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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Becky: I am back.

Hello friends.

I am sitting in my silent living room, just myself and my dog on this cloudy overcast morning. I have been thinking about this set up for weeks, knowing that I need and want to sit down write to all of you. I have had this urge to get on the blog and make a handful of confessions. I need to come clean. My stomach is churning, but here goes….

So throughout Oakes life, blogging, although sometime tiring because it took energy to type everything out then edit my words just how I wanted, and the choice usually seemed to be blog or sleep, was always a real gift. It was helpful for me to download everything. And now I am so glad I have all of that history recorded. And then selfishly, I wanted and needed your prayers and love, so I always knew if I took the time to share, I would get the reward of goodness coming our way. Content was always easy to come up with. All I had to do was explain my day, share pictures, and relay an important conversation I had had with a doctors or share test results. The content was there and the theme never seemed to change – I adored my son, I was endlessly hopeful, I wanted to stay connected and I had no shame asking for grand and specific prayers.

But for the last year blogging has not had the same appeal. I was so very public throughout Oakes life, but as I have been grieving his loss, I have wanted to stay comfortably private. I have often wanted to connect and share but have felt lost about what I would actually put out there. There is so much happening in my head on a daily basis, grabbing one thought and running with it has felt overwhelming, and to be totally honest, I have felt protective of all of you. I have been pretty certain that no one would really want to read my words anymore, especially if I were being honest with you. Who wants to read about the sadness and struggle of a grieving Mom? The truth is that I am in therapy; I have medication to calm my mind and help me sleep. My patience, which I used to have in abundance, is very short. And it has been so scary and really lonely as I have been keenly aware that Greg and I have been grieving in such a different ways. I much rather you all know me as the hopeful, ridiculously positive mother that powered through an unbelievable time. I don’t want to be the weepy, sad, struggling Mom that I am at times, and it hasn’t been exciting to think of sharing that with you. I mean, we are doing OK, we are pushing forward, I am still hopeful for my family, life has continued without Oakes here, but my thoughts during this past year have not been about blissful hope, and miracles and amazing milestones. It was easy during Oakes life to focus on the good, and to cling to hope. It was easy to do that. But the grief that I have gone through over the last year has left me feeling like a mess, not like myself and instinctively I wanted to pull back a little, turn inwards, and give myself a little break. While Oakes was alive, I was constantly trying to listen to him, and I had to do that for myself. I had to listen to the tearful lady that just wanted to quietly back away from the crowd.

This last year has just happened so quickly. This Thursday, June 6th will be the one year mark that Oakes died. I don’t know how it has already been a year. And still, I cannot believe that he is gone. I cannot believe that I am a mother who lost a child. I simply cannot completely wrap my brain around the fact that I gave birth to two children and I only have one sleeping under this roof. The shock of that reality is still great. And the pain and sorrow that comes from his death has not become lighter. I miss him as much today as I did the first day that he was gone. And really, every day, the most grief I feel is because I just miss him SO MUCH.

When Oakes died several people told us that the pain wouldn’t go away but we would learn to live with it, which sounded impossible a year ago. A year ago I thought I would drown is sadness and tears. I remember talking to my Mom about a week after Oakes died or maybe it was just days, and just crying and crying, asking her how I could make the ache go away, and she tearfully and gently told me that this was grief and I had to go through it. And I am sure that at that very second I began experiencing grief through anger. I was so mad at grief. I was mad at the world. I was pissed at God, and the universe and everyone and everything that had let me down. Everyone and everything could go fuck off! Really. I wanted to punch grief in the face. I wanted to stand on the roof of my house, in some super hero stance – arms up in the air, wind in my hair and just flip off the world. I wanted to grab God by the shoulders and just shake him. I wanted to scream at Mary in the most rageful way. I thought if I jumped up and down the earth would tremble, and I swear there were times that I let out yells that could have been mistaken as a lion’s roar. We had already been though so much. Fifteen plus months of stress and anxiety and worst case scenarios coming true, sleepless nights, and buckets and buckets and buckets of tears, and now after saying good-bye to my beautiful baby I was left with an ache in my heart that I was sure would cause all of my organs, my spirit and soul to just decay and fall apart or just harden and fail.

Grief is the shittist trip to take. And after just wrapping up one of the most gutt-wrenching, stressful, anxiety filled journeys that I never could have imagined, grief was not welcomed. Ugh... sitting here replaying parts of the past year has caused tightness in my chest and lot of tears.

But it is true what we were told. The ache doesn’t go away, I have just gotten used to it.

I feel like Oakes life was like this breathtaking helicopter ride. On the ride I saw so much. I saw so much beauty. There were risks involved that we were told about before taking off,  it was always a delicate adventure, but I saw the world from an amazing perspective. The beauty that I saw was a gift that I will always have and I know that it transformed the person that I am. But then in a horrifying, scary way our helicopter went down. My body survived the crash, but I was exhausted and just a mess afterwards. Then immediately and without being asked if I wanted to, I was plopped into a boat and dropped into this rushing, powerful, turbulent river that bubbled and churned. The river was just mean and chaotic. I did not want to get in that boat. I fucking did not want to get in that fucking boat, I hated the boat.! But I sat there because I had no choice. At first I was just thrown around by the water but eventually I figured out how to maneuver the boat a bit, and now I feel like I am standing at the shore, looking at this iced over river. I feel some calm knowing that the ice has hidden the waters, but I haven’t been tricked, I know the water is still moving under that ice. And I know that the rest of my life will take place on the banks of this river. That damn water will always be there churning and spraying up towards me. But after a year I have faith that I can navigate the boat when I am in the water, and I know that I can invite others in to help me when I need it.

So there is my confession. I have needed to retreat. I have been scared to share. I have wanted to mother you all and protect you from my yuck. And I drop F-bombs. Despite all of the hurdles in Oakes life, I always chose to hang onto hope and find beauty, but I have had a hard time putting a rosy spin on grief. I know the grief is still around, but I am staking my claim; I am back, and intend to post regularly. I know this will take some time to sort of find a direction with the blog, but I am going to make my best offer.

As for this week, we are not planning much. We will definitely go to Children’s and visit Oakes’ tree. We will likely go to the rooftop garden and release some balloons. On Oakes birthday we talked about him all day, and we all shared some of our favorite memoires of him, which was nice. I am sure we will do that again. I am also sure we will have lots of tears. The water will be rough that day, I know, but I will have Isla and Greg in the boat with me and we will find our way back to the shore.

Mighty love,


  1. I will always say that Oakes is a stud...well you are to Becky :) Love from Adam and Suz <3

  2. I am so very sorry that you are in these waters that so many of us endure. I hate that anybody has to be here. Always remembering sweet Oakes up above.

  3. You remain in my thoughts and prayers always. Please don't ever feel alone! I am so glad you wrote f bombs and all. Keep it up. Oakes is so loved and in so many people hearts!! You are never alone!

  4. you are simply amazing. all of you, every part. XOXO

  5. i love just how real you full of grace...and sorrow...and anger...and sweet, pure LOVE. i have been so blessed see how REAL you are. you are simply amazing....f***ing amazing. love you all so very much. thanks for being so have taught us all so much. xoxoxoxo.

  6. I am always amazed when people are able to put into words this journey and what it does to you. I remain in awe of you and your strength. Because it does take strength to listen to that voice and honor what YOU need to do for you. Missing Oakes with you this week and wrapping you in lots of MI love. I am so proud to call you friend. Missing Oakes with you this week and wrapping you in lots of MI

  7. Gosh that was really emotional to read. So sad, honest, vulnerable, hopeful and powerful. I really appreciate your honesty. That's so very brave of you. I am pissed off for you two also. It's so unfair. You don't have to live up to any standard with us or anyone else for that matter. You have the right to stand on a rooftop and flip the world off! I would and then some. I'm so sorry you two have to deal with the worst loss in the world- that of a child. I really am. I feel such immense empathy and sympathy for you, iI can't help it but I also have immense respect and hope for you two also. You are very inspirational even after dropping F-bombs and admitting how difficult your unimaginable struggle has been for you. I wish there was something any of hs could do to ease your pain... I'll be keeping your family in my prayers. - Kristi Wilson Temple

  8. You are entitled to feel however you feel. It is a brave thing to put yourself out in the open the way you have and your words have certainly touched many, many people for the better.

  9. i will not pretend to know your grief. and i can't put into any words anything that would do justice for the pain you feel and my sadness that you lost your beautiful boy.
    i am proud of you for sharing what is happening with you, we want to hear you, we don't need positive all the time. the raw, the real. that's what is beautiful.
    praying and thinking of you, especially on the 6th.
    hugs from us~

  10. I love you sis and am so glad you are at a point where you are ready to blog again. The world is better for knowing you. Sitting on my balcony reading your words I feel close despite the thousands of miles between us.

  11. Even though we have never met I feel as if I know you. Through this blog, I have laughed and cried with you. I have had happy and sad times with you.
    I have admired you though all of this and thought what an amazing and strong woman you were but after reading this you have gone even higher in my admiration!
    God bless you and you and your beautiful family.

  12. I love you....every fucking, beautiful, yucky thing about you. You are the most amazing woman I know.

  13. I am so glad to see your voice back no matter what form it is in. I appreciate your honesty and think about your family and pray for you. You guys are amazing and f-bombs are totally acceptable! We are sending our love from WA!!!

  14. First let me say how blessed I feel to get to know you and your family over this past year. I sure wish it was under very different circumstances though.

    Second; Meds, therapy, counseling... it's all OK. And if someone seems to think otherwise, go tell them to FUCK OFF. (I've been dropping f-bombs myself lately; I think the severe weather has gone to my head & mouth)

    About grief:
    A. It sucks.
    B. It really sucks.

    I can't in good conscience say I understand how you feel - because I don't. But I have two friends who I think are amazing women, one losing a husband, the other a child to SIDS. Here's what I've learned from them: Grief is different for every single person. For some, they can process grief and begin to move forward rather quickly. For others, it takes years. Years of being angry and pissed and asking "Why my spouse/child?" and "Wasn't I a good enough person?" and a host of other questions that, under normal circumstances would sound ridiculous if you actually asked them out loud.

    I've also learned that grief is vastly different for men than women. Men tend to compartmentalize I think. I've only met Greg the one time at the 5K, but I would venture to guess he would do anything in his power to take away some of the hurt and pain and grief you have.

    Finally, I am glad you are blogging again. When I started writing 2 years ago, I asked myself the same question (who would want to read this?!) I found out that quite a few people were interested and actually valued the information I gave them. Who knew!? You bring a VERY important perspective to those around you. If you want to write about how hard it was to get out of bed this morning - DO IT. If you want to write about memories of Oakes, or Isla, or how hard it is on a marriage when you lose a child - for what it's worth - I think you should. Not only can you share your experiences, but it might be - in some strange way - a sort of therapy for you. There may be some naysayers out there- but don't mind them. They know not of what they speak.

    For what it's worth - I love reading your posts.

  15. Stunningly real and poignant. I'm honored to read your work.

  16. You write beautifully. Write when you can, and retreat when you need to. As a mother, my heart aches with your heart. Sending so many prayers for simply the strength to get up and go through the day.

  17. Thank you for this. It is beautiful, and it means so much to so many people.

  18. Becky, I'm a friend of Allison Delano here in Atlanta. I've followed your story from shortly after Oakes was born. Sometimes, though, I had to stop because it was too near to my heart. Our son died from CHD in 2007 at the age of three. I use a blog as a type of therapy I guess and its ebbed and flowed over the years, I don't know if reading it would ever help you but I thought I should throw it out there. Knowing there was someone else out there that had survived and was a few years out helped me to have some hope. And if you ever want to talk more directly, just email me

  19. I can so relate to your words. And I'm so glad you dropped a few curse words and let it out. I spent a lot of time in the anger stage and still find myself back there sometimes. Thank you for being honest. It's very refreshing!