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, October 13, 2010

broken hearts


I don’t know if it’s simply wishful thinking, or just me being naive, but I’ve had a few ok days in a row, so I chose to believe that maybe life was getting back on track.

it’s not.

today proved that to me yet again that dreams and wishes and hopes are so much sweeter than the coldness of reality. i think because it’s been so beautiful outside, my favorite time of year, the leaves are falling and slowly turning, but it’s warm enough to be outside without a coat, playing or gardening, with the warm sun dancing across my face…i felt good. i let it make me feel good.

i needed so badly to feel good.

Yet today, another beautiful day, sunny and warm but there was a heaviness in my heart all day long.

This am I took Hunter to his 2nd session at The Dougy Center which is the nations leading children’s bereavement support group in Portland, OR. I got him in the siblings class, so all the children are ages 3-6 and have lost a brother or sister, not a parent, etc. So their pain would be similar, never the same, but similar. He again, was hesitant for me to leave him, last session I stayed with him the entire time. and that proved to be difficult. children are so much more on the surface with their grief than adults are. they’re more expressive and more brutally honest with their emotions and pain. It was hard to hear all the children’s pain.

the session starts with a circle time and Hunter had me stay with him for that before they would split up and go to seperate rooms of their choice to play, draw, paint, jump, run, scream, build, whatever their hearts desired to do. So i stayed. They started by “celebrating” an anniversary. A brother and sister lost their oldest sister a year ago this Friday. they brought pictures, they told of what happened to her. Then they went around the room and each kid took a turn saying who in their life died and how…and I cannot tell you the pain in my heart when over and over the sentence the children used to describe how their siblings died “was from a broken heart…”


that i understand. as a parent it’s hard to go into all the specifics and overwhelming details of what exactly happened to their sibling. So dyeing from a heart condition becomes dyeing from a broken heart. Dyeing from Cystic Fibrosis became dyeing from broken lungs. makes perfect sense on a surface level…

but dive into it with me.

how true are those words.

died of a broken heart.

there are somedays i feel like that will be the end of me. my broken heart. the pain sometimes becomes so unbearable that even the smallest of tasks becomes physically overwhelming. impossible. I feel many days that a broken heart is a true disease. it’s not depression, it’s not simply sorrow, and it’s more than grief. It is so completely different then when we were in high school and we were so called “broken hearted” when our “love and future spouse” broke up with us. right? boy that pales in comparison.

But burying my child has broke my heart.

shattered it…beyond recognition…beyond repair.

there are days that come and go, that are like the days of early this week, where they are fine, I feel well, the sun is shining, my spirits are stable…and I feel good. but that is a very temporary state i’ve found. nothings normal anymore.

i miss getting out of bed cranky trying to rush to get the kids up and dressed so I can get Conner to school on time. I miss the dull boringness of the day…how many days passed by with ease, painfree, and peacefully. I miss the days where even as I smiled that in the back of my mind I didn’t hear the constant theme POUNDING in my ears “conners gone. hes not coming back. his body is in the cold ground”

life is just different.

as we went around the room today at the Dougy Center, (the parents have their own session as the children do), a man gently smiled and welcomed me to that club. Oh yes, Im well aware of that club. that one that nobody wants to join. OUCH. I hoped that maybe I wasn’t the newest death represented, but alas I was. I don’t know what I was thinking. its only been weeks…for some there it’s been years, for some its been nearly a year, and for that one special family that we honored today by lighting candles for their angel in heaven, some have been gone a year this friday. and that just sucks.

we were such a hodge podge of people, adults crammed into this room with probably nothing in common except for the death of a child. one mother lost her child in a car crash that was caused by her falling asleep at the wheel, one of leukemia, two of heart defects, one from SIDS, and on and on it went. but the clear emotion in that room was pain. intense pain. it was nice to sit there in silence and simply listen. they’ve been living this longer than I have. some of them have punched their cards to renew their membership a few years now…whereas mine is he shiniest one in the bunch. new. it was nice to just be surrounded by people who got it. and yet it was so difficult as well.

traveling to Portland, where Conners care was, well and where much of his life was spent, is becoming more difficult each time. i see that hospital, or even the exit to the hospital and my heart wishes i was headed there. i look in the rearview mirror expecting to see just Conner in his seat either napping or watching his dvd as i drive him to clinic…but all i see is Hunters sullen face…and the pain that we share is enough to probably slow the car down a few mph.

i have to give these burdens to god many times throughout my day…over and over again. The Bible says that He’s carrying me, and catching every one of my tears to feel the full weight of my sorrow…and I believe it’s true. I’m just so physically, emotionally and mentally exhausted from trying to keep up with the Jones’…funny cus I’m one of them!

there are days now…where i have to talk myself out of bed. i havent had to do that before.

i barely answer my phone. i just feel neck deep in grief and it is overwhelming.

so i truly think that yes…those children imparted much wisdom to my day today. i truly believe that people can infact die from a broken heart…

and i pray to God that I’m not one of them…


  1. The way you write is amazing. God bless you.

  2. You are an amazing woman!
    Love, Love, Love
    Always, Always, Always

  3. Lifting you up in prayer Sarah. Your broken heart and sweet Hunter's are in God's hands. He is catching each piece that crumbles and falls. My prayer for you each and everyday is for peaceful hearts, minds and souls. What a tough day. :-(

    Gentlest of {{{HUGS}}} my friend.

  4. I just lost my husband 3 weeks ago..... death is so haunting.....changes us FOREVER!

  5. Sarah, I was in one of those grief rooms for my brother. It was strange to say the least. I did feel comforted but at the same time I felt alone. Grief is something I still don't understand. Being in the midst of it is very foggy and at the same time I will never forget it. It was overwhelming. I didn't stick with it and I wish I did. I was 30 when my brother died and I guess I just thought I didn't really need it. I did. We all do. I pray it helps Hunter and you also. HUGS!!


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