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Topics - WendyRN

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Child Loss / Apology
« on: June 22, 2011, 10:14:14 AM »
Retrospect is a funny thing and the distance of time sometimes both clears and muddles things.  I am confused regarding all that happened since my reply to Don's message and the following responses.  However, I have come to realize that I owe Don (hope you are reading) an apology in that my timing in "mouthing off" stank.  Looking back, I should have sent you a private message asking you to re-word so there wouldn't be any confusion.  My biggest regret is that I, in my own fashion of needing to champion the underdog, felt such a strong need to "protect" any parents that may have felt the sting of words that included their "imperfect" child, shot off my reply.............without thinking that Donny's angel date had just passed and that Father's Day was on the way.  Please, Don, accept my profound apology for not thinking that through.  I am so sorry that I caused you further distress.  I would like to extend my apology to all the members here who so clearly have included Don in this tight group, appreciating him for all the good he has done here, and wanting to hold him up when he was feeling so hurt.  In hurting Don, I obviously upset you.  Please know it was unintentional as well (although its clear not all will agree.)

Just to be clear, I do not regret my words.  Only my timing and that I could have sent them to Don privately.  Lesson learned.  I continue to believe in our freedom here to say what we need to say but that certain comments do not belong on a parental grief board.

Like so many, this board has been a saving grace for me.  Where else can we turn to when we need to cry out loud and receive such implicit understanding?  As I'm feeling a bit "thrown overboard", I think I need to move away from here.  Of course there are no adequate words of thanks for all the comfort I have received here but I do thank you from the bottom of my heart.  Wishing you all comfort and peace.  Thinking of our kids, all our kids.

Wendy, Keith's mom (and Scott, Holly and Wade)

Child Loss / Wondering
« on: January 04, 2011, 02:55:37 PM »
My journey with the passing of my youngest son, Keith, is 3 years, 5 months on January 5th.  Many of you who contribute either regularly or sporadically have passed the 5 year anniversary marker in the loss of your children.  Time and again I have read of this significance, different from previous anniversaries.  Is anybody able to articulate why?  Scott, my first born child, died at 4 1/2 years old, almost 27 years ago.  I am either unable to recall or blocked the significance as I had a 7, 5, and 3 year old to care for.

Wendy, Keith's mom

Child Loss / Thank you
« on: August 11, 2010, 02:06:40 PM »
I had debated making comment on the "leaving the board" thread but it has now been locked.  I was unaware of what was taking place here as Keith's angel date was August 5th and we followed that with our annual celebration of his life on the 7th. 

I have no interest in weighing in on whatever transpired to cause upset, but only feel saddened to lose the voice of those who have been here, contributing, encouraging, sharing their heartache for myself and so many.  This post is only to say "Thank You" for being here, for those times when I felt Keith's loss was not survivable, when I needed to be heard, to be understood.  Sometimes allowing me to put aside my own grief in an effort to address somebody else's in a positive way. 

I don't know who all has decided to move from this board and perhaps find comfort elsewhere (except Judy ... and I will miss your thoughtful comments and, more especially, seeing Dougie's pics jump out at me).  I wish you all the best and hope peaceful days follow you on your journeys.

Wendy, Keith's mom

Child Loss / Dear Keith
« on: August 05, 2010, 12:56:51 AM »
The clock is turning midnight.  Three years ago it was the beginning of the last day you spent on this Earth.  You didn't know...or did you?  And neither did I know...or maybe I did?  My little secret?  A year or so before you left us, dad and I were talking and worrying about you as always.  Not just fearing you would put yourself in danger but sensing ... something.  Not really believing but somehow knowing your time with us would be short.

These 3 years have been so surreal.  Dad and I and your brother and sister have struggled so hard to carry on without you.  We miss you with every breath.  In the morning when we rise to start a new day, we think of you.  When we close our eyes at night, we think of you and pray our dreams are filled with wonderful memories of you.
So many moments throughout the day, we are reminded of our loss, saddened that you no longer light up a room with your smile, your laughter. 

Saturday we will remember and honour you with "Keith's Luau".  We will be joined by our family and friends, including yours, Wade and Holly's friends as we  celebrate your life and memory.  When darkness falls, we will each light a candle as we take a moment to remember what you meant to each of us.  I will share a few words of gratitude for their continued support and, most especially, sharing memories of my precious son.  I will cry.  I will try hard not to but I will.  I will see the sadness in the faces of other parents and I will briefly glimpse their truth -  they are glad it wasn't their child.  Perhaps this year I will sense their encouragement  "to move on".  I am ready for their ignorance.  But I cannot move on.  I am here, stuck in this time warp of disbelief.  Each day you are the focus of every moment, even when I am occupied with daily tasks.  I don't know how to live a purposeful life when my purpose seems now to be missing you, mourning your loss in my life.   

You are my sweet, baby child.  Always.  I don't understand how I am here, without you.  I don't know why.  I miss everything about you.  All the wonderful snapshots of memories....your cooking up a Keith feast on a weekend morning, the way you'd laugh  when watching the Simpsons (even though you'd seen the same episode 4 or 5 times already), watching you walk down the street on your way to a friend's house, with heavy metal music blasting in your headphones.  Seeing you come home from a long day at work, tired but satisfied.  Relishing a good meal and eating with gusto.  Enjoying the company of your friends, but even more importantly - your brother and sister. 

You are the heart of my heart.  Always and forever.

Wendy, Keith's mom

Child Loss / Need to get a grip
« on: February 08, 2010, 12:56:50 AM »
As some of you know, I am a nurse on a maternity unit.  Yesterday and today were crazy busy days so I was a little stressed.  This afternoon, the head nurse and I had a little difference of opinion about breastfeeding.  BREASTFEEDING!!  The details are boring but she decided to "gently" berate me in front of my peers about not being a strong enough proponent of breastfeeding (of which she has no clue of my personal stance) as it is her firm belief that there is basically no place in this world for formula feeding a baby.  Anyway, we went back and forth for a few minutes and then she wandered off.  My mask saved me the rest of the afternoon...although all I wanted to do was sit and cry.  Over breastfeeding!  It is really so frickin' inconsequential in my life right now.  Job or no job.  But still I just wanted to sit and cry like a baby.  I almost got out of work before the familiar lump developed and I knew the tears would again come.  I hate being so overly sensitive.  Especially with stuff that has no real interest to me.  Anybody have any suggestions how to get a grip?

Wendy, Keith's mom

Child Loss / Board activity
« on: November 24, 2009, 12:25:22 PM »
Terry mentioned in a recent posting that the Board has been a little quiet lately, suggesting that it is likely the approaching holidays that have us reaching inward instead of outward.

I have been guilty myself of reading but only infrequently contributing.  I guess I just don't have much to say most of the time.  I am finding that my strength to manage anything other than the necessary has dwindled to the point of my home becoming a cluttered mess.  My life a cluttered mess.  I feel very much out of control a lot of the time.  I want to take care of things.  I make plans to.  But they just seem to dissolve.

I have been working on a dvd for Keith for many, many months.  Its a complicated process with a big learning curve for me.  But I'm proud of what has been created so far and hope to finish and share copies with friends and family before Christmas.  This has been such a focus (and lifeline) that I'm almost scared to be done.  Then what?  The over 450 slides of pictures and comments left on facebook have kept me connected in a way I can't explain.  I would like to learn how to make the Memory Bears that are created using the clothing of loved ones - a new project to keep me going - if and when I might be ready to use a pair of scissors on any of Keith's clothes.  I think I am probably a long way from that yet.

Sometimes, I think I am learning to cope with Keith's loss but so often I find myself becoming more and more introverted.  I guess I've always dealt with things on my own and harbour a certain lack of trust in others and the world around me.  I have some past history of rejection that helped develop this lack of faith and I am very selective with whom I share my heart, my needs, my sorrows.  I do, however, feel safe here and know that what I share from my heart is understood by most.....even here though, always cognizant of the fact that my words are not exclusive to board members.  I am probably considered standoffish by some.  Even here, I can feel like I'm standing at a window looking in - wanting and yet not, to find the safety to belong.  I wonder if, in setting up boundaries, that my subconscious mind is pretending that I'm different from the sad souls I see, without their children, like I were not one of them.  I don't know.  The mind is a complicated affair.  You may have noticed I have never attempted to post a picture of Keith or Scott and I think that is my way of keeping them all to myself.  Hanging on with a fierceness. 

And, although the board members here come from varied backgrounds, different faiths, many parts of the world...and I don't participate as often as I might...I am so appreciative of the "knowing" that is felt here.  Please know that in my silence I am thinking of you, remembering always our children.

Wendy, Keith's mom

Child Loss / Sorry
« on: August 04, 2009, 08:43:50 PM »
In my previous posting "how to forget" I think I may have hit raw nerves.  I don't think I made myself very clear and so I will try again. 

Sunday was the last night Keith enjoyed here on earth.  We found out about the accident the next morning.  This year Sunday was the 2nd of August but 2 years ago it fell on the 5th.  So tomorrow is officially the 2nd angelversary.  Only one person, a co-worker, even mentioned this weekend.  She said she was sorry and that this must be a really hard time for us.  None of my friends.  None of my family.  Nobody called.  So I came here.  OF COURSE I WILL NEVER FORGET!  What I was trying to describe was that when I am thinking of Keith I get stuck on visions of his accident.  When I want to daydream of him, that's what I see in my mind.  Not his smiling face, not memories I want to relive - but just the accident.  And, yes, thank God I have only my imagination to fill in the blanks as I was not there.  And I KNOW that my imagination stops in its tracks before I land in a place I cannot handle.  I am grateful I was spared that.  But will forever live with the fact I didn't get to say goodbye. 

Keith's accident occurred about 3 hours from my home.  Thankfully, I don't have to relive it on any regular basis.  I last saw him the day before he went camping, and we were furniture shopping together.  The next time was in his casket 2 weeks later.  I'm sorry my words were misconstrued.  When the whole world changed on one day, in one hour, in the blink of an could I forget?  I just want some peace from the images.  I want to forget long enough to enjoy memories of my life with my son.  Good memories, ordinary memories, just memories that don't involve always the accident.

Thanks for the kind messages.  You all are my lifeline.

Wendy, Keith's mom

Child Loss / How to forget?
« on: August 03, 2009, 09:52:23 AM »
On August 5th, 2 years ago, my 21 year old son Keith was killed when he was ejected from his atv.......over a 150' cliff.  I am lost without him.  I am just wandering through my life trying to maintain ..........what?  I keep looking for purpose but I don't find it.  This can't be what was intended for my life.  Could it?  How can a broken woman still have anything left to do on earth? 

Today was the day (Monday of our B.C. Day long weekend) I came home from nightshift to the RCMP pulling into my drive.  I had to wake my husband and we received the news.  I had to go downstairs and wake my son to tell him his brother was gone.  I had to call my daughter who lives about half hour away and tell her Keith had not survived the horrible accident.  RCMP picked her up and brought her out to me.  That's about all I remember.  But why can't I forget how I imagine the accident occurred.  I see it in my mind ALL THE TIME.  I cannot erase the horror.  When I want to remember all the good, the bad, and the ordinary times over the course of 21 years, I am invaded by thoughts of the accident.  I don't know how to  turn it off.

I thought I had a lot to say, but just can't share right now.

Wendy, Keith's mom forever

Child Loss / Keith's birthday yesterday
« on: May 05, 2009, 12:50:58 PM »
My beautiful son, my baby, celebrated his 21 + 2 birthday in Heaven yesterday.  I have been so stressed for the past 2 or 3 weeks.  Physically ill one minute, hardly able to cope the next, crying, crying, crying.  Looking for triggers to keep me so down.  I guess I just needed to feel.  Sometimes I still feel so numb.  Shouldn't I be out of that stage by now?  Today, Keith has been gone for 21 months.  One minute he was having "a best day" according to his camping friends, and the next he was gone.  Survived a 150 foot drop over a rocky cliff only to then drown in the shallow river below.  Will I ever stop asking why?  Will I always wonder if he "knew"?  I am brokenhearted without him.  I know I should count my blessings.  For all those who are now without their only child or children, I know I can't imagine the extent of your loneliness.  I still have a beautiful daughter and a wonderful son.  They are my joy in life.  So why do I feel so entirely empty.  Like I cannot be filled.  Even with all I have.  Missing Keith has left such a vacuum. 

About 40 of his friends came over yesterday and we shared some memories, launched some balloons.  I'm so happy they came and remembered my Keith.  It meant the world to me.  To my family. 

I love you forever, Keith. 

Wendy, Keith's mom

Child Loss / Thirty years
« on: March 06, 2009, 12:51:35 AM »
My firstborn son, Scott, was born March 5, 1979.  He was dreamed of.  He was loved.  He lived on this earth for 4 1/2 years.  He was profoundly brain damaged from his very difficult birth.  I don't think he ever really knew who I was.  At 3 months he became blind and deaf from constant seizures.  He lived in pain for all his life.  I cannot make sense of it still.  I only know I loved him then and I love him still.  I grieve for all that should have been.  Even after 30 years. 

Wendy, Scott's (and Keith's) mom ...... and my two surviving children, Holly and Wade. 

Child Loss / A miraculous moment in time
« on: February 27, 2009, 01:48:20 PM »
I have not had the energy to write often lately.  I am approaching the 19th month anniversary of my youngest son, Keith's, passing on March 5th.  This is also the birthday of my first born son, Scott, who would have turned 30 years old.  He has been gone from my life for 25 years.  In my still newly grieving mind for Keith, I am struggling in this 2nd year of loss.  The push and pull of daily life is sometimes just too much.  And of what worth?  But please know I read everyday and I think of you all and send my thoughts and prayers to each, hoping desperately that we all will find ways to reach for a more peaceful existence while we await reunion with our children. 

My "miraculous" event took place last week, on my way home from the hospital after my last nightshift.  I sometimes travel along a route that takes me past road work that is not currently being attended to.  The road follows a curved hill that part way up becomes a double lane (the new part).  While I was heading up the hill, just prior to the double lane, I checked in my mirror before pulling into the right lane.  Behind me, the lane heading up the  hill was lit up in red lights.  Like a runway!  As I continued up the hill and around a bend, so did the red lights.  Now I saw three rows of lights, marking the two lanes - one on the left edge of the road, one on the right edge of the road, and one dividing the two eastbound lanes.  It looked EXACTLY like an airplane runway!  I couldn't keep my eyes out of the mirror.  Each time I looked back, I thought they'd be gone but there they still were!  I even had to stop at a light - still lit up!  This continued for probably 3/4 of a mile before I entered an area of a newer subdivision and looked back - gone.  I knew it was Keith.  I kept this to myself for a few days (as I am wont to do) but when I told my  husband, we, needing to know, went back and took the same route.  We saw no physical evidence of lighting besides the usual odd road lane markers.  And there were no lights in the rearview mirror.  Keith was with me that morning.  I know it as surely as the air I breathe. 

Wendy, Keith's mom

Child Loss / Dumbstruck
« on: January 08, 2009, 02:12:37 PM »
Although I read every day, I have been finding it so difficult to actually engage.  It has been 17 months since Keith left me behind.  In so many ways, I am finding this second year to be more difficult.  The intensity of emotions has dulled somewhat.  Such powerful emotion is not sustainable.  But his loss is felt more acutely.  Most of the time I live in reality that Keith really is gone.  Sometimes I am shocked with this belief.  Still.  It seems I have been in a new stage for some months.  Wanting to try engaging in life.  But not.  Too totally fatigued to manage.  Its all I can do to get off to work.  Every workday I struggle to get out the door.  I guess this is a stage of trying to learn to live with this loss.  Am I in the process of learning to accept?

Wendy, Keith's mom

Child Loss / The simple things
« on: September 24, 2008, 07:31:53 PM »
This morning I came home from my last nightshift, stopping at the store for a card to send along with my daughter who had to attend a funeral service for the first boyfriend she ever loved.  It was all so very sad.  I had such a restless sleep today, thinking of him, thinking of Keith.  Thinking of all of our children. 

But, in one of those moments when you lightly drift in and out of sleep, when the dreams seem to come........I dreamed of a simple thing.  Keith used to, on occasion, shave his head.  After several days, the regrowth is so soft and that's what I dreamed of.  Running my hand over and over his head.  Feeling the softness of his darkly golden hair growing back.  Smelling his cologne, mixed with the soap his liked to use.  His telling me to stop it, but smiling and enjoying the attention.  I hugged him, FEELING the width of his shoulders, the sturdiness.  It was so intensely real.  Loving him every second.  I miss it all so much. 

Wendy, Keith's mom

Child Loss / What to do?
« on: September 13, 2008, 11:25:03 AM »
Have been in such a funk since Keith's first angelversary, Aug. 5th.  Haven't been able to contribute here or even feel much like reading.  It seems it all has hit me like a ton of bricks.  There is so much going on in my head and nobody to share it with (in the real world) that would understand.  Except my husband who of course feels the loss of our son as intensely as I do, but he is unable to listen.  Our life together consists only of the mundane.  We exist.  Anything more we try to incorporate seems to end up in bickering and fighting. The reality of the loss of a second child (Scott at 4 1/2 who would now be 29 years old - and Keith at 21 who would have turned 22 May 4th) fills me with fear and dread for the lives of my two living children, Holly and Wade.  Is it not enough that my oldest and youngest have been taken from me - shouldn't there be some kind of written-in-stone agreement with God that Holly and Wade are guaranteed long and happy lives?  And as a parent with surviving children, shouldn't that fear of something happening to them be lifted?

I cannot make sense of this world.  I just don't seem to belong here anymore.  I'm on the outside looking in.  My comfort zone of family and friends are slipping away.  Some of that is my own fault as I have made little effort to keep in touch.  Except my sister who has been my life support and whom I love dearly.  Those close to me have offered me their comforting words, shared hugs, over the past year but now what?  That discomfort is starting to creep in if a discussion turns to missing Keith.  I see it in their eyes.  So.....plop the mask on tight.  The damn thing hurts and is too heavy.  In some eyes I just see confusion.  I read that as "Its been over a year.  Time to get on with the business of life."  And I do.  Somehow I get up for my shifts at the hospital and for 12 hours I cart the mask around.  The drive to/from work I play "Keith" music that makes me cry.  Without fail.  And I wonder of a world without me in it.  But could never do that to my kids. 

Lately, I imagine myself in a deep hole with slippery sides that I can't climb out from.  I used to see people I know hovering around the hole, yelling down support to "try, try and climb up".  Throwing down ropes.  Thinking of ways to help.  But I also can hear them laughing, talking.  Leaving for periods of time.  Going on with their lives.  And I'm at the bottom of this hole, where its dark and cold and I'm scared and lonely.  But it is somehow comforting to be there.  By myself.  With my thoughts of Scott and Keith.  Nobody can take those from me.  Part of me wants to be up there with my family and friends.  To love and be loved, to learn, to enjoy, to see and hear all the beauty of this world.  But its too hard to focus on that.  It seems so distant.  I have made a few efforts to climb the wall.  There are scrabble marks around the bottom edges.  But some trick of fate has made it so slick that I can't seem to get more than a foot above the bottom before falling to the ground again.  I imagine I see foot holds but I don't reach for them.  I think I know they are there though.  Its all just too much effort.  And I don't have the energy.  Nor the will.  Sometimes I care.  Sometimes I don't. 

I sound like a mad woman.

On a positive note....I have been thinking that I might be ready to try some one-on-one counselling.  I have not wanted to share my feelings with a stranger.  Not sure if I could now.  I guess I just don't believe that anyone could tell me anything that would make me feel better.  I have leaned more on a less scientific field - the world of psychic connection to the Other Side.   Its comforting to believe that Keith and Scott are with me still. and always. 

I know some of this must sound very familiar to you all.  Have we all gone crazy, so saddened by our losses?  Do I need to DO "something"?  Or just let life happen and hope that one day there will be some relief from the worst of this sadness?

Wendy, Keith's mom

Child Loss / Just need to talk
« on: August 03, 2008, 10:02:30 PM »
Today (Sunday) of this long weekend (in B.C., Canada) was the last day of Keith's life.  Last year the Sunday fell on August 5th.  I'm not sure whether today is worse or Tuesday the 5th will be.  I am so overcome by sadness and longing to have him back.  My chest hurts.  I have been walking around with the rock of gibraltar in my throat all day.  I am a bundle of nerves.  Wound so tight I feel I could explode at any moment.  It seems to take very little to make me angry.  I hate that about this new me.  As a matter of fact, I hate everything about this new me.  Everything just seems so useless.  I don't know how I can think like this when I have two surviving children that I love so much. 

We have decided to host a big luau party for our family, friends and our kids' friends, including Keith's.  I have been occupying myself with thoughts of this for months and now with all the preparations.  We plan to make it an annual event and call it "Keith's Luau".  We will hold it the week after his angelversary every year in August.  The plan is to have a short break to light candles and a minute of silence, otherwise for everyone to enjoy themselves as Keith would want.  This has almost been some kind of lifeline for me.  Something to think about.  A way to honour and remember Keith.  But now, I'm getting cold feet.  I don't feel social.  I don't know if I can mingle like a "normal" person.  I just don't think I have anything to contribute socially.  I know my husband will get drunk and leave me with the party. 

I wonder how many times in the past year I've thought about just running away....from everything.  I wonder if I'm not able to bear this?  I wonder if my marriage will survive this.  I wonder if I care.

The memorial wall that was painted by friends was destroyed a few weeks back and that has hit me harder than I thought it would.  I thought I was prepared for that eventuality as it is on a long wall at a local highschool outdoor basketball court.  The artists that painted it vowed to repaint it on Tuesday but I'm afraid to hope.  Of course, it will never be the same though. 

Do others find that your friends don't call any more.  A few of my closest friends don't call for weeks and weeks.  I have read that grieving parents often lose some of the friends they've had for years.  Sometimes I care, sometimes I guess I don't really. 

On this Sunday, Keith's friend cradled his head in his lap, knowing he had left this earth.  Waiting for help to arrive from the nearest town.  It was a long wait.  His friends found him in the river beneath the cliff he'd tumbled down.  He had survived the fall only to drown in 2 feet of water in the Tulameen River.  My beautiful boy.  My youngest child.  I love you more than my life. 

Wendy, Keith's mom always and forever.

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