::pack:: of fixations

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



I remember the last thing I wanted to do was plan or talk about his funeral before it happened.  I remember telling my parents that We didn’t want it to be religious because our little family just wasn’t that way.  I requested to sing itsy bitsy spider because that was his favorite song.

You see where we live everybody is Mormon & we both grew up that way.  Throughout my childhood I was taught that you’d never be happy without going to church & following it’s doctrine.  I always felt terrified as a child because I knew attending church meetings would be very difficult for me to do as an adult, because I honestly hated going.  And if my parents (& sister) weren’t there to make me, I was going to be damned for sure.  The first Sunday of every month the congregation is welcome to get up & speak to bare their testimonies.  People would often get up & sob about their relatives becoming inactive & I vividly remember gasping at the thought.  I will tell you if you don’t already know that leaving the church is scary.  No one ever gets up & speaks about that.  The people they get up & cry about probably struggled for years, & felt so.much.shame.  People think if you leave it’s because of Satan, but I left because of how it made me feel.

We couldn’t leave the hospital so we crammed as many people as we could in the chapel at the hospital for the viewing as we could.  They put Ryan & I in “cardiac” chairs (I believe) so we could sit up & we both remember how much those chairs made our poor bones ache!  There was a man there that my mom kept getting really excited about.  Everything’s kinda blurry now so bare with me.  This man had a heart condition that my late brother had had, yet the Drs were able to save his life since technology had greatly improved by the time he was born.

I remember singing itsy bitsy spider & that my oldest sister played the piano.  But all I remember besides those two things is that the man my mom had recently met, spoke at my baby’s viewing.  He spoke longer than anyone else.  And he spoke primarily about Mormon things, as Ryan & I sat feeling disrespected. I had but one request & my parents weren’t about to give it to me.  During my sons funeral the man spoke of Joseph Smith & it took all I had not to just scream at him, there, in front of everyone.  During his talk he also brought up how we’d requested the service to not be about religion but then continued to talk more about it.  I felt degraded & invalidated.  He later came to my hospital room to give me a signed copy of his book.  My mom must’ve noticed my lack of interest in it & I handed her the book as she acted like I’d handed her a million dollars.

If I could go back to that day right now, I would have yelled out at this man during Colum’s Service.  I wouldn’t have cared one bit.  But at the time I was too afraid of offending the Mormons whom were offending the hell out of me.

As I sit & reflect on this day now that I have a clearer head & emotional state I see it for what it is.  The speaker helped my mom make OUR tragedy about HER.  She adored this man not for who he was but because of his heart condition.

After the viewing we were wheeled into a private room somewhere & it was just Ryan, my parents, & I.

I could FEEL that something just wasn’t right.  My mom was trying to distract me from what my dad was trying to tell Ryan.  I kept turning my head towards them and noticed my mothers nervousness each time.  I kept ignoring her & asking him directly, “what’s going on?”.

My father was trying to tell Ryan that he had blessed our kids into the Mormon church, without ever even asking us.  It’s not a blessing per day but more of putting them on church records.  We, their parents chose NOT to do that when they were babies since we ARE NOT MORMON any longer.  It’s still funny to me that despite my drugged up state I literally could feel my fathers controlling, unethical ways.  Never looking for my best interests only his own.

My dad loves to go fishing.  He used to have a boat & he would take his grandsons fishing in the Summers.  He’d take his grandsons, just not Finn.  Two Summers ago I mentioned this to him & the rest of the summer flew by without one single invite.  Finn loves fishing possibly more than most little boys you know & then some.  He had no idea that he was being left out & like myself doesn’t care if he’s the favorite or not.  So the Summer before last I finally got an invite for Finn to go with his grandpa & cousins.  I drove Finn down to my parents house, he was to spend the night & go with them early in the morning.  As I went inside their house, I could FEEL that something was up.  It was the same feeling I’d gotten before but I couldn’t quite pin it until I was driving on the freeway back home.

Finn was about to turn 8 in a few weeks following.  My Dad wasn’t taking my beautiful non-Mormon son fishing out of love, he was taking him because he was turning 8.  And the age of 8 is when Mormon kids get baptized.  I smiled to myself because I know my son wouldn’t be easily swayed.  I am continually saddened by what I know Mormons like my parents think of people like me.  I know this because it’s what I was taught.

I remember watching an Oprah episode years ago where she asked the audience if there was one thing they could go back & change about their life what would it be.  A man who looked to be my dad’s age at the time stood up & said something like this, “I wish I could go back in time & love everybody in my life, & not let what religion they are get in the way”.  I still close my eyes & say a little prayer in my heart for all the brave, satanic people like myself, that maybe one day, their Dads heart can open up to love instead of religious obligations like the man I saw on Oprah did.


  1. Hi, I have a family like yours with the gaslighting and all things Mormon. We arent Mormon anymore and our kids never have been. Anyway, I like reading your posts and I relate on so many parts. I am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful child and the pain family has caused you. I know I cannot relate to your loss or understand, but I think you are an incredible person.

  2. I have followed your blog a long time. You are amazingly strong and I am heartbroken for you and your husband and how you were treated at the funeral. I am also no longer Mormon. My husband and I were raised in the church, married in the temple then saw it for what it was. My kids are not mormon either. It has been a challenge for sure especially with a 13 year old daughter who is getting asked why she doesn't go and gets invited all the time. I hope she will thank us one day. I also have a 9 year old who does scouts. This is fun for him but irritating because scouts is suppose to be for anyone of any religion or background, but it is funny how church lessons are still brought up. Luckily my 5 year old doesn't have any idea about any of this yet. Anyways, you are not alone.

  3. As a committed Mormon with family who have left the church, I am appalled at your parents' behavior. It is not what the gospel or Christ is about, and they are NOT living their religion. I am so sorry for the hypocrisy and manipulation that you have suffered. I admire your courage in standing up to that evil, and I hope you continue to be raise your sweet kids to be full of integrity. God bless!