Thursday, October 23, 2008

Yesterday was two weeks since Owen passed. In so many ways, it seems impossible that two weeks has already passed since I last held my baby, but in others, it seems like a lifetime ago. What is most difficult is knowing that I am not able to hold him again, that I am not able to sit next to him and watch him breath, to sleep next to him and feel the warmth and perfect shape of his body next to me. Sleep is peaceless without him. My dreams have been unpleasant.  And yet, I don't wish to "get over" this. My son is gone. He always will be missing from my life. I am incredibly grateful for the time I had with him, but so wish I could be with him, as my life is incomplete without him with me.  How do I answer the question "How many kids do you have?" in the future? How do I sign cards? I cannot simply pretend he did not exist, that he is not still my child even though he is not physically present.  I cannot deny him, nor would I want to.
  Went to the zoo yesterday. I soo wished Owen had been with us. The Rainforest exhibit had not been open the last time he was able to go, and he would have loved it. Additionally, we were two of about 10 visitors there during the day, so we were able to spend quite a bit of time at the different exhibits, and were able to get right up next to the Apes, and ask questions to the zookeepers about the feeding times and procedures.  (There is one male, 4 females, and he does mate with each of them, but they are on a human form of birth control, so they do not conceive. They are fed 6 times a day, 4 of which are mixed veggies, twice with biscuits which are commercially made. The biscuits are enough to sustain them-they have all of the nutrients, calories, etc that they need, but the gorillas are fed additional items to make meal times more interesting. Who knew??)  
  Owen would have loved all of it.  He enjoyed animals, and learning things about them that he could impress other people with. For instance, Matt's mom and brother went to the Grand Canyon this spring, and his Mom brought back a stuffed condor for Owen and had Matt share the following information with him-#1-the average wingspan of a condor is about 9 feet (which we showed him on the floor) and #2-Condors urinate on their feet to keep cool.  The last bit of info was the one he was most excited to share with people.  He had a subscription to a magazine called "Zootles", which is a Zoobooks for younger kids and loved it!-It is phenomenal-I highly recommend it (and in fact, bought a subscription for my nephews for Christmas...shhhh!) They focused on one animal in each issue, and include letter recognition, numbers, stories, etc.
  Another thing Owen would have loved about the last two days was the snowfall.  Who doesn't love the first snowfall of the year? It is so peaceful and innocent. I am always amazed by it's beautiful silence.  I have a black peacoat on which individual snowflakes can be seen with amazing detail, and we would love to look at the differences in each one as they landed and stuck to my coat. There is such beauty in things we often take for granted. I tried to see that, and to help Owen see that.  Instead of cursing the snow, we would look for the amazing wonder of it-each individual crystal, and how many of those would it take to create that 7 feet of snow?  The splendid colors of the leaves, the first flower bud peeking out in the spring...I believe in miracles, I believe in magic. It happens unnoticed around us each and every day.


Anonymous said...


There is nothing I can say to make any of this better. I don't believe you "get over" anything like this - I believe your body, mind and spirit find a way to survive. You will continue to have Owen with you every day of your life. I am so sorry it is not physically, but I hope your memories of him help you to survive minute-by-minute, day-by-day. Take care.
Love and big Hug,

Sue Rebmann

Anonymous said...

I think of you often. I wish I had words of comfort for you but know there are few. I was sent this email today, not sure if you received it as well. Perhaps you can find comfort in some of the other families who have been led down this path.

Hi Families,

Please see information below for a support group for parents who have lost a child to cancer. I am sending this out to ALL Camp Good Days families, so that if you know parents who can benefit from this, you could forward this their way. Please let me know if you have any questions, although CGD is not running this group, I will gladly forward your question/comment to Essential Care.

Lisa :)

Essential Care for Children, Roswell Park Institute, and Woman and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo presents:
Supporting Parents Who Lost a
Child To Cancer

When: November 3rd

Time: 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Place: Life Transitions and Essential Care for Children Building

150 Bennett Road, Cheektowaga, N.Y. 14227

After listening to the many requests to start a bereavement group that is dedicated solely to families who have lost a child after a journey battling cancer, the Essential Care Program has been able to partner with RPCI and WCHOB to honor your needs.

We will never pretend to understand your loss but we can offer families a place to meet with other families that understand your journey.

Surviving the Death of Your Child is no doubt the most difficult part of your life.

We would like to offer a group to be molded by parents who have lost a child, provide us with the knowledge of what you need to continue to survive and give us the opportunity to support and assist you in any way possible. This is a group that will be developed, attended by, and molded by you, the survivors.

Facilitators will provide structure and support to family members. The theme of each group will be dictated by your needs, the group will be named by you and created by facilitators based on what you disclose are your needs at each group.

Please join us to honor the lives of your children and the memories that they have given you by helping us to take care of you, their family.

Please bring a photo of your child to the group to share and honor their beautiful lives!!!

Christy LaVigne said...


I think of you daily and keep you in my prayers. I am so glad to see that you are blogging, it such an awesome step to healing!! Owen will never be forgotten and always missed!

To your questions, you still have 3 beautiful boys, just so happens 1 is a beautiful angel!! and the question about the cards, well i thought about this one and that is a very hard one to address. but how about something symbolic like getting a stamp with angel wings and writing your names over the top. or how about placing a feather in the card as a symbol to his wings and he is now flying free of all the pain!! I love you jen, and please don't ever think i don't care because i don't get the chance to call you. i do, and i am always here for you. christy lavigne

Anonymous said...

Hi Jen,
You are amazing, do you know that?I look at you and think Wow! I wish I could be more like you. I wish I could make the last 2 years end up different for you and that we would still have the wonderful gift of Owen with us, but I do not have that power. I can however give you a hug when you might need one or remember with you about fun times you have had.Or even just cry with you when you want to.I did not have the opportunity to know Owen as long as many others, but the short time I did know him he really made me happy. Who would have thought he and I would share a love for the color pink?
Jen, I am here for you.
Butterfly kisses,

the winney said...

Hi Jen,
I still think of you, and the boys, all three of them. And you know I was reading the comments and the one about the Christmas cards and putting a feather or something like that in each one, I like that idea. Something that will make you and everyone else realize that Owen is still and always will be with us, in our hearts forever. I really wish i would have had the chance to meet him, but if he were anything like you and the boys, I know he was an amazing little boy. You know, every so often, ok, a lot! I sit and cry because my son has gone off to college and I miss him in the worst way, but then I think of you and I feel so stupid to cry over that. I know he will be home soon, and I think you know, I really have to grow up. So actually, I think of you every day, and Owen, and my son! Take care and I am also happy you are still blogging, at we know how you are doing. Take care of yourself.

Love and hugs,
Danielle and Shannon Winney