Please say his name

This time last year Owen’s funeral would be over.  Everyone has left the church.  Owen’s body back at the funeral home, awaiting cremation.  I would have been headed over to the Delafield Brew House for dinner.  My family was already there waiting for us.

So many new emotions this June 1st.  The boys and I had an outing to the Dollar Store then we headed to my brother’s baseball game.  It was a light-hearted day.

Funny how one anniversary can have so many days of significance.  May 21 – the day he stopped breathing.  May 26 – the day he was declared brain dead.  May 27 – the day he gave his heart and liver to two little girls.  Now the day that we celebrated his life – June 1.

People act like the day has come and gone.  May 26.  Six days ago.  But the anniversary drags on just like the entire ordeal did last year.  I am still reenacting each memory, play by play.  It doesn’t help that my anti-depressant meds weren’t refilled in time.  I’ve been without them for three days.  I makes me feel all out of sorts.  Heck, I was catching up on Sister Wives and found myself feeling like I wanted to cry because the love they have for each other was so beautiful.  Thank goodness they came in the mail today!  I should be back to “normal” in a few days.

The one thing that I have learned is that omission hurts worst then the truth.  Saying his name is comforting.  Pretending like my son didn’t just die cuts me to the core.  It forces me to pretend to be someone else.  It hangs in the air over any other conversation we are having.  I find it hard to concentrate on what you are saying because all I can hear is the little voice saying  “Doesn’t she know?  Has she forgotten?  Or is it that she just doesn’t want to say anything?  How can she sit here and complain about her hard day at the office, while I cared for two 18 month olds while battling the flash backs of giving CPR and laying the paul over my son’s casket?”

Ask me how I’m doing.  Remember to say his name.  Acknowledge that Owen died this time last year.  I promise not to get all wishy washy.  I promise I won’t bring down the mood of the conversation.  I just want to know that you remember.  You ask me how my other kids are doing … just let me know that you still see me as a mother of four.  Because that’s who I am.

Love, Mel


  1. Mel….every time my triplets wear orange we say it is for our angel Owen…we think of you often….praying for you and your family…

  2. Mel, I hope today is a better day for you – that you can find memories (good ones) of Owen; that those around you will speak his name, and that the joy of your other three boys will help to balance the pain of losing Owen. Nothing can take away the reality of your loss; and seeing the progress of the triplets must be so bitter-sweet; to know that Owen did not get to experience those milestones, to wonder if his siblings will remember him. Have you been able to record your memories of him in a tangible form – in writing, in a scrapbook of photos and memories? I know you have those memories (too many that are painful) in your mind, but sometimes putting them all down in a tangible form can be helpful.
    I hope the antidepressants have kicked in – I forgot that I hadn’t filled my script last week; (I put all my tablets into daily containers, so didn’t realize that I was missing them) and in a meeting I spent the whole time as a blubbering mess, not sure why I was crying, and not dealing with issues that while ‘big’ were not THAT big. It is important for you to remember that depression is a chemical response in our bodies, and there are times when we NEED that assistance to cope with issues. And you have dealt with the most difficult of all things – the death of your son.
    I appreciate your ability to express your thoughts in writing – you are very open and honest about your life, and I feel for you, and keep you and your precious family in my prayers. God bless. You are a great mother – and Owen was so blessed to have you in his life. Keep him in your thoughts and in your words – for by doing so you keep his memory alive, both for yourself and others.

  3. I read often, but I’m not sure if I’ve ever commented. I wanted to let you know that I think of your Owen everytime I see orange, here of anyone named Owen, or think about organ donation. He will always be remembered.

  4. i want you to know i started reading your blog when you were pg with the triplets. then i lost the connection to your blog and started again after owen was lost. i was in shock. at that point, i had just had a miscarriage (#2) and we were in COMPLETE devestation. i couldn’t even think straight for a month. i know my grief is MINIMAL in comparison, but your blog has helped me TREMENDOUSLY to deal with grief. Thank you for your honesty and openness. ((hugs))

  5. Dear Mel, I have an orange pencil case and water bottle strap in honor of Owen. I am a college student, mom to grown children and use my orange case nearly every day. You and your family are often on my mind.

  6. I love your honesty too! We have never met yet I started to know you the week that Owen fell ill and passed away. I feel so much of your pain and can relate to your emotions. I have felt similar feelings in losing my mom. No one spoke her name on Mother’s day- I felt sad – like “did they not remember”, “does anyone miss her”, “what did she mean to my family?”- BUT I know my family all loved her and they were so afraid of taking away from MY mother’s day by bringing up her loss. It does mean a lot to have others mention their names and ask how we are doing in our loss.
    So I say to you Mel, I remember the week that you lost Owen, yet I have never met any of you. I know that feeling to wonder what others think. You are an amazing mother of 4 and always will be! My heart breaks for you and your family that Owen has died. You have been such a light to so many of us in your pure, honest feelings and sharing. It has helped people like me know I am not alone and others feel the same feelings- that are true and valid!
    God bless you for your sharing and in your grieving. Hold strong to your faith and to your feelings and love of Owen.
    in Mpls,

  7. I read every update Mel. I have an orange water bottle that follows me to the gym. I hadn’t made a connection with that bottle yet – but I know dub it my WARRIOR BOTTLE! (in honor of Owen.) You see, the gym is a constant source of heartache for me. I’m in the military, and fitness is part of our requirement and I’d MUCH rather be home in my lovechair with my kids and my facebook! When I’m fighting at the gym, I will bring Owen with me and remind myself to be a WARRIOR.

    I’m sorry that more people don’t speak his name to you. Only they know the reasons why they don’t. I have a feeling though that it’s because people don’t want you to hurt – so they’d rather talk about what is concrete… your living children, “Safe” conversations like the weather or recent events. It’s not that they’ve forgotten or want you to forget… They just want to say the right thing, all the time.

    *hugs* OWEN! OWEN OWEN OWEN! I said his name… to you… for you… Let me know if you ever want to Skype about him! I know I’m a random – with nothing in common with you or your situation… but I’d love to be a friend and a listening shoulder to cry on 🙂

  8. I still think of you and your family almost every day. Several times a day, the days I wear my “Owenge” shirt. I tell people about you…about your angel Owen…about your story…about the miracle that was his life….about his purpose. I don’t think I will ever forget you guys.

    I hope you are feeling more “normal” today. I hope for you that your medication jump starts again soon (aaaahhhh…blessed anti-depressants).

    Happy belated “Celebration of Owen’s Life” Anniversary.


  9. I will always remember you’re a mother of 4 beautiful boys. I think of all all often, ans wear my Owenge shirt a lot. We will never forget.

  10. Mel, I read your blog oftem.. you give me strength to carry on.. to see my purpose in life..i see you as a wonderfull mom of 4 awesome boys.

  11. Dear Mel, owen was so blessed to have you for his mommy! His name will never be forgotten, because you always include him in all your blogs! We all love you, your kids , your stories. One day maybe I can fulfill a dream and meet you! Love sher!

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