Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Oh, how very grateful I am when others can say all the things I never can figure out how to say. Thank you to Kate Inglis for this heartbreakingly precise description of a parent’s grief. If you want to better understand me, or anyone else who has lost a child, please read it.

And thanks to my friend Liz for drawing particular attention to this part:

It’s one of the only things you can do, after a loss like this. To treat others the way you would have liked to treat your child. With care, with hospitality, with humility.

It’s a daily practice, and it does bring some peace, to look at every person and think, There goes somebody’s baby. Could have been mine.

Something to aspire to.

And finally, thank you, again and again, a thousand times over, to each and every one of you who continues to read here. Who continues to bear witness. Who continues to abide with me.


  1. What a hauntingly poignant post - Kate's words will stay with me always. Thank you for sharing it and for helping us to put a name to the helpless, sometimes awkward, always heartbreaking act of abiding.

  2. As always, thank you, Mandy. Such a powerful sharing of the essence of living... humility, care for others... Something to practice and aspire to for certain.
    Rachel C.

  3. Thank you for sharing this link, Mandy. I also appreciate when people can put feelings into words in a way that I just cannot.

  4. Beautiful, thank you for sharing.

  5. In July, my father-in-law's wife's 24-year-old son died in an ATV accident. It was obviously a shock and his mom is still reeling. But I thank you, Mandy, for giving me language to speak to her and to attempt to comfort her and to just be there for her. I've referenced your blog to her so many times - about how you've grown, what you've learned and what you've taught me. Thank you for helping me abide with her. And, to some small extent, with you.

  6. Abiding with you.

  7. On May 12th, my beloved nephew, Jake, died at 19 in a single car crash in broad daylight. No drugs, no alcohol, just a missed turn. Our family struggles to help his poor parents.
    Thank you for this. And thank you for allowing me, a complete stranger, to be part of your journey.

  8. Through this unbelievable tragedy, you have managed to touch so many lives and help countless numbers of people. That continues to amaze me. Thank you for providing all of us with ways to help our friends and continuing to remind everyone what is truly important in life. I will definitely continue abiding.

  9. The perspective that everyone is someone’s child is how I get through a lot of days being a kinder person. My brother has been in and out of prison. Watching my mom struggle with his choices and seeing how much she loves him regardless of his faults has been a real eye opening lesson for me. Everyone is connected to someone. Treat people not the way you want to be treated but how you would want the people you love to be treated.
    Mandy, you are so perceptive and intelligent. It has been my pleasure learning about you through your blog. I’m always excited when I see you have a new post. I know this experience for you has been more difficult than anyone could ever understand but your ability to be positive and honest is the kind of attitude that changes the world for the better. Thank you for sharing your story.

  10. Dear Mandy,
    I’ve been an invisible follower from the beginning -- from when Kate Ackley Zeller asked for prayers on Facebook for a friend’s daughter battling meningitis. I prayed for Hudson, even though I never pray, but oh I did then. And I cried when I learned she died. I’ve cried many times since while reading your blog, and been left breathless by the power of your writing, by your grace and courage and honesty.

    My children are older -- 9 and 12-- and at their ages, there are some truly aggravating moments. But you’ve inspired me to hug them tighter, to be more patient, to remember always how precious they are. I thank you. And I thank Hudson.
    Jenna Greene