and grown beyond expectation. It makes me smile to think that maybe Kai is helping us take care of his two memorial plants. I like to think that it means he is happy wherever he is and that he knows how much we love and miss him...

I'm trying to think of happy/beautiful things, but I'm pretty numb. I was 7 weeks pregnant but I've been bleeding heavily since this morning. I'm guessing that I have miscarried. I've never miscarried before so we're not too sure what to expect. I have an appointment Monday afternoon with my doctor that I had made to get a prescription for pre-natal vitamins... but I'll use it for figuring out the whole miscarriage thing.

About an hour ago I was quietly freaking out because my family is asleep and I didn't want to wake them... now I can't really even think or feel much (except for the cramps). I shouldn't be surprised that I'm miscarrying, should I? Most women I've met or have read about had at least one miscarriage after the death of their infant AND the chance of miscarriage rises with maternal age. I'm now 43 and that puts me right up there. I really do feel the clock ticking...

We have been lucky in the past conceiving both of our children on the first try and having no problems during my pregnancies. Unfortunately our second child died a few weeks before his due date, as most people know, and now everything seems to be a bit more difficult.

I purposely postponed getting pregnant after Kai's death because I wanted to be fairly certain that I would be able to handle the emotional stress that was sure to come with another pregnancy. I didn't want to have to add to my medication for depression again. So, for 6 months we have been trying to get pregnant. I got pregnant in May and now I am not pregnant anymore. I know I want to try again but I really am starting to fear that we will only ever have one living child... and she will be so very lonely when we are gone. I know you're not supposed to feel like a failure...but, well...

Sunny Isles Beach, 2010.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day

The first blooms ever from Kai's dogwood tree that wee planted last fall.

Celebrated my second Mother's Day with only one of my two children. It hurts knowing that I've been pregnant twice, given birth twice and had two babies... but people we saw celebrating Mother's Day all would have assumed we were parents of an only child. They should make a t-shirt, pin, bumper sticker ... something that tells everyone " We have a child/children that died but he/she/they are still very present in our hearts each and every day!".
I did enjoy the day with the child I do have and my husband. I received the traditional breakfast in bed with flowers picked from our garden, a chocolate croissant from the french bakery at the end of our street, tea and an orange. Yum! For the time that I was eating, adoring the pictures my daughter drew for me and opening my present I was fine. Content. But then, when my hands, mouth and eyes weren't busy my mood slumped and I had that familiar overwhelming need to sleep. So, I slept for a couple more hours and then tried really hard to want to move. I did and the rest of the day was spent celebrating my role in my family of 4 ( that looks like a family of 3).

Friday May 7th Kai would have been 16 months old. When does one stop counting the time? Why do I do it? In my mind he will always be a baby. So why do I keep time like I did for my first child? For her it was to mark her growth, her time here since she was born, her developmental milestones. Kai doesn't have any of that. I guess it is just a way for me to keep track of his one milestone of being stillborn. A way for me to make him more concrete in my life... counting the amount of time since we first held him in our arms. Counting the amount of time that we have held him in our hearts because we cannot physically hold him ever again.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Time flickers forwards and back.

I was never told life would get progressively more difficult as time went on... but it does, and I go forward. The past is what creates my present. To ignore that past is to ignore the substance of me.
I am slowly learning to accept and embrace all the events in my life that I had previously tried to erase or forget. Erasing leaves a smudge that is evidence of the action. Forgetting never really works. Wishing for what was or what could have been just leads to more pain. NOW I understand what living in the present means. I hope!

THe candle from Kai's "butsudan" that we lit at his memorial service.

It's been 15 months. Wow. I'm often confused. Sometimes it feels like time has gone too quickly - separating us by more and more time. Other times it feels like hardly any time has passed - I cry and the pain feels as strong it did a year before. This last 15 months have been a time of opposing emotions/feelings; happiness that your memory is with me but sadness that you are not physically here; anger that you seem to have died for no reason and calmness because of everything I learned from dealing with the grief of losing you; hope because I believe your energy is here with us, helping us and despair because I just want to be with you now!

They were right. As time continues on that unbearable pain has moved to the background of my days. It still comes forward at time - heart wrenching as ever, but it doesn't last nearly as long as it did a year ago or 6 months ago.

I'm lucky that I do have friends that know I need to talk about him every once in a while. He's a part of our family so, just as I talk about my living child or my deceased parent, I also talk about my baby boy. "I loved having a midwife for my son's birth last year.", "Do you think Kai would have been artistic like his father and I?", "Hopefully Kai wouldn't have gotten my crazy frizzy hair!", "Yes, I have two children.", "Isn't this cute? Kai would be adorable in this!". I do not believe that I need to pretend that my pregnancy and time with him never existed.

A friend of mine who lost her infant son five years ago recently realized that she hadn't fully dealt with her emotions. I was very proud of her when she told me last week that she was able to move her infant's photo out of the walk in closet/dressing room and onto the top of her dresser where her other three boys (all younger) pictures are. Now she has all four of her sons together where she can see them everyday and smile.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Happy Birthday baby boy!

Today! Jan. 7, 2010 - Happy Birthday Kai sweetheart!

Happy Birthday Kai!

Today is your first birthday. You aren't here to share this day with us but we have chosen to remember you and celebrate the day others were able to meet you! Your sister and I made a Happy 1st Birthday sign, Your dad, sister and I wrote some letters to you and attached them to three balloons that we released by your tree outside. WE hung the sign, 3 plastic butterflies that we made and some ribbon on your tree also. This evening a bunch of our friends who have been very supportive came over for a small Birthday/remembrance get together. We had a Pakistani/Japanese dinner, your dad bought a chocolate birthday cake and we all lit candles and put them around your tree. We are so very lucky that we have friends to share you with!
I realized for the first time what an amazing thing your Uncle Arthur U. did last year when he came to the hospital with snacks for your dad and I while I was waiting for my contractions to get stronger. He didn't have to come - it was a very weird, uncomfortable position to be in - but he put his own fears aside and came to visit anyway! He stayed until almost 10 pm! I said 'Thank you' to him today and I started to cry. That was the first time all day!
It's now after midnight and last year I was still at the hospital. Alex was there to keep me company because your dad had to go home and stay with your sister. Alex held you, which was very brave of her. We talked until late. The nurse came in before I went to sleep and moved your basinette next to my bed. I really wanted to put you next to me and sleep with you in my arms but I was SO afraid that I might drop you while I was sleeping! I would have been horrified - more than horrified! - if I had woken up to find you on the floor! Maybe I should have asked the nurse if there was something we could do, but I couldn't really think properly at the time. I am very thankful, though, that I was able to stay with you for those extra 24 hours. Your dad and I would have been lost without Deborah our midwife!
I realize I haven't written your whole story yet. I think I might be ready to do that soon.
Good night sweet little boy. I will always love you and miss you. You will always be my son and I will always be proud of you.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

One year

Old stone bridge in the Poconos Oct. 2009

Tomorrow is the day you were still born.
At this time last year I was waiting for a catheter to fall out so that my contractions would start. I had been put on a pitocin drip at 2 in the afternoon and not much had happened. At 10 in the morning I had found out for certain that Kai had no heartbeat. They never said the word "dead". They just looked sad and told me that he had no heartbeat.

How did one year go buy so quickly and slowly at the same time? I dreaded the Holidays. All I wanted was for time to stop. The coming of Christmas meant, to me, the coming of my son's death. The coming of the end. It was difficult to face the holidays, but I did it and it is now past. The anticipation of how wretched I would feel was much worse than how I actually felt. Yes. Christmas day I really cried hard a few times. I didn't join my family and friends for Christmas dinner. I knew that forcing myself to act fine was not something I could do and I did not want to try. Some people understood this and some did not ...and I was fine with that. Weird. I have spent all of my life trying to keep people happy and not cause waves! Usually I would be fretting about how I was disappointing someone, letting them down or making them angry. I am quite good at beating myself up for this. But not this time. What had changed? Why was I so calm about taking time out for myself? In the two weeks between Christmas and now I have thought a lot about the last year. I've taken a lot of emotional risks since Kai died. I had to if I wanted to survive his death and be in the present with my husband and daughter. I'd already been hospitalized three times in the past for suicide/depression ...I kind of knew that if I didn't take some huge steps in terms of asking for help from friends and family, I probably wouldn't ever recover. For me that was a huge risk. I had always believed that people would only like me if I was a happy person who was always there to help them. If I burdened my friends with my problems or the truth they would drop me - abandon me. The first few 'risks' were the most difficult. Calling a friend to talk at 1 am the day I got home. I was petrified that she would either ignore the phone or tell me she was too tired to talk to me. No one answered. I left a confusing message about Kai being dead and that I had to deliver him after I found out. In my head I thought "See! You have no one! No one wants to here your sob story! No one has time for you! Get it into your brain that you are not meant to be here! Your healthy son died! Isn't that enough proof that you are a loser and supposed to die?" I ended up taking a sleeping pill to calm down and fall asleep. I woke the next morning when my friend called me back and said that she would be at my house in an hour and a half. She lives an hour and a half away! She left her son with her husband and actually came to the city and looked after us for a day and a half! I was shocked that someone, anyone would drop everything to help me! Thank you from the depths of my heart, Karen! That was my first 'risk' and it didn't turn out at all the way I had always believed it would.