Just last week I was worrying about “why am I so ok” and now I’m full of anxiety and stress.  The boy’s first birthday party is coming up … I’ve been planning for the past two or three weeks.  Having weekly ‘craft parties’ with a friend.   But last night I totally freaked … and unfortunately my mom and Doug got the brunt of it.

My chest feels tight.  My heart races.  I feel on edge.  I have constant headaches.  I’m totally stressing.  Stressed about getting all the small details done in time.  Worried that Doug is going to be displeased with something about the party … inviting too many, spending too much, being late – you name it.  I just feel like whatever I do it’s not going to be good enough – to me or to Doug.

I think back to how upset I was for the one month anniversary of Owen’s death.  I had this picture perfect idea of what it was supposed to be like.  I wanted the kids all in bed, sleeping.  I wanted the house to be quiet, and Doug and I sitting together when the clock struck 9:14pm .. ugh just saying the time makes my blood boil as I think back to the stupid doctor who didn’t follow my one wish.  “Just don’t declare him dead without me holding his hand.  I don’t want him to be alone.”  There was a pass off of doctors after Owen was sent down for his final test.  The doctor we worked so closely with wouldn’t be the one to deliver the news.  Rather than granting Doug and I our one last wish, she (the new doctor) walked in at 9:25.  Says “I got the phone call from radiology, looks like there is no oxygen flow so we are going to call his death at 9:14”  What the hell were you doing the past 10 minutes that could have been more important that delivering the news to two parents that their child is brain-dead?  Eating a sandwich?  Using the bathroom?  Let alone – how could you not allow the mother her one last, simple wish?  Just to hold her son’s hand so he wouldn’t be alone.  I knew the results of the test before she told me, before he even went down for his test.  But it didn’t make hearing it any easier and it didn’t make the time any more final.  Nine fourteen.  9:14pm.  Nine one four.

So it’s a week and a half from the party and I’m stressing about doing Owen justice.  About celebrating the lives of Weston and Logan who still need me.  Making sure that Owen’s death doesn’t define who they are but supports who they grow into.  They still have long, healthy lives to live.  But how do I balance that with not forgetting Owen?  It’s a delicate and horrible balancing act.

All this effort and emotion I’m pouring into this party, I just feel like it’s going to be a disaster anyways.  Someone will fight.  Something will go wrong.  I’ll be so tired from all the planning I won’t be able to enjoy it.  The triplet’s nap schedule will be so far off, they’ll sleep through the party.  It will rain and we won’t be able to light the lanterns.  Something will go wrong.  Will I be composed enough to handle it and save the rest of the day?  Or am I going to have a melt down and sob and ruin what was left of the party?  Am I strong enough to handle something going wrong?

And all this energy I’m putting into the possibility?  How do I refocus that energy into something positive?  How do I calm my racing mind at night to fall asleep.  I lay in bed making lists, worrying, praying that things will fall into place.

I have so many offering to help me.  But I want to do it on my own.  I want to sew the owls.  I want to pick out the photos.  I want to make it perfect.  I have a hard time letting someone else help or do something for me.  I like to be right there in the action, a part of the process.  I guess it’s one of my down falls.  No being able to delegate.

I’m ready for a good hear, hysterical cry.  Just the tears won’t come yet.  I’m like a tea kettle that’s been put on the hot stove.  It’s just a waiting game until it starts to whistle out of control.  A ticking time bomb.

Focus. Focus. Focus.  If I put my head down and just focus I could get it all done.  It’s so damn messy.  Life intertwined with death.  A first  birthday that is both celebrated and mourned as Owen never had a birthday.  Everything is tainted now.  Nothing in life is true happiness.  There is always that shadow that Owen isn’t there.  The boys love yogurt – Owen never tried it.  He only had sweet potatoes.  The boys are so close to walking!  Owen just started rolling over.  I don’t know that he ever even stood up on two feet.  It sucks how the purity out of life has been sucked out.  It’s up to me to make sure that the boys don’t grow up  knowing this truth about life yet.

Focus.  Head down.  List driven.  Get things done.  That’s how I will get through today.

Love, Mel


  1. You will find the strength somewhere to smile through their party because you are their mother and that’s what they need. It will be tough. You will struggle between happiness and sadness all day long but you will find the strength to get through it just as you have done these past months.
    And I bet that monarch will be flying nearby enjoying the party too…..Owen WILL celebrate his birthday, maybe not in body, but in spirit through those other two boys and through YOU – one tough mama. Enjoy that party…enjoy every minute of it. Those boys deserve it and so YOU.

  2. I am sending you a big hug. You are doing an amazing job planning for the party, taking care of your family and thinking about Owen’s foundation. Keep your focus and mind on one moment, one breath at a time and everything will come together.

  3. I really feel for you Mel. Seems like you want everything to be perfect, just so, but have accepted that that is not reality. Are the hand-sewn owls really that important? Maybe you could try to focus on what is really bothering you about this party and the planning of it, instead of all the little things. Maybe give yourself a moment to ponder the real reason you feel stressed…….just a thought 🙂 Sending prayers up for you and your sweet family.

  4. I think you are putting way to much pressure on yourself! I know how it is because I do it to myself all the time. You can’t plan for anything in life. Not a death, not someone fighting at your party, not rain interfering with our day, not messing up the owls, nothing. You just have to do it and have faith that it will all turn out and make the best out of whatever life brings your way. I am a huge planner. I like to have control over everything, but I am realizing more and more that you just have to let some of the little things go. If you really think about it, what is the most important thing about your party? Your family and friends all together, in good health, enjoying each others company. Sure the little details can make for a special memory, but what you will remember the most is that you enjoyed yourself and the time you got to spend with the people you love the most. I know it will be hard without Owen there, but he WILL be there and he will be proud no matter what you do.

  5. Mel,
    I wish there was something i could say or something i could do to make this easier for you. I , like many other mom’s who are reading your blog i’m sure, wish and pray that we could take this pain away from you, carry it for you for even a short time. to give you some time of being removed from this situation, to take a deep unsaddened breath….and enjoy your Owen again. Being a parent who has never lost a child,i can only pray…. i pray that one day, you will be with your Owen again. that maybe you have a grandma or grandpa who is enjoying time with him now til you get there many years from now. My mom passed 3 years ago 30 Oct. She was a storyteller, a really good storyteller. I imagine your Owen with my boys “grandma jane”. She loved kids. She is with my many babies who did not make it into my arms, but went right into God’s arms instead. She will keep your Owen entertained and loved while he waits.

    lifting you in prayer Mel, always,


  6. I am so sorry you have to go through this. This is the time you need to truely rely on God. Focus on Logan and Weston…they will get you through the day. Remember Owen is watching over you he knows you want the day to be perfect but even in the best of worlds there are no perfect days. You will able to get through this just like you have been able to keep moving these last 6 months. I will pray for your peace. God bless…. Amy non-G

  7. Whatever happens on that special day…will be. And it will be enough, because it came from your heart. Be kind to yourself, you are amazing…sending you hugs and positive thoughts. Leslie

  8. Oh Mel I can only imagine what u are going threw, I know its hard to think about getting everything together for the triplets first b-day party, especially knowing that Your little Warrior Owen will not be there in body but only in spirit. He is so proud of u Mel. I’m sure he looks down on you and smiles away, with his adorable little chunky self. U will find the way to get threw that very special day, of course there’s going to be lots of times throughout that day that u think of Owen, but its only to be expected, try not to stress, try to think about the positive, let everyhting just fall into place. do what u can do, maybe take the help that people are offereing you so u have the energy on that special day of the triplets first b-day party to enjoy it with your family and friends. God bless u all Mel, and sending hugs your way!!!!!

  9. As hard as it is, try not to be stressed out. is that even possible?? ok just go for as little as possible. owen wouldnt want you being this way, just love your boys, family and friends, try your hardest and the rest will be fine. if you know you put 100% into something what more can you ask for?

    ok a little off topic… i saw this shirt and i thought of you

  10. listen to praise you in this storm by casting crowns. and cry. this song usually works for me. praying still.

  11. Been following you for a while now. Found this verse earlier this week and thought it was meant only specifically for me. But maybe it’s for you too. 🙂

    I sought the LORD, and he answered me;
    he delivered me from all my fears. — Psalm 34:3

    Peace and comfort to you, in Him …

  12. There is a book, The Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukav (1989), that has some great insights into our beings.
    Gary gave some profound advice to a mother of twin boys – one twin had died after living on earth only 1 day. His soul is always with you, and you cannot go through life saying he should still be here, he is missing out, etc. That will only make the living twin begin to feel guilty for being the surviving sibling. I watched this, and saw the mother’s reaction – she finally understood.
    I took some of the other things Gary said, and wanted to share them:
    The soul of an individual is immortal, while personality is the part born into time and matures in time. Your soul existed before your personality came into being, it will exist after your personality dies.
    It is not just what we see – we all feel Owen’s presence and soul when we hear his story. We are all impacted by hearing his story. Our souls are a way to contact, and remain connected to, Owen’s soul.
    To look at his soul as a personality, would be to diminish the power and scope of the presence that came into your life, and chose a personality as that of an infant called Owen. In other words, the soul is a great deal more than his personality called Owen.
    Interaction with the soul instead of the personality will allow you to begin to experience the power of the soul named Owen that came to be with you, even if it was for such a short time.

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