::pack:: of fixations

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


Killing time

"Good Grief".  I remember my Mom and Aunts using this expression as a child.  They usually used it when something was irritating or out right ridiculous.  Not sure where this expression came from but it makes sense because no grieving is good; calling it good is obsurd.  Grieving being good for you, now that's the philosophical question.

I believe you truly learn and grow so much from bad experiences, but I never wanted or expected this one.  The way humans grieve hasn't changed over time.  There's not necessarily a medication you can take, not a pill you can swallow that can take away this ailment.  It's definitely the most hopeless and vulnerable pain there is.  I now understand why women were supposed to wear black while in mourning.  So people wouldn't be alarmed when they broke down into hysterics over nothing.  People treated you with care because you were vulnerable, you were suffering, you were wearing black.  Not like when your boyfriend stops loving you and you feel like your world is over because deep down there is still hope.  Hope he will want you again or hope that you will find some one new.  Not like when your group of friends rejected you in middle school and you had no one to sit by at lunch and so you grabbed your orange and ate in the bathroom stall hoping to not be found and keep your sadness a mystery.  Not like when for years you can't get pregnant and you are terrified you never will.  You try everything and refinance your house to pay for it because there's hope, hope that you will get to have what others have.  A family.  

Colum.  No matter how much I hope, no matter how hard I work, or how many tears I cry I can't get you back.  I think in my mind when I get pregnant, I imagine it will be you.  I'm constantly reminding myself that it won't be you.  I WANT IT TO BE YOU.  You looked like me.  You looked like my brothers.  You looked like my Mom.  Your smile was everything.  You made me like my own smile because in it I saw you.  You were so strong and you loved balls and throwing everything down the stairs.  Uncle Chad and I were talking about you today, He couldn't believe how much you were looking like Uncle Scott (my brother) when you died.  I couldn't believe you looked like me, I don't think any of my siblings have children who looked so much like our side of the family.  And you're gone!  My child who looked like me the one with my smile, the one with my temper, and a talent for making people laugh is gone. 

Tonight was Halloween.  Remember how you just started walking (finally) last Halloween.  We pushed you around Grandma's neighborhood in the stroller and it was really nice weather.  You loved riding in the stroller.  You loved eating suckers.  Remember Mom could barely walk cause I'd just ran my big race a few days earlier.  I remember feeling so happy.  I had everything I ever wanted.  I've never felt so content.  You would have probably dressed up as Lightning McQueen.  It's the costume Finn chose when he was 2 and it used to light up.  We pulled it out of the Halloween box and we were saddened you weren't here to wear it.  It doesn't light up anymore.  How ironic.  You should be here to wear it.  You would've loved Halloween.  It was so hard and always is hard having one of my boys here without the other.  

I'm in some sort of a manic-depression part of my grief.  I want to pack a bag and just go far away.  If the only thing that is supposed to help this pain is time then I want to go somewhere.  Far away.  No stress.  I will kidnap Ryan and Finn and take them with me. I want to live through the rest of this time away from here, from everything that reminds me of you.  It will kill me but this kills me anyway.  I want to run away from my problems and just kill time. 

Today was hard, actually this whole week was hard.  I think one of the hardest parts of grieving is reminding yourself that they aren't coming back.  The world keeps turning and Christmas will keep coming.  Maybe we will become Jewish, skip Christmas and celebrate Hanukkah.  Ryan went to a new Dr yesterday and was told his leg will always stay paralyzed.  I cried, or was I already crying?   I used to be happy.  I used to be funny.  Now I'm just sad.  I'm depressed.  I'm grieving.  
Grief is not good.
Grieving is exhausting.

-Colum please send me another baby that looks like me, that looks like us... as selfish as that sounds.  Kids were going to tease you about your squinty eyes, the way they did me and I would tell you that they were just jealous and that they were beautiful & unique. You were going to give me grandbabies that looked like us and we were going to secretly be happy but also feel sorry for them.  They were going to get our wide feet and our toenails.  Their fingers would bend backwards really freakishly far and every finger would also be double jointed except for their thumbs.  Some of them would get my wrinkly palms and feet and Palm Readers would tell them they were 'Old Souls'.  We were going to laugh about it together and you would tell them it came from their Grandma and they wouldn't believe you until we showed them in person.  
...That's what was supposed to happen. 

[next day 11/1]:

I drove to the Hospital for my Dr appointment by myself.  They took my vitals.  "Your heartbeat is fast", they told me.  It's from driving here, I quickly responded.  I checked depression, anxiety, and joint pain on the form you fill out before the Doctor sees you.  The depression check is new.  I've been depressed this whole time, just never checked the box.  How do you tell the difference between grieving your 18 month old miracle, blue eyed baby who looks like you, has your temper, his Daddy's beautiful round head shape, your wide feet, and your toenails that grow up and depression?  It's all relative.  This is worse because there's no hope of him physically returning to our home.  I took a prescription for Prozac from my Doc. To at least just get you through the Holidays.  I wish Prozac would bring some hope but it's hopeless.  
Grieving is hopelessness.
Grieving doesn't end.

Time is of the essence.  


  1. Maybe that baby will be a little GIRL that looks exactly like you. With squinty eyes, curly blonde hair and effed up bendy fingers.
    Sad for Ry.
    I still think you're funny.

  2. I'm so sorry. I hope the holidays won't be too awful. Still praying there will be other miracle babies that look like you.

  3. Kelly you are amazing! Your writing is so raw and honest and emotional. I know that I am among many who have your blog bookmarked and check frequently to see if you'll update us on your life. We cry for you because your life has been turned so upside down and you don't deserve any of this. But you persevere and we thank you for continuing to let us peek in on you. There is not a lot any of us can do, but please know that you have a boatload of cheerleaders out here who have not forgotten about your or your sweet little baby and we think of you and pray for you often.

    Please Colum, send your momma a baby!!

    And I know it's too soon, but I've gotta tell you again, down the road, you have GOT to write a book!! YOU STILL ARE FUNNY! And honest and you draw us in. Hang in there sweet girl! I don't know you, I've never met you, (although sadly I do have a slight connection to your tragedy :( but I love you.

  4. hi kelly. i think i commented here some time ago, but just wanted to check in and let you know that i stop in here often to read your updates. sometimes i want to come over with my two boys so they an play with finn and i can just hug you. but that would require a plane flight.

    'good grief' is pretty ridiculous, i totally agree. totally something i would sit and ponder as well. Grief is raw and disabling. Two things that aren't really good to feel. and as crippling as grief is, to recognize that you are suffering great grief is actually an awesome and humbling quality. you are a solid person, in the midst of a lot of rubble and completely aware of your emotions.

    i was sitting and thinking where in the world have i heard grief and hope together before and then i remembered a quote from eat pray love. ironically, she too, goes 'away,' because the reality of what her life had become is much to harsh. so apparently you are not alone, and also not making a poor decision if you do do this. anyway, i am rambling...here is the quote:

    'Deep grief sometimes is almost like a specific location, a coordinate on a map of time. When you are standing in that forest of sorrow, you cannot imagine that you could ever find your way to a better place. But if someone can assure you that they themselves have stood in that same place, and now have moved on, sometimes this will bring hope”
    ― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

    And I know that you know you are not alone. This of course does not take your loss away or any less great, but that is where you can find your hope. That people have great grief, have a story, and persevere, and carry what they lost with them. Moving on, doesn't mean forgetting or leaving things in the past. It means moving onto a new chapter. And you are the author, Colum can always be a main character.

    “The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched, they are felt with the heart.”
    ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

    I'm pretty certain through the pictures I have seen and the stories you have told, that sweet Colum was one of those most beautiful things...how fortunate you are to be his mama.

    Thinking of you.

  5. Kelly, I love you. I love your family. I love your smiles, your anger, and your heart.

    Did you know that Norah's only double joint is her thumb? And that she gets that from her daddy? Just another connection of our babies.

    Sending love and kisses

  6. Kelly,

    I pray for you often. I pray to take some of your pain away. I do not know you but read your beautiful, painful words. I am so sorry. So very sorry.

  7. Good Grief... Very interesting term. Perhaps it is to express something unbelievable or so wrong? Like Grief being Good.

    Personally I would try the anti-depressants. Yes, your depression/anxiety situational but if it took the slightest edge of it off that would be a good thing right?

    Wishing and hoping the new year brings hope of the news of another baby for you and your family. One that looks just like you and Colum.

    Hugs to you all as ever. Amy

  8. “Only people who are capable of loving strongly can also suffer great sorrow, but this same necessity of loving serves to counteract their grief and heals them.”
    ― Leo Tolstoy

    So sorry for your pain.

  9. I love to read what you write cause you write from your heart! I'm sorry for everything you're going through. I pray that you and Ryan will have a little one soon and that Finn will be a big brother again. I still think of you all often!!


  10. Prozac is the one medication that helped me through my daughter's death. It helped me keep the panic/anxiety/why can't the whole world stop because I hurt so much feelings to a minimum. I just wanted the hurt to end. I wanted to give up. I wanted others to hurt like I did because I couldn't handle the hurt well myself. I spent a lot of time away from people because no one understood. My husband shut down completely. I had no one to talk to. It was so hard. It's been almost five years now and the loss is much easier to manage now. Of course, I had my son a year after Sadie died, and that in itself helped me get through it. I didn't move on, I just had a new little one to care about more than myself, and that helped a great deal. Much love to you. I know this is horrible, and horrible doesn't cover it.

  11. Good for you for trying the Prozac. It saved my life a few years ago--- honestly did. I'm proud of you, and I (and many others) keep reading, because we care about what you have to say.

  12. Depression whatever the reason really HURTS. For me it is a the family curse, so many family members either depressive or dead through suicide. Sorry, but the truth.

    If there is any wee bit of hope you can try be it anti-depressants, more exercise, therapy or whatever please pursue it.. There is NO shame in feeling down and depressed be it chemical or situation based.

    Just please get help. You would be giving your family such a great gift. Try the prescription for 2 months, see if it helps... See a therapist if possible.

    What you have gone through is horrific and with I am sure the support of all your readers it time to heal yourself and your family. Baby steps through medication and therapy.

    Wish I could offer more than cyber hugs but here I go... You are all forever in my thoughts.

  13. Colum still belongs to you and you still belong to him. You are both still learning and growing together and will continue to do so forever. The experience of grief is one you are having with him, for he is not far. We are put with those we love and want and need and that we have something to learn or teach. You two will always be inseparable and have all of time to spend with each other. Many, many more memories to make. Not these coming years on this earth in this mortality...but soon and forever. Just the thoughts of my heart for I have seen what a blink this life is...and it's purpose is to love and grow. Those you love, you will always have. And I hope this present time passes quickly for you. Xoxo - arrowsmithchic

  14. Lots of love and hugs and prayers for you!!! I am on prozac(fluoxetine) generic... It has made a huge difference for me! I hope it might help a little?? For you! I think you should go back to the beach with your family until the holidays are over... I am very sorry for your loss... I think about you and your sweet colum everyday!



  15. I just came across this blog while looking for a recipe and thought of you. Maybe you've seen it before, but it is a good concept and might have some helpful suggestions.


    So sorry, Kelly, that you are hurting so much. One thing I have learned is that everyone grieves differently, and there is no wrong way to go about it, no particular timeline that anyone can prescribe for you. It is a process, and you are finding your own way through it. I hope that you can discover ways to cope and to alleviate your burden of pain. Just know that so many people love and care about you. Hugs, my dear.

    Always thinking of you!

  16. Kelly, I am so, so sorry you are feeling so depressed. Column is with you every single day and every single moment. I know you want him here physically, as we all want for you. He will help you to have his little brother or sister. I was reading a story about the woman in New York or New Jersey who lost both her sons in the hurricane. I thought to myself, "how, how on earth does she take another breath?" While I am so devastated for you and your family on the loss of your precious Colum, I am so, so thankful you didn't lose your life, you are here. Your husband is here. And your sweet Finn is here. Sending love and prayers your way Kelly.

  17. I have never gone through anything so horrible as you have, but I can assure you, through deppression Prozac helped me sooo much. I know your depression is completely different then mine, so I just wanted to let you know, that I truly hope and pray for it to help you through the Holidays, and this rough part that keeps going. Good Luck, you and your family are always in my prayers.

  18. I wish I could point to a day on the calendar and tell you, "This is when your pain will cease." I wish I knew how to answer the question, "How many children do you have?" I wish the people who have never lost a child would never ask, "When will you get over losing your child and start moving on with life?" Losing a child is something you never, ever get over. You might get by, you might work through, you might hold on after losing a child, but it is not a loss you get over. I can promise you, though, that you will find joy and hope in increasing amounts as you process your grief. Someday, in your own time, you will find it is easier to breathe. You will go through the grocery store and not cry. You will even thrive in spite of your grief, as long as you get up almost every time you feel knocked down. You must ask for help when you need it, even if you don't want to admit you do. And with anti-depressants, remember that there are so many different ones, and you might try three before you find the one that fits you perfectly. I've tried five, and only one of them (Paxil) made me feel better. Your body will tell you what is right for you. While you live a lifetime moving toward Colum, he is in heaven, where eternity passes in the blink of an eye. From the time he arrived in heaven, he will blink his precious, squinty eyes, and you will be there beside him. Just promise to keep trying, keep moving, and keep sharing your progress with all of us who love you.