Owen’s Funeral Arrangements

We met with the funeral home today.  Nothing was what I wanted.  The caskets were all wrong … but then again a child dying is all wrong.  They were all the frilly light blue and pink crap you see for baby showers.  They didn’t fit my Owen.  Thank heavens for Doug and our parents … they helped pick one.  White and simple.

The decisions are made … took three and a half hours.  Going back and forth about the obituary.  I found myself angry that I was having to cut down words to describe my Owen.  He’s worth more than 500 words … how can I possibly cut down what he was able to accomplish in 6 months?    I would do anything for my kids … price is no factor.

I was angry for having to think about cost and money.  I kept trying to remind myself that life goes on.  Owen deserved my life … The obituary in the newspaper cost more than his entire funeral.  honestly ….

My chest was so tight and it was so hard to breath.  I felt weak and frustrated.  I DON’T WANT TO BE HERE.  I kept screaming it over and over in my head.  Feeling angry.  I wanted to yell at someone.  Took all the strength that I had to stay calm with the staff.  I wanted to sleep.  Crawl into a small ball on the floor and sleep.  Maybe then I’d wake up from this nightmare.

We are going to honor our little warrior on Wednesday, June 1st at Ascension Lutheran Church, 1415 Dopp St, Waukesha, WI 53089.  Visitation will begin at noon and last until the service begins at 4pm.

We ask that in lieu of flowers, please make a donation to Owen’s Relief Fund.  While flowers are beautiful they will perish.  Help Doug,  my family and I create a memorial for Owen that will live on for years and years to come.

Thank you for joining us on this journey and for all of your words of encouragement.  The journey isn’t done yet … there are still three other boys who will make a thumb print on this earth.

Let us send off Owen in true warrior style!

Love, Mel


  1. Mel…it’s okay to be angry. It’s okay to scream. You are a warrior’s mother and it is okay to sometimes act primal. Still praying for your family’s peace.

  2. I’m so sorry for your loss. Bless you for thinking of others and donating his organs. Do you know anything about the recipients? Our family received a organ, we are so unbelievably thankful to the family. You have given a beautiful gift, in such painfully sad time for your family. I just want to say thank you. You have made believers out of non and restored faith in alot of people with your incredible gift. Thank you so much!

  3. I am so very sorry. All of this is so unfair. Thank you for sharing your special warrior with all of us. You have helped Owen give the gift of life and that is a tremendous blessing. God bless you for making that decision. Please know you are being lifted in prayer all over this country. I pray God grants you peace at this time.

  4. Praying for strength as you celebrate and mourn at the same time. Planning a funeral for a baby just feels so wrong, we helped our children with their first born and in October they will have to give back another baby to the Lord…we thank God for the healthy one year old that they have, but still grieve for little Noah Gabriel (born Dec 12/08) and baby Quinton Oliver who is still in Mommy’s tummy ( due Oct 9th, 2011)

  5. Give yourself permission to grieve, scream and rant. It isn’t fair and not the natural order of things. The gifts of life you given will keep Owen’s spirit alive. You’ve also given all of us, who’ve read your thoughts, a gift. You made us all take stock. Reality is tough. Counting our blessings is important for everyone and sometimes we forget just how lucky we are. Thank you for sharing our personal pain and journey. It doesn’t end here. Just know that countless people that you’ve never even met, care deeply for you and our family.

  6. It’s ok to be angry — this situation is so unfair and just doesn’t seem right. You are an amazing Mother and your little warrior deserves the very best. We pray for you and your family every night…. God bless you.

  7. A Prayer to Owen- Although many of us didn’t know you, in the few short days we’ve been following your story you’ve carved a place out in our hearts. You were sacred and cherished by your Creator long before you were placed on earth and in the arms of your family. Now you get to walk closer to God than any of us here. Please ask Him to give those who love you extra strength every day until they see you again, and the equation equals three thirds once more. Amen

  8. I’m so sorry for your loss. I found your story through my facebook mommy group, and have been following Owen’s story. My heart aches for you and I’ve cried for you. No mother should ever lose a child. Owen’s is truly a warrior, and will live on forever in your heart. I will be thinking of him, and praying for your family.

  9. My husband is from Waukesha and we will be there at the end of the month. I wish I was there now so I could help out in some way. My heart breaks for you as a fellow mother, even though I am a complete stranger. Praying for strength and comfort for you and your family.

  10. I have sat here all day thinking, praying, wondering how I can ease some of this pain of yours, only to conclude each time, that there is nothing I can do. I am mad with you, I am sad with you, certainly not the extent of yours, but I know my heart is heavy for you. You are being so incredibly strong, and looking at it from the outside in, I know that strength only can come from our Heavenly Father! When the time is right, allow yourself the grace to not be so strong. Our family continues to keep a light on in the house for you, Owen, all your boys, Doug, and your entire family.

  11. Thinking of you and your family. I like many others have been following little Owen’s journey and found you through a friend of a friend. Though I don’t know you or little Owen I found myself checking your blog several times a day hoping for a miracle. Please know little Owen has touched lives far and wide and we will be lighting a candle for him on June 1st.

  12. Melissa and family, you don’t know me–i found you through “the bump” several days ago and have been reading, crying and praying with you and for you these past few days. You have been remarkably strong (but it’s also ok to not be whenever you need!!) Please know there are millions of us praying for you and your family right now.
    I was thinking of our Savior, and Him holding Owen now….and even though some may say heaven is happy to have Owen home….i think Jesus is still shedding some tears…………because He hurts with you.
    Our family will continue to pray for yours, and i would hug you with everything in me right now, if i could.
    With love, Bethany and family from Ohio.

  13. A friend of mine told me your story and there are no words to describe how sorry I am for your loss. I can’t even begin to imagine what you are going through… After reading your entries over the past week, I am in awe at how strong you are. Especially how you have the strength to be so honest and write/bare all every day. I really hope you keep writing and turn this into a book for other mother’s who have lost a child. I see where Owen got his warrior strength. xoxox Michelle

  14. I hear you Melissa. I hated picking the casket also. When we went into the casket room, my husband just stood there and I went and picked out one really fast. The owner looked at me, knowing I was losing it, and thankfully suggested a simple white one also. I had picked a grey one, I had no idea!! I just wanted out! Wanted to scream “This can’t be real!!” I understand those emotions. Blessings to you as you plan Owen’s celebration. I am certain it will be beautiful. Another step in healing. Ok, as I am writing this, my husband reminds me how I was completely unable to go to the gravesites, and he is right. I simply couldn’t, wouldn’t. I made him do it. Once he made a decision, I was at least able to go without throwing up, but it took time. Everyones journey is unique. But I only share this, to let you know my “crazies” that are a normal part of grief , just wish I weren’t having to share these stories with you. Hugs and Peace to you.

  15. No wonder your faith is so strong…Ascension is a wonderful church. I grew up in that church, was baptised by Pastor Frank and he has baptised my children too! No wonder I feel such a draw to you. Please, if there is anything I can do to help you…reach out. I may be a stranger but we are sisters in faith. You can even use me as the person to be angry at. And please, give yourself a break. You have to allow yourself to feel whatever it is that you feel! You were strong with Owen needed you – now you need a little time to deal with what happened! God bless you – and please – reach out if you need or want ANYTHING!! I’ll be there!

  16. Mel-
    I am so sorry for your loss. I found your blog through a friend on facebook and I have been thinking about you and your family ever since I heard about Owen. I have been deeply touched by all of your blog entries. You are truly the strongest person I know and I admire you immensely. I can’t even describe how badly my heart aches for you and I wish there was something I could do to comfort you. Owen will live on through you forever and he is truly blessed to have such a wonderful and loving mother. I will continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Stay strong.

  17. Mel – I am an angel mom too. My son was almost 5 months when he went to heaven. If you need any help/advice for funeral service or just want to yell and scream, or cry I’m willing to lend my services. There are funeral homes that volunteer their services for families of infants. If nothing else just know the heartache you’re feeling has been felt by other moms too. And I’m just as pissed off and it’s been a year and a half. Please let Owen know there’s another little boy, Drew, that’s up there. Maybe they can find each other. I’m sending my prayers to you and your family.

  18. I am a new follower, directed here by a Twitter friend. I have been praying for your family and wanted to express my sympathy to you for the loss of precious Owen. I know the pain is hard but what a blessing to donate his organs so that others can live. Owen is a blessing!

    I gave birth to triplet girls in August of 2008. I was only 24 weeks gestation. Two of my trio ultimately lost their battle with prematurity but their sister survived. She is my miracle. I know the pain of losing a baby and I know the hurt of messing up the “triplet dynamic”. I pray for peace for your entire family and that the Lord will heal your heart as only he can. I also say a special pray for Owen’s brothers and that they will someone grow to understand. God Bless your Family.

  19. Mel,
    I just learned of your story yesterday from a gal on facebook. I have been so touched by Owen’s story and how strong you are to live through this tragedy. In so many ways it is horrible, but when you see how many peoples lives he will save you know he is surely a hero. I have no doubt that he will return to his Father in Heaven and be your guardian angel. Thank you for your strength and faith. I pray the Lord will pour much comfort on you and your family. As heart wrenching as this has been for me to read, I also see your strength. I do not presume to even know what you are going through, nor do I ever want to but if I ever do, I will remember you and your story. You are a beacon on this earth and admired by so many.
    You will see little Owen again one day, and what a wonderful reunion that will be. Until then, stay strong and know he is yours forever. Life doesn’t end on this earth, it keeps on going through eternity. Heavenly Father doesn’t give us these trials to make us weak, but to make us stronger and put more trust and faith in Him. He is with you always as will your baby.
    You and your family are in my prayers.
    Jamie Slater, Sandy Utah.

  20. I was very sad to hear about Owen’s passing. I was praying that he would pull through. Speaking from a mother who has a baby angel too, I know exactly what you are going through. People tell you how strong you are and you have no idea how you are getting through every second of every day. But time heals all wounds. Our wounds will never be fully healed but please know that there will come a day when it becomes easier for you to breath. Going through the motions is all you can do right now. My son’s memorial service was held at Acension as well (we are members there.) They did a beautiful service for my son, Jasper.
    I found that family helped me and continues to help me through my grief, but I’ve also found most comfort in sharing with couples who share in my grief for their own infants that have passed. If you need to cry, scream, swear, or talk to someone who knows what you are going through please feel free to contact me. If you and your husband need a place to escape to for a week and meet other couples who are going through your same situation or just to spend time alone. Check out Faithslodge.org. It’s a wonderful place to just BE. Owen is surround by lots of baby love up in heaven. He’s got Jasper, Benjamin, Matthew and Thomas, Cora, and Paige. Just a few babies that I know who where there to welcome Owen.
    May God bless you and your family and keep you close to him in this very difficult time. I’m sorry that you have to know this pain.

  21. First off i am very sorry for the lost of your son and I am praying for you and for your family during this very difficult time, I admire you for sharing you storying during one of the if not the most difficult time in your and your families life.

  22. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your beautiful family.
    Chris Betcher

  23. Searching for your son’s casket it not something we as parents are supposed to have to do. I left the funeral home enraged when looking for my son’s casket. How was I supposed to find the right one. None of them called to me. None of those were for me son. I hope you will find your peace.

    When people ask about your twins, never forget they are triplets, and don’t ever feel bad to share that. Owen is an will always be your son. Nothing can take that away. Everyone else gets to talk about their children, you should be able to talk about all of yours too. Owen’s siblings are special. They should grow up knowing about their brother.

    We send you our love.

    Chris, Kim, Taryn and baby Ben

  24. I have no words to express how heartwrenching losing someone to SIDS can be. My brother passed many years ago in this manner. I now am a mother to triplets as well and I admire your strength and courage. God picked the perfect mother for your little warrior, even if his life was a short one. God bless you and your family. May God continue to give you strength and keep the precious memories of your beautiful angel strong in your mind. I hope the services went well today.

  25. I am sorry you had to plan a funeral for your sweet Owen. It is hard, and you’re right the cost for obituaries is ridiculous. We paid more for that than our Sadie Mae’s service too. Thankfully, we had amazing people from the funeral home helping us. I’m sorry you didn’t have the same.


  26. Oh my goodness….I was just trying to search on how to start a blog and then I came across your blog. My heart is breaking after reading your story. I have 3 boys as well and I can’t imagine going through what you have gone through. My heart and prayers go out to you and your family. You are an amazing mother to share your story. I will always see the colour orange differently now.

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