Sunday, February 20, 2011

I’m Sorry

I find myself saying this to my sweet Hudson all the time.

I’m so sorry, Hudson. I’m so, so sorry.

I’m sorry that I didn’t know how sick you were.

I’m sorry if you were scared when you were in the hospital.

I’m sorry if you were in any pain.

I’m sorry that I couldn’t save you.

I’m sorry that I couldn’t hold you in the hospital when you wanted me to.

I’m sorry that we didn’t bring you your bears before you went into a coma.

I’m sorry that I couldn’t save you.

I’m sorry that you are missing out on so many wonderful things in this life you loved.

I’m sorry that the world is still spinning, that we are still living, without you.

I’m sorry that I couldn’t save you.

I repeat these refrains over and over in my head all the time. Many, many times a week, I say them out loud, often crying as I do.

Today, I finally put the finishing touches on the blanket I started for Hudson before she was born. I had such mixed feelings about finally finishing it—another tangible sign of how I am somehow going on without my precious child. Here are some photos, including one of it draped over Hudson’s favorite rocking chair.

I’m sorry that I didn’t finish this blanket for you before you were born.

I’m sorry that I didn’t finish this blanket for you before you died.

I’m sorry that you didn’t have anything handmade from your mommy to keep as a lovey.

I’m sorry that you didn’t have something special like that to hold when you were scared in the hospital.

And Hudson, most of all, my sweet girl, I am so sorry that you are not here now, now that I’ve finished it, so that we could play peekaboo with it, so that I could snuggle you close with it while we read our bedtime books, and so that you could always keep it as one of many ways to know how much I love you.

I’m sorry that I couldn’t save you.

I am so, so sorry.


  1. Oh, Mandy, I'm so, so sorry that Hudson isn't here to treasure that precious blanket and to be loved by you and Ed and everyone else..... Tears are on my face just reading these words.

  2. Oh Mandy, I am so sorry, I am so sorry you have to bear this.

    My father died in Sept, he had a cardiac arrythmia at home and it was a long time before they were able to get his heart started again and get him to the hospital. He was on a ventilator in the ICU for 4 days before he died. He has not been feeling well for several months before this happened, in fact he had been in and out of the hospital and it was always attributed to something else like bronchitis or low blood pressure. But he was so sure there was something else. I am a doctor and I kept reassuring him, kept telling him it was OK to stop worrying. When I was there in the ICU with my mother and I knew he would never wake up I kept saying that . . . I am so sorry . . . I am so sorry I didn't know how sick you were . . . I am so sorry I didn't do something to save you.

    Whenever I think about my did which is every day that is the first thing I think. I am so sorry.

    My father was 68 years old, he lived a long full life. I can't imagine the loss of a child. Reading your blog actually helped me a lot after my father passed, helped me to put things into perspective.

    I am so sorry Mandy so so sorry.

  3. I will add another: I am sorry, Hudson, that you didn't get more time with this wonderful mother who loves you so much. But I am glad that you got the time you did with this wonderful mother who loves you so much.

  4. Oh Mandy - we are sorry we can't hug Hudson along with you - but I wanted that we know you do everything right and you did everything right for Hudson. And the blanket you made for Hudson is just beautiful!! I hope it will keep you and Ed warm and bring you smiles :) Love, Alex K.

  5. Love Remains...what a beautiful blanket Mandy. I know Hudson loves it. Renee P.

  6. Just beautiful. And blanket or no, that sweet girl knew she was loved. Every minute of her too-short life, she knew it. I don't have to know your family personally to know that.

  7. Oh Mandy, I'm so sorry that you feel such pain. The blanket is beautiful.
    I am certain Hudson knew she was loved unconditionally.

  8. I'm certain that child never felt anything other than completely loved. That was your job, and you did it perfectly. Mommies are not superheroes - they cannot vanquish virulent bacteria - no one can do that.

    That sweet soul would want you to forgive yourself. She knew she was loved.

  9. Dear Mandy: (((hugs))) -- The blanket is beautiful. Anyone can look at the photos of your beautiful girl and know beyond the shadow of a doubt that she knew she was totally and completely loved by her mom and dad.

    To Anonymous at 8:14pm --- OMH! As I read your comment, I thought it was written by my sister -- then I went back and re-read it and I see that your dad died in Sept (I am so sorry for your loss) -- my dad died 19 years ago........just as you wrote that your dad did. And my sister is a doctor. ((((hugs)))) to you too. Mariann

  10. You once wrote in this blog:

    "Of all the things I have ever done and all the things I have ever been, I feel certain that I was really, really good at being Hudson’s mom."

    All of us who know you know that truer words were never spoken. And, of course, Hudson knew that most of all.

  11. Mandy, this post is in such contrast to the last one---and, of course, that's because this is our life and this is the way we will go on, at least for now---one day better, the next day worse---one MOMENT better, the next our hearts break all over again. Nothing anyone can say is going to make this heartache go away, but all of your friends will continue to try, and to let you know that you always, always have their love and support.

    You know that there is no right or wrong in grief, and no time frame. BUT, that said---at some point I hope you can begin to forgive yourself for being human...for being that Mom who did NOT perfectly know how sick her child was...for being that Mom who in retrospect did NOT do every single thing that might have brought Hudson comfort...for being that Mom who couldn't manage to get Hudson's blanket finished so she could cuddle in it.

    Somewhere deep inside is a little voice telling you that maybe you weren't such a great Mom after all, no matter what everyone says. Mandy, honey, being "great" or "amazing" is not the same thing as "perfect," and although I never saw you with Hudson, what I read in every blog and what I see in every picture tells me what a great, amazing Mom you have been to Hudson and will be to Penguin and any others who might be so blessed as to come into your family. We are human and "perfect" is just not in the cards...and so I hope that you will try really, really hard to let yourself off the hook, because you know what---your beautiful daughter loves you, warts and all, and SHE has long ago forgiven you.


  12. I am so sorry, Mandy.

    Hudson knew how much she was loved, I'm sure of it. But I'm sorry you didn't have decades longer to envelop her with hugs and kisses. So very sorry.

    Sending love.

  13. that blanket is beautiful. my hope for you is that, with time, you can follow these statements of regret with other phrases: "i am grateful that you had a chance to play in the snow. i am glad i got to sing to you every night. i am so happy we took you on hikes so you could see the trees." because for everything that you couldn't do for her at the end, you were able to do 1,000 times as many things for her during her life.

  14. I really don't have any words to add that others haven't already given...but I just wanted to tell you I'm here...and even through my tears, I can see that is a lovely blanket, one that would have been cherished by your little one, and perhaps will have the chance to serve that purpose in the future?

    Hold tightly to all of your love for Hudson ~ it's not nearly as cold & prickly as the regrets.

    Hugs to you, dear...


  15. Like everyone else, Mandy, I am SO SORRY that you are forced to carry on without your dear girl. The blanket is beautiful. I love the color. Hand made lovey or no, she knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that her mommy loved her forever.
    Peace to you-

  16. I've never posted before, but I'm a friend of a friend, and I've been reading this site since almost the very first post. Mere words are so inadequate to express how sad and sorry I am for the loss you have suffered.

    So many of the others have already said so much about this post so eloquently. I just wanted to add that it's clear that you didn't finish the blanket for Hudson because you were busy living each day and loving her. The light in her eyes in every picture shows how much she loved and was loved.

    For me, knitting is a contemplative activity, almost like a meditation. As I'm knitting, I often try to focus on the one I hope will use it, and picture them being wrapped and warmed by love. The fact that you knit it in loving expectation of both of your children makes it a beautiful (however tear-stained) bridge between them.

    I can imagine that, with its warmth and its beautiful green color so like her beloved turtles, it could be a way for Hudson to "embrace" Jackson every day, and, later, when he drags it around or uses it as a tent or a superman cape, she'll be right there playing with him.

    I think about you and your sweet girl often. She is not forgotten, even by strangers.

  17. What a beautiful blanket, perfect colour.

    I can't say it better than a previous commenter already has.

    "I'm certain that child never felt anything other than completely loved. That was your job, and you did it perfectly. Mommies are not superheroes - they cannot vanquish virulent bacteria - no one can do that."

    I'm absolutely certain that Hudson knew how very much she was loved. Although we might feel that our love should be able to take on bacteria and broken bodies, it just can't. It isn't made that way. But that doesn't mean it isn't stronger than those things.

  18. my Mimi gave my little boy a very soft pretty blanket. Nothing special, nothing handmade, just a soft white fleece blanket with "baby" embroidered on it in pastel colors. simple. sweet. She often called my little boy "her baby". He was about 10 months old when she died. I was named for her- and we were tight- i continued to use the blanket with my son- I know it might sound silly ,but I felt like he was safe under that blanket because it was like she was holding him or he was wrapped in her love- I continued to use it with my daughter in the same way... i wanted so badly for her to know my children and love them as she had known and loved me. through this blanket i felt I was helping the living and nonliving stay connected. I hope that you will use Hudson's blanket. I hope that you will call it Hudson's blanket. I pray that Hudson will wrap her baby brother in love.

  19. Mandy,

    That beautiful little girl chose YOU to be her mommy and she is not sorry for that at all. She loves you, LOVES you. She is still around. She hears you. She loves you. She accepts you. She knows how much you loved her. You gave her so much. You were the best mommy she could EVER ever have. She knows that. She experienced that. She feels that. She didn't want another mommy. She had you and you were enough for her, you were absolutely perfect for her, you did NOT fail her. She received so much from you, more than she ever hoped for or dreamed of. You were the best. You are the best. You far surpassed her expectations of you. It is because of you that she had an amazing life. The star that burns twice as bright burns twice as fast. She burned brightly because you helped her be the best daughter she could possibly be. She did no wrong. YOU did no wrong. No one did!

    I think of my son, how sick he's been in the last week. I called the doctor. I trusted the doctor. It was just a fever, right? A fever that lasted 5 days.

    Mandy, what happened to you could have happened to any one of us. You did NO wrong.

    How many of us have unfinished business? My goodness, if we KNEW the final days or hours of each of our lives, there would be no unfinished business. It's just not like that tho. Life is not like that.

    You did your best. Any of us would have done the same in your circumstances. I have read your blog. I know what happened (thank you for sharing those intimate details.) It's not easy, f*ck, it's damn sickening that you have to go thru this. But you did no wrong. You were the perfect mother. And she is up there, or next to you, looking at you and wanting everyone to tell you that she is happy, was happy here, and that you are the best mom ever!

    You're amazing Mandy. You are. The fact that you are still alive, that you are bringing another life to this earth, that you write, that you get thru your days... all of that is a testiment to your motherhood, to your strength as a woman, as a grand spirit here on earth.

    Your daughter knows, just as we all know, you are fighting one heavy battle, and you are burdened with living and going on while your daughter is on another path. And not one of us, not your daughter either, expects you to think you did anything less than perfection as a mother to Hudson.

    Much love and peace to you.........


  20. I am so sorry and really feel your sorry...