Tuesday, June 7, 2011


That wooshing sound? That is time flying.

The end of the school year is two weeks away (11 school days). My head is spinning with all of the things I need to get done in that time. Hello summer...I see you lurking and I can't wait to devote myself to you! Summer brings beach week, an online art ed course, exciting new lesson plans/curriculum writing and a FET cycle. Summer is going to fly, I can tell all ready!

We also just past the 6 month mark...six months since my life was turned upside down and my precious sons were gone. They have been gone longer than they were alive inside of me. That is a heart breaking thought...can it really have been so short of time? Saturday was a tough day but I burned off some of my energy planting flowers and re-doing the ring of stones around a tree in my front yard. The sweat and the hard work (occasionally with tears) made me feel much better. The quote "If I had a single flower for every time I thought of you, I could walk through my garden forever" (by A.L. Tennyson) has popped up in several places in the last two weeks. I think I would like to get a garden plaque with that on it in memory of my sweet peas.

About a week ago I received a fundraising letter from the NICU hospital Ethan was taken to...reading it I was beyond irritated. How the letter was written just did not sit well with me. I am usually not one to write a strongly worded letter, even though I joke about it. I had to write this letter...mostly because it was therapeutic,  but also because if I felt this way, someone else did too and might not be able to speak up like I was compelled to do. Here is my letter...

Dear ...

This week I received your fundraising letter, while I understand the hospital’s need to fundraise and the important benefits fundraising, I ask that you please remove our name from future fundraising endeavors for the two reasons listed below. This is a letter I debated writing, but felt compelled because I may be speaking up for not only myself, but others who are filled with similar grief and are unable.

First, the timing of this letter came at an extremely sensitive time for my husband and me. It was received mere days from the sixth month anniversary of the days our infant sons, William and Ethan, were born prematurely and died.  William was born still, but Ethan spent under 24 hours in the NICU at ... before he passed away. Grief is a unique experience for each individual and to be perfectly blunt receiving your letter so soon after we lost our infant sons was nothing short of insulting. Surely our name is in a database and that source of information, if it does not already, should have a date and reason for which we were added. Letters such as these should be respectful and sent after a reasonable amount of time; six months is far too soon.

Secondly, the blatant assumption that a parent had passed away doubled the insult. I am fully cognizant that a child dying before a parent is not natural – it is what I deal with every day as I remember my sons. If you wanted to keep the letter generic, it is my advice that you use only “cherished person” and leave out the notion that the loved one lost was a parent all together. I might have considered making a donation at a future date had the letter been more general.

When we gifted the receiving blankets to the NICU, we did it because of the kindness we received while Ethan was in their care and after his death. Any future gifts to ... will be made on our terms not at your request, so again I ask please remove us from your database.
With all of the thinking, crying and imaging I did this past weekend, I came to a realization that is hard to process. I have become very close to the teacher across the hall from me. We have been friendly ever since I started at this school and we definitely bonded over my pregnancy...but since I lost William and Ethan we have become incredibly close. She is my guardian angel and looks after me. We have become the best of friends. I had the realization that this would not have happened had they lived. I would not have returned to school for the rest of the year and we would not spend the time that we do together. I do not doubt that we would have continued to be friendly and possible become good friends, but not like we are now. I had to loose them to gain her as one of my best friends. Given the choice I would choose them every time, but I am so grateful to have Miss A in my life. I hate that my tragedy is linked to our friendship. I love her to pieces and do not know if I could have made it this far with out her. Perhaps she is my gift from them.


  1. Hang on for dear life, my friend. You have a lot going on and I know exactly how your feeling. Like the end of the school year isn't enough to deal with? Keep looking to the summer. Time and warm weather is healing.

  2. Good for you for writing that letter.
    I am glad you have found such a great friend in Miss A. I have learned a lot about friendship since losing my son and have often thought about it as a gift from him. Although I would prefer to him in back more than anything.
    Thinking of you

  3. (1) That letter is exactly right, and I hope that you saved another couple some grief. You deserve to get a written apology from them, too.

    (2) I hear you about the new friends who are lifelines. I have felt the same way about some relationships that have started or deepened that would never have occurred if I hadn't lost Eliza. Of course we'd trade all of it for our babies, but I do think of it as a small gift, a glimmer of love in all of this darkness.

    (3) I love that Tennyson quote.

  4. I'm so glad you wrote that letter. And I am SO glad that school is over soon (or already over?) for you. I know this summer will be very strange and hard, but the stress of being in front of young children while battling this hasty, horrible grief will have a break for a while. I hope you are able to find a little peace in the summer sun, while remembering your little ones.