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Sorrow and Joy – Together

Where do ideas come from?  How does this genesis occur?  I’m serious.   Who is in charge of these bastard thought children running amok?   Do memory and desire hook up quick and dirty one night and boom…the  “let’s go camping to mourn the anniversary of the loss of our son” idea is their  love child?’ 

All this to say the three of us ended up on top of a snowy mountain in Garibaldi Park on the afternoon of July 2.  I knew I didn’t want to be at home that day, or the next, but… snow camping?   After a huffy puffy, sweaty, slippery, slushy hike up, over and across we arrived at Elfin Lakes back country campground.  The journey up was tough but spectacular.  We started in the green, traversed a fair amount of brown and ended up in the white and blue.  Continue Reading →

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on Sunday


on Sunday

i will wake.   disappointed.

again, as so many times before.   to find it’s true.    

from the other side now.   inside out.   hoodmother.

the back of motherhood.  her corners dusty.   circle closed.

baby H

on Sunday I will miss and cherish you, beautiful h,  because it was you who made me a mother, first. 

i will close my eyes to kiss fat toes,  scoop round belly,  run silken hair through fingers

and oh, the smell.  the smell.  of my own child, so sweet.

well before you were born you were mine and so,

well after you are gone you are still.    and always.


on Sunday I will spread my blanket for all mothers

who’s mom-ness didn’t go as planned.

for her, for you,  i will breathe deep.  and exhale.  gaze to blue and pray.

she who longed and wished and waited, pleading

please, please.  these unanswered prayers.

she who suffered.  the miscarried, the stillborn, the aborted, the never quite made it. 

hopeful embers who refused to ignite.

she, who raised those borne of others, and loved them close

i remember you, i know you.  yes, we have met.


on Sunday, you are a mother, all and truly.

you birthed  — the glow of love

you delivered  — a promise un-keepable

you nurtured — a craving unmet, never forgotten


on Sunday,  for the ones who

eat no pancakes, place no flowers in a  jar, answer no echoing long distance phone calls.

i honour you, with reverence.


on Sunday, empty your pockets full of stones.   i will hold your tired heart so you may rest awhile. 

i see you now, and

i am sorry.  to not have noticed you standing there before.   enduring Sundays past

i was blessed.  once.  twice. 

still am.  a beautiful girl.

such riches.

h & l

for all the sparks that rose from the fire too soon.

blinking off into the night, ahead of schedule


on Sunday please recall the bedrock truth

you were part of a miracle once, and

a miracle that doesn’t last

is still a miracle.


on Sunday.


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On the Loss of a Child

I have been asked to write an article for Hospice Yukon to be included their Spring Newsletter.   The theme is ‘Child Loss’…ugh.

I never thought I would ever be in the position to write something on this topic from personal experience.   I am certainly no expert and I sure don’t want to become a poster girl for parents who have lost their kids.   Still, its interesting how the  assignment has put me on the flip side of grief for the first time in a long while.  Since last summer I have been absorbing all the love, care and attention from others and now I have been asked to provide some.  It feels like swimming upstream.  Yes, more water analogies.  I have no idea where they come from.

I have had to carefully weigh the words I would like to share with someone who has been forced to endure one of life’s most excruciating possibilities.   These are fragile people.  Not an easy job.   It has helped me to realize how challenging it has been for all of our loved ones to support us through our loss.  This is hell for everyone.    Here is what I came up with…

 Continue Reading →

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The Hole Family

Yesterday marked six months since Holden’s gorgeous soul left his young body.  It was a hard day.  We were tidying up (in the Japanese and allegedly magically joyful way), putting away the decorations, tossing the wilted poinsettias and gathering the crackling dry boughs and pine cones from the mantle.  For some reason this was even more painful than setting them out had been.  The open, clear space created in their absence would normally have meant a fresh feeling of opportunity and potential for the new year but instead it created a powerful vacuum that squeezed my chest with a longing that has become so familiar.   I had thought perhaps the vortex was losing some of it’s pull.  I was wrong.  The inside of my ribcage felt like a chandelier in an earthquake.   Clattering and swaying.   I wasn’t sure how things would shake out.


oh how I wish these were opened

Wrapping these sentimental items in tissue and bubble wrap then packing them away in their dark blue utilitarian plastic tubs jolted me with it’s significance.   It’s heaviness.   How could we tuck him away so easily?  Put him on a shelf until next year.   The cute little teddy bear stocking with his name on it in purple glitter glue that we’ve had since he was born (which, by the way he insisted on keeping even though we offered to get him a more grown up one) and of course the unopened gifts.  Stab.  The tree ornaments that he made all through school, so achingly sweet.   I can picture his little hands working  earnestly to create them. The proud Christmas tree made of jigsaw puzzle pieces, it’s layers of glue painted dark green and zig zagged with gold twine, dotted with coloured beads.  ‘Holden – grade 1, 1999’ printed in pencil on the back in his careful hand.  The triangle  shaped reindeer head built with tongue depressors,  pipe cleaner antlers and the red pom-pom nose and my favourite, the silver clothes-peg angel.  Stab, stab, stab.  All I can say is yesterday felt like trying to walk with your shoes on the wrong feet.  It’s still possible, but doesn’t feel right at all. Something was missing or dragging behind or just simply wrong.  I hate the 3rd.  Of every month.  I seriously loath it.  But the 6 month benchmark combined with the newness of the year weighted the day more heavily than I was prepared for.    It landed on me with an unexpected thud.  I had actually begun to feel like in some ways I was emerging from the inky blackness of the tunnel.  Nope.  Get back in here lady. We’re not done with you yet. Continue Reading →