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14 August 2009


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Debbie in Memphis

Wishing I could do anything to give you the optimism you've lost. Praying that the love and hugs I'm sending your way provide just a little help and that peace will be given to you in abundance. Please know that we're out here, listening and caring.

Lynn from For Love or Funny

I agree with Debbie, above. I wish we could boost you when you are feeling low and afraid. Be assured that we understand, and that we read you anxiously every time you post.


Here in Perth, Western Australia, listening and caring.
And wishing I could help heal your shattered heart.


I really can't say it any better than the 3 ladies above me. We are here and we care about you. I wish that fact could help you more.

Pat Johnson

I don't know what to say other than, I feel bad for you. I wish there was something I could do. You are so sad....and, rightfully so. Keep plugging day, by day. That is all that you can do. Baby steps.

Aunt Becky

I wish like hell that I could help more than to tell you that I'm sorry and I wish that I could make it all better.

I'm so, so sorry.


You and your family are never far from my thoughts, and always in my prayers.


I would imagine questioning your own abilities and losing faith in yourself and your self-confidence after suffering such a loss is perfectly normal. Do I think you *should* question yourself, or feel less able? No, of course not, because we all know Thalon's death is absolutely NOT a reflection on your parenting abilities or skills as a caregiver. But its one thing to know something logically, and quite another to feel it.

So don't question that you're questioning yourself ... (??? does that even make sense???) I would be more surprised if you were cruising along with all the self-confidence in the world. Just know that we're all here, reading, wishing we could do more to help.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I must go practice my armchair psychology in other places. :)


The universe is a bastard for making you suffer as you are. I too was the girl nobody noticed, I looked like a boy to alot of people. I was just "there" with a few friends. I was called "COW" because I was bigger than the other kids, not necessarily fat, but just bigger than the little blonde girls who could run for hours at a time. As I got older and now in my late 30's and a mom, i'm still bigger, now with some added baby weight but you know what, I am me. If they like it great! I'm really alot of fun and try to be the best friend I can be. If they don't like me, it's their loss.

What I can't for even a second understand, fathom, comprehend (and I pray to God I never have to), is having my child taken from me and then being judged by complete strangers for it. Your a good mom, you will always be Thalon mommy, your girls will grow into strong women and will hopefully not take shit from anyone as they go through their lives.

I know sorry isn't nearly enough but I truly, truly am.


Here's my little bit of optimism. Time heals. Your love for Thalon will be no less, but the pain will be tempered by time. And you are a damn good writer. Which is good, because I'm pretty sure it's the only therapy you are getting.

J from Ireland

My thoughts and prayers go out to you from over here in Ireland.

a madhouse wife

Take one day at a time, and when you have to, one moment at a time. I wish I had something better to say or the magic potion to make it all go away, but since I don't, I'll keep praying for peace and healing for you, Rich and the girls. Take care.


Your update brings me to tears! Thinking of you and praying too.



I will hope for you that some of your cautious optimism can return. I'm surprised that you are surprised by your self doubt - you recognize it and its cause, but you still seem to wonder why it's there. Sometimes reconciling logic and emotion is impossible. You are a good mom. I hope you can get your confidence back soon.


Like everyone else I am praying you feel stronger soon. Feeling as unsure as a kid in JR high sucks! But it makes perfect sense that you feel so broken. It seems to me that you are even "looking for optimism in its most minuscule form" is very good thing, a small step. XO


Once again, thanks so much for your honesty. I know you don't write for us, but damn, woman, it's so refreshing to hear someone not afraid to be herself, even when it sucks.

So, there, you have that. You are comfortable in your own skin, I think. Because you have the courage to let your guts hang out and bleed in front of all of us.

Thank you for that.


Oh, honey, of course you are faltering. Your worry and concerns don't detract from your strength, wisdom or ability. I ache to say something that fixes it, but I can't. I will pledge to be here, no matter what you write, no matter what you confess or denounce. You are amazing.


p.s. I think the sooner a person realizes that we're all balancing on the head of a pin, and anything bad could happen at any time (a friend came up with the pin analogy), the sooner you give up control and let it BE, the sooner you find peace. I still struggle for control over my little world, every day. One of the best moms I know lost her little girl in a drowning accident two years ago. I always look at her and think, "Damn, that was so random and so...WRONG."

All we can do is do the best we can. You are doing the best you can. You did the best you could for Thalon. Listen to me. NOTHING could have saved him. He was destined to go. You said yourself you held him in your arms for four hours. You could have held him another hour and he would have died in your arms instead of the bed.

You did all you could for your son.

You have to believe that. That's probably where the problem lies - the innate WRONGNESS of a parent doing all he or she can and the child still dying.

That's where you're left feeling helpless and jaded. You're doing the best you can...minute by minute, hour by hour.

Honestly? That you mustered the strength to even TAKE your kid to the doctor instead of lie in bed all day? That says a hell of a lot, Shana.

little miss mel

Such an honest portrayal of life as you see it today. So much of what we experience when we're younger can make such an impact on the rest of our lives. I hated feeling that way. It's such a lonely place.

You are truly amazing inside and out. You are a strong woman who's been forced to find her way in uncharted territory. I wish this never had to happen. No one, especially you, deserves this pain.

And btw, earlier I asked the 4 yr old if he wanted some "gorillabuns" cereal this morning, (instead of gorilla munch.) You must be on my mind. :)


"I'm so sorry" feels so inadequate, but it's all I've got. It's very obvious as a reader of your blog that you are a great mother and a great person. It is so unfair that awful shit happens to good people. Thinking of you daily and sending you strength.

Stephanie D.

Well shit! I hate that you are sad and second-guessing yourself when you are a STRONG woman, wife & mother. All of us here in the computer can see it... and one day you will see it AGAIN too! I know it... I have faith.

Yes Shana, I have faith in YOU! In who you are... daughter, wife, mom, sister, etc. I will continue to pray for you and hope that each day you feel more like YOU again!

Hugs to you... (and really wishing that I lived near enough to give you a HUGE hug & a squeeze in person! .... Shoot, maybe even a big, sloppy kiss!) ;-)


I wish you could see yourself as I see you. Hugs girl.


Keep writing Shana. If nothing else, it is at least an avenue for you to release what is inside your head so that you don't explode.

There are some wonderful people who come to your blog to lift you up...the few who dare to vomit evil and hurtful words at you are not worth the energy to defend yourself.

These judges of others do so because they cannot live up to expectations of perfection themselves.

Thinking of you and your family:)


Frugal Babe

I have never met you, but I wish I could give you a hug. It takes courage to be so honest and open, and I'm sure your words help other people who are grieving.


"my heart races and tromps with panic when my husband is late from a work function because I have an overwhelming fear of being left alone." I feel this way too. I felt it before the kids were born and died, but I feel it worse since then. Thank God for the cell phones and free calling back and forth. Sometimes, I just have to KNOW he is okay.


you break my heart. and there's no easy answers.

i know the worry will never go away and must be multiplied for you. i laid in bed last night, knew my 21 year old had just left the house moments before when i heard an ambulance on the main road - like a lunatic, i turn on the light and call him to make sure he is o.k. - and i HAD to call, and it is not the first time (nor probably the last time) that i will do it.


I think all your questioning is perfectly normal. I wish I could just make it magically disappear for you because it WAS NOT your fault and you're a fabulous wife, mother, caregiver and PERSON.

But I agree with others that time will help, help give you that optimism and stop the questioning. It won't make you forget, you'll never forget.

And I'm glad you're writing it all out because I think, HOPE, it is helping you.


I haven't suffered anything like the grief of my child dying, but I have had all those same panicked reactions to the grief of other loved ones dying. You articulate it so well, and I hope doing so gives you some comfort. If not that, I hope all of these comments from those of us who would do whatever we could, if we could, to ease your hurt bring you some measure of peace. Hugs.

Sarah B.

You are still Wife, Mother, and Caregiver. Although your confidence has been shaken, you are still all of those things and you are Wonderful. Even though I have never met you, I can see how much love fills your heart for your family and over time, you will become reaquainted with your strength. Scar tissue is some of the strongest in the body, you know? It may not be pretty, but it's strong.


I don't know what to say. I don't think there is anything anyone can say to comfort you or to stop your pain so I'm not gonna even try. My heart breaks when I read your words and I am so sorry you have to do this. I'm not a big religious person or anything but if there is a God, he/she sure must have needed Thalon for something bigger and better. Someday, the emptiness and pain you feel will lessen, but you will never ever forget.

Shannon Kieta

We don't know one another, but I feel like I do know you. Not because I have lost a child, but because I am a mother. I feel your pain. I sympathize with you, I cry with you, I read every blog you write. I scan every beautiful picture you chose to share of your remarkable family. (The Lips!) You are not alone. We have all lost a loved one, but losing a child is unbearable! I can't imagine, don't want to imagine, would give anything to change it if I could. My heart bleeds for you. If you were to knock at my door this instant, the first thing I would do is wrap my arms around you, and hold you tight. That's the kind of friendship I feel for you...I don't even know you. Please know that we, here in cyberspace, feel your pain with you, go through your grief, share your ups and downs, and want you to lean on us whenever you feel the need to... that's what friends are for! God Bless You... Shannon


I've been reading your blog for a few months after stumbling upon it...your writing tells it like it is..no bullshit...i like that. I wish there was an easy answer to fact that you are unable to trust your self at this point in time...never fear...the day will return when you do. In the meantime... do whatever works for you. Personally...I have been dealt some tough cards over the course of time...was finally diagnosed with chronic depression and given Zoloft. Five years later I have found Yoga and am easing into meditation...have not mastered that part of it yet! Point being...it's now something I do do for me and it has saved my soul. It took some time to ease in and not feel awkward...with practice the benefits are amazing. Sweet Blessings! May you find peace in your heart!


After losing several friends and family members in a three-year period, I couldn't help but panic every time my husband and daughter walked out the door. Even if they were just playing in the backyard I would constantly look outside for them. God forbid they'd dare go to the side or front yards after they said they'd be out BACK. Turns out, anxiety is a normal part of the grieving process (although I'm reluctant to call anything to do with grief "normal").

You may have felt insignificant as a child but believe me, you are anything but. Your husband and kids need and love you, and thousands of people actively seek you out because we care and support you. You are NOT insignificant. You didn't do anything wrong. You are NOT a failure. You are open and brave. It takes courage to get through any day, but to wake up and face the worst days is more than many people can handle. Don't let the harsh, critical voices of a few untangle who you are.


I love you.


This was so well written. Thank you for being so honest with us. I think of you daily and wish I could give you the optimism you need. Just know that we're all here supporting you.


I am so very sorry for everything you are going through. Wish I had something better to say than that.


Surely not what you were going for but this post, well, it was beautiful.


It takes time to regain that feeling of being in control of even small things when your world has been turned upside down. Every time I read your posts, wish there was more that could be done instead of just saying that I wish you well.


most minuscule form... better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all

I couldn't come up with anything else...


Still reading and thinking of you regularly. I hope you and Rich can keep your relationship strong, and that no more randomly assigned awful shit hits your family fan. Optimism....can any adult, especially any parent, who has suffered a loss really ever revert to full-blown pollyanna optimism? I just hope and hope that your girls come through this stronger, and with the optimism that children deserve.


Your post could be me talking. After our baby died, I was (and still am) afraid when my husband leaves the house just to go to the store. God forbid he's 10 minutes late. I have to talk myself down. The first 2 weeks I couldn't be in a different room from him. (He was a little needy, too, so it's ok) I'm just waiting and waiting for this black cloud to dissipate...wondering how long it's going to take. I wish it was 2 years from now. Hang in there. Thinking happy thoughts for ya.


I am so glad that you have somewhere to write your feelings. I have never met you but I wish that I could give you a hug.


Shana-my life spirals out of control no matter what I do, who I talk to, or what medicines I take. Some days those things just aren't enough to hold it all together. I pray you will have less of those days ahead. I am thinking of you constantly.


Oh Shana, please know whatever happens, you are and deserve to be all woman, all mother, all confidence. What happened was not your fault. The confident Shana you knew is there, she's just heartbroken and rightfully so. It all freaking sucks, lady. Sending virtual hugs your way. If you want, you can send me your address and I'll bother you with gifts (don't worry, most likely in the form of nail polish or alcohol - can I send you alcohol in your state?) Oh and don't worry I'm WAY too lazy to actually stalk you. Trust. Also, the midwest scares me.

Wishing for better days your way.


Oh honey - I think you are feeling what anyone in your position might feel. I have a panic attack anytime the phone rings past 11 - I also look out the window waiting for my husband to come home even though I know he's not due for hours. I think it's a coping mechanism - you test your stamina by imagining the worst possible thoughts. I can't offer any advice since I do it too, but I wanted to let you know that I know how you feel.


I'm sending the biggest (((Hugs))) from Iowa.


I am right there with you, sister that I do not know.
Right, fucking, there, with you.

I lost my 18 yr old son to a drunk driver, 6.5 years ago and
I fear every second of every day that my husband or my daughter
(who was 3 months old when my sweet boy was killed)
will be taken from me. My daughter has no clue. I wait to weep
until she is out the door. Then I weep and break down and pray that she
will be returned to me safely. My poor husband has lived with my
fear and tried to soothe me and save me, but it simply can't be
done. I am forever fractured. AND IT SUCKS!

I hate that you are feeling anything close to what I have felt
for the past 6.5 years. It's amazing to read your words and know
that I am not alone. I put on a smiley face, I go out with friends,
I laugh at my darling girl's amazing antics, but inside I am
crying. Still.

The panic, the fear, the pain.....It's all too much.
I am so sorry for you.

I think that losing a child is the loss of our innocence, our blissful
ignorance. I want to go back to before and have him and my innocence
and ignorance. It isn't funny anymore.

Lisa Wood

life is full of out of control situations....some are really pleasant, others suck. stay strong, keep being you. I am very shy when I meet some one for the first time, and I am also one of those people that stress out about what they could be saying/thinking about me. The only way that I have over come those feelings is "Its none of my business what others think of me". Please take that on, and it will ease your thoughts (i hope). Life works for many different levels, and many different reasons...sometimes I wish there was a crystal ball that could answer all of my questions, but the only way to be is to keep on going, and see what happens next. Wish that i could press rewind on the remote control and change your life for you....the only thing I can do is send my love, thoughts, prays and wishes from a distance. Your family will always have a son/brother/grandson and that can never ever be taken away from you.
Love you Gorillabun Mom....please stay you.

Sue @ Laundry for Six

So beautifully and heartbreakingly written. Anyone who would crucify you can only do so because they *think* that life is under their control. And hopefully for them, they can remain under that illusion. But you ARE a good mother and as much as any of us has it under control, you do. And if there is *any* justice in the cosmos, your family has had enough tragedy and you really should totally get a pass on anything else happening.


Shana, I wish I could make you some funeral potatoes. That is what the Mormon ladies here in Utah make for any occasion at all, not just when people need comfort though they are very good then. Even though I am not Mormon, I do like to comfort people with cheesy casseroles when I can and I wish I could do that for you.

Since the last time I commented, a good friend's twenty year old baby was killed when he wrecked his car. She is of course shattered, as you and your family are. But she is not judged like you have been because her boy was grown up and independent, and she had many things you didn't get like watching her son develop self reliance and all of that. I say these things to emphasize that you are RIGHT to feel what you feel. You were indeed robbed of all that is wonderful, and you will of course feel self doubt about it because Mothers always take responsibility for their kids - it is their job to do so - but you didn't cause Thalon's death. Your daughters are proof that you are a wonderful mother and the universe is a bitch for throwing random evil shit your way. Feeling your feelings is your duty. Forgive yourself. We think you are marvelous. And please eat my e-casserole.

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