Monday, June 11, 2012


Sometimes I wonder if Catelyn had favorites.....

At my new job, the women's organization will be hosting a charity day.  This year's charity is the Shelley Glover Sports Education Foundation.  I've been told that Shelley's favorite color was purple.  That got me to thinking....did Catelyn have a favorite color?

I dressed her in a lot of pinks, purples, turquoises, browns and other colors.....did she even like any of them?   With all of the stories I've been hearing from friends and family about butterflies recently, I have decided that maybe Catelyn really liked orange and white.

We'll never really know for sure, of course, but when I find myself without answers to these types of questions, it's fun to guess.

9 months....

Today marks 9 months since Catelyn died.  Some days are up, some days are down.  I guess it gets easier, but sometimes it still feels like I start over from square one.  Sometimes it's the shows I watch, sometimes it's other people's lives, sometimes it's things I want to do with Catelyn, but cannot.  I've said it before, and I'll say it's usually the unexpected.

Just the other day, I realized that there are a few things next to my bedside (on the floor) that I cannot bring myself to move.  I have one of Catelyn's little receiving blankets - she'd always snuggle up with them; one of her little socks - it's one of the ones that I sought to replace at the hospital because they were getting a little snug; and one of my socks, which I lent to her at the hospital because it didn't mess up her pick lines that were in her leg, but allowed her to stay warm (it was white and fuzzy, but looked a lot like a cast...we thought we had her next halloween costume figured out).

My husband and I worked in Catelyn's garden yesterday, and as we worked, we listened to WGN radio because the Chicago Cubs were playing ball, and that is one of our favorite pastimes.  As we listened, the announcer, Pat Hughes, referenced an idea for Father's day.  It actually hurt my heart to hear his words because last year for Father's Day, I ordered a Ron Santo book for my husband, and on his special day, he and Catelyn sat on the couch and opened it together.  I'm glad to have that special memory caught on tape and film, but it hurts to know that there won't be an option to do that this year.

Like I said, some moments are up, and some are down, and it changes from thought to thought, experience to experience, and moment to moment....

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Magnificient butterflies

A few people have recently told me of some encounters they have had with butterflies.  Since I've experienced one myself, I thought I'd share.

  • One of my dearest friends told me that she was having a rough day one day, and she felt the need to go outside on her back porch to recollect herself.  She looked up, and high up in a tree she could see a vibrantly colored orange butterfly.  She was impressed that she could see the color from so far away.  She watched it flutter about, and felt the need to say "Hi, Miss Catelyn".  The butterfly, then, came closer to her.  She talked to it just a little, and then wished it well.  The butterfly flew straight up into the air - as if flying directly to heaven.  :)
    by Noga Ami-ra
  • One of my cousins called me today and asked if there were any significant dates for myself, my husband, or Catelyn at the end of May or beginning of June.  I couldn't think of anything.  She began to explain that she camped out with her family over memorial day weekend, and each time she went outside she would encounter this lovely bright orange butterfly.  As we were talking, she encountered three others!  She said that there were a few times that she was pretty sure that she was being followed by the butterfly.  She said she greeted it, and it seemed to show that it liked that by fluttering a little more.  :)
    Butterfly Migration by Nicki Loam
  • I was driving in my car one day, and I had a lot on my mind.  As I was driving along a straight stretch of road, surrounded by farm land, I noticed that my car was being swarmed by tinly little white butterflies.  They were popping up out of the fields, as I zoomed along.  The speed limit is 55 on that stretch of road, so I was sure I was going to hit the butterflies, but I noticed that I wasn't bumping into them.  Instead, they appeared to be hovering around my car.  It was an incredibly unique experience.  I can only attribute it to a visit from a very special little girl who knew I needed comforting.  :)
So, the moral of these stories, if you will, is to watch for butterflies. 

If you experience a special encounter with a winged beauty, I feel that the odds are good that you are being visited by a little girl with a big heart who feels that you need a little extra joy.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

every now and then....

Every now and then I forget..... 

It's just days from being 9 months since Catelyn died, and I still have moments where I forget she's gone.

Inadvertently, something will come up, and I'll think that I'm supposed to pick Catelyn up from daycare, or that I need to make arrangements for someone to watch her because my husband and I both have meetings on the same night, or that I can't run a quick errand at 8:55pm because Catelyn has been in bed since 7....

I don't know if or when those feelings will ever stop, and, quite frankly, I'm not sure that I want them to.  However, the emptiness that creeps in as I realize the fault in my thinking literally makes my chest feel so very tight.

Sometimes the giant steps forward quickly turn into a flailing, backwards, downhill tumble.

Monday, June 4, 2012


I saw this on's SO true in general, but especially as a bereaved parent.


Recently, I found myself reconnecting with a friend, who also experienced a death of a child in 2011.  We were actually at a bench dedication over Memorial Day weekend, and I looked up and noticed her right away.  I couldn't believe my eyes.  I scanned the program and found a name that I thought might be her child, and then part way through the ceremony, each family had the chance to say the name of their loved one, and she confirmed my thoughts.  I tracked her down after the ceremony was over because I just felt that I needed to connect.  After I walked away, my husband said that he used to play summer ball against my friend's son - what a small world.

While I am so very, very sorry to hear of her loss, I found the smallest bit of comfort (sad, but true) from the fact that someone I had known, in another time in my life, was so familiar with the pain I feel.

Actually, as I've thought about it, I know a lot of people who have endured the death of a child, and I'm not even talking about through The Compassionate Friends.  At a quick count, I come up with close to 20 families, and that's without putting any effort into it.  There are so many people suffering from this common type of loss, and yet it seems so uncommon to us....but think about it:  there are still births and miscarriages, illnesses and suicides, murders, accidents, wars, and more. 

As of late, my thoughts have been filled with two women that I worked with at a previous's daughter was killed by a stray-bullet, and the others' son died as an infant or young toddler.  Both were so very honest and forthright in talking about their children, both alive and deceased.  It's amazing to me how strong they are, as are all parents who endure the death of a child.

Just the other day, on The Compassionate Friends Facebook page, I noticed a woman was wondering how to get through.  She stated that she is 11 months into her grieving, and that her support system is starting to bombard her with their questions and feelings of 'aren't you over this yet?'.  As I contemplated how to reply to her, because I felt compelled to offer my two cents, of course, I realized how very lucky I truly am.

I am lucky to have found an outlet that gives me a chance to express my needs and thoughts to those who are willing to listen.
I am lucky to have people I can rely on - new friends, old friends, or anywhere in between.
I am lucky to have support.
I am lucky to know so many people who have endured this type of grief.
I am lucky to see the strength of so many others, which gives me hope of surviving the pain.

As horrible as losing Catelyn has been, and as much as I miss her each and every day, I am lucky.

I haven't written in a little while.  A lot has been going on for me.  I transitioned out of my old job and into a new job.  Though it was very hard to leave the people I have grown to know so well over the last several years, and have seen through many milestones including the good and bad, still, it has been a very good change.  Believe it or not, I have actually found myself happy.

Happy.......?!  Wow, that is a word that I haven't said in such a long time.  Especially in reference to myself.

Now, that certainly does not mean that I am 'over' the loss of Catelyn, because that will NEVER happen....after all, she is my child.  It's not like breaking up with don't get 'over' it.  You just start to find healing as time goes on.

Does it get 'easier'?   Probably.....over time....lots and lots of time...

I certainly wouldn't count the last nine months as enough time for the pain to fully subside, but to find the smallest spark of happiness is something that I couldn't fathom even one month ago.