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Messages - Penny - Sean's Mom

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Child Loss / Re: Our Don has died
« on: June 02, 2013, 08:40:17 PM »
I will never, ever, ever forget the kindness that Don showed me when I was early on my grief journey.  It's rare in my world to find a Dad so incredibly dedicated to his family.  And I'm beyond grateful for his compassion, understanding and insight to those of us walking the challenging path of losing a child while he was on it with us.

It's rare that I find myself so torn at the news of a passing but tonight that's where I sit.  I know Don was in pain and I know his heart had been broken far too many times, but I also know that he loved his surviving family without fail.  My heart sings that he is no longer in pain and that he is in the arms of those that have gone before but it also mourns for his family that remains. 

Sending Peace, and Love and even a bit of Joy where it's appropriate.  Fly in Joy Don. 

Penny - Sean's Mom

(and tell my boy I miss him)

Child Loss / Re: Sean's Angel Date ((((( Penny )))))
« on: January 24, 2013, 02:35:00 AM »
I don't visit as often as I should but thank you.  Thank you for remembering Sean's angel date and calling out to me.  Sean's baby brother went to the bench we placed in Sean's honor that overlooks Puget Sound in a local park and released balloons with the niece Sean never met here and nephew that he adored.  Seven years down the road the burden is softer but I still SO appreciate hearing Sean's name and knowing he'll never be forgotten.

Thank you.

Penny - Sean's Mom
12/83 -12/05

Child Loss / Touched by an Angel
« on: November 29, 2011, 09:43:18 AM »
The information below is from a "kindness event" I've created on Facebook in honor of my son.  I'd love to have you join us.

This kindness event is open to everyone and it is my hope that it will spread locally and globally. Please feel free to invite your friends, family and co-workers to join as well.

SIx years ago I lost my oldest son in a traffic accident on December 28th. Sean was on his way home from work when he drifted onto the soft shoulder of the highway, then overcorrected directly into oncoming traffic. He was killed instantly at the tender age of 22 years, 18 days. With his death my world forever changed. Since then, December has been a month that I literally dread. It's become something to simply survive. I believe it's time to change that.

The holidays add extra challenges for those that have lost loved ones - regardless of what month their loss occurred. The empty place at the holiday table is only one reminder that someone is missing. One of the fears those of us that have lost someone live with is that somehow the memory of our loved one will also eventually disappear. This event is a way to keep their memory very much alive and in the present.

During the month of December please join me in doing unexpected acts of kindness in honor of our loved ones. Bring your angel to the present by doing something kind and unexpected this month in their honor. And when given the opportunity to be acknowledged for this kindness, simply leave a beautiful red heart with the first initial of your angel as your signature.

Bring your loved one into the present with an act of kindness. I can think of no better way to honor them.

Please come back and share your experiences here. I'd love to hear all about them!

Sending Peace....

Sean's Mom

Child Loss / Expecting a granddaughter...
« on: October 14, 2011, 09:27:32 PM »
My perfect grandson probably saved my life when Sean was killed.  Our last family gathering was on his 1st birthday, Christmas Eve 2005 - just 3 days before his Uncle Sean was killed in a traffic accident.  One of my very earliest memories in my "after" world is of my grandson throwing his arms around my neck and hanging on...just hours after my son was killed.

So now I find myself in the unexpected position of expecting a granddaughter.  Sean's brother very frankly told me that I'd never have a second grandchild and I accepted it.  And then #2 showed years later.  I'm expecting a granddaughter in early January.  And her Mommy is determined not to have a December baby (Sean's bday is 12/10 and his angel date is 12/28) but the other day I told her that perhaps 12/28 wouldn't be the worst date to have her daughter.  And today I suggested Seanna as my granddaughters name...and her Mommy loves it.  And her Daddy likes it too.  And it looks very much like Seanna will be part of my world sometime soon.  And I'm thrilled...but tonight the tears just won't stop coming. 

I can't wait to meet my new granddaughter...but I'm so very sad that she will never meet her Uncle Sean.  Exactly which part of this is fair?  And when will the tears stop?  And how can I explain to my granddaughter how proud her Uncle is to be her namesake?  And please...whatever Guiding Power is out there...please don't let me sob uncontrollably at my granddaughters birth.  Please?

Penny - Sean's Mom
12/10/83 - 12/28/05
Miss you kiddo...

Child Loss / Re: Signs from our Precious Children
« on: July 16, 2011, 12:05:17 AM »
Eagles.  Sean sends an eagle to me just about every day for over five years now.  I never noticed eagles in our neighborhood, etc before his death but there's always one somewhere close now. 

The eagle story starts two or three months after his accident.  I had decided to donate a memorial bench and have it placed in a local park that my boys and I spent quite a bit of time in.  I met the park ranger to decide on the exact spot the bench would be placed but was getting really frustrated because nothing felt right.  Not by the tennis courts, or on the beach, or by the playground, or anywhere else for that matter.  We were standing on the bluff under two beautiful evergreens admiring the 180 degree view of Puget Sound when two eagles flew by at eye level - literally screaming as they went by.  They both proceeded to land in the tree I was standing under.  The ranger looked at me and told me that he had never ever had that happen before and he was pretty sure my son was telling me something.  And I agreed. He marked the spot for the bench exactly where I was standing.  That bench is a constant source of comfort for me.  And since that day I get a visit from an eagle just about every day.  It makes me feel connected and protected...and it makes me smile.

Penny - Sean's Mom

Child Loss / Re: guidelines & other issues
« on: July 15, 2011, 11:52:11 PM »

Child Loss / Re: Happy (belated) Birthday, Sean! ((((( Penny )))))
« on: December 16, 2010, 07:42:02 PM »
Thanks to both of you. 

Sean's birthday was a bit teary but we made it through.  I appreciate your warm thoughts!


Child Loss / Re: December Angel Dates and Birthdays
« on: December 09, 2010, 06:18:18 AM »
December 10th - Sean's Birthday - Mom, Penny

December 28th - Sean's Angel Day - Mom, Penny

Child Loss / Katie - Are you here?
« on: December 08, 2010, 04:16:32 AM »
Katie - I'm not sure if you've come to visit here yet but I wanted to let you know that you are never far from my thoughts.  Your KS family is holding you and yours close.  Drop me a note when you can.

Sending Peace...


Child Loss / 57 months
« on: September 30, 2010, 12:26:33 AM »
Yesterday was 57 months.  57 freaking months.  Really?  The 28th has slipped by many times over the last few months without me noticing...and yet somehow yesterday slapped me hard...again.  It's probably because I'm exhausted right now.  It's been a long summer.   Maybe its because I haven't had two seconds alone or to myself in the last six months.  Don't know the reason but I don't care.  I'm hanging on and I'll be fine.  I'm just here because you understand.  I don't have to smile and pretend.  You understand and I am beyond grateful.  Thank you.

Wishing each of you Peace...

Penny - Sean's Mom

My most recent de-stressor has been my backyard.  I've been working 2nd shift so get home around 11:30pm.  The house and neighborhood are quiet but I'm not quite ready for sleep so I've been lighting a small fire in our fire pit, lighting a couple citronella torches to keep the bugs at bay, pouring a small glass of wine and reading by torchlight for about an hour.  I can't begin to tell you how much I find myself looking forward to what feels like a stolen hour.

Gardening is my "go to" de-stressor.  In the months immediately after Sean's death I literally tore out 20+ years worth of ivy in my garden beds.  I figured it was cheaper than therapy and would probably last longer since I would most likely be battling the ivy for years.  Turns out I was very efficient.  Only one little spot tried to come back and only once.  Since then "dirt therapy" has helped me work through many bad spots.  The neighbors know that they may find me in the yard digging and weeding in the middle of the night, in the middle of a downpour, with tears running down my face or giggling out loud.  And they don't question me.  My next door neighbor is also Mom to an angel-child and she just comes over and hugs me without a word regardless of how silly my behavior looks to others.  We don't talk about our angels but she has been a blessing.

Penny - Sean's Mom

Child Loss / Re: Facebook
« on: July 23, 2010, 12:04:30 AM »
I'm definitely on FB more than here.  Feel free to friend me.  Search for Penny Kellam and remind me who you are when you send the friend request.

Sending Peace...

Sean's Mom

Child Loss / Re: Unfinished Business
« on: March 06, 2010, 12:50:05 AM »
When Sean died I remember asking over and over "Where is the book?  Where is the book that tells me on page 43 what I'm feeling is normal, and expected, and okay?"  I'm a facts and research kind of gal.  Give me a problem and I'll research the h#ll out of it until I have an answer.  I couldn't understand why this book didn't exist...or at least I couldn't find it.  I thought at one point that perhaps that would be my calling - to write the book that would let grieving parents know that they weren't alone and they weren't actually losing their mind.  If that is my calling I'm not ready yet but it sounds like perhaps you are on the path to making that book a reality.  Do you have any idea how important those journals are to the parents that don't know yet that they will unfortunately follow in our footsteps?  Bless you for having the strength to not only capture your emotions but to have the presence of mind to keep them.  If there is anything I can do to help you move them into a guide for those that follow us, please let me know.

Wishing you Peace...always.

Penny - Sean's Mom

Child Loss / A couple days after the fact but...
« on: January 03, 2010, 01:20:33 AM »
Somehow another year has slipped by since Sean's death. It seems so odd to live with something every day and yet be slapped by it on a particular date. I can't begin to explain how much it pains me to even type the word "death" in the same paragraph, let alone the same sentence, as my son's name. This is not the way it's supposed to be. And it hurts in ways that I simply do not have the words to describe.

Sean should be 26 now. I don't know where his adventures would have taken him. I don't know if he would have settled down and added to the number of my grandchildren or would have found another passion and followed it where ever it took him. Every mother wants to think their son would do great things. I understand that and yet from where I sit today I'd be happy to simply have Sean here. Here with his family. Here cracking stupid jokes making me shake my head and wonder how the heck that goofy man could be my son. You see that's the part that was stolen from me - seeing my son as a man. He was getting there. In fact he was really, really close to being there. But he never had the chance to get there. And I feel robbed. Violently mugged actually.

I'm trying my best to live gracefully with Sean's death. I want him to be proud of me. And it's the hardest thing I've ever done - EVER - in my entire life. I wouldn't wish this nightmare on my very worst enemy. Parents are NOT supposed to outlive their children....and I was definitely not supposed to outlive either one of mine. The thought occurred to me today that I have another 40+ years of this anniversary to live through and I simply don't know what that looks like. This isn't something that goes away. It gets softer but it's always there. Always. Even 40 years down the road. The very thought just makes me tired.

But I know myself. I know what I'm made of. And I know that somehow I'll come out on the other end in one piece. I can't do anything less and honor my I will find a way to continue to live gracefully with Sean's loss. And it will continue to be the hardest thing I've ever encountered. But I will do it. Because I can do no less.

Sean. There are no words. You know exactly where I'm at and exactly how much you are missed. There is a void in so many lives where you are supposed to be. There are also treasured corners of the hearts of your family and friends where you still live and still live vibrantly. You are not forgotten. You will never be forgotten by those that love you. You touched more lives in 22 short years than I ever imagined. I am so very proud of you son. Proud to be your Mom. Period. Stay close to your baby brother this year. Hang out with his son when you can. And when you see that I need you, please stay close or send a message so I know that you are never far away. I love you Sean. And I miss you more than I have words to express. And I'll never say "goodbye."

Child Loss / I'm carrying "Joy"
« on: August 21, 2009, 08:53:52 PM »
I haven't been nearly as active on here this summer as I used to be.  It's not because I don't think of you and your beautiful angels on a daily basis though.  Summer tends to be crazy busy for me and this summer is no exception.

Some of you may remember that I walk each year as part of the Breast Cancer 3 Day.  It's a 60 mile walk over 3 days to help raise funding and awareness in fight against breast cancer.  It's something I started doing in 2000 after my own cancer journey and this year I'll walk in my sixteenth and seventeenth event.  It's something that is very important to me and something that I know Sean is proud I continued with after his death.

Today I received a note from the 3 Day Coaches asking if I would consider participating in the Seattle 3 Day Opening Ceremonies as a Flag Bearer. They flag they’ve asked me to carry? “Joy”

Below is my response to that note.

If my first reaction to the "Joy" flag is tears (at work mind you) I'm thinking it must be perfect.

Very shortly after Sean's death I went to the Seattle Home & Garden Show as I had for years. It was my very first trip out in "public" on my own since his death. As I went down an aisle in the vendor area four small garden stakes literally fell out of their container and landed at my feet. They were "Love," "Hope," "Joy" and "Peace." I took them falling at my feet with no prompting as a direct sign from Sean. I could just about hear his voice whispering those words in my ear. They became my mantra from that moment on and I still say them to myself on a daily basis. I see them as the steps Sean gave me to learn to live gracefully with his death. I haven't quite reached the Peace one yet but I'm trying...and I'm happy to say that over the last six months or so I seem to have found my Joy again.

So yes....Joy is perfect and I would be honored to carry it. Thank you!

And I mean every word. I don't believe in coincidence. When those garden stakes landed at my feet I do believe that my son was doing his best to give me the tools I would need to learn to live gracefully with his death. I've shared these words with many people since they entered my life in such an unexpected manner. These words have different meaning to different people but ultimately I think they are an absolutely perfect lesson.

Whatever their source they have helped me more than I can possibly explain. So thank you Sean. I'll be carrying "Joy" with tears streaming down my face and the fervent hope that there is healing in those tears for all that witness them.

I've felt Sean closer than usual this week and I am so grateful.  I know he will be with me next month as I carry that flag and while those watching me will never know it, some of those tears will be for him too.

Wishing you Peace...

Penny - Sean's Mom

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