March 18, 2010

City Mom: The Beginning

WARNING: THE FOLLOWING POST MAY BE HARD FOR SOME VISITORS TO READ DUE TO ITS RAW EMOTIONAL AND DESCRIPTIVE NATURE. This by far the hardest post I've written, and it discusses some of the real and hard feelings I felt immediately after my son's death. I felt the need to provide this warning because I know that some of our readers might be especially sensitive to this subject given their own personal experiences. Please refrain from reading if you are not emotionally ready. We will understand, I promise.


I was going to start this post by trying to explain what it’s like to have a happy, healthy baby one second, only to check on that baby a short while later to find them blue and lifeless - but you know what, I don’t think I can explain it. If you’ve been there, you already know, and if you haven’t been there, my words couldn’t even come close. It’s unbelievable to me still, and I’ve been there. It’s unnatural. It’s surreal, and for a long time I felt absolutely removed from myself… For days I would just look at my empty hands and feel that all of their purpose had been ripped away from them. And no matter how much I wanted WITH EVERY SINGLE THING I HAD IN ME for that to be different and for things to be back to the way they were the minutes before I found my son dead, it never would be.

Take a second now, and just think about how simple it is to breathe. Think about it…you’re doing it right now as you’re reading this - and probably before I mentioned it, you didn’t even pay much notice to it, did you?… It just comes natural to us…it’s just what our bodies are meant to do, it just feels simple

But there I was, staring at my son’s small, lifeless body, screaming for him to please DO THAT SIMPLE THING. To just breathe…IN… OUT… IN… OUT…

A request that would ultimately go unfulfilled.

The paramedics arrive. My husband and I would then be led to follow behind the ambulance that carried my son as they transported him to the hospital. We screamed repeatedly in the car, at the officer driving us to please hurry, that our baby was in there, all while holding on to a shred of hope that this all might not be real.

But it was real.

I remember a desperate thought running through my head… “This can’t be right. He can’t be gone. He has a doctor’s appointment in two weeks, they can figure out what is wrong with him then.”

A split second after that, I’m remembering the tiny scab he had on his nose from where he had scratched himself by accident a couple of days before. The idea that I would never get to see it heal because his body had failed him was suddenly too painful for me to bear.

I lost it.

In the dark, wrapped in a blanket between the cold walls of a hospital room, I held my son for the last time. I remember not wanting to touch his skin... I was scared of what it felt like without life in it. How ridiculous of me, but at the time I didn't know what to do and I was scared beyond scared. But I held him, and I just kept asking WHY.


I didn't know how to say goodbye to him. I just wasn't prepared.

Despite not wanting any part of it, they medicated me to help me calm down. I felt like I was in a coma with my eyes open.

In the days after his death I had to make decisions I never thought I would ever have make in my life. From deciding if we wanted to donate any of his organs to different organizations, to going through all of the paperwork required for the obituary to run in the paper. Here I wanted nothing more than to just hold my son… to feel his skin and for it to be warm, but instead I was walking a cemetery, looking at different plots and trying to decide where to lay our son’s body to rest for eternity. I remember sitting with a lady in a dimly lit room at the funeral home. There were different samples of headstones hanging on the walls and in front of us, next to the box of tissues, was a catalog. She flipped through page upon page of little icons and pictures that we could choose to put on his gravestone... to decorate it. “We could choose 3”, she said. – I remember thinking… I can hardly breathe, so how can I make this decision right now? I don’t want to make this decision right now, or ever for that matter. I just wanted to scream at the top of my lungs for everything around me to just STOP, but I didn’t have the energy.

I felt like a zombie.

I knew I was alive, because I had to be, but I didn’t feel alive anymore. At that point, if a bus came screeching into the building, tearing away at the walls and taking me with it, I would have been just fine with it. I may have even wished for it. My will to live was about to get buried 6 feet under, right next to a little boy named Ethan.


I’m just going to say it, anybody who has lost a child and is still here and able to get out of bed every day is a survivor. Seriously. It takes so much to find good in this world again after experiencing such a loss, but I am so glad that I fought that fight to get to where I am now. I could have never done it alone.

I owe my sanity to my amazing husband Jason, my Mom (only God knows how much I love her, and I mean it), my Pop for holding me that night in his arms, my Aunt Lala for just hugging me so tight for so long, my amazing sisters and brother who despite feeling the pain right along with me, pulled me onto their shoulders and helped to carry me through some of the darkest days (talking about you too Tine), My MIL and FIL for opening their arms and doors to us, my cousins, nieces and nephews for all of their unconditional love and for giving me a reason to smile again,… so many others (you know who you are). And of course, Carrie, for finding me and for being the support I needed to continue forward on that difficult, but worthwhile road to brighter days…

This has been hard to write. I realize that I didn’t have to share this, but I wanted to. In order to see how far I’ve come in my journey, you’ve got to see where I started.


  1. Oh, Wendi. I am so proud of you for being able to share all of this in this post and I am certain it is going to make your heart feel lighter now that it's been said, now that people can really understand where you've been. I am so sorry that this happened, that you suffered this loss, but I am thankful that God brought us together so we wouldn't have to travel through the days of grief without a friend who REALLY understood. i KNOW without a doubt that Ethan and Lila are best buds up there, they are sitting on the lap of Jesus himself and he is loving them beyond measure. I love you Wendi, for all that you are, all that you do, and for every single minute I have known you- I knew you were one of the most amazing people to ever grace the face of this planet.

  2. And- eventually I hope to be able to do what you have just done... it's going to take me a bit longer to muster up the courage.

  3. ♥ beautifully written, heart-wrenching to read. Thank you so much for your strength in sharing!

    Sending hugs!

  4. *hugs* thats really all I know to say after reading your post. I'm really sorry you had to experience that feeling. No one should ever have to. Thanks for sharing. ♥

  5. Wendi,
    Though I only know you in the Internet world, I know that this was a very difficult post to write and even more difficult to publish. I can not fathom the pain of losing a child, but now having one of my own, I know the endless nights of worrying and praying for his safe keeping. I admire you and other moms out there who have lost their babies. You are truly survivors, warriors and I can only imagine some of the best mothers on earth. Thank you for your post.
    God Bless,

  6. While I have never been in your situation, I have a friend who just went through this and it is amazing to meet mothers, fathers who are so strong. You are a strong woman for writing this!

    I am very sorry that you ever had to go through this!

  7. ((hugs)) and beautifully written. Thank you for sharing.

  8. I can't imagine living through what you lived through. You are very strong and although I have not experienced what you have, it touched me and I know that your story will touch many others. Thank you for sharing.

  9. I am not even sure what to say. I feel like there are no words to offer after reading your experience. I think often about life after this life and how I hope so strongly that I can be with my family again forever. My faith has given me that assurance that I will. I am deeply moved by your experience with this and I appreciate you for sharing it. I wish I could hug you! I feel so much gratitude for the people in my life. Thank you for helping me feel that.

  10. You are amazing. I feel so much compassion for you after reading your post. Thank you so much for sharing, as I am sure it was so difficult.
    Words can't express how that feeling feels, but you expressed it so truthfully and raw. That is exactly how if feels...
    Thank you.