Yesterday, you were butt shuffling across the floor. You were running out the door with a handful of quarters, your excitement barely contained. You were driving your race car down the road, giggling loudly as you skidded around in a circle. You were sitting in the dirt, oblivious to all but the Hot Wheels you were playing with. Yesterday you were in your room, sitting at the really cool desk that Memere and Grampa gave you, drawing plans for the house you were going to build me, or the next car in the V-Niner line. Yesterday you graduated high school. Yesterday you chose your career, and boy were you good at it. Yesterday you told me you were in love, and so happy. Then yesterday you came to me, crying, your heart broken. Yesterday you changed your mind and stayed here on earth with us, though we didn’t know that. You were lighter than we’d seen you in months. Yesterday we played cards, talked, laughed, accusing each other of cheating. Then yesterday, you decided you couldn’t do it anymore. Yesterday you left us. Yesterday I had to say goodbye. Yesterday I cried.

Today I struggle. I struggle to live my life without you in it. I struggle to keep my tears in check. I struggle to be ok. I struggle to be strong. I struggle to be a good friend to my friends who are so good to me. I struggle to continue being a mom, both to you, and your sisters. I struggle to be a good and supportive wife to a man who is just that, when all I want to do is crumble. I struggle to be me. I struggle to travel on, on this journey I never planned for. I struggle to live this life, a life no mother wants to live.

Tomorrow I’ll do today all over again.


Is it any wonder?

Several years ago I read a book called “The Shack” by William P. Young.   I found it to be a good read, and gladly shared it with friends, and my mom.  My mom loved the book.  She loved it so much that she reread it a few times before she was ready to hand it back to me.  Unfortunately, she spilled what was probably coffee, all over it.  No problem, I went out and got another copy.  That’s how much I liked the book.  Why am I telling you this?  No real reason, other than to tell you I read the book several years ago.

Now, I just finished rereading the book, this time it was with different eyes.  Before, it was a sad, yet poignant, story, that was just a good read.  This time, more than any other time in my life, I am able to place myself in the main character’s place.  If you haven’t read the book, and you should, here is a short overview.  Man has three children.  One child is kidnapped and murdered.  Man suffers terribly because of this.  The story continues to a point where he is brought out of his despondency by an amazing experience.  I’m not going to give it away, go read it yourself.

While I didn’t lose my son in such a violent manner, I did lose my son.  I’ve been very “heavy” lately.  Enough so that my husband noticed my manner was different.  I think it was because I’ve been so deep into this book.  I could relate so well with how this man felt.  The thoughts he was having. His actions.  So much of his life mirrored what I, we, have been dealing with.  I can’t speak for my husband, but I have been so torn apart by the loss of our son.  I struggle daily with the thought that I should have known, could have saved him.  Now that I think of it, I’m pretty sure my husband struggles with these same thoughts.  It doesn’t matter who says what to us, really, it doesn’t.  We both know how we feel.  Michael and I were as close as a mother and son could be, or so I thought.  I thought I knew everything I needed to know about him.  I was wrong.  And there is that struggle.  If I knew him so well, how did I miss his depression? How did I miss how miserable he was?  How, How, How?  Was I wrong?  Were we not close?  No, I’m not wrong.  We were pretty close.

My boy chose to hide this from me, from both of us.  I’m not sure why.  Perhaps he was ashamed.  Men, more so than woman, think they would appear to be weak if they were to admit to such a failing as depression.  They’re wrong, but try telling them that.  Maybe he thought he could handle it without help.  Another typical behavior for men.  Sorry guys.  You can’t possibly handle everything.  It just doesn’t work that way.  I can tell you that I’m pretty sure that in his depression, he probably thought by leaving us, he would be taking away some imagined burden from us.  There was no burden, then.  There is now.  Grief is a tremendous burden, from which there is no easy way out of.  I know that he also thought this would be the end of pain, for him anyway.  Our pain began the day he left.  I know that he didn’t do this to hurt us.  I can only figure that his depression was so dark, and so heavy, that he couldn’t see passed it, around it, to see that he had all of this love to help and support him, through anything.  Instead, he left.  He has no more pain.  No more struggle.  No anything.

Going back to the book.  When  I’m really into a book, I’m in in.  I’m sure many can relate to that.  So when I’m in it, I’m seeing myself in this man’s place.  I see how my grief has overshadowed my life.  It made me realize how heavy it was.  This is what my husband noticed.  This knowledge weighed me down.  Do I wear my grief so obviously?  I don’t think I do, all of the time.  I know that sometimes I just can’t help myself.  My cloaking abilities fail me.  That’s when I step away for a bit.  Eventually I get back to my “Ok” and move along with life.  I’ve talked about being “fake ok” before.  That’s pretty much the norm here in grief world.  How are you?  I’m as ok as I can be.  Don’t read this wrong.  I’m not wallowing.  I do have a life.  I get out.  I actually do things. If you really know me, you know I’ve had a pretty good year travel-wise.  It’s just that some days are more difficult than others.   In talks with my lovely PCP, we’ve agreed that this isn’t depression, its being sad.  There’s a big difference between the two.  So this book made me see myself in a different light.  I saw the sadness.  In the book he actually calls it “The great sadness”.  It fits well.

So, in conclusion (yeah right) I’m not sure what I was saying.  Really, I don’t.  Maybe I need to be more careful about what I read, maybe what I watch.  Who knows.  Maybe I should step outside more, breathe in and enjoy what’s out there.  Well, not right now. It’s cold and raining out.  Maybe tomorrow.  The only outside time today will be spent trudging around the yard, waiting for Michael’s dog Hashi, to do his business, and then shake his wet self out all over me.


A father’s words

On August 12, 2016, we had to say goodbye to our son Michael.  My husband stood up in front of everyone there at his gravesite, with me by his side, and read the following.  He spent considerable time writing it, agonizing over every word.  Every once in a while he would hand me the laptop, asking me to read through it and give him my opinion.  Every time I did, I was blown away, and I told him that.  This man, even in our overwhelming grief, was thinking of others.  Please read it, and share it out to the world.

Dear John, I love you.  ❤


First, I want to thank everyone who has helped support our family with your heartfelt sorrow, and sadness with their thoughts and happy memories of which all meant so much to us.


I, as Michael’s father would like to share a few words to you from my heart. I may have a hard time speaking these words I am about to say, so please forgive me.

Michael, or to some of you “Mike” was a smart, caring, funny, sensitive , strong and lovable young man who had a sense of adventure. I am hopeful that I had played a part in that and passed on to him those so endearing qualities you look for in a man. He has always cared for others and was there for them when they needed him the most and his friends and family were also there for him. I am so, so proud to call him my son and see the man he had become and through that he has made me a better father and a better man for the time he spent here on Earth.

Over the years, I have spoken with many people and some have said things that “stick in your head” or remember , and others you just “brush off”, and forget. I have said to people that we all here on this Earth for a purpose. Some people may agree and some may not and it really didn’t have any effect on me until recently, and so I was inspired to write these words to all of you.

Please, take a look around you ……., to the left of you……, to the right of you……., in front and in back of you……. and all who are here and have gathered these past few days in my sons memory. Michael, my son, has had an influence and purpose for being here on this earth with all of you. He has touched every life here, no matter how small or who you are, family, friend, co-worker or from someone you may know. Without him, we may never have known each other in some point in our lives. So I say to all of you, my son had a purpose in life and we all have a purpose for being here. We cannot change the past, or the present but we all can have some effect on the future.

My son Michael, has departed this life, so in his memory, please listen, listen carefully and closely to others you know, always offer your help to others, even if they do not want to accept it, so others may get the help they need so they do not have to suffer in silence.
Thank you

525,600+ minutes

Well, we did it. We survived the first year. When we first began this journey, a journey no parent should ever have to take, we didn't think we'd make it.
Our beautiful son Michael took his life, and left behind his devastated family and friends. He took his life. I don't like it when people say "committed suicide", because it sounds like a crime. Michael was no criminal. He was a sad, hurting, young man, who quietly fought a battle that he ultimately lost.
My husband and I have spent the last few days reminiscing. We laughed through our tears, remembering Michael from when he was a so small, butt-shuffling across our kitchen floor (he never crawled), to driving his big plastic race car down our road, making it skid sideways, doing it so often he wore out the tires. My parents then bought him a "kettle car". He tried to do that very same skid, but instead flipped and rolled the car. You see, unlike the plastic wheels (think Big Wheels) of the race car, the kettle car had rubber wheels. Michael thought he had just done the coolest thing ever. I had my first, of many, stroke. We talked about how thoughtful and caring he was. The trench he dug in the backyard when it flooded. John waking up one morning to a painted garage floor. I was in bed by ten most nights, and many of those nights Michael would come in and sit with me, talking over our day. I miss that.
So yes, we cried, a lot, but we also laughed. John thanked me for talking about Michael with him. I was struck by that. I said of course I'm talking about him. I will always by happy to talk about my Michael. John then said something that I've noticed, but hadn't mentioned. It seems that most around us (not all) are hesitant to talk about Michael. It's like people are afraid that to bring him up will make us sad. Please know this, it won't hurt us. To talk about him brings us joy. It keeps him close. My biggest fear now, concerning Michael, is that he will be forgotten. I suspect that most parents who've lost a child feel this way.
So yes, we've gotten passed our first year. It's been a really rough few days. Next up is his birthday, which is less than a week away. Another rough day. We will be celebrating him in his way though. Pizza and beer (BYOB) (BYO chair) that night, with a release of eco-friendly Chinese lanterns. Are we nuts? Perhaps, but as long as there are people willing to celebrate with us we will do this.
A gigantic THANK YOU to everyone. I'm not sure we would still be standing without you all.
Our journey is far from over, but right now we are here, and we are, as I said in a previous posting, (fake) ok.

It’s going to come no matter what 

11 months tonight. With that we begin our decent towards one year.

 For all of my happy and fun posts with my “fake ok” persona, just below the surface lurks the real me. I’m an easy cry now. Gone is the woman who didn’t cry easily. Losing a child does that to a mother, and father.  

Don’t get me wrong, we still have a good time.  We still have happy in our lives. One of our daughters was recently married.  That is a truly joyful occasion, one that even grief can’t overpower.   There were moments that grief tried to ruin the evening, but I had great support  from both family and friends, and had a wonderful time.  

Grief lurks, like a bad guy in a movie, waiting to pounce unexpectedly, taking you down when you can’t fight.  When you’re at your most vulnerable, BOOM, grief.   I’ve been in the most benign places, driving, shopping, etc, and been nailed by this beast.  I am left to wonder how the Hell that just happened.  I wasn’t thinking about Michael, I was doing whatever.  The evil hit doesn’t care.  How dare I not be sad all of the time.  Take that! Good, you’re sad. Another battle won.  Yes, grief won that battle, but this is war, and there will be many battles to fight.  I’ve won quite a few myself.  

This is where I say, for the uninformed, Michael was the first of five close losses in our little family.  After Michael, in January we lost my grandmother, who was 94, a good age.  Next, quite unexpectedly, my wonderful brother Steven, who, at 47, should, like my Michael, still be with us.  (Steven left us on Michael’s 6 month anniversary, not too gut wrenching).  A few months later, my mother-in-law.  She wasn’t very old, 81 actually, but she had very advanced dementia, and was living a life no one deserves.   One month later, another unexpected blow, my mom.  Also, at 70, not old at all.   And just for fun, we lost our 20 year old cat, on the day of my MIL’s funeral.  

Back to the war.  As you can see, this war has had many battles. Probably more that I’ve lost than won, but there have been wins.  I’ve been sorely tested.  I’ve been told that I’m strong, brave, and (GASP) inspiring.  

I can honestly tell you that I don’t believe I am any of these.  What I am is a wife, who walks beside a wonderful husband.  A mother, who is trying to be ok for her amazing daughters.  I’m a daughter, for a father that never thought he’d outlive his wife.  

If I’m strong, it’s because I need to be.  I’m strong, but it’s a facade.  It’s part of that “fake ok” Lori.  

I have no expectations from this journey we’ve been thrown into.  All I ask is for sanity and survival.  Anything else positive I’ll take and appreciate for the gift that it is.  

PS: please understand if I’m rough around the edges.  The next month, especially August 5th,  (the last day I saw our sweet Michael alive), August 6th, (the day our beautiful son left us), and August 7th, (the day we found our no longer suffering son) is going to be so horribly difficult, emotional and painful.  I know our family and friends will understand.  

Time after time 

Have you ever noticed that time has a way of dragging, and flying, all at once?  Does it drive you as crazy as it does me?  

266.  It’s a big number.  That is how many days since my Michael left this world.  It feels like it was just yesterday.  It also feels like forever ago.  

I have quick moments when I forget he’s gone.  I’ll see or hear something and think, I need to tell Michael about this. He’ll think it’s funny, stupid, whatever.  Then, well, I remember.  It hits me with such force, almost physically.  How could I forget?  Then I’ll do it again another time. Hashi will do something funny and I think I can’t wait to hear what Michael says about it.  Then I realize, I’m normal. (Shut up.  I am too normal) 

Our brains have a way of insulating us from pain.  We’re being protected by the same thing that hurts for us. So these quick moments are that.  It’s ok.  It doesn’t seem that way at the time, but you come to realize that it is.  I’m not saying I’m ok.  I am way way far away from ok.  I told my husband tonight that we’ve become very good at appearing to having it all together.  We look like we’re ok, on the outside.  It’s on the inside that we’re a quivering mess.  It’s ok though.  We’re dealing with something no parents should.  That’ll mess anyone up.  

Still, we move.  We live.  Time is going to keeping going.  We have no control over it.  So we keep going with it. 

Dear time, you suck.  
As always, 

For my Michael.