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10 July 2009


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Yep, that's what grief looks like, all right. And that's just a mild manifestation of your inner turmoil, I'm sure. Eventually, you'll find the right way to deal with these things. There's no rush.

Aside: But really, there's nothing better than singing stuff like Lady Gaga at Catholic school. Because you always get to the best part of the song right when the priest (or nun) comes wandering by.


There are just no words. Hang onto all of it. Every single piece, for as long as you need. You'll know when it's time to do something with it, whatever that something might be.


I wish I had the right words or something poignant to say, but instead I'll just say this: I'm still praying for you and your family.

Debby Pucci

You will never forget and until your mind/heart tell you different you should not remove a thing. That will all come in time and don't let anyone tell you how soon that time is. Everyone has their own time.
This is such a sad time for you and your family. I pray for your comfort. Until the day comes when we meet God in person we will never be able to get the answer as to "WHY?" I wish I could Hug all you pain away.


Yes, this is what grief looks like. Hang in there - what else can one do?


1. I love Rock Band.

2. I don't see anything wrong with keeping all those things where they are right now.

3. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and writing with all of us. You tend to be self-deprecating about your writing, but I love it.


Don't worry about it for now. I kept stuff around for a long time, and some of my friends and family eventually helped me find my table and floors. It is what it is.

I would say that if there is something truly special that you don't want a well-meaning person to wash or throw away or tidy up, maybe it's time to buy a box or set up a special place where you can collect those things. You don't have to do much with them, like set up an album or something, (Mine still isn't finished ten years on) but at least take a few sprigs from each flower arrangement, or put away the sleeper and your shirt, nicely unwashed and put them some where safe.

Take care.


My heart breaks for you and your family everytime I read one of your posts. I wish I could take away all the pain. Please take care.


Debbie in Memphis

Wishing I could play Rockband & sing Karaoke with you. Sending you and your family love and prayers.


Oh, the forgetting - the fear of forgetting.

I think of you so often...


I didnt wash their blanket for months. I slept with it every night and all day long. I smelled it. I felt it. I saw them in it. I touched where their heads had laid. I cried like a baby when Peter took it away from me and washed it because, in his words, "if we dont wash it and it gets funky, you will hate me for not washing it." Oh, how I cried and cried. I think he held me the entire wash cycle, then got up to dry it while I wailed, then came back and help me until he could get it out of the dryer and back in my arms. Where, I swear to you, I could still smell them. I still sleep with that blanket... A year and a half since it held my first dear son and then my first dear daughter and then my second dear son. And I sleep with it and smell them and touch where they laid, this precious blanket that held them so gently... I let him wash it from time to time, to "stop the funk" but it kills me. I dont weep as much. I hold onto the marble box that holds their ashes, knowing I can never make it funky with my tears or my sweat or my holdings. And then, when their blanket comes back, I hold them both.

You arent alone. My babies spent their entire out-of-the-womb lives in the hospital but for the longest time, I couldnt change anything that was there the day after I came home. It was too hard to think of life going on. Had they lived here with us, I know that nothing from their room would have changed. Or anything that they had touched would have changed.


What wrenching photos. It seems just a little comforting to walk into your house and have it look like a baby still lives there, with his things strewn all over. Don't do a thing with them until you are absolutely ready. And please do not worry about forgetting. The good news and the bad is that you never, never will. Grief takes its own time. There's no way around but through.

Strength to you, Shana. It's been 13 fucked-up weeks. Here's hoping the next 13 may be slightly less fucked-up.


So, so hard. I remember one day tearing through the house with a giant garbage bag and grabbing every dead flower and petal I could find. I also did a "twin" search and got rid of every book and item related to twins. Now we have a shrine to our 75-day-old living son in our living room who has not yet been in our house but hopefully will be in ten weeks or so. At the beginning this creeped me out because I was so fearful he'd never come home. But now I'm so hopeful that he will (be gone, Evil Eye). So sorry about your tragic loss. And keep on singing your guts out.


I just want to give you a huge hug, but instead I thank you for sharing. Thank you and those commenters who are also sharing so much. I am a grief counselor-in-training and have had my share of crap happen but have not been through the experience of losing a child. Your sharing helps me to understand more of what my clients are going through, so maybe I can help more instead of heaping on. I am so sorry for your loss and your pain.


Dear Shana,

This is my first time commenting on your blog, though I have been reading for a few months. I so want to express my sorrow for your unbelievable loss but every time I try my fingers freeze and I find myself staring blankly at the screen. There is no sentiment strong enough to do justice. But, reading your blog today, I feel like I can relate. When I was 15, my older brother died in a car accident. I liken it to an atomic bomb explosion, my family stumbling through the haze blindly. Over time, the smoke began to clear and we were left to deal with the wreckage. And as time went on, we have picked up the pieces and put our life back together. No, it is not the same life, and would have been better with my brother still here...

A couple weeks after he died, I began hoarding the flowers from his arrangements, hanging them upside down in my room. I couldn't bear the idea of them getting thrown away. It enraged me that Time had the audacity to move forward in spite of Robert no longer being on this planet. My brother was very mechanically inclined; I still have a ziplock bag filled with batteries, a small motor, and other random useless objects that were scattered around his room. The smell of motor oil is sealed up in the bag. He often smelled of motor oil. For a period of time, my mother would take my brothers cremains with her from room to room, and out of town, along with his baseball cap. Some might judge, but her heart had just been ripped open and that's what she needed to do at the time. I mostly understood at the time- now that I have children of my own, I truly understand her grief on a new level.

Please be kind to yourself, take all the time you need, snuggle that sweet blankie all day long and know that plenty of people are listening and here for you.


god i pray so hard for all of you and really have know clue what to say. when my mom passed i was 23 i sleep with her shirt for at least a year. for all of you, whatever keeps you going go with that. love and prays always


I'm glad you decided to keep posting and putting your thoughts/worries/concerns/frustrations/memories on your blog. I'm so sorry for your loss and pain. My thoughts continue to be with you and your family.


I wish there was more to say than I am so sorry. Please know your sweet Thalon is still in the thoughts of many, including me, all the time. Hoping that even a little bit of peace finds you soon.

a madhouse wife

I don't even know what to say. I'm praying for all of you. I just cannot even imagine what this must be like...I am glad you are taking your time with all of this and I hope you don't feel like you need to rush to make a choice.

Also? Really glad you and Rich have Rock Band and/or karaoke. All couples need something like that in the best of times, and especially in the worst of times. (Our "thing" is Netflix, since my talents only extend to sitting on the couch.)


The Wii totally doesn't have a fog machine. Or strobe lights.

Shana, I don't really know what to say other than I think you are doing an amazing job of holding your shit together.

And you can write. Geez, can you write! I hope that writing about these things gives you some kind of peace.


Hugs girlfriend - all in due time. It makes me happy to know you have a good friend to help.

moosh in indy.

dude. just. dude.


I am thinking of you and sending you hugs. I think your writing is spectacularly honest and no doubt helpful to those of us that appreciate how much you encapsulate in your thoughts. I have just read your previous post and am constantly shocked and dismayed that anyone who came upon your personal blog and devastating grief, would even feel the need to make a comment that could in any way hurt or judge. It is simply beyond me. I hope that you know that there are others out here who admire your courage as a woman,mother and wife. The messiness of grief cannot simply be wrapped up in a neat parcel and delivered in the way that someone else might like. That's why your writing this all down, will not only help you process your grief, but will help someone else who may not be as incredibly articulate. Articulate about something that none of us should ever have to deal with.

You are incredible. I hope you know that. I know that your little family does and that is all you need. If I could take out a shotgun and stand guard for all those people who choose to judge you, I'd do so. I just want you to know that you touch my heart and your writing is so real. Write for yourself. Screw the rest of them. I also wish that I could offer something practical to help out. I'm not sure where you live, but if it was close to me, I'd come and clean your house and take your girls so you could have time and space for your grief. Those are the people that really matter. I'm glad your friend was able to do that. I've learnt that your true friends are the ones you find during terrible times like these. The ones with no expectations. The ones who will listen. And let you rave, cry and grieve.

If you ever want to just talk to someone, email me at [email protected]. I know that you will get through this though. In increments. And I don't have any sage advice - why would I? I just wanted to reach out.
Take care of yourself - my mama heart hurts for yours so much.
Tricia xoxox


I'm another Mom thinking of you and your family, mourning for your loss and pain, and sending love across the miles. Your post and photos hurt my heart, and your beautiful Thalon is in my prayers, as are you, your hub & your girls.
Take care Shana ~ Michele in Staten Island, NY
PS - 13 weeks is a blink of an eye, I would be surprised if anything was moved or washed...in your own time, honey, in your own time.


Grief is one of those things that we who are not experiencing probably romanticize. The glimpse you have provided here is so real, so tangible, it makes me ache for you. And I agree with others, it's yours, own, live it, and move through it in your own time. We got your back.


((hugs)) That's all I got for ya, plus grief is a monster we experience in our own effed up way..... except........sparkler bombs almost caused me to go to jail several times in my college years...one day, when you need a laugh, I'll tell you about it, if you'd like !

little miss mel

How great for the extra help. What a friend.

I can't believe it's been 13 weeks.

Glad you came back.


You are a beautiful, poignant writer.

You do what you need to do to get through the day... to get out of bed each day. Simple (or as complicated) as that.

When my father passed away 2.5 years ago (when I was 4 months pregnant with my dad's first grandchild), I went into a state of shock. My parents had been together for 50 years and were so incredibly close. His voice still delivers the outgoing message on the answering machine at my Mom's house. People have given her a hard time about this which I personally feel is awful to do. You do what you need to do to get through the grief... to get through the day.

Personally, I couldn't touch/be near any of my dad's items... it just hurt too much (I'm doing better with this now). One thing that did help me was making a mix "Songs -- Dad" (didn't know what to call it) on iTunes. If you would like, I'll be happy to send you the list of songs. Believe me, I know that the grief of losing a parent is nothing like the grief of losing your child... but let me know if you're interested, anyway...

I think of you and your gorgeous Thalon often. Sending you all lots of love xoxo.


I'm glad I'm not the only one with a kid who sings about Disco Sticks. I just told her it was a pogo stick. But then I had to explain what a pogo stick is, since I'm now officially "old."

Sara Maria

Your writing. Amazing. Your pain, immense. My pain for you, immense. God bless.


it is your grief, take your time,don't worry about the mess, & if you keep his seat next to your bed forever then you keep it there forever. noone is going to judge you for that, you are going through something that most of us would probably not survive, so even the fact that you manage to get up in the morning impresses me. i saw it happen to my best friend long ago, & you are just so much stronger. i don't think anyone honestly expects you to tidy or clean.
put your laundry (the stuff you actually want washed,i mean) into a box & send it over here,i'll wash,dry,iron & fold it and send it back to you.
same for the dishes , (hey, when i miscarried we ate from paper plates for a month!) or just random mess you want gone .
let me know if i can help you in any way.
much love


I don't know what to say. This really sucks.


Oh Shana. 13 weeks feels like a lifetime, but also like a mere heartbeat. Sending you love and strength.

BassAckwards Mom

I think there's more of us who support you then you're aware... each person grieves differently... I think you're doing the best you possibly can. ~ hugs ~

Shannon Kieta

Whatever it takes to get through Shana...Whatever it takes, babycakes! We are all here for you. Shannon

Gwen Jackson

I don't think I could get rid of any of that stuff...ever. You want to know what's sad? I'm not even grieving right now and your house still looks better than mine.

Lynn from For Love or Funny

Thank you for sharing the reality of your grief, and how it has manifested in your home. We are pulling for you as you and your family try to get through each day without your precious baby boy.


It seems to me that you needn't do anything that makes you uncomfortable or intensifies the pain. Let your house go to hell in a handbasket - who cares? Your lovely friend helped you with the most important thing, to keep life organized and normal(?) for the girls, but as for you and what you need/crave/can tolerate -- be kind to yourself. I cannot even tell you how much my heart aches for you and how I admire your strength and ability to express yourself so well in your grief. I don't know if it will get any easier with time -- Thalon will always be terribly missed -- but your ways of coping with his loss will change. (My cousin lost her 18 year old son in a car accident nearly 10 years ago and she has never recovered, but she takes one day at a time - and she is devoted to his memory and making sure no one in the family forgets him.) I continue to wish you and your family peace and comfort. Thalon was well loved and cared for and that's something we all deserve, regardless of the length of years of our lives. He only knew that devotion. May your gorgeous boy rest in peace and love.


Grief works different ways with different people..in my youth I probably would have thrown it all away asap..
now Im an old chick and i agonize over giving away/tossing beat up old pots and pans that my mother in law used.
Im a firm believer in letting time do its magic..you'll do whats right ( sometimes whats wrong..but what do we learn from this missy?) when the time is right ..


Oh honey.

Put it away someplace, if you have a room, and shut the door. If you want. Leave it there, so you can go in if you want to, and deal with it when you can.

If you want, if it's right for you. and I don't know if it is, but it's what worked for me.


Shana Dear, I think you've done a great job putting your feelings to words - "Trying to forget yet, not." You are indeed trying to get on with living and not ever forget what your life was before, how could that not be befuddling and mixed up? You are trying to walk down two different roads at the same time. I think you express yourself beautifully at a time when I'm sure you just want to scream. And you know, we don't keep coming back to judge or gawk, we just want to give you love. Or red bull, whatever might help life your burden. Your grief can be messy and we will still keep caring.


My grandfather left my grandmother's stuff in place for the 14 years between her death and his. He permanently set a place at the table for her in her absence.-- no one comments on those kinds of things-- so why worry? Hold on to whatever you need to hold onto for however long you need to. Just because he isn't there physically, doesn't mean your family can't or shouldn't hold a place for him, visibly, in your lives.


Shana, I'm with a few others, I don't have good words, but I do have a big heart and it is with you today. I can only imagine hoe difficult it must be to move in these waters---I struggle with forward motion without this devastating event. I'm praying for you, and thinking of you and sending any healing I can. Hugs


I didn't realize that Thalon's passing happened on my Birthday. I will remember him always. Your words are so poignant. Keep all of your memories and momentos, both big and small. They are your legacy of Thalon. His history of being. No one who cares about you would judge you, not one stinking iota.


My dad passed away suddenly, in the blink of an eye, in 2006. It was only this week that I was able to move his electric guitar, still on its original settings and in the place where he had left it, to my apartment. It had been gathering dust for 3 years. When you are ready, and not before then, you will do what you have to do. Hugs.


Heartbreaking. I am so sorry for you.

Bridget Larsen

Only you will know when the time has come to clean it up, right now just enjoy the smell, memories and your family. No one can tell you when or how to do it, that will be your time to be ready to heal and you will know it when it comes, it will be like a light bulb or that immense love you have for your son will burst through.
Take care

Shauna McGlynn

Only you will know when you are ready to do anything in your home. I think about you all the time and send peaceful thoughts your way.

xo, Shauna

PS-My 3rd daughter informed her Catholic Kindergarten that her "humps" were her boobies and her "lovely lady lumps" was her bottom. We won't even get into what she said about the whole Virgin Mary thing. We get lots of notes sent home......I have become "that mom". Oy.


no apologies to anyone needed, no schedule to keep--in your own time...in the meantime, keep writing, keep feeling, it's the only way through.

Here is some of my writing on the subject:

"Heavy Work"

we gather the remnants of sights and sounds, shapes and textures, fragrances, tastes and emotions

with a thread called pain, we stitch them together, no scrap too small to be left behind

making a new life wrapper that we must wear for eternity, it never really fits, but after awhile, we learn to manage


After your last post I was worried that you wouldn't find comfort in this space anymore. I hope you did today. My heart aches still aches for you and you're always in my thoughts and prayers. Big hugs.

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