Friday, 30 September 2011

In the memory of James & Nicholas

Today I am asking for your support.  We lost our second son, James, in January 2011 and have been working hard to put the pieces back together.  While we feel like we've come a long way, we also realize there's still a long way to go & that really we'll always greive his loss.
In the efforts to move forward we've been tremendously fortunate to be connected to other parents who are also angel baby parents.  One in particular has been a pillar for me, Leanna, her support has seen me through some of my darkest days, the ones when I wasn't sure there would be light again.  She has become a dear friend & her son Nicholas was born 3 years ago on November 7 & they will be celebrating & honouring his life again on that day this year.  To that end, Leanna & I have joined our efforts to put together comfort or memory boxes together to provide to Southlake Regional Hospital, where James was born & St. Mikes Hosptial where Nicholas was born for other parents who are beginning this journey. 
Below is a letter that Leanna wrote sharing an opportunity to run/walk in honour of Nicholas as well as outlining the comfort/memory boxes & asking for your support.
 I am asking that you read below & if you are able to please support us in honouring James & Nicholas by remembering them & the significant part they will forever play in our families lives.
With much love & gratitude,
Caroline, Mike, Jeven & Angel boy James
Dear Family and Friends,

It’s hard to believe that we are approaching Nicholas’ 3rd Angel Day. The past three years have been intense, unpredictable and full of unimaginable grief, but they have also been filled with hope, inspiration and an incredible amount of healing. Although it is painful to not have Nicholas here with us, his spirit and his legacy have infused our family with indomitable strength and immeasurable love over the past 3 years. We remember him often, we honour him daily, we love him unconditionally. He is forever a part of our hearts and our souls.

Many of you will remember that for the past two years, on or around November 7th, our dear friends, Marcus and Meagan Olson participate in a duathalon in honour of our baby boy. The experiences we have witnessed on these days have been truly beautiful and perfect. We are so thankful to have such a wonderful and positive focus on a day that is extremely emotional for our family. This year, on November 5, 2011, we will again be participating in the same duathalon and dedicating the day to Nicholas. We are very blessed to have such a wonderful support system.

This year we would like to invite anyone who is interested in being a part of “Team Nicholas” to participate. Marcus will be racing in the long (3.8K Run – 10K Bike – 3.8K Run) course. There is also a short (short (1.9k Run-5k Bike-1.9k Run) course for those who are interested.

The duathalon will be held on Saturday, November 5, 2011 at Sir Sanford Fleming College in Peterborough, Ontario. The course is completely off road and is a mix of single track and open trails. If you are interested in participating please contact myself or Marc and Meagan directly. There is certainly power in numbers and we look forward to another inspiring day!

The following link will direct you to the Dirty Duathalon website – for registration and information.

Last year we invited family and friends to donate to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Southlake Regional Health Center in honour of Nicholas. We were overwhelmed with the response and humbled to be able to contribute to such an important initiative in Nicholas’ name.

This year, we have another vision to celebrate and honour Nicholas. Jim, Evan, Kyle, Madison and I, along with some very generous friends and family, will be creating some special Hospital Memory/Comfort Boxes for the labour and delivery ward of our local hospital. During the past 3 years I have been fortunate enough to meet and support some extraordinary parents who are suffering the loss of their babies. It is my understanding and my experience that not too much exists in terms of tangible care and support when you are forced to leave the hospital with empty arms.

It is our hope to provide items in these packages to newly bereaved parents that may help in memorializing their babies. When parents are forced to face the unimaginable; saying goodbye to their children, tangible things such as pictures and hand/footprints aren’t often thought about until it’s too late. Our goal is to offer comforting options... options that are not typically thought of in the fresh stages of grief.

Our Memory/Comfort Boxes will include the following:
• Tea light
• Journal & pen
• Angel Wings
• Small blankets
• Small knit hats
• Disposable cameras
• Water soluble ink pad and paper for hand/footprints
• Poems and support information

Jim, Evan, Kyle, Madison and I would like to invite you to support “Team Nicholas” in honour of our son, Nicholas Warren Reeves, this November 5, 2011.

By donating any of the above items for our Memory/Comfort Boxes or by visiting the Angel Wings Memorial Boutique ( and donating via PayPal you will be helping us to celebrate Nicholas’ life, honouring his memory and supporting newly bereaved parents in creating precious memories of their children.

I would also like to take the opportunity to introduce you to a dear friend and fellow grieving mother, Caroline. Caroline said goodbye to her second son, James, at Southlake Regional Health Center on January 20, 2011. Caroline has become a beautiful friend and is offering her time and her heart to this wonderful cause. It is because of our friendship and her support that we dedicate the Memory/Comfort Boxes in James’ name as well as Nicholas. I am certain that they are magical friends in the clouds.

We thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for taking the time to consider remembering our precious Nicholas in such a special way.

If you are interested in donating items for our Memory/Comfort Boxes OR if you are interested in contributing a monetary gift to help in purchasing the items for the boxes via PayPal please visit the following link ( There is a “donate” button on the left panel. Please be sure to indicate your donation is for the Memory/Comfort Boxes.

As we hope to deliver the boxes on November 7th, 2011, donations would be appreciated by October 21st, 2011. This will give us 2 weeks to create these special memoirs. Thank you so much.

Every donation provides hope. Every gift is precious.

With Love and Gratitude,
Marcus, Meagan, Noah and Finnley Olson
Leanna, Jim ,Evan, Kyle, Madison and Angel Baby Nicholas Reeves

Sunday, 25 September 2011


Seems my subconscious is working overtime.  I've had the craziest of dreams - from friends losing their babies to being in the middle of Columbine mass murder & having to protect Jeven.  I wake up almost exhausted from the various tragedies that play out in my dreams - sometimes they even haunt me the next day.

Things are still so early & yet I feel need to fast forward to the end & know how things turn out.  I told myself that I would cherish every moment but each cherished moment is also drenched in fear of not getting to the next cherished moment.  Oy - double edged sword I guess.

Was moved to tears today - the rushes of raw emotion come less frequently these days, so I am always caught off guard when they do.  Mostly I feel damaged, seeing the world so differently then almost everyone I know.  This afternoon I felt pure grief again & transported back - back to the beginning. 

No telling what my dreams will be like tonight but I hope my tortured subconscious will be gentle on me tonight.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Last week someone asked me for the first time about my cremation lockette.  I had convinced myself that no one would, since it's been close to 7 months since I've had it.  I was momentarily paralized, I have thought many times how I would answer if questioned & then there it was & like all the other firsts I froze. 

The setting was awkward, across the table in a work meeting that was about to begin & being chaired by myself.  It seemed like when the question was asked the whole room fell into a hush & the way it was asked took me by surprise; "What is that?" as she motioned clearly to my neclace & pendent.  I panicked a bit, I think I may have even stuttered at first, a million thing rushing through my mind - what do I say? how should  I answer? do I want to share this with all these people? Is it professional? - then my answer; "It's a pendant".

I've been somewhat tormented since, thought about approaching the person when I see her next and telling the truth & rationale for not sharing.  Then I think about something that was talked about in group, that's it's our choice to share our story, not everyone has the right to know & that we can choose.  I also think about the inside voice in my head & heart that screams the truth everytime I'm in one of these situations & feel a little prick of hope that James hears my heart louder then my head anyway. 

More baby dreams last night, not as clear but clearly baby dreams.  Sigh.

Missing you angel all the time & hoping you are near.  Love Mommy xoxoxoxxo

Monday, 19 September 2011

2 lines

On Saturday there were 2 lines in stead of 1.  I was surprised - I spent the last month fully convinced it wasn't going to happen.  I am very excited & frightened to death all at the same time.  Now let me take a moment to acknowledge how early & premature any planning or expectations are but I feel James' essence in this news. 

I had a dream last night, I was giving birth at the hospital & the next thing I know I am home with no memory of what happened next.  My parents tell me I delivered a baby girl, I still have no recollection although in my dream I try desperately to remember.  Mike is no where to be found & my dream continues & eventually ends without me seeing my child.  I think, as I reflect on things that this is my anxiety talking & I know there will be much more to come. 

I have also decided to take a class with Mike to devote some time to nurturing our relationship, it has come a very long way & we have re-connected in the last few months since James' should have been delivery date.  I just want do my part to make sure we stay that way.  The kicker is that these classes (Ballroom dancing - yay!) fall on the same nights as the bereavement group.  I have felt it missing (I missed last class) but I remind myself that as much as I need the release, I have some strong relationships, my blog & I can always return when it's over.  I know I can reach out if I need it - just come to look forward to my safe place in the group.  I have felt valued, understood, safe & helpful to others there.  I have been reassured I've come a long way & have further to go.  I have made friends & felt love there.  I will miss it - for now. 

Feeling you near James & hoping you will hold Mommy's hand through the scary times ahead.


Wednesday, 14 September 2011

A cynic

When did I become so cynical?  I find that I don't believe in anything, unless proven otherwise, especially if there is an element of chance.  I don't remember being this way.  It's changed the way I practice at work, others have even pointed it out. 

Especially things I want most - I just find I am cynic - believe it'll likely not happen before I ever allow myself to believe it will.  Not interested in any more disappointments I guess. 

Recently I've seen my share of pep talks - none of which are directed my way but all of which have bothered the heck out of me.  I guess I find them purposeless, maybe even a bit deceiving.  Lord knows I'm not in the mood for any words of encouragement - I am frustrated & cynical and want to be allowed to be this way b/c this is how I feel.

It's not socially acceptable to be openly grief stricken all the time, it's not acceptable to be angry, cynical, frustrated.  There only seems to be room for upbeat naivete, well sorry that girl is gone & I'm not in the mood to be anyone that I'm not right now.

I'm sure that pendulum will swing back - maybe my optimism or at least realism will return. 

Remembering moments with you although brief all day to today angel.  Always in my heart - Love Mommy xoxoxox

Saturday, 10 September 2011

What a day - you know it's rough when you have 2 entries in one day...

Today was a day of celebration for a first cousin of mine -a bridal shower.  I have thought back to those days, when things were idealistic, bright for the future & romantic.  How I wish I could still live in the innocence of those days.  I am thrilled for her but can't help but wonder what life will hold for her.  Lord knows this would never have seemed possible to me back then.

From the moment I got out of bed, all odds seemed stocked against me - nothing I did seemed to end in anything but disaster.   I finally made it to the shower but I knew then that I could only barely put on a happy face, today was foggy day with my grief very close to the surface.  I managed to hold the heavy grief in but found it hard to muster a smile at all times.  I'm sure people wondered "what's wrong with her?".

I was asked the how many children question but my grandmother - who doesn't know anything about James b/c of her age & not wanting to cause her any pain was right there & I didn't want to try my pilot reply with her there.  So I said out loud - 1 child & in my mind & heart said - here on earth & one in heaven.

I'm tired, frustrated & sad tonight.  No celebration will ever be the same  - sigh. 

Heavy hearted without you tonight angel. xoxoxox Mommy 

Seems everywhere we go there is a child, or a character or some reference to the name James.  Each time I hear the word I feel a little prick in my chest, a slight inhale & then a wish that things were different.  I have found that all I can do is accept b/c what are my alternatives - run away, go cry, be angry?  I want to do all the above, but mostly it's just not reality & no way to live.

Somewhere deep inside I am hopeful that the recent bombarding of James is my angel sending us little signs to let us know he's with us.  It seems that the increase in "James" encounters really ramped up around Jev's birthday & has continued while we were away on vacation.  I know I thought often of him & wondered about what things would be like if he were still with us.  Isn't this the every day thought of the parent who's child has died? 

Jev has also made the leap from crib to toddler bed.  One more departure from his baby days & one more reminder that our baby is missing.  I have also given much thought to how I wish to answer the ongoing questions about how many children we have.  I haven't landed yet exactly but I think I'm going to try and answer 2 & if questioned just try and be honest.  I'm sure there will be a few shocked people but I'm starting to lose my care for others discomfort in what is my reality.

We have also decided that we are ready to try again.  There I've said it - I have felt like I am carrying a horrible secret, mostly b/c I'm afraid of all the possibilities.  I think I'm going to try and be open about this in the hopes that by being able to vent and not hide that my anxieties will be lessened.  I'd be open to any pearls of wisdom on this one b/c I am also aware that by having access to vent, I could escalate my anxieties rather then soothe them...

Missing you constantly my angel xoxoxoxxoxo  Mommy

Friday, 2 September 2011

What a difference 1 year can make.  Yesterday was Jev's 2nd birthday & although it was a wonderfully special day, i couldn't help but thinking about how different everything felt from last year.  I was so naive last year, unprepared for what was to come. 

Here's a picture of the birthday boy chowing down on pizza:

Here's a picture of the two of us:

Our day started with a special trip to the play park where I watched my little big boy play, run, scream with joy.  I watched him watching other sibling pairs & try and join in.  I felt my heart break, knowing his brother should be here with us & be able to have the sibling banter that he was trying to imitate.  I had watched Jev playing with an imaginary friend the week before, speaking to someone, offering them a plate as he played in his play house in the backyard.  I remember feeling heavy & wishing he didn't have to pretend.  Now it occurs to me as I write this that maybe it wasn't pretend, maybe he was playing with his brother.  I've heard that kids are much more sensitive to spirits.  How I hope this is the case.

I realized yesterday that with every moment of celebration there was the feeling that something was missing, make that someone. 

My gratitude for Jev is also laced with a growing void for where James ought to be.  How terrible I remember thinking that even the celebrations are clouded with grieving.  I know the "firsts" are always the hardest, but I am still bothered by how the grief creeps in - especially in the happy moments.

My fear has also ramped up recently, i find myself putting Jev to sleep for the night & taking a physical and mental pictures b/c I am afraid he might not wake the next morning.  Every morning, I breath a sigh of relief when I hear him & take an extra second to hold him b/c I am never sure I'll have the chance again.   What a terrible way to live.

My earth angel is 2 & I am so very lucky to have him with us.  He is the joy in my life & for that, especially after losing James being afraid of losing him is normal I'm sure.

James, we kept a cupcake for you angel.  We miss you constantly.

xoxoxo Mommy