Thursday, January 13, 2011


I want to thank everyone for their very kind and concerned comments and personal messages last night. All were much appreciated.

I also want to say some things that I was just not in a frame of mind to say when I wrote that post last night. I hesitated to even write it, worried that it sounded overly dramatic, particularly the part about living through moments when I’m not even sure I want to do so, because I feared it might trigger some of the exact reactions that I got. But I decided to leave it as is, because it does speak my truth, just maybe not in the way that many people understood it.

Here’s the thing, and I have tried hard to refrain from harping on this at any point when I’ve written on this blog because I know all of my readers know it, so I don’t need to pound you over the head with it: unless you have lost a child yourself, you just can’t understand what this feels like.

I don’t want anyone to think that I am sitting around wishing I were dead most of the time. Or even a little of the time. I’m not, and I don’t feel that way at all. I know how much I have to live for and how much I have to look forward to. I am truly looking forward to the Penguin’s arrival and to being his mommy and to having more kids after that. I am truly looking forward to continuing to raise a family and getting older with my amazing husband. I am truly looking forward to finding work that is meaningful and satisfying to me, even if I am in my forties before I figure out what that work is. I have plenty to be grateful for and to live for.

And believe me, if it were as easy as just hitting a switch to turn one thing off and the other one on, I would certainly do that. Any grieving parent would. Oh, that such a switch existed! But it’s not that easy. This is the part where I think you have to have walked in these shoes to really get it. It’s not a feeling of “Oh, I wish I were dead.” It’s not that at all. It’s just those moments when it hits me that this pain is FOREVER. I know it will lessen over time (although my feelings around that are incredibly complex, too), and I know that there will be other children to bring joy into our lives, but the fact remains that Hudson is never coming back. And sometimes, the pain of that realization is overwhelming and makes me feel like it is just too much. Not a feeling of “I want to die” but a feeling of “I just can’t imagine going on without my beautiful girl.” And then that moment passes and I know that it’s not too much, that I can go on, that I owe it to Hudson to keep living and living well because she did not have a chance to do that, that I owe it to her to do my best to keep her spirit alive in the world.

So thank you, thank you so much, for all the concern. Please know that it is truly appreciated and I absolutely understand where it is coming from. But also know that my words, this expression, they come from a place where only a few of you have lived, a place where the rest of you never, ever want to visit (and I hope with all my might that you never do). So it may mean something different to you when you read it than it did to me when I wrote it.  I just don’t want anyone feeling grave concern for me. I really will be OK. 

But even if you are not walking the road that I am, I am very, very grateful for both the gentle encouragement and the loud cheering from the sidelines. This is a marathon, not a sprint, and as any endurance athlete knows, the support is always most welcome.


  1. Mandy,

    I hope I never have to know the pain you are going through. I can't imagine the weight of sadness you feel. I can imagine, however, how the endlessness of that weight may seem too much at times.

    As always, you are amazing in your descriptions. I know it may not seem this way to you, but the way you have chosen to share your pain is really courageous. Little Penguin will be so lucky to have you.


  2. I am so sorry that this just never ends, Mandy.

  3. "I hesitated to even write it, worried that it sounded overly dramatic."

    Please don't ever worry about sounding "overly dramatic". Hudson's death is so traumatic, so devastating, so agonizing, and so incomprehensible that I don't think anything you could write could ever, possibly be overly dramatic.

    Of course you cannot turn a switch. If you could, the magnitude of your grief would not be so immense. I so wish that you could, but since you can't, as your reader I am here to support you in any way possible. And if that means just listening and trying to understand even though I know I'll never be able, that's what I'll do. Because that's why we're all here- to bear witness to your grief and pay tribute to your beautiful girl.

    Please continue to write and share whatever is on your mind. We'll continue to love and support you from the sidelines (to continue your marathon metaphor.)

  4. Just want you to know i'm reading. I am sorry. My heart aches for you and your sweet Hudson. I wish I had more words of wisdom, but I just don't. My heart is broken and missing my sweet Ella, as well. xo

  5. Oh Mandy, how I wish all this never happened!! However, your feelings are your feelings and they are valid. I am hopeful that expressing how you truly feel will be one more step towards healing.
    Take heart, my friend. And know that there are so many people out here who will listen and support you, even in your darkest hours.
    Peace - Abbey Foster

  6. Knowing intellectually how very much you (and I) have to live for is NOT the same as feeling it emotionally, and sometimes the urge is overwhelming to NOT fight so hard to put one foot in front of the be "carry on." Sometimes the loss is so pervasive every cell of your being cries out to be with your lost child, and those are the moments when we are "not sure we want to."

    Like you, I am NOT suicidal...I KNOW that Lauren and Jerry need me desperately...I KNOW how beautiful life is...I KNOW there is joy ahead. It's just that this road is so hard. I had surgery several months ago, and my biggest fear was NOT of the surgery, but that when they put me "under," I might get too close to the edge....I might sense Matt's presence and not want to come back. Is that irrational??? Maybe. But I knew that if I "saw" him in any way all I would want to stay with him---no matter what. Suicidal? No...just acknowledging the tremendous desire to be with him again, to hold him---the desire that you and I and others who have lost children live with every single day...

    I get it, Mandy...I love you.


  7. I wish...I were not so.
    So sorry, every single day.
    Big hugs,

  8. Mandy, though our situations are different, I know how you're feeling... I felt it when we were in the ICU... we had a weekend while there when things had hit absolute rock bottom and we weren't sure that Sofia would make it through the night and were preparing ourselves for the worst... it was the overwhelming pain that you just feel so numb and empty inside and like you almost wish you weren't alive just so the pain would stop... we would sleep for hours on end just to make it disappear for awhile. I'm so sorry that you two have to go through this. We continue praying for you - Jennifer (Sofia's Mom)

  9. Mandy,
    I get it. I wish I didn't, but I do. I wish I had something great like a blog when I went through it, but it was 15 years ago (last week) and I was isolated. Your blog, I'm sure you know, is a blessing. To you and to others like me. I do get it.

  10. Dear Mandy,

    You are coping better than you know and you have a strength inside that Husdon has given you.

    You are right. The pain never leaves, you just learn to incorporate it into the new identity that losing a child brings.

    Tomorrow is Savannah's 7th Anniversary and I can honestly say, today, it feels like she just left. That pain on special days will always resurface.

    Your blog is beautiful and in time you will see how healing it is to be able to write...honestly and openly. I wish I had've blogged after Savannah died however feel if I hadn've it would read very much like your words.

    You and Hudson must have touched many lives and be so special as I see too that you have some amazing friends and support here....those things alone will help you survive.

    Sending love
    Diana x

  11. Please don't feel like you have to apologize for how you feel and what you write. You lost your little girl and you are free to feel and write about whatever you need to. I haven't lost a child, but I totally understood what you were saying in your last post. Still wishing that Hudson was with you.

  12. I don't know your pain, Mandy, and I hope I never will. My heart breaks for you every time I read your blog. It especially breaks when I see you write that you don't know where Hudson's spirit is, if it's anywhere, and that you don't know if you will be reunited with her again. She isn't just floating out there in the Universe somewhere, and she didn't just cease to exist. I know where she is, Mandy. She is safe in the arms of Jesus. She is surrounded by His light, His love, and His angels. She is happy and safe and forever a beautiful baby. I wish you knew that, I wish you believed that, Mandy, because I can't imagine facing what you are facing without faith in Jesus, without the firm belief that we will be with our loved ones again. God cares for you Mandy. He offers healing, and He offers hope. Please, please don't close your mind to Him. He is there for you, waiting to take your burden and your pain and share it. He loves you, Mandy, even if you don't know Him. You can see and be with Hudson again someday. All you have to do is come to Jesus. Lay your pain, your heavy heart, your tears, at His feet. Ask Him to come into your life and your heart and help to ease your pain. Please just give it a chance. Find a church and visit. Please, Mandy. Jesus saves. Every day. I don't mean for this to sound like a "holy roller sermon" but I know what He can do for shattered, broken lives. He cares, and He wants to help you. I pray that you will find peace and comfort in your life. I know we don't know each other, but as a Mom myself your story resonates deep within me and I hurt for you. I want you to know the peace of Jesus. I have felt drawn to your blog for a long time, and I feel this overwhelming urge to witness to you about what God offers. I am a very quiet, reserved person, and usually reluctant to share my testimony because I'm quite shy, but I feel led to share with you. I hope something I have said sparks something within you. That is my prayer today. God bless you, Mandy.

  13. Mandy,
    don't ever feel that you need to apologize for how you are feeling. you are right, no one can know how it feels unless they have walked in your shoes.
    This is your truth and you are so brave to acknowledge it publicly. I think of you often and send thoughts of strength and love your way.

  14. I wish you, I, and others like us did not have to explain ourselves in these circumstances. You are absolutely right- I get it in every way- and I see through the words right down to their detailed meaning. I just wish that somehow it were different- that others who don't know the pain might somehow understand the emotions.
    But life is not like that, is it? No matter how much I wish it were. Thank you for writing with honesty, for not censoring yourself, and for being strong enough to live through the impossible.
    Love to you mamma...