My arms are empty and acheing...

I can’t believe I’m a mother without…

Life has been twisted and turned upside down. As a mother, I had both the wonderful privilege of holding my sweet son as I brought him into this world…and the horrible chore of holding him as he took his last breaths and left this world, at only 7 years old. June 24, 2010 he earned his angel wings, passing away after an inspiring but brief fight against Cystic Fibrosis. Now I live, solely focusing on living a life to get to be with him again in heaven, and to raise awareness for Cystic Fibrosis research. I am dedicated to a cure, not only for my sweet sons legacy but so that other CF families never experience the greatest loss of their lives that we are now facing. My mother’s arms are missing Connerman, yet he still inspires me daily to leave a mark of LOVE on this world…so for you my sweet prince, mommy will try!

Love Love Love

Always Always Always

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

If blood is thicker than water…

Then why is water make up so much more of your body? of the world? ever think about that? You hear the saying that family is blood and blood is thicker than water, but dive into it with me here…sometimes you don’t need blood…you lose blood, even transfuse your blood…but your water is what keeps you alive. you can’t live without water in your life. Granted nor could you w/o blood…but blood can be changed…water can as well…but the beauty of that is you get to CHOOSE your water…your stuck with your blood.

did i lose you?

Today was hard. Honestly I feel like each day is getting harder than the one prior to it. But not in all the ways you may think. People are making it harder for me lately. Not the circumstance. Remember when you were graduating, or got all this money one year for Christmas or was planning a wedding (wink wink Jen) or a vacation and THEN all of a sudden people come out of the word work. They suddenly become interested THEN…kinda too late. Kinda annoyingly soliciting their unwanted advice. Which simply by definition advice is simply someone forcing their opinions onto you in hopes to pursuade you into their thinking. When you break it down like that doesn’t it appear that advice is truly just us being selfish? Who are we to advise someone really about anything? no two circumstances, no two occasions, no two human beings are the exact same, so advice is our way of saying “i know it all and this is how I would do it if i were you” which breaks down even further to TRULY say “if you don’t do it this way, its (or your) wrong. seems off right?

then why oh why am i faced with it daily? I love when I get to hear from other moms or dads who’ve lost a child whether it being a recent event or something years past. Because on a level that nobody else in this world can grasp they just GET IT. no questions asked, no explanations needed, no sorry’s, no expectations. they simply know it to their core. they feel it. no words are ever really necessary between two such people. it just clicks together like a puzzle piece long missing. I love that. In writing this blog I’ve opened myself up publicly to be judged by you, and you can chose to read what i write or because of our great freedoms you can trash what i say or stop reading and following our journey. and truly the choice is yours alone. But for me, this is my life. I don’t have the luxury of turning the page, or following someone elses story…because it’s not the same. even in similiar deaths, it is never the same. each connection to the deceased is a very unique connection that no other person living will have ever had with them. nobody. so if ten people all knew one wonderful person and that person passed away…each of the ten people will grieve the loss based upon their connections and the relationship to them. these i feel are very simple principles that we all probably understand but maybe just haven’t thought of it that way before. guess my goal is to try to get to the bottom of all of this…keep with me now…

blood is thicker than water.

but water blends into your tears when you need it to where blood cannot.

water can soak your tears, even have tears of its own but you’d never be able to tell what tear was from which person. it’s that close

and water is a choice.

blood has their own unique relationships with their family.

water does as well…but water knows when to recede.

water knows when to come in with the tide.

blood while close when you need it to be and still absolutely important…blood fails to look beyond their own unique relationships and has a nasty habit of projecting their advice onto you.

unsolicited advice.

unwanted persuasion.

unnecessary pain.

the “i’m right and your wrong” mentality will only get blood so far. even water carries those thoughts and feelings sometimes but…

the beauty of that is you can simply put down your glass of water…or dump it out and find new water.

unless you remove blood from your body you are stuck with it forever. no matter what.

that is both a blessing and a curse.

being thrown into this horrible club i’ve been forced to learn and relearn many lessons. almost daily. sometimes hourly. it’s like i’ve done my bachelors degree but wait, i wanna switch majors so ditch all that i’ve known and now lets jump to something trickier and while we’re at it lets shoot for a masters in it.

and you only got a year.

well…you think a year.

but what i’m finding is that it’s not quick enough for some people. like i’ve mentioned before people aren’t ok setteling with pain. seeing someone cry, or be sad, or be in pain and simply just let them be. or just say sorry. nope. we’re not ok with that. we have to FIX things.

but guess what…reality check time.

you can’t fix everything.

and the lightbulb moment of the night is your trying to “fix” someones sadness is simply sending them the message VERY LOUDLY that it’s not really ok to be sad. to be emotional. it’s saying “grief takes time…but uh not too much time cus then i will be uncomfortable…”

well soooooooooooooory…but last time i checked it kinda wasn’t about you.

it’s about that persons unique pain. a pain that you can’t wish, hug or love away. and it’s definately not a pain that you can fix. so do us all a favor and stop trying. and if you are wondering if you’re one of those people trying…here’s a great guideline…

if you begin a sentence with “you need to….” or “i can’t imagine what you feel BUT…” or the best one yet “You still need to….” then chances are your being a fixer. your soliciting unwanted advice. and you should stop. the best phrase that i hear from people is “i’m sorry” period. done. end of story. perfect!

while i’m on my high soapbox tonight (sheesh listen to me getting out all my frustrations! :)

lets negotiate some clear misconceptions of grief.

1. the pain is intense. it is paralizing. check.

2. it is round the clock always in your face and mind, consuming everything you do or everywhere you go. check check.

3. it is real, unavoidable, healthy and very much needed and necessary. check check CHECK…

what it is NOT…and this list is more important…

focusing on the child whose passed doesn’t mean you don’t love the ones still living. it simply means that your world is upside down.

concentrating on writing about your pain and your experience and your anger and your sadness doesn’t mean youre clinically depressed. rather it means that youre allowing yourself to feel natural feelings and emotions. and if you don’t feel them…then KABOOOOM down the road…

saying that it’s hard to get out of bed each day doesn’t mean that you feel you have nothing to live for. rather the opposite. forcing yourself to get out of bed and face each day is a HUGE accomplishment when you know that once you wake from your dreams…probably dreams of your dead loved one…that yes once again your heart is going to fall from your chest onto the floor and your gonna have to spend the whole day putting the pieces back together, just as you did the day before. and that is all. it is no small feat.

so in a nutshell if you take anything away from this post that i SOOO needed to write then here’s the cliffs notes version (oooh i LOVE cliff notes!!!)

1. family is family. friends are friends.

2. your friends are chosen by you for a specific reason. you keep the ones most important. family your stuck with. like it or lump it.

3. when family doesn’t get it, you will have a friend who will. blood can never fill all the little cracks in your soul that water can…because it’s thinner and more transparent. water is there by choice not by circumstance.

4. i love my sons. all 3 of them.

5. i am not suicidal because it’s hard to get out of bed.

6. by simply focusing on my heartache over losing Conner doesn’t mean I have nothing to live for. If thats what I meant, then thats what I would’ve said. PERIOD.

7. Yes I know that family, friends, and God are all there for me…incase you may have missed it all but my faith in God has never wavered. Yes I get upset at the situation and mad at the circumstance but I also know that this is part of something bigger then I will ever know.

8. last but not least. keep your advice to yourself…unless it’s asked for. :)

so glad to have gotten that off my chest.


lets wake up tomorrow and try this out ALL over again <3, and the next day. lather rinse repeat…until it makes sense :)


  1. Can I just tell you that the water and blood analogy made such perfect sense to me? I never thought of it that way but it is so true! Grief really scares people for some reason. Our society is all about happy endings. Heck, most movies have them. Sometimes, however, you can't tie everything up in a nice little bow and be done with it. Family needs to understand that going through this grief right now is the best thing you can do. However hard that may be for them to understand. They should not worry about "fixing" you. There is nothing to fix. The death of your beautiful son is now a part of you. Grief is simply a way of your body and mind adapting to it. I know like "adapt" sounds like a strange concept for this but I think it is true. At least from my experience. You are also right that it is not good to put grief off. You are right where you need to be Sarah. I hope your family reads your blog and gives you some peace about this. Perhaps the people in question should do a little bit of research regarding grief and the loss of a child. It may ease their mind to know that what you are going through and feeling is quite normal. It actually would be worrisome if you WEREN'T feeling this way. They should also understand that everyone's grief experience is different and unique.
    I hope things get better for you with regards to your family, Sarah
    As always, take care...

  2. It's hard for others to understand how healthy grieving is, and that it's not something that can be measured by an amount of proper time. We will always have an empty pocket in our hearts, we will never reach that full hearted happiness again, and it takes alot to even learn to just live with the emptiness. I allow myself to grieve openly, if I feel like laying in bed crying I do it, if I feel like looking through pictures and feeling sad I do it. I don't care that other people tell me I am setting myself up for sadness. It's not true, I am only doing what I have to do to feel ok. You can be in a room full of people and still feel completely alone, because the one person you want to walk through the door, isn't going to.

    Tomorrow will be 6 months. I no longer cry everyday, but I think about her several times a day, I live amidst the constant dull ache of missing her. I've even had a few happy days but the thought of her is always right there with me.

    Don't let other people influence you, do what you need to do. We dedicated our lifes to our children because we wanted them to have the best life possible despite the illness, and now what we dedicated our whole life to is gone, we lost our children and we lost ourselves too. We have to start over and learn who we are now. We are on a new journey now.

    Your blogging touches my heart, thank you for sharing.

  3. I understand what you are saying.. Totally get it..Maybe think about writing a book, years and years from now? If you want to of course : )

  4. Sarah, I love what you've said here. I really don't understand people and their need to share all of their "wisdom". I'm so sorry you have to deal with this on top of everything else you're through.

  5. I once read a quote. . . A friend is God's way of making up for family."


  6. I wish I could put you in contact with a friend of mine...she lost her son a few weeks ago and I think as I have heard she is feeling and struggling just the way you share. She doesn't have any other kids and her FT job was taking care of Sam every day. Now she has lost her job - her husband is back at work and she has lost her "purpose" in a sense.

    I don't know what to do or say for I pray and hope that she can connect with others who, like you said, understand her unique pain.

    Thank you for sharing honestly....those of us that haven't been through an experience like this gain insight into how to be better friends and family to those who have.

    Praying for you....

  7. yes kristin...have her contact me! have her read thru the blog or friend me on's so important to not be alone!
    and christina about the book suggestion you totally just made me spit out my Spark laughing with the "if you want to of course!"

  8. Just wanted to come here and say "I'm sorry." I'm sorry for all that you are going through. I'm sorry for the unfairness. I'm sorry for the pain that you must be going through. That pain is really unimaginable to me- I can't imagine the absolute suffocation from the pain of losing a child.

    It's funny how people always assume others are depressed. Yes, some people who are super sad or down when everything in their life is ok might be depressed. But when someone loses a child, it's not depression. It's grief. It's insanely intense sadness that someone who has not experienced it will never understand. But it is NORMAL.

    Anyway, I don't have anything else to say or any words to make it better. Just wanted to let you know that I'm here, reading, and hoping that things get a little better for you. Big hugs!

  9. One of my favorite blog posts ever, and I read a lot of them. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful perspective with us today, and every day.

  10. wow - very well put - but if there certain people you are talking about -- call them out on it - don't be so evasive.

  11. Haha family CAN be such a huge pain in the ass. Writing about feelings good or bad makes you feel better, why don't some people get that. And totally agree, if I "want" your advice I'll tell you until the stfu! heheh Really there's times when all one needs is a hug or to be left alone, and it varies through out the day let alone each day or week. Hope that your fam get's the point asap!!! ♥

  12. I'm so very sorry.

    I don't get it. But, I do "get" your water vs blood analogy and I also get told that I need to "pay more attention" to my daughter because she might be offended that I'm with her brother so much (in the hospital, among other places he HAS to go!). It infuriates me. It's usually in-laws. And it sucks.

    Not trying to compare. But I love what you said and I am CHOOSING to apply it in my own life as well; both to look over ignorant people more and also to know that's it's ok to not know what to say sometimes. Thanks!

  13. You put into words what I felt but could never find a way to explain. I loved it. Thank you!

  14. Sarah, your words are pure, hard, painful, refreshing, insightful and completely from the heart. I admire you for being able to share your feelings like this. Not too many people have the talent to put their feelings into words the way that you do on your blog. And it never fails...I always leave your blog with tears in my eyes. Thank you for sharing.

  15. Amazing Insightful Post! Wish I could have expressed myself as well as you.

  16. Sarah, generally I think those that have not suffered a loss can't truly understand. Death is a hard task master. One that was never meant to be. While I certainly understand that you can pick your friends but not your first thought was that blood is what made Conner so special. Can you imagine any "water" loving your son the way you do? It's the blood that has run grand canyons through your heart. It's what made you strong for him. Maybe this is why Christ says there is no greater love than for a man to lay down his life for his friends. Ah, to love a friend (water) like blood. Indeed, that would be something extraordinary. My next thought was it's by Christ's blood we call Him Father. The Holy Spirit washes us in His sanctifying water from the inside out to make us like Christ. Water and blood. The analogy makes me think.

    Sarah, thanks for sharing yourself with us. I think of you often and pray for you and yours.

  17. Well said! My family is going through a very similar situation with my cousin, who suffers from CF. I suppose it's natural for others to want to help you feel better or "fix" your situation somehow, but that's just not possible. While some say "Time heals all wounds", it seems that sometimes time just makes some wounds bleed a little more (at least at first). Sarah, I'm just sorry this happened to you and your family....and, instead of offering advice (I don't really have any), I'll just offer my sympathy. Take Care.

  18. LOVE you lady! Wink wink right back at ya!

    This post made perfect sense, hugs & prayers!

  19. This made perfect sense. I am so sorry that you are going through this Sarah. I pray for you and your family daily. I also pray that people will allow you to fully grieve, and feel whatever you need to feel for as long as you need, and only offer you love and support...not advice. (((Huge HUGS)))


  20. oh sarah, you are wonderful.

    i get the advice crap, and the "being there alittle too late" part also. its insane how many more people are around when there is a real issue going on rather than when things are "normal" if you can say that.

  21. I understand your frustrations with people. Sometimes when you are grieving for some reason people think it's their business. (I hope saying that is ok, since I don't really know you!) When my dad was sick I got so pissed at these random people that would come up and try to get information and be all "sympathetic" but at the same time they hadn't cared before. I yelled at some of them one point. Everyone thought I was rude, but it was my pain and my family suffering. I'm just saying I understand your frustrations and they are so real. Praying for you always.

  22. Sarah,

    Your honesty is amazing. Be sad and grieve. Why should there be a limit on your grieving and your sadness? I have not lost a child, but I've lost people close to me. It still makes me sad when I think about them. Sometimes I even cry because I miss them.

    Because someone is sad does not mean that they are depressed. You have every right to be sad and there should never be a time limit put on grief, no matter who you are or who you are grieving the loss of.

    My unwanted, unwarranted advice.... Grieve how long and whatever way you feel the need to and if people don't understand that (family or not) then too bad for them for not sharing in the process with you...

    I have enjoyed reading your blog and following your family's story for months now (since about March) and I applaud you for having the strength to keep moving with your life, even though I'm sure it's felt like it has stopped...

    You are amazing and you are helping so many people by putting CF awareness out there!!! And also the fact that you are so totally and absolutely honest when you write. There are not many people like you out there and think it is great that you can be so honest because in the long run, you're right, it's going to be so much better than just... KABOOOM!!

    I don't know you and you don't know me but I love what you do and the person that you show yourself to be through your awesome blog entries (most of which I cry through reading).

    Please continue to be amazing (that wasn't really advice...!) and keep being honest. Keep doing whatever you're doing and spread Conner's word around the Earth.

    YOU'RE AWESOME! None of this post was meant to be disrespectful and I hope you didn't take it that way!!! =)

  23. And I hate to hear "hang in there." Tell me about how you hate that "My Name is Earl" got canceled but don't freaking tell me to hang in there.

    Sorry to vent my own in a comment to your blog. But I wanted to add that to the senseless things people say.

  24. I've never left a message here, but have followed you in your grief since just before Connor Man Closed his eyes. What you just wrote was very well put. Grief is individual....and I, nor anyone else, can ever feel exactly what YOU feel, hell your husband has a different feeling that you and he is probably the one most closest to the same situation as you. I GET what you said! With that, it sounds like a family member is feeling afraid for you. Yes they are probably not putting their fear out there with the correct words, but i think they are afraid. I also think, if they really read what you just wrote, that it will relieve their fear. In closing.......I am SOOOOOOO Sorry!

  25. Very well said and I am sorry.


  26. my heart aches alot when I come by your blog. Sending warm thoughts and prayers for you and yours.

  27. Just wanted you to know that there are many out there thinking of you, and praying for you. I have a friend whose daughter has CF. She posted a link to your blog a while back, and I have been following your journey.
    I think of your family often. I thought of you this week. I had just sent my 5 year old off to kindergarten, and was missing him. I took the other two to McDonalds, and as I was ordering Happy Meals, I felt so guilty for not getting one for him. It was so weird to be without him. My thoughts immediately went to you. I'm sure you have many moments each day where you "forget" (not the right word, I know, but you get what I mean), for a moment, that Conner can no longer share this moment with your family.
    Just know that I am praying for an extra "drop of grace" to fall on you each time one of these moments sneaks up on you.
    And, I, too, am so sorry!

  28. I'm sorry to hear these words....but to throw your family under the bus in front of the hundreds of people who enjoy your blog is also hurtful. Your family is hurting WITH you not against you.

  29. Thank you for this post. It is a beautiful and informative post that I have never seen. Great job and it will be good if you continue.
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