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Messages - owensmom

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Child Loss / Re: Owen, our beloved mystery man
« on: March 04, 2008, 02:25:48 AM »
Dear Melissa,

Mistake or not, it is a beautiful photo of Charlie.  By the way, I don't believe in mistakes...


Child Loss / Re: Owen, our beloved mystery man
« on: March 03, 2008, 12:32:24 AM »
I received a personal message from Melissa, Charlie's mom, and am uncertain of her intent, as it was a picture of Charlie, and nothing more.  I have responded to her, with what I hope will clear the air.  If not, then I have nothing more to offer.  I am wrung dry of trying to communicate about "inclusion". 

I hope all of you at webhealing are finding your way through the awful losses you are living.  We are doing our best, and every day is filled with more conflicting news about Owen's death.  Some of you have documentation about actual causes associated with your children's deaths - things like car accidents, illnesses, and falls.  We have nothing more than questions, and an autopsy report that tells us the forensic pathologist will never be able to tell us exactly what killed our son.  Educated guesses, and only that.  What we hear on the street, is a variety of stories and now, in these months later, what has become variations on a theme - mostly myths that serve the needs of the storytellers.

We grieve in many manifestations of death - accident, murder, "suspicious", and suicide.  While most of the stories we hear are of a particular accident, and a variety of murders, we may never know, so we envision all forms of grief, and live them every day.  To think that we are somehow limited in our understanding of death versus other forms of parent loss, is abominable to us.  I invite you into our shoes.  Our shoes are filled with unrelenting questions.  We live with a huge gaping hole in our hearts - not just the void left behind with Owen's absence, but the fact that we don't even know how he left this world. 

Don't try to imagine it.  You don't want to share this additional layer of grief.  Just like I don't want to limit my understanding of what it's like to have loved stepchildren, adopted children, or birth children who have chosen to abandon my love.  Owen never abandoned my love by his own choice.  I am grateful for that.

Love in our collective losses,
Owen's and Nat's mom

Child Loss / Re: Owen, our beloved mystery man
« on: February 13, 2008, 07:09:53 PM »
Again, Melissa, I'm sorry to say, you missed my point.  I was quite upset that Tom did not respond, after asking for my suggestions.  And yes, I saw the additional section on the main board.  I'm done with this topic.

Child Loss / Re: Owen, our beloved mystery man
« on: February 13, 2008, 02:42:16 AM »
Dear Tom,

I find it interesting, and distressing, that you have not contacted me, considering my last post offered suggestions.  I work in the world of "digital content" and though it does not help in my family's grief, I do have a modicum of knowledge about online posting and boards.  Granted, my suggestions were offered "offline" because I thought continuing this discussion here in view of vulnerable parents would not benefit any of us.  I am one of those vulnerable parents, and would have liked a bit of interest on your part, but I have yet to see it. 

Perhaps, you're just "over it" and feel it's time to move on.  I get that.  I would like to incorporate that into my grief over losing my son.  It's not going to happen in short order, but it's a nice thought, yes?

Instead, I await your reply, these 6 days later, with not a word from you.  This is unacceptable, considering this is a site you began with the best of intentions. I would think you might want to find ways (other than just replacing Lonnie at your earliest convenience) of moving into the future, with the intention of resolving an issue that came up here.  It appears that's not the case. 

From what I've read, this is not the first time the issue of "emotional loss" or loss-other-than-death has arisen.  While I am cognizant that the purpose of this site is to offer a sounding board for people with the loss of a loved one through death, I'm concerned that there doesn't appear to be a thoughtful/feeling avenue for redirecting people who show up here with other types of loss.

My suggestions would have been to simply find other resources, or create some of our own to help people with loss due to life situations that did not include physical death.  I have several thoughts on the matter, and would have offered them to you (and the board at large) had you bothered to contact me.  Perhaps your schedule has just not allowed contact at this early date. 

Working through our mysterious loss of Owen has given us plenty of opportunity to investigate outside resources for answers.  Attorneys with schedules that were quite limited, have reached out to our family, with no requests for retainers or fee agreements.  They have responded in only a few days', sometimes just a few hours' time, knowing they would realize no monetary gain, nor any visible recognition of their efforts.  They did it, because they thought it was the right thing to do.

Something I learned a long time ago:  The difference between managers and leaders is: managers know how to do things right; leaders know how to do the right thing.

I'm asking you to do the right thing, and respond.  I am not the ultimate answer to the "brl" situation.  I'm strictly a concerned participant of webhealing.  This has been a place of healing for me, and I would hope it could continue and GROW, for the benefit of others suffering loss OF ANY KIND.  I understand you may not want that.  I would, however, have expected that you might have availed yourself of the opportunity to investigate options. 

If you are still interested in reading my suggestions, please do contact me.  Again, you know how to find my profile, and therefore my personal email address.  If you are not interested, please, at the very least, let me know, so I can find other venues to share my child-loss grieving with creators of boards for parents of a like-mind.  The child-loss parents I found here were gracious in the beginning.  It wasn't until "brl" showed up, that I found a form of prejudice that reminded me of pre-Civil Rights days.  Yes, you read that right.  Webhealing does not have the protection, nor the responsibility to something as far-reaching as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but it did purport to offer a place of comfort and "inclusion". 

I'm patient, to a point.  As I'm sure you're aware, grief does not often include "patience" as a symptom.

Just so we're clear, Lonnie, although she was quite helpful and supportive in our early days of grieving, is not my main motivation in writing this post to you.  My main purpose is a more universal quest.  My son would have expected nothing less from me.

Owen's mom

Child Loss / Re: Owen, our beloved mystery man
« on: February 06, 2008, 12:37:25 AM »
Dear Tom,

Thank you for writing.  Yes, I do have suggestions.  They are not, however, appropriate for posting on the Internet.

You have access to my profile.  Please email me, if you are interested.

Kindly, thoughtfully, thinking of all of us here at webhealing,

Child Loss / Re: Owen, our beloved mystery man
« on: February 06, 2008, 12:34:54 AM »
Dear Karen Paul,

Thank you for the link.  As I watched it, I dissolved into those dark days when Owen was missing, and I remembered that tiny light in those nights, that called out to me, "I'm okay now.  If I can find a way, I'll let you know whether to keep looking, or stop, because I'm gone."  Owen was gone, and as hard as it is to type these words, I'm grateful we found his body.  We know he's gone from this life.  Josh's family and friends are living in the void.  There is no greater agony.  And, WITH that knowledge, it does not limit my wish to help others.

Thank you for continuing to communicate with me, about that which is unthinkable.  If you can, please put me in contact with Josh's family.  I have so little to offer, but I know the agony.  Sometimes, that's a part of the healing.


Child Loss / Re: Owen, our beloved mystery man
« on: February 06, 2008, 12:21:18 AM »
Dear Melissa,

I'm afraid you missed my point.  My point was, and is...I cannot possibly COMPARE my loss of Owen with anyone else's loss.  I don't want to.  I want only this: to bring anyone suffering loss OF ANY KIND into the fold of the suffering, and offer hope.  Can we not, as a group of suffering parents, DO THAT???

I know some of us get "stuck" in our grief, and I am at this early stage, too raw to be rational at times.  MY POINT, was to offer some hope for reconciliation to this woman who sought us out. 

I'm asking only this, AGAIN: quit comparing your unbelievable loss, with someone who still has a modicum of hope.  Wouldn't you want that for yourself, your family...your child?

It seems so simple to me.  I want only to offer my loss, as a lesson, to others who still have a chance.

I send you hope, my search for beauty, and my prayers,

Child Loss / Re: Owen, our beloved mystery man
« on: February 05, 2008, 01:08:30 AM »
And, so, here were are still, with posts about this issue, started under other post names, titled something/anything other than that original post from the woman, "brl", who simply thought we were thinking, feeling people who understood...loss.

Tom, pony up.  I am forever grateful that you started this venue for those of us with unbelievable grief.  But, there is a part of me, that part of me that recognizes who I was before our family lost Owen, that screams out, "hold us here, all suffering loss!"  And, I find myself...wanting.  And, I plead for your engagement in a way that can assuage some of the angst voiced in anger and bitterness.  Of all the people who have posted in the months I have visited this site, Tom, you have been the most silent.  Why is that?  Are you, perhaps, too distant from this thing you started, but have no time to monitor?

Perhaps, those of you who want to have a territorial boundary around child loss, as something "more than" can't allow emotional death into your territory.  For you, I am sorry.  And, here's why.

I lost a friendship in 2003, a friend who meant the world to me for 38 years.  She did not die a physical death, nor did I.  I did, however, lose her in an emotional death.  I could not then, nor can I now, describe the pain her loss caused me. 

Her husband continually expressed his abhorrence of my stature (at the time, I was 5'7" tall, and weighed around 215 pounds).  This did not fit his image of friends he thought his wife should engage, as physical beauty meant something different to him, than friendship did, for my friend and me.  He forgot that she and I had spent the previous 38 years sharing life (long before they met).  When our friendship ended (Owen was still alive, and thought this loss was devastating - he watched his mother (me) lose a friendship that was very close to sisterhood), our entire family was devastated.  Cheryl was a part of our family.  And, we lost her due to a lack of "acceptance" on the part of her husband.

As I read through these recent posts (not here, but elsewhere on webhealing, all pertaining to "brl" and her quest for help), I am saddened by what I perceive as a group of people with EXTREME loss, trying (or not even aware) of "cornering the market" on pain. 

Parents of child loss do not hold the reigns of loss.  WE only hold the reigns of child loss.  It's different.  It's excruciating.  It's unbelievably hard.  AND, there's a whole world out there, that suffers loss in different manifestations. 

Part of my training, a large part of my career, is teaching people about difference.  Something I say over and over is this: You cannot imagine what your friends, family, and coworkers experience in this life.  If you think you can place a value on it, you are limiting your ability to engage in the remainder of YOUR life.  Bitterness is unlikely to ever serve you or those you love. 

When I first read (many months ago) of your difficulties with many phrases that are a part of our American vernacular, out of "common usage" I almost left this site in search of a more "accepting" venue for my grief.  How can I stop using phrases like, "I'm drowning in sorrow"?  Because my son was found dead in a river?  NO.  I AM DROWNING IN SORROW.  But, feeling that, does not mean that I can't acknowledge that my son's body was found in a river, lost forever, except for my exceptional memories of his life.  Words can hurt, and I feel many words here in these recent days, have hurt more than necessary.  I feel some of the words I've read have come from a place of bitterness and anger, that couldn't possibly help anyone.

I may or may not check in here again.  Curiosity killed the cat, though (and if your child was killed by a cat, I hope you can forgive me, but my everyday language uses this phrase as a way to express a certain sentiment), so I may come back, just to see how everyone is getting along...or not. 

Yes, I'm mad right now.  I'm mad that a place I thought of as "safe" is now a place where people choose to quantify the loss of a loved one.  I'm open to befriending someone who has the chance of regaining a lost relationship.  Why aren't you?  We can't get our kids back, but brl has a chance.  Why can't we honor her hope with love and admiration for her loss, and her search for resources to recover her relationships?  Why would anyone want to make her feel she's an outsider?

Loss is loss.  It hurts.  I hurt.  You hurt.  All of you who have responded to our story, hurt.  brl hurts.  Offer her something/anything.  Offer her your thoughts, feelings, prayers.  She has a chance to build relationships with her stepchildren (or former stepchildren, as the case may be).  It seems that some of you think her short time with them is in some way measurable and comparable.  THERE IS NO COMPARISON.  STOP TRYING TO MAKE THIS ABOUT COMPARISONS.  This woman, brl, simply...hurts.  Have you forgotten the hopes you had for your children before they died? 

Pissed off, AND, hoping we all see the light,

Child Loss / Re: not a physical death, but emotionally lost "daughter"
« on: February 03, 2008, 08:47:19 PM »
I posted my reply to this trail on my original post about Owen.  Why?  Because I thought a change of scenery might help me get my message across.  I hope so.  I cherish all the wonderful people who've been so kind to our family here at webhealing, including Lonnie. 

Love, hope, and understanding to all of you, including you, brl,

Child Loss / Re: Owen, our beloved mystery man
« on: February 03, 2008, 08:41:01 PM »
Regarding the post by "brl" and the many replies:

We've had enough loss.  I hope the main board doesn't lose Lonnie as a moderator.  I think her heart was in the right place in sending brl to the child-loss board, as she thought we were people who could point this woman in a direction that might fit her needs.  I'm guessing that she never imagined people would react with such vehemence.  I thought some of the comments were, indeed, harsh.  For some reason, there seems to be an overall tone on that trail, that there is a "value" placed on the many different kinds of loss.  The only person who can do that, is the person experiencing the loss - of any kind.

I know losing Owen is the hardest thing I've ever experienced, but I hope it doesn't rob me of my ability to recognize and honor other types of loss, and to offer kindly my last bit of energy to another person in pain, no matter what type.  I have learned a lot through our family's many deaths - so many things I would rather not know.  I hope I have learned to listen, respond thoughtfully, and if I have any resources I think might be of help, then I hope I have the energy to send them along.  Some people responding to brl did just that, and others did the same but seemed to think it necessary to make sure she knew she was excluded here.  There seemed to be a lot of "my loss is worse than your loss" comments.  While I would never argue, being a mother who lost her son, I don't know that those sentiments were of any help to this woman who came here looking for help.     

Along with losing Owen, I lost parts of my living family because of the ways we have all changed through our grief.  When I talk about that here, I don't see the kinds of exchanges I saw on that other post.  I see people responding with respect. 

I hope Tom continues to find a way through the miscommunications, misinterpretations, and acute sensitivities of the people who responded on that post.  He is, after all, a therapist. 

Maybe Lonnie's resignation will turn out to be the best thing for her.  However, after two years as a moderator, I'm sure she will grieve the loss of her work here.  Another kind of pain.  I want her to know how much her words have meant to me.  She sometimes kept me connected, when I was on the verge of retreating completely from the world.  If she goes, I will miss her terribly, and it will add yet another layer of losing Owen.

Sometimes, quiet reflection, before responding to posts is useful.  I know there are times when I write a reply, and have to reread it several times, before posting it.  Why?  Because my first impulse is sometimes TOO severe, and a bit of editing can help me more clearly and thoughtfully respond.  Maybe it's worth a try, yes?

Child Loss / Re: Owen, our beloved mystery man
« on: January 11, 2008, 02:33:57 AM »

Thank you for your thoughts.  I know you know.  I wish I could help ease your pain.  I can only offer you my thoughts and prayers for better days ahead - for days when your memories of your sweet son in your presence, are more prevalent than the memories of his loss.  He has such a sweet face, and I'm sure he brought you joy in ways only you can know.

Owen's and Nat's mom

Child Loss / Re: Owen, our beloved mystery man
« on: January 11, 2008, 02:29:42 AM »
Dear Karen Paul,

As horrifying as it was the day the coroner's deputy and the local detective showed up at my doorstep to tell me Owen's body was found in the river, I cannot imagine the next deepest nightmare - that of not knowing if he was alive or dead. 

For Josh's family, I will pray in the only way I know how.  I will play music that might have meant something to a 21-year-old man in somewhere America, and light candles for his family - and continue to pray for his safe return to their home.  I believe in miracles, for we had one.  Someone found Owen's body in the Petaluma River, and that doesn't happen often.

If there is any way I can help, please feel free to give my profile information to Josh's family.  I have little in the way of tangible rescue assistance in a town of an undisclosed location, but I can share my experience, and my hope.  We did not give up hope of finding Owen, even after I could no longer feel his presence.  There was that glimmer...

The missing...there are so few avenues for help with finding young adults.  Law enforcement rarely takes their disappearances seriously, and this is a devastating flaw in our local agencies.  We expect more.  We shouldn't have to beg for help, yet we do, and we find the agencies lacking.  No one can imagine the desperation of knowing your kid is out there somewhere, and gaining no access to the advanced technology of our times.  I was fortunate to have enough money to rent a plane and pilot to help me survey the locations we thought might render some evidence of Owen's disappearance.  All to no avail, but there was a time when we feel that flight might have revealed something that could help us find Owen.  I'm sure Josh's family is feeling that same desperation, and, given Josh's age and gender, they are probably finding little help.

Please let me know if you find out anything.  I will keep Josh and his family in my prayers - no matter the outcome.

Owen's and Nat's mom

Child Loss / Re: Owen, our beloved mystery man
« on: January 07, 2008, 10:30:46 PM »
Dear Karen Paul,

You wrote recently that a local family had lost track of their 21-year-old son.  It's less than two weeks later.  What do they know?  Have they found him?

These kids stay on my mind, and I grieve along with their parents.  The missing days are something no one can imagine.  Yes, I'm going to say horrible as the death of a child is for us, a missing child is both more terrible and more hopeful. 

I hope and pray the outcome for your local family was good, and that the young man has returned safely to his family's arms.  I hope and pray that the missing days will not be repeated.  I hope and pray that everyone learned how much they love each other.

If my hopes and prayers have been answered with a great big, "NO, that's not how it turned out" then I hope and pray that the family is managing their way through each 24-hour day with a modicum of understanding...and that they know what happened to their beloved son. 

Please let me know.  I keep thinking about him, this nameless young man, in this nameless town.

I hope my message finds you having a Happy New Year, and that you are moving along your lifeline with landmarks of wondrous surprises and love.

Owen's mom

Child Loss / Re: Owen, our beloved mystery man
« on: January 01, 2008, 11:49:04 PM »
Dear Karen Paul and Dante's Dad...and any others reading here:

Thank you for your kind thoughts.  Today is the first day of 2008.  And, today is nothing more than Tuesday

Today's post at is one I want to take into the New Year.  I want to send this message out to everyone who has lost a child, a brother, a sister, a niece, a nephew, a grandson, a granddaughter, a parent, a grandparent...a friend.  Our losses are not measured by their ascendency, or their degrees of separation.  They are measured by our intimacy with the one.  The one who has gone before us.

It's time for a cultural revolution.  The time has actually passed.  But, here we are.  Read on.  Cry when you cry.  Shake, quake, feel sick to your stomach, and allow concentration to go where it goes when our babies cross over before us.  Follow your memories in your dreams.  Follow in your conscious thoughts, as time and obligations allow.  But, go, when they call you.  Owen calls me often.

Happy New Year, and Happy Tuesday,
Owen's and Nat's Mom

Child Loss / Re: Owen, our beloved mystery man
« on: December 31, 2007, 01:37:10 AM »
Hey everyone,

Here I am again, hoping to find something tangible that can explain how miserable I am, but knowing you all know, and can't possibly make me understand.  We just know.  Our kids have gone on, and we have not.  Well, quite frankly, that just sucks.

If you read my blog (, you know where I've been.  And, if you haven't, you know anyway.  You communicate here instead, and that's wonderful.  For here, on webhealing, all of us find comfort.  I also find comfort in an additional community, and it's okay.  I come here on occasion, because this is a community specifically dedicated to those of us who have lost loved ones.  The greater blogosphere is not this place.  I meet people there, often, by accident.  It works, in its own way.

I miss the old days (how old can they be, given Owen only died a mere 7 or so months ago?), and it seems like a lifetime.  Oh, that's right, for some people, 7 months is a lifetime.  I can't imagine what it's like to lose a baby, an infant of 7 months, more or less.  I can only talk about what it's like to lose a son of 20 years and 50 weeks, because that's how old Owen was when he left us.  WAAAAHHHHHH.

Those sounds that visit me when I'm in my car alone, those primal you know them?  I read about them back in the 70s, but in a very different context.  Now, I know them as a part of my everyday life.  I miss Owen in a verbal way, in a screaming way, in an I-want-to-crawl-out-of-my-skin way.  And, it hurts like burning in hell.  Or, at least, that's my only way to explain it.  How about you?  What do you feel?

It may seem odd that I look forward to 2008, yet I do.  I look forward to finding answers, to finding peace.  I hope you find peace, too. 

I know our children are all holding hands in heaven.  Dancing, even.  Picking flowers and singing songs.  For this is the vision I hold.  I hold this vision like it is oxygen.  Without it, I am lost.  Find me, babies.  Find me, and bring me into the fold, like I'm a lost lamb.  For, surely, a lost parent is a lost lamb looking for peace.

Happy New Year, webhealers.  2008 has to be better, yes?

Owen's mom

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