::pack:: of fixations

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



We all went to the Good Grief concert the other night and listened to some very talented artists.  I met a lot of Mother's who've also lost children and was warmly welcomed into the tragic club.  We had a beautiful time, but I have to admit I'm still struggling to get used to this.  You never expect your baby to leave this earth, the second they hand you your newborn baby for the first time.  This was never in my future plans.  My thirties were going to be the best years of my life, and I had 2 beautiful boys and the perfect husband and marriage to prove it.  We were gonna go camping and fishing, I would complain about all the baseball games I had to go to with my 2 boys being so close together.  I would roll my eyes when they tracked mud through the house and when girls called.  But, now I have a new future.  One of mourning, tears, a broken heart, and aching arms.  I except it.  I'm just not used to it.

I've been needing to feel close to him lately, I needed to talk to him.   I shamefully realized I've barely gone to his grave and never by myself.  I started crying, or was I already crying?  I think I'm strangely not attached to his grave because we were unable to attend the burial.  We are still working on the headstone.  And some days it just doesn't seem real.  I jumped up out of bed, went and picked up my prescription with tears streaming down my face.  I think most of the town knows our story.  If they don't I don't care, I just am a lady that cries openly in public now.  I found his mound of dirt decorated with windmills, silk flowers, toys, and lots of other colorful things.  It helped it look a lot happier than just an empty square of dirt.   I haven't been able to kneel down on my knees so I just lied down on the grass and cried.  I didn't know if or how I'd be able to stand back up.  I lied there and talked to my baby.  I know what's underneath that dirt.  It's apart of my soul.  It's a hero.  It's my Colum.

I know a lot of people are wondering how Finn is handling this.  I think he's still getting used to our new life too.  When we talk about Colum he laughs and you can see there is a memory playing in his head of his baby Brother behind his brown eyes.  He doesn't cry.  He doesn't understand why Mommy cries.  He misses his brother but doesn't understand how big of a tragedy this is.  I think we are lucky that he is at an age where he thinks he can be Spiderman when he grows up and the affects of this don't seem to traumatize him.  

We are trying to think of what to put on our babies headstone.  I casually asked some friends if they had any ideas and the most perfect words started coming out of our friend Jane's mouth.  It's from a book her mother-in-law gives to all her grandchildren when they are born.  The book is called 'Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You'.

We wanted you more 
than you ever will know,
so we sent love to follow 
wherever you go.

You are our angel, our darling, 
our star... and our love will find you, 
wherever you are.

(I changed the I's to we's and the my's to our's)

We are still trying to choose a picture and few other things on the front.  I'm thinking a dove and maybe some honeysuckles (Colum's birth flower tattooed on Daddy's back).  The stone we chose is dark green.  And we want most of the writing to be white, so it pops out.  I also, want it to be simple, classic, not too ornate.  

Any thoughts or great ideas?  


  1. Those words are perfect. I think the green and white is a beautiful idea. You're doing great, considering the pain you're carrying with you always. I never got to know my baby girl. I carried her to term and she surprised us by being born asleep. All I have left of her now are pictures, the outfit she wore for those brief moments, and an urn I don't know what to do with. My heart is always with you and your family.

  2. I have been reading your blog the past few months but am not sure if I ever commented. Just want you to know I am thinking of you and your sweet boy. Many prayers for continued healing.

  3. the words are so, so perfect. i am thinking about you and your family and sending good thoughts and prayers your way. your precious angel boy is watching you everyday and smiling at your strength. you will meet again one day. lots of love.

  4. I think those words are perfect. Something else that jumped into my head are the words from "Love You Forever" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_You_Forever) The line goes: "I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be." I'm sure whatever you pick will be beautiful.

  5. The words are perfection. Your grief is so palpable in your words. This Momma mourns with you, for you...all the way from PA. Thank you for sharing your story. You make me pause every day with my little ones. My 18 month old smacks my face when I ask for a kiss. It hurts. But today when he did it, I stopped before telling him to touch gently, I thought you had said column did that, and I thanked God for the sting. Then I offered up a prayer for your broken heart. Your strength is inspirational and your honesty refreshing.

  6. Those words are so beautiful and are perfect for his headstone. Your writing always makes me cry. I am so sorry for how painful everything feels right now. Remember that your future is bright and that it won't always involve tears and mourning. I hope that you feel close to your sweet baby each day. I know he misses you just as much as you miss him. Have no regrets with how you lived while he was on the earth. You loved him with all of your heart and he knows that.

  7. Kelly, that would be such a beautiful inscription and perfect memorial to Colum. I don't feel close to anyone I've lost at their grave site. I think it's because they are not there. It's just the place where the body was laid to rest. I believe he is much closer to you at home, really wherever you are. You don't have to go to his grave to feel close to that angel--he's with you all the time. Never be ashamed of your tears. I think it's good for both you and Ryan to express your grief freely, because getting it out and letting it flow will help you to heal. It would be ok to get some grief counseling, too, when you feel the time is right. So happy that Finn is remembering the good times with his brother.

  8. My mother in-law sent that book to my boys. I love it. Those words are perfect. There is another book by the same author, Nancy Tillman, called "On the Night You Were Born." The last two pages of the book always choke me up when I read it to my boys.

    "For never before in story or rhyme
    (not even once upon a time)
    has the world ever known a you, my friend,
    and it never will, not ever again...

    Heaven blew every trumpet
    and played every horn
    on the wonderful, marvelous
    night you were born."

    I saw you at the concert the other night, but you were always surrounded, so I didn't get to come say hi, but I did get to say hi to your husband and Finn. Finn very proudly told me he is three :) What a doll! I wish there was something I could do for you and your family. You are loved by so many people who don't even know you!

  9. I LOVE everything about your idea, and......my heart aches for you. I pray for your peace and happiness. Remember the sweet times with your precious Colum, your Angel and a hero.

  10. I think your ideas are perfect. You have again amazed me with your honesty and strength.Its so apparent that your angel baby has gathered an armies of angels to watch over his family, and giving his mommy strength she didn't know she had. It always amazes me you can have so much caring and so much respect for some one you have never met.Good thoughts and prayers for you Kelly. Stay strong. All though theses are simple words from a fictional person, they remind me of you.

    “If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together.. there is something you must always remember. you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. but the most important thing is, even if we're apart.. i'll always be with you.” Winnie the pooh.

  11. Kelly....my heart breaks right along with you. I have lost a child too....not under the same circumstances but never the less someone that should be in my life isnt there anymore and it flippin hurts. I think about you every day and I pray for you as well. I am so sorry you cant hold your Colum anymore, cant talk to him and see his reaction...I am so so sorry. They say with time it gets easier...I am not there yet and it has been two and a half years....but I am hoping one day it happens for me. I know I will never forget, and I dont want to. I just want to try and make it thru a day without crying. You are so strong and so amazing, thank you for blogging about yout precious love. It is comforting to me to "know" other Mommas miss their babies just as much as I do. I am not crazy.....
    Your Friend from Tennessee, Meredith

  12. I also LOVE "On the Night You Were Born". My Mother gave it to me my first Christmas as a Mom. I can honestly tell you I have read it a total of twice. It makes me cry when I read it, the beauty of the story and all. Whatever you guys choose it will be beautiful. Jessica

  13. Kelly, I think what you have above is beautiful. I am so sorry you are having to do this. I hope you were able to feel close to Colum at his grave today. :(


  14. I love the e.e. cummings poem too---

    i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
    my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
    i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
    by only me is your doing, my darling)
    i fear
    no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
    no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
    and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
    and whatever a sun will always sing is you

    here is the deepest secret nobody knows
    (here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
    and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
    higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
    and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

    i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

  15. When my sister's son was born into the Arms of God at 39wks, they chose a photo I took of his tiny toes, and they were able to have it ingraved in the headstone. It was amazing how real, and how close to the photo it looks! Its just an idea, if you have photos of his chubby hands or feet that you would want to have on there...it is possible to do! You are all in our hearts and prayers way over here in Pennsylvania!

  16. Dear Heavenly Father:
    Our little dove so sweet and true
    Left our arms to be with you
    His time on earth has come to an end
    But he will forever be Finn’s best friend
    We will miss his snuggles and his big blue eyes
    But in our hearts he forever lies
    So hold him close and hold him dear
    and let him know
    mommy and daddy are always here

  17. I love it! The thought of you thinking about what to put on your childs headstone makes me so sad Kel. Wow who would have ever thought. I think a dove is perfect. Loves!

  18. Kelly, I think what you have put is beautiful. I think whatever you engrave on his headstone will be perfect because it is from you, his loving amazing Mother. My heart breaks for you and the loss of your baby. I can't imagine the pain you are dealing with each day. A mother should never have to bury their child. It is just not right. My prayers will continue for you and your sweet family.

  19. I cannot imagine having to pick out a headstone for my baby along with what to put on it. Those words are beautiful. You need to put on the headstone things that have the most meaning for your family. I love the Dove and honeysuckle idea. I also love that Ryan has that tattooed on his back. Let us know when the headstone is up...I would love to go see how beautiful it turns out.

  20. Those words are precious, everything you mentioned sounds like it's going to be beautiful! Thanks for letting us know how Finn's doing, I bet he does think of him and misses him!
    I still think of you all everyday and look forward to your new posts!

    Take care!

  21. Oh sweet girl! I just want to HUG you! I can't put into words the anguish I feel in my heart for you. As a mom, I know that your heartache must be unsurmountable. You are doing amazing! Your strength is very admirable. I hope that I am one day fortunate enough to meet you in person for that hug. Please know that I still pray for you, everyday. I know that is seems that the rest of the world has moved on while you are stuck in this "vortex" of pain, but there are so many people praying for you and sending you their thoughts and love from afar. Me being one. XOXOX

  22. The words seem so perfect for your little Colum, just beautiful and touching. You are amazing!!
    Keep the posts coming because they are inspiring to so many and have touched my life.
    I think of you daily and your little family is always in my prayers.
    Colum is a child of Light and you will see him again one day! Thanks goodness for that knowledge!!!

  23. I can't even imagine how hard it has been for you. I think about you every time I hear this song, it is different from the original version.

    1. This version is much better. I like it.

  24. oh wow, just watched the video from above on youtube. I like that version a lot more and of course I am bawling...

  25. I haven't commented before now but I have been reading your blog since your accident. I am so sorry for what your family has had to go through and so sorry for your loss of Colum. He was precious. Love, love, love the wording above. Perfect.

  26. Love your posts, you're stronger than you realize and I pray for you everyday. I only hope you know how much you help us all to realize just how important life really is. Cherish your memories with your beautiful little Colum, he is forever yours :) Happy Easter!

  27. I love the words and the idea of hunny suckle and the dove, it's beautiful.
    Marissa, MI

  28. My family recently finalized a headstone for my youngest brother who died a nearly a year ago... we chose a beautiful black granite bench. I agree it's important to have it "just right." I am so sorry for the new path your family is on. Keep your faith. Much love and prayers.