::pack:: of fixations

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


Two Monkeys

Often Finn blows us away.  His memory is incredible.  He's the most observant boy I've ever known.  The first time I was interviewed by the media and was on news I attempted to get dressed, put makeup on, and do my hair...it took every bit of energy I had.  I ended up back in the hospital a few days after the interview and at the time I was still using a comode, a walker, and a shower chair.  

I was sitting in our lazy boy and they had just finished setting up the cameras and other equipment.  Finn walked in and barely glanced at me.  I remember he looked up at me & stared into my eyes as he said, "you have sparkles on your eyes".  He was talking about my eyeshadow, he hadn't seen me wear it in a long time.  At the ripe old age of 3 he would always compliment me on my eyeshadows especially the ones with sparkles.  My face lit up.  Our relationship wasn't back to where it used to be and it hurt so badly, but my son noticed my eyeshadow like he always used to BC.  The cameras were rolling.  I think I gave him a huge hug for I was home with one of my sons again and it was so much better than where I'd been.  

He gave me hope at that moment.

Hope that I could do this.

Hope that he would come back to me.

It was a genuine moment and most people probably couldn't hear or understand what we said but I was so glad that moment had been captured.

For the past maybe 3-4 weeks Finn has been sleeping with 2 stuffed monkeys.  He's never been very attached to any of his stuffed animals before.  So it was a little unusual to watch him bring them from his bed and put them on the couch and put a blanket on them so they can watch a movie with him.  And every night after we read his book and tuck him in he's sure to make sure there's a monkey on either side of him.  

About a week ago he said, "Mom look I got my monkeys".  One of them was a gift while we were in the hospital.  It's from the company scentsy and has a zipper to put little packets of scents inside them to make children's rooms smell good.  He always makes me smell it and the smell makes me vomit in my mouth a little bit because I'm pregnant but I don't want to hurt his feelings.  Finn bringing out his monkeys wasn't anything new so I acknowledged them and nodded my head without any thought.  "Mom, this one is me and this one is Colum".  I quickly turned and scanned the monkeys.  I recognized the stinky one, but the other didn't quite register.  But, of course I've loved his monkeys all the more now that I know his meaning.

I got a comment just a few hours ago from an old post.  It was from some one who stumbled onto my blog randomly and watched the funeral video.  I read her kind words and clicked on the post to see what it was about.  I had talked about the funeral video in it and shared the link.  I haven't watched the funeral video in months, I used to watch it almost everyday.  I clicked on the link and watched it.  I was alone parked in my driveway with the car running and I began to cry.

I have a sort of ritual of always saying "Hi baby" when it shows him lying so peacefully in his casket, "I miss you baby, I miss you so much".  Ry and I were in critical condition and weren't able to attend the burial service.  But as the image of his closed casket at the cemetery appeared on the screen I began to shed different tears.  For there right on top is the other monkey.  The Colum monkey.  

We aren't 100% moved in yet and nothing is decorated.  But somehow this monkey made it through the move, has been unpacked, and ended up in Finn's arms.  I now know it brings him comfort.  He misses his brother.  His 3 year old brain remembered this monkey from that cold January day.  Maybe it's Colum's way of saying Hi, I'm with you always.  The crazy thing is, we ended up with hundreds of stuffed animals.  I'm not sure where they all came from or why they were at our house when I got home. 

Hi baby.
Miss you baby, we miss you so much.

P.S. Some one posted this article called "The trauma of being alive" on FB and I loved it.  To read it click here.


  1. So happy for Finn that he has found his own way of taking Colum with him everywhere. What an important part of healing.
    Thinking of you and the triplets...and Colum.
    Always Colum.

  2. What a good article. Thinking of you and your family...

  3. I'm glad Finn has his TWO monkeys!! In my life hummingbirds...those fleeting, fast moving, little magical birds...are what remind me of those who I have lost. The article is spot on..I used to think the same thing about others...why do they hold on to the grief? why are they still so sad? Then...it happened to me. Now I know that the heartache of losing a most beloved person in your life is life-changing, life-altering, and no it never goes away. But I chose to forge on (alone) but knowing that everything will somehow work out. And it did...I have my cute little grandson and his wonderful parents in my life. Life is not perfect but it is my life!!

  4. I have chills. Your little Finn blows me away. I can't imagine how such a tiny boy could wrap his mind around everything that he has been through. It's inspiring to see the little things he's come up with to give him comfort.

    1. I too am inspired by Finn and his understanding of what happened and how he clings to what he has left of his little brother Colum. Just beautiful...

  5. Kelly as i have said be4 i get totally excited when you post sounds like you are doing awesome i sure hope so chat with you next time thanks again

  6. Kelly - what a beautiful story. What a great reminder of the strength and resilience and simple love children have. They see the hidden meanings in things we often miss. Finn is wise beyond his years. Much love - Sara!

  7. This is so lovely. Finn loves his brother! It's amazing that he can remember such little details and then transforms them into this beautiful sentimental expression. He will never forget Colum! I know none of you will, and none of us will because you are so good at keeping his memory alive. I watched the funeral video after reading this. I've only watched it maybe 2 other times and that was just after the crash. Still makes me cry so much! It is beautifully done. I saw Colums monkey :) Love you tons!! ...Heidi

  8. Tears! That Finn is wise beyond his years. Thank you for sharing this precious experience with us. Thinking of you!

  9. This is so very beautiful Kelly! When I first brought up your blog all I could see was the picture of the monkeys. I thought to myself...that monkey looks familiar. Then when I started reading...I knew it, I just knew it! How very special that you find these little things even now. Your baby is always going to be with you!!

  10. Kelly, you still holding tight with your three little ones? Tired, oh I can't imagine. But it's been a week and every week is just one more week closer.


  12. It breaks my heart to read this. I've been following your blog since your accident and my boys are really close in age to yours. To think of them not having had each other for as long as Finn's been without Column makes me cry. I hope saying this doesn't add to your grief. I just wanted to let you know that I will never forget Column & your story. I think about you often and pray for you. I'm so happy that you and your family are finding happiness. Love you!