Love + loss.

Friday, December 14, 2012

This is the post that I published last week.  At the time, I called it, "Some thoughts on step parenting."  And then I took it down because it just didn't feel right.  Thing is, a lot of the post wasn't about step parenting in particular.  A whole chunk of it was about Shannon and loss and the kids.  And how, in a way, it's all coming full circle as Parker nears the age Lindsey was when she lost her Mom.  It was a special post to me, and one that I didn't want to throw away simply because some of it didn't sit right with me.  So, here's the rest of it, edited down.


Parker's less than a year away from where Lindsey was when Shannon got sick.  He's one year away from where Lindsey was when she died.  I have always been able to rattle off the ages of the kids pretty quickly.  (In fact, Steve's usually looking to me all dumbfounded when someone asks how old they are.  I think Moms are just better at that.)  Their current ages, and the ages they were when she passed away.  It's an integral part of the story, and strangers who hear the story inevitably ask, "How old were they??" 

Two.  Lindsey was two.  I've always known it but been, I don't know, detached from it?  Or not quite as aware of a two-year old as I am now.  What they're like, how often they cry or laugh, need their diaper changed, need their Mom.  Of course, Parker's not two yet.  But, I can imagine, a little bit, what he'll be like this July.  How little he'll still be (to me, anyway), how often he'll need to be fed, picked up, kissed, how he may still want me to rock him to sleep at naptime, how I'll know, better than Steve, how to scramble an egg for him just right (Steve took issue with this: "Parker loves my scrambled eggs!"), or what his favorite foods are.  The idea of me not being around?  Well, it's unthinkable.

Just this morning, Steve and I were sitting eating hash browns and eggs and, like it had just occurred to me, I said, "He's not that far from where Lindsey was when Shannon died."  Steve said, "I think of it nearly every time I change his diaper."

I have been told that Shannon was utterly content and peaceful, right through her last days.  I have to attribute this peace to none other than God himself, because I don't know how someone can be that way knowing that there is a huge possibility they'll be leaving behind what they hold most dear.  Steve has said it was remarkable.  I imagine that it was.

I'm afraid it's too easy, eight years later, to forget the loss they suffered.  To remind yourself of their past, their pain... I don't do it enough.  It's something that undoubtedly marked them, particularly the two older boys, forever.  I cannot begin to fathom the ways.  How will we ever really know?


  1. good for you for posting this again :) I think it's an incredible gift that you're giving to your children, not forgetting her. I can't imagine how hard it was for them, and how hard it sometimes is for you. Blessings to you all, especially here at Christmastime :)

  2. I don't know what to say, because I'm afraid of saying the wrong thing.. What I will say is this post made me cry.. It's such a sad thing to think about, but you are doing them all right by remember shannon and taking time out of day-to-day life to acknowledge all they've been through (and you too, I'm sure). you are an incredible mother and woman - thank you for sharing these intimate thoughts with us.

  3. i'm glad you put this back up.
    it's a very special post

  4. Really beautiful message and post. I think it's a wonderful thing to be able to talk about it.

  5. You are amazing and God blessed them with an angel.

  6. These are questions I always ask myself when I come here. Is that okay? I mean, I think, "Bridget is so amazing. Do they realize it? Of course they do. But they also miss their mom from before. How could they not? How do they balance those emotions as well as all the other emotions that come from growing pains?"

    Your love for them is powerful and I know has helped them through the grief they will always have.

  7. Hey!Bridget!
    I lost my daddy when I was 14 and a half, and now I'm 27...I know he is next to me, because I feel him by my side, when I'm afraid, when I'm happy, always.
    But, luckly, time helps us.
    Because now I can think of him and being proud and happy because he is my dad, and because I'm part of him. But I'm not more sad, as I was 12 years ago.
    And you're doing a good work with them. They're lucky!!!

  8. This was one of my favorite posts. Glad you put it back up.

  9. I'm glad you put the post back up. It's so thoughtful, heartfelt, and thought-provoking. I'm not sure I could say the right thing, but thanks for sharing.

  10. My brother was 2 months from turning 2 when my dad died suddenly in a car accident. I was 7. Our experiences with my father's death are so different. I have memories and experiences with my dad and my brother doesn't. He doesn't have one single memory. Even though we both lost the same person, I can not imagine what it's like for him (I'm sure he would say the same for me). Even though it happened so long ago and I have a wonderful stepdad, I do sometimes yearn for someone to bring him up or mention his name. I looked through pictures the other day and just cried seeing the look on his face while he was holding me. I think sometimes his death is more painful in adulthood than it was when I was younger. It sounds like you handle the situation in such a sensitive and thoughtful way. I think it's important to just remember their past and pain for them sometimes.

  11. i love this post...thanks for putting it back up. my momma died when she had just turned 30 (i was 7) and it marked my life in ways others will never know or understand. sometimes i don't think i even know all the ways it shaped and made me who i am. my dad deserted our family after they discovered she had a brain tumor so he was gone too. my grandparents raised my sister and i, so we still had family- but i never stopped missing her and wishing i had the unconditional love that i still believe only my mother could have given me. i am fierce about my own 3 children now and like you said- i get scared even thinking about them going through life without me. i will say that one of the gifts that came from my loss is the compassion i feel for other people. i cannot wait to see my sweet mom again someday!
    Just continue to love Shannon's children the very best you possibly can cause they deserve that. I have GREAT respect for you and for what you are giving them dear one~ xoxoxox

  12. your heart... is huge.
    love, lindsay


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