::pack:: of fixations

life after tragedy. living while grieving. love and triplets.


Anatomy of a car crash part 5

There is one good thing that has come out of this. One thing I'm very proud of & brings a smile to my face, & chills down my spine. They were able to donate columns heart to another child. Colum died on Christmas day. I hope the family got the call on Christmas morning to get ready for the best Christmas gift ever. I hope that child is healthy & lives a long fulfilling life. It's something Ryan & I have talked about & always knew we would do. & in case u are wondering if it is a hard thing to do when you are actually in that situation... Not at all. It was "take everything you can use". Anything to avoid another parent to have to burry their child, "take everything you can use".

In the 1st week after the crash there'd be talks about the funeral. I tried to avoid it, I was never ready. Then a date was set & I got angry, "it's the longest we can wait to preserve the body". Body. My baby's 'body'. He was gone. No more 'Mom' songs in the car sung by him while driving. No more dragging blankets w/bottle dangling from his teeth looking for Momma for cuddles. No more measuring cups scattered all over the house. No more before bed time jammy wrestling matches w/Daddy.

The funeral was beautiful. There wasn't much at all that was planned by us except a speaker & singing itsy bitsy spider. It was held in the Hope Chapel here in the hospital because we were too sick to leave. Ive been in-capable of brushing or doing anything w/my hair since the accident. I had people put it in a few braids the day before hoping for waves but I got more of a crimped look. I threw a cape/poncho sweater awkwardly over my hospital gown. We were brought down on cardiac chairs, covered in pillows & blankets. Somebody spoke that we had no idea was going to speak & who we've never met or heard of in our lives. How do you plan your baby's funeral?

There is something that has helped get me through. Something so beautiful that whenever I think about it, I get overwhelmed with gratitude & hope. Angels. I didn't know how many there were until all this happened to my family. They walk the halls of this hospital & so gracefully stop in to rescue me. I couldn't even hold a cup to get a drink of water until recently & i still struggle sometimes. I've come a long way but the 1st 2.5 weeks I was basically incapable of doing anything. The nurses, Dr's, Surgeons, Physical/Occupational therapists, Aids, & janitors... all complete strangers. Some know our story & some don't. They give me a hug mid blood draw or wipe away my tears during our physical therapy session. They give you sponge baths & wash your hair using buckets. They took care of both of my babies. They care. Angels.

I have angels who are my friends or friends of friends, or complete strangers who are working so hard to help raise money for us. People who own small businesses doing fundraisers & donating so much in this economy. The financial burden this is putting upon us is impossible. They take time away from their own families to try & help ours. They are sacrificing so much of themselves & tapping every resource possible to help us. Attorneys offering their services for free. Random strangers sending me emails & even commenting on this blog giving me faith to push forward with words of encouragement. Angels. A big huge THANK YOU to all my angels! I know if it wasn't for every single one of you I couldn't do this!

....yup there's more to be continued.


  1. I just saw these posts today and couldn't help but cry as I read through them. I don't even know you guys but you have been in my prayers ever since I heard about the accident on Christmas Day. I've been following the other blog checking for updates every day. I hope you continue to heal quickly and will find strength to get through the waves of overwhelming grief that hit when you think of your sweet baby angel.

  2. How amazing that sweet Colum will continue to live on in another child's soul! What an amazing gift and you are a beautiful amazing Mother for telling them, take everything you can use! What a sacrifice to make, but what a beautiful one at the same time!

    I have no words of comfort for you in dealing with the loss of a child because I have never been in your shoes. I have 2 really good friends who have and they have some great advice. What I can say is that I cry right along with you, not because I feel what you feel, but because YOU have to feel that indescribable pain. I can't imagine.

    Since you have alot of time on your hands, well maybe between the surgeries and the PT and all they have you doing, check out these other blogs of some friends of mine...

    Her name is Ashley and she lost her daughter at 18 months due to a drowning accident: Her story of healing afterwards is amazing...check them out here... http://patrickandashley.blogspot.com/

    This friend is named Kendra...and she lost her daughter at 5 months to a terrible disease called SMARD...Her story is a bit different, but none the less inspiring...check out her's here... http://kendraandryanwebster.blogspot.com/

    Maybe you can find a bit of comfort in their words. We are always praying for you and your hubby for a quick recovery as well as peace for your soul! Much love!

  3. How can we donate to your cause? I'd love to help if I can.

    1. Hi Jo, there is a blog called kellypack.com. Thank you for wanting to help, it really means the world.

  4. I watched the video that was made of Colum's funeral and I thought your hair looked beautiful. It's nice to know that there are so many selfless people out there.

  5. Kelly and Ryan,

    I don't know you but I have put a few comments on your other blog. You two are such strong and amazing people!!! Again, I'm so sorry for your loss but it's a truly amazing gift you gave another child! I hope that Finn's still doing great...he's a handsome little guy! Stay strong and get well soon for each other and for Finn!!

    I'll continue to pray for all of you and follow your story!


  6. Kelly,
    I have been reading your blog and checking for updates daily. I wish there was something more I could do to help your family out. I am so sorry for your loss. I definitely hug my children a little longer since I heard about this. You are an inspiration to me. Get well.

  7. I want you to know that I am mourning with you, thinking of you always, and praying for you daily. I have an 18 month old boy with blue eyes and blond hair. This story really hits home for me and I have really had a hard time with it. I have shed many tears in your behalf and pray for your comfort and peace continually. I hope your physical and emotional pains will ease with time. You are in my thoughts and prayers and I want you to know that you are not alone. There are people around that will mourn with you and help you as much as they can. Sending hugs your way.

  8. Thank you so much for posting all of this. I am amazed at your strength. I am so grateful that you have been posting because I think about you and your family all day wondering how you are doing today... tomorrow...etc... I love you and your family. I will keep following your blog as long as you keep writing!

    I love hearing about Colum's heart, such a great gift to another family. Your attitude is amazing. You do many angels watching over you and your family but you are an angel to all of us reading and following your story. Thank you.

    Praying for you and Ryan.

    The Baker Family

  9. I am so grateful for your posts. You talk about angels but the one angel I see is YOU! The lives you are touching in ways you have no idea. To share such personal things in order to help us all remember the little things in life that we may take for granted. Words aren't enough, but THANK YOU!

  10. Thank you Kelly! You are so strong!! And I too am so grateful for your posts.

    You really have inspired me in more ways than I can list, both You and Ryan. You guys are truly amazing and strong people. You are the ANGELS!! Colum and Finn are both so blessed to have you as parents.
    Being able to donate Colum's heart brings tears of happiness to my eyes and an indescribable warmth to my heart & soul. It's truly amazing.

    I am following all of your updates and blog everyday (of course in tears) & am overwhelmed with gratitude and hope. I wish the Pack family nothing but peace,perserverance,strength,happiness and everlasting love.

    I am very honored to be able to help you all in your time of need and I will continue to help in all the ways I'm able to for as long as it takes to get you and Ryan back home, healthy, stress free and Happy again.

    THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart.

  11. Wow Kelly...Since the accident, I have thought about you and your family daily. I have logged on to the website and Facebook looking for updates on you and your family. I can't begin to imagine the pain you are going through both physically and emotionally. My son, Landon was born on June 24, 2010 just a few days apart from your sweet Colum. I can't help but compare the two as your talk about his smile, Itsy Bitsy Spider and measuring spoons. It breaks my heart that you are dealing with all of this and I can't imagine the grief. However, I am filled with admiration as I read your updates and am reminded of what a strong and amazing person you are and helps remind me of all that is important in my life. Thank you for sharing your story...Micayla (Garrett)Dinkel

  12. Wow! It sounds like you and your family are the angels. How loving of you to even be able to think about the other family in what must of been the worst day ever. What a great gift you have given complete strangers you are amazing. Thank you so much allowing people who you have never met, nor most likely will you ever meet share this unimagable event with you. We came upon the wreck on our way home, the knot I felt in my stomache knowing that things didnt look good. On the drive home, we just hoped things would turn out for the family involved. I have thought of you and your darling family every day since, and pray that you can some how go on and heal. What a great example you been to so many. Thank you for sharing such a private time with us. Thoughts and prayers to you and your family, for comfort and healing.

  13. I want to add to the comments telling you that there are so many of us who do not know you but are thinking of you and sending you thoughts, prayers, and wishes of love. I came to your blog from my dear friend Julie's (inthequietheartishidden.blogspot.com), she lost her sweet 14 month old son Jonah in an accident at the end of September. In October I miscarried a baby boy at 20 weeks and at the beginning of December our dear friends lost their 7 year old son, my son's best friend, to complications from an infection. Thank you so much for sharing your story and giving us a glimpse of the love you have for your family. God bless!

  14. May I never take for granted the blessings in my life. I will continue praying for you and your precious family.

  15. The Night by Carol Lynn Pearson

    Is a narrow thing,
    Tight against
    My breath --
    Begging an answer
    To unanswerable

    I’m remembering
    A sunrise.
    I saw the bright
    Quick streams of light
    Sing gold across
    The sky.
    And it came to me then
    How essential
    Is the night:
    For only from dark
    Do we know dawn
    At all.

    the memory lets
    One small solace in.
    If we must endure an end
    To know the endless --
    Oh, gladly
    will I let you go:
    that when I see you
    Standing at the door
    To that more
    Permanent place,

    How quickly
    I’ll recognize
    The eternal
    In your embrace.

    I wanted to share this with you.. I found it on another blog of a mother who lost her sweet boy and hope you can find some solice and peace in it.
    Much love to you and yours.

  16. Kelly,
    I have not been able to get you out of my mind since I heard your story. We've never met but please know that I am thinking of you. I am so sorry for all that your family is going through.

  17. I, too, do not know you on a personal level, but my heart aches for you every single day. Please know your recovery and strength is an inspiration. May you find healing and peace in the coming days, weeks, months. Much love to your family.

  18. I'd like to share a poem with you. My mother wrote this not long after her 2 year old brother was killed:

    DEATH by Rebecca Danner

    The comforting sight of the ambulance rounds the corner.
    And speed to the curb there a limp
    And almost lifeless child lay.
    A big crowd of observers curiously
    Stand by.
    And the grieving mother desperately asks,
    “Will he be okay?”

    The child is placed in the ambulance.
    A mother and daughter climb in with their
    Loved one.
    And who in the world could have had
    The nerve,
    To take a life? It was hit-and–run.

    What a cold chilling drive to the hospital,
    And the daughter puts her arm around
    Her mother and says, “Please don’t cry.”
    But the only response the mother offers
    Is the question, “Why?”

    For over two hours at the hospital
    The only thing on which the child
    Could thrive,
    Was by machines with pins and
    Needles stuck in his arm.
    What a way to stay alive.

    Suddenly the Father bursts into the
    Waiting room.
    After traveling for hours from a business trip.
    He sees his wife and daughters’
    Tear stained face,
    And he too had a quivering in his lip.

    Less than an hour later
    The doctor entered with eyes fixed
    On the floor.
    With a shake of the head and
    Unbearable pain,
    Each soul cried from every pore.

    We lived a thousand lives that night
    And it’s true he’s just gone away.
    But there’s no doubt in my mind
    That I will see that sweet little spirit
    Again someday.

    1. What a tragedy for your mother and her parents. Heartbreaking...yet beautiful.

  19. Such amazing words Kelly you have a great way of writing. It almost gives me flash backs of my past surgeries. I'm so happy Collum's heart was able to help someone, thats amazing how all these things tie together so well. Just reassures me that there is a plan and your sweet baby will be waiting for you. Thanks for sharing your experience with us! We all need to be inspired, you do this.

  20. Kelly, I love you and your family! We have never met but I am so immersed in the situation and feel such overwhelming emotion regarding it. Colum is on my mind, in my prayers, and in my heart every day. You mentioned before that you are living your worst nightmare, and even though you are living my worst nightmare, I know that I can't even begin to imagine the bitter pain of this loss. Please don't ever feel alone. I am so in the trenches with you in spirit. Thank you for sharing your experience- I'm so much more aware of my time with my son and daughter and have been having richer moments with them due to that awareness. Love you guys!


  21. Kelly, your blog is brave and I am glad to have come across it. I've never met you, but like so many others, you and your family will be in my prayers and thoughts. You have leagues of people who will hear your story and be inspired by the love you have for your beautiful family. A mothers love is a powerful thing that will live on forever. I am deeply affected by hearing your story as our children are the same ages. I pray you continue to see the tender mercies in your life despite the unimaginable loss and pain you feel and are able to receive the comfort that will begin to heal your heart...one tiny fracture at a time. You are the angel to me today. Thank you for telling your story so candidly.
    Love, Kacey in Draper

  22. Kelly you are amazing. There is no grief worse then losing a child, and it comes in waves. Some days you feel like you will never pull through and you really don't want to. Other days are better. At first the bad days are clustered all together. Soon there will be good days again. But the pain does come in waves. They go from the highest of the high, to the lowest of the low. The waves tend to settle down after awhile. I hope for you, that your waves settle down soon. Keep writing, it helps.

  23. Oh, Kelly. Tears are dripping off my face as I write this. I'm Jane Chipman's sister and have been following your story from Oregon since Day 1. I have shared your story with my friends here. What happened to you and your family has touched many lives. Bless you and Ryan and Finn. You all are in our prayers. I am blown away by your strength. I can't even fathom what you've gone through. I send you my love.


  24. Thank you, thank you, Kelly for sharing your story. I talk to Brett and always try to get an update because I've followed your story from day one. I have also shared your story with friends and family and your experience has touched so many lives. You will be SOOO glad you kept a journal of this chapter in your life. Our prayers are still going up...always. God bless you and Ryan and Finn.
    -Lori in Layton

  25. I have been following your story since the day following Christmas... would you have ever thought that your family and your words would make it all the way to North Dakota?! I keep you in my prayers often, and follow-up on your family's progress. I don't even know you, but cry imagining the pain you have struggled through. You have an amazing supportive family, and I am glad you don't have to go this alone. And your writing is amazing, and I'm sure it's a great coping mechanism. Keep strong, and thanks for sharing your fight so openly.

  26. Kelly you are such a strong person for writing down your thoughts and memories about the accident. You have opened my eyes and made me take a look at the little things in life I was taking for granted. I hug my babies tighter and longer and now embrace the nightly pajama wrestling (which since reading this post makes me cry every night). I now only get on my computer during nap time and spend all my free time with my kids 18m and 5. I pass the accident site every time I go to my moms house and still can't go by without crying and saying a little prayer for you all. I look forward to reading more updates and pray that your body heals quickly so you can return home with Ryan and Finn. Your strength amazes me.

  27. I don't know you, but wanted to let you know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I lost my sister in a car accident the week before Christmas this year. It is so hard to lose someone you love so much. I pray that you will feel the comfort of God and the love of those all around you. Thank you for sharing your story. You have a very special angel watching over you now. Bless you and your family.

  28. All of your words are amazing and even more the fact that you allow us into this personal journey of yours and your family. I know you thank all your "Angels", but for now I am going to call you one of mine, and thank you. I am touched beyond words and my eyes are weeping. I am a mama, I promise you I will think twice before complaining about my "teenagers", and how hard being a mom is, because I know you would do anything to have your son. I am better because of this, and I know that may not mean much or even become close to taking the edge off your pain. I know we are all children of God. You are my sister somehow in the scheme of things, and my knees will touch the floor tonight for the first time in a very long time for you and your little family. Thank you for letting us in. I will do all I can to help you and your family. Again Thank you...

  29. I don't know you but i know jennele and ive been reading this blog and you have really touched me and all of my love and prayers go towards you and your family.

  30. Ugh. I just feel so angry that this could all be taken in away in an instant. I am so sorry. I cannot even imagine the pain, I have 16 month old twins. I don't know how I would survive this. God bless you and your family, and I hope you can all find strength and peace and comfort in each other.

  31. I was directed to your blog today by a friend. My husband recieved a life saving transplant last year thanks to a family who in their hour of distress blessed a life. You made a brave choice in such a difficult time, thank you. I cannot imagine your pain and suffering. I am so sorry for your loss. Please know that I am praying for your family.

  32. Fantastic work guys im a fan of your website.

  33. Dear Kelly, I can’t help but hold back my tears after reading your story. It must’ve been very hard and painful to have gone through such a terrible tragedy. I can only imagine how you felt when you discovered what happened to your baby. However, I really do admire you for remaining strong and faithful despite everything. The fact that you decided to donate Colum’s heart to another child is truly inspiring and moving. I agree that there are so many people around us who serve as angels. Family, friends, and strangers alike are all innately good people. Now you have Colum watching over you too. Wishing you all the best always.

    Guadalupe Puthoff

  34. I really appreciate your post and you explain each and every point very well.Thanks for sharing this information.

  35. Hi Kelly, you are a very inspiring and strong woman. Your story is just so moving, no wonder everyone was in tears when they read it. I am sure that you have touched so many people. I think that your immediate decision to donate Colum’s heart to save another child’s life is just heroic. I am sure that Colum couldn’t be any more proud to have such a selfless mother like you.

    Fe Penley