Friday, November 23, 2007

Handling grief

Tertia asked a few bloggers to do a blog post on how to help others to deal with their grief. Someone asked her what was the best way to help a friend deal with it. Everyone deals with grief differently and that is why she has asked some others to also give their point of view. The following people have also participated:

Cecily - lost babies
Snikolett - lost her husband to cancer
Alida - recently got diagnosed with cancer
Billie - micropreemie twins with some serious health issues

To help me get started I asked my friend who recently lost twins at 26 weeks for her thoughts. This is what she replied:
Q1: Did you find the way I interacted with you about your losses was ok for you or do you feel I could have done or said more or less?
A: Yes it was perfect. Also found it quite useful to chat to you because you could empathise as you have been through similar loss before whereas others who have not been through this don't know how to react or how we are feeling.
Q2: Are there things that other people did that you feel they should have done differently?
A: At no point did anyone offend or upset me so I can't think of anything that anyone did that they should have done differently. I found that some people only contacted us much later as they didn't know what to say or how to approach us at 1st, but I think this is normal as I've experienced and probably done the same with others in their time of loss. Now that I think about it - how do you feel about this question? When you lost Kendra I had no experience on loss so I probably wasn't as supportive to you as I could or should have been. I think that in most cases one would relate better and get better support from those who have been in the same boat before - but that's just my opinion.
Q3: It is hard when people seem to start forgetting after a while and everyone's life carries on as normal.
A: Agreed, and on this point I seem to also have got into this rut and it's quick to get busy and 'forget' about what's happened, although this will always be a part of our lives. It seems I may be dealing with this too well - which sometimes brings a sense of guilt to the table! This brings a question on... so how long should one grieve for? I know there is no right or wrong answer to this but the question is still there and the answer probably has an effect on whether one feels guilty or not.
Some general points / my opinions...
(1) One thing I have thought about the other day when I was writing some overseas Xmas cards, I signed them Love M, L & J with no mention of the Twins. I didn't know what was the right way - do you add the Twins names in or don't you... adding them in would acknowledge them but maybe make others feel uncomfortable or pity for us? ... not adding their names in makes it look like we have 'forgotten' them and not acknowledged them... I haven't read about this on any blogs - would be interesting to hear what others think on this point?
(2) One cannot say that getting over one type of loss is worse than another but I suspect that if you lose someone that you have 'had' in your life for a long time is much worse than to lose someone that you have only known for a short time i.e. the longer you have shared with someone the more memories you have of the person so you will be constantly reminded of that person.
(3) I found this on and thought it was quite good so you might want to use 1 or 2 ideas in your post.

A Loss For Words - Helping Parents Who Have Lost a Multiple by Amy E. Tracy
If you work with preemie families or belong to a multiples support group, chances are you’ll someday encounter parents who have lost a twin, triplet or other multiple. As someone who understands the crisis of premature birth, or the magic of multiple babies, you’ll want to help. But you may not know how. Based on suggestions from grieving parents and experts in parental grief, here are some suggestions:

  • Acknowledge the parents’ loss. When a multiple dies, parents not only lose a child, but the unique opportunity to raise twins, triplets or more. Recognize this loss. Some good things to say: "I’m sorry," or "I’m here and I want to listen." If parents named the baby, use the name. Even though one child is missing, parents often consider themselves fathers or mothers of the original set; refer to the survivors as the original number ("triplets," even if two survived).

  • Find helpful resources. Locate bereavement support groups and literature for parents who probably don’t have the energy to seek help.

  • Give a gift. When giving a new-baby present, take along a gift that acknowledges the loss. Thoughtful ideas include a figurine of animals or children that affirms parenthood of all the babies, a memorial tree for planting, or a donation to a bereaved parents’ group.

  • Think before you speak. Though perhaps well intentioned, avoid making comments that could cause painful feelings, such as: "At least you have another baby," or "It would have been too hard to raise quadruplets anyway."

  • Remember the baby. Send a card, small gift or call on holidays and anniversaries of the baby’s birth and death.

My response:

Q1 and Q2 - by including this in this post I am not trying to blow my own horn or anything I just thought it would help me to think about what I did and if it was deemed appropriate. My thoughts on this were that it IS difficult to know how to support someone when they are grieving. I know my friend is a very private person and will not show everyone how she feels so my approach was to let her know that I am here for her if she needs to chat about it and to offer my help in practical ways. To talk about how it was for me and to encourage her to talk about it and not bottle it all in. Sometimes I feel that I could have done more and maybe would have if it had been someone else - a different type of person.

I try and think back to how various people reacted to me and what worked and what didn't. Some friends phoned me up a few times to see how I was doing, some friends left comments on my blog, some sent emails and others never really talked about it. As the article above says, you need to acknowledge a person's grief and the child/person that has been lost. Yes, you don't necessarily want to talk to them in the middle of a party when they are obviously in a happier space, you have to pick your moments which can be quite difficult if you only see them in that sort of environment. So generally most of my friends and family handled it well although you will always get a few thoughtless comments especially after a while and you just have to think that not everyone is absorbed so totally in your loss. Recently some friends decided that instead of buying gifts for each other we would each buy a gift for underpriviledged children in an initiative called the Shoebox project. We were each given the name of child to buy for. My child was a 2,5 year old girl - exactly the age Kendra would have been now. A bit thoughtless? Maybe but I realised that they just took 2 lists of names and matched them together without looking at who was matched to who. Last year this would have been incredibly painful but now it is a bit easier to deal with. I suppose I could have swapped with somebody but I bought the gift and survived.

Which brings me neatly to Q3. There is no end to grieving. It will never end. But it does change in nature. It gradually moves from being a sharp constant pain to a dull throb, many times suppressed to the point of not knowing that it is there but always under the surface, popping up at the oddest times. I did a post a while back where I talk about the nature of grief and refer to another blog where she expresses it really well. Check it out. I think the thing to remember is that you should not feel guilty about how you feel. You go through different stages of grief, sometimes it is raw and in your face and other times far away. You are dealing with enough without feeling guilty about it.

Ok, I think I am rambling a bit here and going off the topic. Going into talking about grief instead of advising people on how to help others with their grief. The points above by Amy Tracy are right on the money. Snickollet has raised some very good points on helping your friend in a practical way. I suppose it depends on the individual circumstances but I think this practical advice will be helpful no matter what type of a person you are.

When Kendra died we had people in the house all day the day after she died. Some people made us breakfast, some cleaned our pool. Some brought food, some brought drinks. I appreciated that people came around to just say sorry, even though they never normally visited us. The trick is to determine if your friend wants to talk about her/his loss or would rather be distracted. Sometimes you have to ask them outright.

As Tertia says in her blog, she sent a letter out to her colleagues (one of whom was me) after she lost Ben. To tell you the truth before she sent out the letter I was terrified of seeing her for the first time. I did not know what to say to her and thought that I might cry if I said more than 2 words to her. I bumped into her in the kitchen, just said I am very sorry and that was it. Thinking back on it I feel I should have said more but I just did not know what to say. I think that letter which she sent out actually made my return to work after Kendra died easier and for this I thank you T. There were a few people who seemed to be avoiding me and some who to this day have not mentioned Kendra, but generally people came up to me and said they were sorry, some just gave me a hug, some even sent cards or emails. That acknowledgement of the loss is a biggie.

Don't ever say 'it was for the best' or 'everything happens for a reason' or that kind of thing. I got quite a few of those and I really did and do not appreciate them. People say that especially when they hear she had a syndrome. Which is also something, by the way, which causes it's own grief. When Kendra was diagnosed I grieved for the little girl that I thought I had, the normal little girl. Any mother of a disabled child grieves for the child they have 'lost'.

Throughout this post I have talked in the feminine and only referred to mothers, but all of it applies to fathers as well. I only talk about the moms because I am a mom and most of the blogs I read are written by moms. Fathers grieve differently to mothers and are often left out of the 'consoling' process but don't forget the dads, they are just as heartbroken.

In conclusion please go here and read some more helpful tips on dealing with grieving friends. This is also a good site if you have lost a baby. I am sorry this was so longwinded. This is what happens when one doesn't post for quite a while!

Oh, one last thing, in response to point 1 above about sending out greeting cards. I have the same dilemma. Should I put Kendra's name on a birthday or Christmas card? Sometimes I do and sometimes not. Sometimes I think people will think it strange if I put her name on, maybe they will think I am in denial or something. But the more I think about it the more I think so what! Who cares what anyone else thinks? If I want to put her name on a card I will. She is still my daughter even if she is not physically here. And that is my last word for now. Please go read the other blogs mentioned above.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Hey, strangers

I know, I have been very bad with blogging. Shocking in fact. But my excuse is that my FIL is staying with us (3 months now) and the computer is in his 'bedroom'/the study and he usually goes to bed quite early. I blog quite a lot in my head though, it just never seems to get to the computer. I could write up a whole blog post in the shower but by the time I get to a computer I cannot remember it. Anyway, besides that....

A HUGE BIG CONGRATULATIONS to Catherine and her family on the birth of little Myles. They have been through so much over the last 2 years they really could do with some happiness. I have been following Cathy's blog since May last year when I had just lost Kendra and she had just lost Travis. I have been really nervous every time I went on to her blog lately in case there was bad news. Strange how you can feel so connected to a stranger and feel so happy when things go right for them.

On the downside, I am adding a link on the right to Alida's blog. We were colleagues, then she became a client and now she has cancer. She was very supportive when Kendra died and it was quite a shock to hear of this. I must say that I like the last few words of her summary - 'my winning battle'. It is so great how positive she is and it sounds like her family are real troopers too. You go girl!!

Tertia asked me to participate in a combined blogging effort about grief and how we handle other people's grief. A few bloggers will each put our posts up on Sunday and link to each other so that you can get some different opinions about the subject. Join us then.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Goodbye Milo

I am sorry to say that Milo did not make it. She had to be put down on Friday. The vet has sent tissue samples away to try and find out what poisoned her. I took Branston to visit her on Wed and Thurs evenings which I think was a good thing. He had a chance to say goodbye. He seems to be taking it quite well, a little bit too well maybe? I keep waiting for tears and statements of missing her. I think I took it harder than him. I don't know why it upset me so much, made me think of Kendra quite a lot. I don't know how a dog can make me think of my daughter, maybe it's just that there seems to be a lot of death around lately. Two of Branston's goldfish died during the past week as well. And the cat was vomiting on Friday too, but I think(hope) that was just hairballs - it is that time of the year.

I really need to get to the memorial park, the problem is that it is too far to go during the week so I will have to go over the weekend. Going there just seems to bring a sense of peace. The sadness is there too but generally it seems to calm the soul. Gotta get there, hope the weather is good.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Branston's dog, Milo, is at the vet and it sounds like she is not going to make it. She has acute kidney and liver damage, they think she was poisoned. What am I going to tell my child? Does he really need this in his life at the moment? It was his birthday yesterday and he was so excited. Now I have to tell him that there is a good chance that his dog is going to die. Man, life is a bitch!

I am not sure if I should take him to the vet to see her or not. The thing is, last year his sister went off to hospital and he never saw her again. I don't know if that experience should be repeated with the dog. I know a dog is very different to a sister but he is very attached to her. We got her shortly after Kendra died. The vet says that Milo does not look terrible, it is all internal so his last image of her would not be of a sickly looking dog. Should I take him to visit her or shouldn't I? Any advice? I don't know if I will get any answers before the time comes for me to decide but I will let you know the outcome.

Monday, September 24, 2007


My friend Lucy has updated her blog with her story and some pictures. Have your tissues handy before you go and read her update. I still get all teary-eyed when I go back there. Lucy left a comment on my last post as a reply to everyone who had commented here. She asked me to post her response.

Hi Vannessa, thanks so much for all your posts and prayer requests and for your support. You are truly a gem and a pillar of strength. I can only admire you!
I feel much better now that I've managed to update our blog with our story and now that I've had a chance to read your posts.Thanks to everyone for their comments and encouraging words.There are a few points that I would like to mention re some of the topics and comments posted...

(1) There is no right or wrong answer ... and what works for one does not necessarily work for another so please accept the below as my opinion only and it's just what worked for us.

(2) At 1st when I heard about the blog and objective of taking photo's of stillborns I was a bit sceptical but I can see how this works as the pictures here are gorgeous as the babies appear to be sleeping.
However, my humble opinion of this is that it is only appropriate depending on how old your stillborn was e.g. when they are so little they may not look normal or in a natural sleep state and I wouldn't necessarily then want a picture of my stillborn. I would rather remember them as being a perfect little angel instead of perhaps having a last memory of their 'imperfections' so to speak.
We chose not to see our little stillborn twin girl who weighed less than 200g and we have no regrets. We remember her as our perfect little angel.
We do have a few pictures of her brother who was born weighing 400g but he was born alive and these are treasured pictures.

(3) Pre-eclampsia is a very serious condition which can be frustrating as one doesn't necessarily feel sick. It's quite scary now to think that I could have died! One tends to get lost in the thoughts and discussion of stillborns and keeping your baby alive but without your life even if the baby makes it, you're leaving them without a mommy... so please listen to your doctors.

(4) Luckily for us we had the chance of saving one of our babies (even if it was only for a brief period) and the way to do that was with a Cesarian section. However, if both the twins had died before birth and although the doctors would have suggested a natural / vaginal birth in this case, then I would have still had the choice of the Cesarian route and this is what I would have chosen. The recovery for a Cesarian is pretty quick nowadays and for me it would have been much less traumatic to do this than have to deliver the 2 stillborns vaginally. Just thought I would offer my opinion as I see others differ with their comments re this topic.

(5) To be pregnant and to be able to carry full term and give birth to a live and well baby is truly a blessing and a miracle. Please do not take this for granted.

I must say I agree with Lucy. Everyone has to do what is best for them and what is best for one person is not necessarily the best for another. I must say I did push a bit for them to see the babies, whether they were stillborn or not, as I did not want them to regret not seeing them. But ultimately the decision was theirs and I am glad that they are happy with what they chose (if 'glad' and 'happy' are appropriate words at the moment, maybe 'at peace' is better). I am also 'glad' that the hospital kept the little girl's body so that she could in the end be cremated alongside her brother. Now both little angels will be together forever. They are going to be laid to rest in Durbanville Memorial Park which is where my little Kendra is, so they will be close to her as well.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Sad news

Baby Chad did not make it. I cannot tell you too much more as it is not my story to tell, except that it happened on Saturday and they did get to hold him.

I cannot believe the feelings that it has brought back from last year. We were more or less expecting it even though we were all hoping against all hope that things would work out, but even so it really hit us. It was a rough weekend.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Baby Chad born

Baby Chad was born this morning to Lucy and Mike. Their little girl's heart stopped beating sometime between Monday and Wednesday's scans. Baby Chad weighs 400 grams (14oz). That is a teeny tiny baby. Now he really needs those prayers. Apparently his growth from Monday to Wednesday was phenomenal and he is strong.

The doctors here answered our question about birth certificates. If a baby is stillborn and under 400g (14oz) then they are considered a miscarriage and are removed with the placenta, not requiring a birth or death certificate. For a baby over 400g they are required. Little Chad definitely needs a birth certificate, let us hope that is all he needs.

Now we not only have to pray for survival for little Chad but that he does not have health and development issues. I am not generally a praying kind of a person but whatever it takes, lets do it...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Send some prayers this way please

I haven't updated in a long time and I think that is a good thing. I have only really used this blog to express my sadness, well, at least since March last year, and it seems to be getting a bit easier now. I do still have bad days and bad moments but have been keeping quite busy and by the time I get around to sitting in front of the PC I usually no longer have the urge to spill my guts as it were. Else I just don't have the time.

Today I do have something on my mind but I am hesitant to write about it because it is not about me but someone else. My good friend L had problems falling pregnant and eventually resorted to IVF. This worked first time around and we were all thrilled for her. It was twins. All was going well until the 22 week big scan where they do measurements and everything. They were not growing as expected and the placenta was not looking good. They are a boy and a girl but the girl is much smaller than the boy. She was booked off on bedrest and had to go back to check the heartbeats every week. Last week was only her 2nd week of bedrest and her husband was away for work so I took her for her checkup. We were so relieved to see 2 heartbeats but then he checked her blood pressure and it was very high. There was also protein in her urine. The doctor booked her into hospital straight away. It was only supposed to be for the weekend but now they say she will be there until the babies come out. It is pre-eclampsia. At 25 weeks pregnancy the little girl weighs under 200g and the boy about 450g.

The reason I am posting about this is twofold. I want to ask everyone out there to focus your positive energies on those babies, pray for them or whatever works for you. They really, really need some sort of a miracle to get them and L and her family through this with a positive outcome.

The second reason is that I am looking for input from those of you who have been through something similar. I have read a lot of blogs about loss and I could find more to read about on the Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Loss Blog Directory but I would not want to direct her to read through certain blogs at this point where there is still hope. She is really being extremely brave and I find myself putting on a brave face for her when I know how she must be feeling inside. We were discussing at what stage babies get birth certificates or death certificates. How does it work with a stillbirth so early? Should she see the babies if they have to remove them now before they are considered viable? She said she does not want to and on one hand I think maybe it is better that way, maybe she will get over it quicker but what if she regrets it later? In the end that is a personal decision and they will do what is best for them, it is just interesting to hear how it was for others. I even found myself offering to take photos of the babies for them. It would be really hard I know but it just seems like the right thing to do. I have read on this site about photographers who take pictures of stillborn babies and do not charge for it and was thinking that it would be a good thing to start in this country but I decided that I was not brave enough to do it. This is certainly not how I would want to get it started and I wish it was not necessary at all, for anyone. Another thing we were wondering about is that the doctors said that if they think they can save one of the babies then they will do a caesar but if they think neither will make it then she must have natural birth. Does anyone have any thoughts on what the differences would be psychologically if they say either way is ok medically?

Tomorrow they have another scan and will find out what the situation is. It is really not fair. Why should some people struggle so much to have a child? Please, everyone think about them and send all your prayers and positive thoughts to L and her babies in Cape Town.

Edited to add: see new post for update

Monday, August 13, 2007

Rainbows and things

Here are some pictures I took from my car on the way to work the other day. (Finally managed to get all the pics up) It was a complete rainbow although I couldn't get the whole thing into 1 picture. Beautiful isn't it. Made it ok to be stuck in the traffic. Lucky for the traffic, actually, as I had time take the pics. I know it was just a rainbow and not a sign or anything but looking at it made me think of Kendra and just made me feel peaceful.

We went away for the weekend to a really lovely place a few hours away from Cape Town. We stayed in a house on a hill called Oppiekoppie guest house. Amazing views. It will be really nice in summer, a bit too cold to really appreciate it this time of year. There was snow on the surrounding mountains! But it was a nice weekend. Pity I had to work on Friday so could only go up on Friday evening. The others went up on Thursday already since it was a public holiday. Whenever we go away like this or do other things that would have been different if Kendra had been alive, I can't help thinking about how it would have been if she were there. Would we still have gone? What would we have done differently? Would she have been mobile enough so that I had to keep a constant look out by the fire etc?

She would have been 2 1/2 years old already. Though with the syndrome there is no guarantee that she would have been walking or talking yet. That is something that really gets to me sometimes. I want to know how she would have developed. I want to experience some of the problems that my special needs mom friends experience. Or my friends in the blog world. I was reading this the other day and then this. Ok it's a lot of reading but is the story of an amazing woman and the struggles she has gone through from losing one of her daughters in an early birth and then trying to deal with the problems associated with the other being born so early. I really feel for her yet I envy her at the same time. She has gone through such a lot but has seen the rewards of her struggles. I sometimes wonder why I was not given the chance to prove that I could deal with it, that I was up to the challenge. Did God/mother nature/fate decide that I/we would not cope? People always say that these special children were given to us for a reason. What then was the reason for taking some of them away again? Maybe it is better to believe that it was just random, that there is no God or other higher power looking out for us, because he sure as hell is not doing a very good job! Especially not with all the things one reads about on the internet and hears about on the news. I think shit happens and we just have to deal with it as best we can and that is it. No master plan or anything. That is easier to believe.

I was asked to give a talk at work about the special needs support group. I sent out an email to everyone at work looking for coke bottles and they have asked me to join them for a women's day lunch on Friday (a bit late for Woman's day but this is Cape Town) and give a talk on the group. To put it in South Africanese - I am kakking myself! I have never been very good at public speaking and this may just be emotional too. I don't think they realise that my daughter is no longer with us. Not that it matters to whether I speak or not. It will be good to let more people know about the group and maybe one day, when I get my ass into gear and establish a fund, I can get them to help with some fundraising. But most important there may be people out there who are looking for a support group like this. Funnily enough in a newsletter sent out today there was a link to a raffle which someone at work (in the Jhb offices I think) is having to raise money for his son who was born with a genetic disorder and needs a number of operations.

Lastly, I just want to say well done to my brother Ian and sister-in-law Sonja for getting their own blog up and running. For a bunch of bush babies you did a good job! Now we just need to get some pictures up!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Long time no post

Well, it has been a while since my last post. Strangely I have not really felt the urge to post anything for quite a while. Is that a good or bad thing? I have actually had quite a bit to say on a variety of topics but since this is Kendra's World I don't really feel comfortable using it to air my views on other things. Perhaps I should start a new blog. Perhaps even an anonymous one. What do you think of that? Anonymous mainly because everyone I know reads this blog. Well, they all know about it, they don't necessarily all read it. And there are certain things one does not necessarily want one's family to read, you know.

Anyway, let's talk about babies. A BIG CONGRATULATIONS to Shawn and Linda on the birth of baby Ethan (look for Ethan Muller in link). He is gorgeous, so much hair! I got to hold him for a while on Friday night. Very bittersweet. I am surprised though how awkward I feel holding other people's babies yet with my own it always felt so natural. Anyway it brought back a few memories and did make me a bit broody, but not enough to convince me that I should have another one. It was also lucky for some that I was distracted with the baby as some very tactless comments were made in general conversation about how lucky someone was to miscarry because the baby had Downs syndrome. Actually the more I think about it, the more it upsets me so I will not think about it. It was just the way it was said that was rather upsetting.

Anyway, a question for those with blogs. Would you be upset if someone who used to link to your blog removed that link? It really should not bother me, it is probably because my blog has become rather boring of late.

Moving on... someone left this comment on one of my posts a while ago and I feel quite bad that I have not responded:
Hi there we have a 5 year old girl who has jacobsen's syndrome, we are looking to make contact with other families to share experiences of this disorder.If anyone is interested leave a contact source and we will be in touch.Thanks Jon and Caroline parents of lucy

Jon and Caroline, will you please send me an email (go to my profile for my email address) as I do have 1 or 2 email addresses which I can give you. If there is anyone else out there who would like to contact them or myself please send me a message.

Oh, by the way, I have recently discovered facebook. Still can't really see the fascination with it, but I am still learning how to use it properly. Anybody want to be my friend?

PS: anybody got any empty coke bottles for me. Go here to find out why.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


We had a special needs group meeting the other night which was quite interesting. A dad of a boy, young man actually, with cerebral palsy gave us a bit of a talk about his experiences. His son is 26 now and lives in a home. The father is divorced and spoke a bit about the toll a special needs child takes on your marriage. There was lots of lively discussion and debate about putting these children into homes or not. Basically what I think it boils down to is that each family did what is right for them. For Ian's son, the home he is in is the best place for him. He is well looked after and has a degree of independence and Ian and his ex-wife (who I think is overseas at the moment) can rest easy knowing that he is happy. Sandy and her husband have kept Ryan (22 with CP) at home and have a helper to assist with looking after him. Ryan and some other youngsters with 'disabilities' have started up a bead business and are doing very well (more on that later). And that is what works for them.

I did find myself feeling a bit left out of the discussion a bit. I did not really have any questions for the guy and he kept saying I was very quiet and do I not have any questions and I just could not bring myself to say why I did not want to ask questions. Nobody had told him about Kendra. Silly how you can be perfectly fine telling people about Kendra one day and then the next keep avoiding the issue. Then the conversation went to how God only chooses special people to look after these special kids etc etc. I remember posting a poem about it once which someone read out at the meeting. The problem is that when I listen to that sort of thing the thought just keeps going around in my head 'Then why did he take her away from us so soon? Did he decide that we were not worthy parents after all? Maybe we weren't coping well enough? Why then?' I almost said it out loud too, just didn't feel like throwing a damper on things. Do I sound a bit bitter and angry? Yeah, well generally I'm not, just now and again it surfaces. Not to worry, I am fine. Am really questioning this whole God thing though. But let's not get into that right now.

We are going to visit my mom for her 60th birthday and my dad's 68th and I think they need a bit of cheering up. It is also Gathry's dad's birthday so lots of celebrations this weekend. My car has been in the garage for over a week now (yes, my new car!) with a leak from the heating/aircon system and I really hope it is fixed tomorrow else we will have a problem getting to PE and EL.

We had a meeting with Branston's principal today. He was telling us all about how they thought intervention was needed and he is sure the school can help us etc etc. Really, we have been telling them for 2 years now that something has to be done and only when we say we are taking him out of the school have they woken up. We will see what the remedial teacher has to say next term and give them till the end of the year. If they cannot help then it really will be time to move him.

Saturday, June 02, 2007


This grief is a funny thing. It seems to come and go like the tides. One day I will be perfectly fine and then there are other days when it just sort of hits me out of the blue - I have a daughter. My daughter died! She is gone forever. I can never hold her again.

I read a blog the other day where she describes so perfectly the way grief progresses. (Delphi, I hope you don't mind me borrowing a bit from your blog) . The first, I would say, 8 months after Kendra died were like being blanketed in thick fog. It weighs you down, slows you down and you cannot see through it. There are days when it thins out a bit and you can see a bit further and days when you can't see your hands. After 8 months the fog had lifted to a degree but I missed it, I wanted it back. It felt like if the fog wasn't there then I was forgetting. Well, I blamed this on the ADs I was taking so I stopped them (against the advice of professionals). I must say the first month was tough. That old fog threatened to overwhelm me. Now it has thinned out again, not lifted entirely, but I can see a bit further (at least as far as Table Mountain!). I still have my heavy fog days and moments (especially when around babies and toddlers) but that is fine, I don't want them to go away. I even have some clear days where the fog lifts totally but I know it is always there, waiting to roll in from the ocean and that is ok. There were also many, many days in the beginning where that fog turned to icicles and really pelted me with ice. Stinging, painful ice. That also still happens although the icicles are perhaps not as sharp now, though now and again a really sharp one does surprise me at the oddest moments.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The last photos

These are the last photos taken of my little angel. Since I have finally managed to post photos I thought I would share them with you. It might make it easier for me to look at them. She was quite bloated from the drip. But this was still before most of the tubes and attachments that were added. This was still day 1 in hospital.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


A friend of mine, let's call her Dragonfly, has been seeing Kendra in her dreams. The first time she saw her walking with an older woman and was very excited because she was walking and the older woman said she is looking after her as I have other things I need to do. She had another dream more recently where she saw Kendra with the same woman but Kendra was a bit older and was running around and had pigtails. Some of you may not believe in visitations from loved ones in dreams but I think I do. I have read some very interesting stories about this. And I have always been rather sceptical of psychics and tarot card readers, but I had a tarot card reading done a while ago by a woman who also claimed to be a psychic. She also saw a little girl in pigtails running around. And a bunch of other things but I'll talk about them later. Something interesting that Dragonfly said Kendra told her in her dream was to look out for butterflies and to think about her a lot. Of course that I do already but interestingly enough, last week Monday I took Kendra's nanny to the memorial park (she had not been since we sealed the grave) and while I was busy with the flowers a white butterfly landed on the flowers and was flitting around from 1 to the other. It stayed for quite a while and then flew off. Interesting also because it is not butterfly season at the moment. I do believe my baby was saying hello from heaven.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Happy Birthday sweet little girl

Happy Birthday my angel. 2 years old today! We should be having a party and inviting all your little friends, but instead we will be going to the memorial park with some flowers and balloons. Life is just not fair.

I took the day off work today. I was not sure if I would be up to going in to the office and anyway we have to go out to the park today and not yesterday or whenever it is convenient but today. I have not written anything up since the last post mainly because I have been trying to post some pictures but I really don't know what is wrong, I just cannot upload any photos. I even decided to get set up on Flickr so that I could put the photos there first and link to them but even that does not want to load my pics. I think there is some settings on my PC that are wrong. If anyone has any ideas please let me know.

Branston's Oupa is here to paint some murals on his bedroom wall and I would really love to post the pictures of the finished product on Branston's blog but I cannot even do that.

My plans for this morning were to drop Branston at school and come home and update the blog and then do some scrapbooking. Well, first I had to go and buy some cleaning stuff which took longer than I thought, probably because I bought more than I intended to and then came home and the people were here to fix the pool and then the dog ran away and I had to drive around looking for her (she eventually came back by herself!) so my morning is pretty much stuffed.

I don't think I ever told too many people that I went on antidepressants last year. Things just got too much for me and I just couldn't deal with this constant despair. So my doctor gave me some Cipralex and they really worked wonders. I felt much better able to deal with things, but by January this year I started feeling that I was dealing with them too well and not feeling as deeply as I should be feeling. Difficult to explain I suppose but I have been able to cover up my emotions very well. So that's great you say? Yeah, I suppose so but it just did not feel right somehow. Well, a few weeks ago I forgot to renew my prescription and for a few days after the tablets were finished, I did not have time to get to the pharmacy. Then I thought, well, I haven't taken one for 5 days and I feel fine so why don't I just stop now and not buy more. Well, let me tell you the effects of stopping only really kick in a week after one has stopped taking them. Physically for quite a while I was feeling very lightheaded and strange. Purely by coincidence Tertia did a post at about the same time about her problems with ADs and the link that she gave was quite useful (I will link to it later, my PC is acting up again).

Anyway, I am feeling things now, all right. March and April have become my least favourite months. I have been crying at the drop of a hat, well at least my eyes get all teary and then I try and hide it from everyone. And I have been so irritable. Poor Gathry and Branston get snapped at all the time for no reason. Hopefully things will improve soon. Roll on May. But then May is a very difficult month for some other people too. I read quite a few other blogs which is not a good thing to do over lunch at work because at the moment most of them are making me get all leaky, between anniversaries gone and coming up and sick children etc, I think I must only read blogs at night at home. And my memory is just terrible. One does not realise what a physical impact losing someone close to you has. It is as bad as pregnancy! I just cannot remember things! I certainly hope it improves over time.

My darling Kendra, I hope that you are having a glorious day up in heaven. I know that you have got lots of little friends there, I hope you throw a great big party for all of them. I try and imagine what you would have looked like today and if you would have started walking yet, and talking. I can't even look at another 2 year old and say you would have been like that. I have to look at other little girls like Charli and Tessa and just wonder.... Granny is putting some flowers by your photo at her house, just pop in there and say hi on your way to your party ok? She has finished her scrapbook as well, I will put some photos up when I can. Anyway, I love you my angel and miss you like crazy.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

1 year today

1 year ago today life as we know it ended.
1 year ago today my heart broke into pieces never to be whole again.
1 year ago today my son became an only child again.
1 year ago today my baby became an angel.
1 year ago today my little angel went to heaven.
1 year ago today.

What else can I say about that Friday? It was a scary day. Kendra's temperature started fluctuating madly around lunchtime I think. Then it dropped and she became very cold. They used this blanket on her which had hot air pumped into it to keep her warm. It was attached by a great big pipe to a machine that looked like a vacuum cleaner which made a bit of a racket and pumped hot air in. She was still moaning all the time. At one point and I still see this in my mind all the time, she opened her eyes and looked straight at me for a few minutes and I could see so much pain in those eyes. When I remember that look I can actually sit back and think that I am glad that she does not have to suffer any more. Such pain.

At about 5pm she seemed to be doing a bit better. Her temperature had stabilised a bit so I went and had some tea in the canteen with a friend. Then the doctor came and told me that she thought she was improving and that she was happy with her condition. They had finally pinpointed what they thought she had and the treatment she was getting was correct for what she had. It is called Haemolytic Uremic Syndrome and is apparently very rare in SA as it is more commonly found in the UK. Go figure! Trust Kendra to have another rare syndrome! We could probably beat ourselves up about where she may have contracted this bacteria but what would be the point. What's done is done and we will never know. Just as I could say it was my fault for taking her to Branston's carnival the week before in the cold wind and stayed much longer than I should have. That type of thing is pointless.

Anyway, the doctor left, happy that she would not worry over the weekend as she was happy with Kendra's progress. Little did she know. At about 6pm one of the nurses turned Kendra over into a different position and she seemed to be much happier. She stopped moaning and actually seemed to be peaceful for the first time all day. This is why I decided to quickly go home and have supper with Gathry and Branston. Poor Branston needed a bit of attention. So I went home and Gathry picked Branston up from school and went to KFC to get some food. I phoned my mom to update her and while I was on the phone with her my cellphone rang. It was the hospital. I will never forget that nurse/sister. Obviously she was stressed but she just made as if how could I not be in the hospital? 'Where are you? You have to come back right now. Your baby has taken a turn for the worse'. So I said goodbye to my mom (heaven only knows what she must have been thinking) , phoned Gathry (he had not ordered food yet) and rushed off to the hospital. I put on my hazards and went through a red robot to get there.

Gathry and Branston were already there when I got there but they could not go into ICU because of Branston. I went in but halfway across a nurse turned me around and took me out again saying that the doctor and trauma team were busy with her. They took us to a waiting room, then friends came and fetched Branston and it was just the 2 of us, waiting. That is the worst wait you can possibly have, when you know in your heart that the news is going to be bad but just hope against all hope that it will be ok. Well, it was not ok. After what seemed like a lifetime, the doctor arrived and said 'I have some bad news for you'. I just looked at him. I think I was thinking it must just be that she worsened or something, she can't possibly be dead! It is impossible. Not my baby. He then said that she had thrown up blood and then her heart stopped and they tried to resuscitate her for about 40 minutes. Then it started to sink in. She really was dead. We were in the waiting room for a while longer, I can't remember what else was said. Then I said 'I want to see my baby' and a nurse came and her and the doctor took us through. I still remember everyone staring at us because it was visiting hour and of course we were in a state. I feel sorry for the other people in ICU actually. It could not have been pleasant for them, but then ICU is not pleasant is it?

Kendra was in a little room at the end of the ICU ward with glass walls so you could see in and hear everything. They had curtained it off but did not close the door. My little baby was lying there on the bed, still with some tubes in her. The doctor removed them, I don't know why they did not take them all out when they cleaned her up before we came in. I sat holding her in that armchair for a long while. She looked so peaceful.

We phoned my sister and she came over. I asked her to phone my mom. Gathry phoned his parents. His dad was, by coincidence, in hospital in PE for a minor op. Then he had to convince his mom not to come down to CT until his dad was out of hospital. The nurses cam and asked us if we had a funeral home to call. Of all the stupid things! Like we normally keep the name and number of our chosen funeral home in our wallets or something. So they gave us a few options and we chose one in Bellville as there apparently wasn't one in our area (found out later that there was). They said that the funeral home would fetch her immediately, do we want to wait until they get there. Well, I certainly did not want to see them take my baby away. So eventually we left. Breaking the news to Branston later was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. How do you tell a child that his beloved sister is not coming home?

It is amazing how the feelings of those months afterwards have come flooding back this week. I never realized how much better I have been feeling this year until those same old feelings came flooding back. And physically how it has hit me. I have been feeling weak, nauseous and tired all week. Maybe the stress of weddings and new cars had something to do with it too. But I think writing it all down has helped. Does it make a difference that other people are reading this? Would it be better to do it all in a private journal? I don't know. I think sharing is good, it's cathartic. Later today we are going to the memorial park and then we are having some friends over to watch world cup cricket (SA vs Australia, big game today). It might seem strange but I think we need to have something to take our minds off the day for a bit. Thank you for reading.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

363 days

The last days continued....(not for sensitive readers)

So, she was admitted to hospital. They put us into the isolation unit in the paediatrics ward, so we had a room to ourselves although we could see the child in the room next door whose parents, by the way, hardly visited him. I really hate it when you see that. I could never leave my child alone in hospital when they are so sick. Anyway, Kendra was put on a drip and as usual they battled to find a vein for the drip. She developed quite a temperature so I had to wipe her down quite a bit. I must say the nursing staff were very good. One of the nurses from the maternity ward even came to visit as she remembered Kendra from when we were there.

They came and did all sorts of tests, I can't really remember what happened when. I think it was the first night that they called in the specialist who had done her op(in 2005) to do a scan and they had to wheel her through to the radiology dept. They had to disconnect her from the room's oxygen supply and take an oxygen tank with. I remember the nurse disconnecting the drip and the doctor freaking out because he said they would have to redo the whole thing and she was saying that it was the type of drip that you can remove and put back without air bubbles. None of which put me at ease with the entire process, I must say, though I was inclined to agree with the nurse as I had seen them do that before. Anyhow, I spent a rather uncomfortable night in the armchair, waking up most times when they came to do stats.

The next day they did some more tests and then the doctor decided to move us to ICU. She said it was because they have better monitoring equipment there but I think that they were not letting on to us how serious it really was. And my poor little baby was so swelled up from the drip as they put so much fluid into her and had her on a really strong antibiotic. They still couldn't tell me exactly what was wrong. In ICU she had a catheter in and you could see clearly that there was blood in her urine. They also put a tube into her stomach to drain fluid as she seemed to have a build up of blood there too. I spent the last night in ICU on yet another armchair. That night I woke up in the middle of the night to see that they had called out the doctor on standby to come and have a look at her. I asked him then about her heart (he is a heart specialist) and he said it seemed fine. I told him that I was concerned that her heart could not take it since there is a risk of heart problems in Jacobsen Syndrome babies. He told me her heart was fine.

So she had tubes all over the show and I knew that she was in a lot of pain most of the time she was in the hospital as she would lie there and moan all the time. Anyone who knew Kendra knew that she was generally a very contented baby (except when camping and at parties, she was not too keen on those) and I believe had quite a high pain threshold as she did not cry a lot. So to hear her moaning constantly like that was truly heartbreaking. I just felt so helpless. My baby was in pain and there was nothing I could do. Yes, I did pester the doctor to increase her pain medication but there was a limit to how much they could give her.

I popped home each morning to have a quick shower and out at night to quickly have supper with Gathry and Branston but other than that stayed at the hospital the whole time. I left poor Gathry to sort out Branston and homework etc. and he also visited regularly so that I could take a bit of a break.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

362 days...

Yes, it is 362 days since my little angel left me. Left us, her family. Exactly a year today since she fell ill. Today was a public holiday. We went for a picnic on a wine farm this year, maybe hoping that being out of the house would make things easier. Well, deja vu, we spent the day with the same people we were with last year, very good friends who have always been there for us, especially immediately afterwards. So who better to spend the day with? Unfortunately the memories persist in coming back along with those rib-tightening feelings of loss and sadness.

The day (last year) began innocently enough. I was trying to get back into shape and decided to take advantage of the holiday to have a marathon session in gym so off I went, knowing the kids were safe in Gathry's capable hands. When I returned our friends were here having popped in for a surprise visit. So we convinced them to stay for lunch and we should have had a marvelous day. Then Kendra started throwing up and developed a bit of a fever. By the afternoon I decided to take her to the doctor and got the doc on standby (not her normal doctor but he knew her condition) to go into the surgery to check her out. I even put on the urine collection bag so that he could check her urine. I had a few spare at home for just this eventuality.

So we took her in (myself and Y) leaving the men to hold the fort. The doc said that Kendra had tonsillitis and prescribed some antibiotics which we picked up from the hospital pharmacy immediately. The urine sample had some slight sign of infection which he said the antibiotics should sort out. Except I could not get her to keep anything down, especially the antibiotics. I tried to give her plenty of fluids but she did not want anything and kept throwing up. I expected to be up all night with her but she actually slept through. Not unusual for her as she always slept through but a bit of a worry when she was sick.

The next morning I could tell that she was really not well as she was very limp and not looking so great. When I took her in to see her normal doctor, she took one look at her and said she was dehydrated and must be admitted to hospital immediately. And so began the last few days of her life and the start of a long period of hell for us. Little did we know that day what was in store for us over the next few weeks and months of our lives.

I have never really gone into much detail about those last few days on this blog and am still not sure how much I can tell you, mainly because much of it is a blur to me. Over the next few days I will be going back down that particular memory lane. Why, you may ask? I don't know. I think I just feel the need to relive it and maybe, just maybe, I can begin to heal. My heart will always be broken but maybe the band-aids holding it together will strengthen and more scar tissue will form and maybe one day I won't need band-aids anymore but one thing I know for sure is that the scars will always be there, maybe slightly less red and vivid over time but always there.

I wanted to tell you about my sister's wedding as well but that can wait for a later post, when I manage to post pictures again (still having problems with blogger) and this crappy time of the year is over.

I also want to say to Tertia how terribly sorry I am. I wish you did not have to go through this and experience those awful feelings again. I will be thinking of you tomorrow. {{{BIG HUG}}}

Friday, March 09, 2007

Group meeting

What a busy week! My in-laws have been visiting the whole week and my mom came down on Tuesday for the Cliff Richard concert. So Tuesday night was Cliff Richard, Wednesday night I went to book club and Thursday night was Special Needs Group. That was rather an emotional meeting. We had a new member so we did the rounds and each told our story. I was fine until I was asked how I am doing now and then tissues had to be handed out. D had a very bad day between organising 3 operations in one, doctor's visits for one, emergency call from school for the other one and then a car which decided to roll back into 2 others. All in one day. Ryan (cerebral palsy, 21 yrs old) gave a lovely speech which had the new mom in tears. Her son was hit by a car last year and he is now brain damaged although they told her that he would not make it and he has amazed them all. M is pregnant and is waiting to find out if the baby has the same syndrome as JP. G also had a bad day but did not go into details. I think it was a support meeting in the true sense of the word.

Certain things came up in the meeting which I must remember to discuss sometime, specifically religion. It can be quite an interesting topic in a group like that. But right now it is hot, late and after very bad service in a restaurant I am going to go to bed. The next week will probably be quite busy as my sister is getting married on the 17th. Tomorrow night is her hen's party which promises to be a lot of fun. And the 24th is looming. I opened my diary of last year to today's date to write something down and in there were the details of Kendra's first visit to the Cherie Botha school. Kind of gets to you.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

14 years!

On Tuesday 27 Feb we were married for 14 years. Can you believe it? 14 years of ups and downs. Generally it has been a good 14 years, well except for the last year. We have been told that losing a child often causes marriages to break up but I can thankfully say that ours has gone from strength to strength. Oh, we have our moments but as time goes by we learn to deal with them better. Gathry has been my rock this last year.

And somehow the significance of the day had me in tears on Tuesday morning. Last year Kendra was here for our anniversary and now she is not. The previous year I was pregnant. So she has been around for 2 anniversaries. The fact that she is no longer here to celebrate with us seems to taint all happy occasions. And now I feel the anniversary of her death looming. Good thing I am going to be quite busy this month so will not have time to dwell on happier times or the happenings of last March. I cannot believe it has been a whole year already. That sucks!

PS: I upgraded to the new version of blogger and have now lost the picture of Kendra in my profile(well, lost the whole profile basically) as I used the same email address for the special needs group and it has taken that profile. So if things look a bit strange on the blog for a while don't be surprised.

Friday, February 23, 2007

11 months....

Today Kendra has been gone for the same amount of time that she was on this earth. Kind of blows your mind. I've been thinking about her a lot lately but strangely there are no tears. I feel like there is something wrong as I haven't really cried for a long time. The pain has not gone away, maybe it has just gone too deep for tears.

Anyway, another topic. Please read this story by a mom who has just recently joined KIDS group (our special needs support group). -,9294,2-2127-2128_2072111,00.html

Thursday, January 25, 2007


So far 2007 has not lived up to expectations. I won't go into all the details but I think I was expecting to feel different in the new year or something or was hoping things would go right. Well, some things are not so bad I suppose. My sister and Gathry's sister and his cousin are all getting married within the space of 2 months. Also a firend from my book club is getting married so I guess that makes it 4 weddings and a funeral. I don't mind more weddings but please no more funerals.

Speaking of which, Tuesday was very difficult. I took a tablet to calm me down beforehand but I am thinking that maybe I shouldn't have, maybe I should have let myself fall apart a little, I had very supportive friends with me. It was a beautiful service, the priest told little anecdotes and had a really good singing voice. I almost came unglued when they walked in with the coffin. So small. We all sang the song 'Jesus loves me' while they walked in. Just the first 2 verses, they go like this:
Jesus loves me! this I know,For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong;they are weak but He is strong.
Yes, Jesus loves me!Yes, Jesus loves me!Yes, Jesus loves me!The Bible tells me so.
I thought it was perfect for a child's funeral. The tribute given by D's friend Lynet was also extremely touching. D asked her to also read out Welcome to Holland. Another tough moment.
At the end the priest took out some sort of instrument like a trumpet but not quite the same, I have no idea what it was, and played the tune to 'You raise me up'. That had us all in tears. It was so beautiful. Just like I always think of Kendra's memorial when I hear 'The Rose', I will always think of Meah when I hear that song.

We went to the house for tea afterwards and I had a chance to chat to D. She is taking it very well at the moment but as she says she is still in shock. It felet at the same time good and awful to be able to honestly say to her 'I know how you feel'. Good because she knows I mean it and I can try and help her and can understand a little, and obviously awful that we both had to go through it. This is not something you relish having in common with anyone. Anyway, I am glad I went, esp when I saw how she appreciated it. We (few ladies from the special needs group) are meeting next week with D for coffee (or something stronger if necessary). She also lives not far from where I work so I think we may go for lunch sometime too. I know I appreciated being able to talk to someone who has been through the same thing.

Anyway, some updates on my holiday. I flew to PE to fetch Branston. Shame, he was very clingy the whole week, 2,5 weeks was a long time for him to be away from his mommy. We drove through to EL with my parents to visit them there for the week. It was very nice to relax and not do too much. And, big surprise, my grandmother (dad's side) and aunt arrived out of the blue for a surprise visit. I have not seen them since I got married in 1993 so that was great. After they left I did some scrapbook shopping with my mom (spent way too much, shh dont' tell Gathry) and we spent a few days doing some scrapbooking. My mom has made the most wonderful scapbook of Kendra. I took some photos and will post some of them soon. We swapped ideas and little bits and bobs to use for our books. Hers was almost complete but then I gave her some new (well, not new, but pics she didn't have yet) photos so she will probably add some more pages.

Then we came back to our normal routine. On one hand I was glad to be back (missed hubby) but on the other it is a bit of a drag to have to start worrying about school and work and homework etc etc. Our New year's resolutions are to get organised (nowhere with that) and have some fun this year (working on that) besides trying to get fit, lose weight and all those boring things. I'll let you know how those work out.

I haven't been out to the memorial park to visit Kendra yet this year but then I don't really see it as visiting her because as her brother says she is in our hearts so we don't have to go anywhere to visit her. Out of the mouths of babes...

Oh, before I go, there was one sad moment (well more than one while scrapbooking) while we were in the scrapbook shop. There was a couple there with a little baby and while the mommy looked around the daddy and baby sat at a table to wait. When we walked past Branston started playing his hide and seek game that he used to play with Kendra. The little girl loved it, she was so cute. Branston told the man that he played this game with his sister and of course he asked how old she was. Branston had to think a bit and said 1 year old, then I told them that his sister had passed away. Just watching Branston play with the little baby made me so sad to think that he can never do that with his own little sister again. Life (or rather death) is so unfair. It really sucks.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Another farewell

A very sad farewell to little Meah. She was one of our special children in our special needs group K.I.D.S. Meah passed away while in the hospital with pneumonia on Saturday. She was about 2 years old. Can everyone please spare a thought for Deidre and her family tomorrow. The funeral is at 10am.

It will be very hard but I feel that I have to go to try and give as much support as I can. Although I am not sure if I will be of any help to anyone. I will be giving more of an update of how 2007 has been for me later. Now is not the time.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Welcome to 2007

A happy new year to everyone. May 2007 be a lot better than 2006. I am sure it could not possibly be any worse. Although when I say that I think about Catherine and how she may have said the same thing at the end of 2005 about 2006. To her and all the other blog writers (and others) who have lost babies in recent years, I hope that 2007 brings only good luck and happiness. Of course we will always remember our little angels with sadness and regret that they could not be here to share this year with us, but I am sure that they would want us to move on and be as happy as possible. Sometimes that is easier said than done but I am going to try my damndest (is there such a word?) to be happy and forget - not the past year as there were quite a few happy times, and not my baby as that is impossible, and actually one cannot forget the pain either as that is now a part of me so, no, not forget but just be happy.

And my husband left this comment to my last post and asked me to post it so here goes:

"Firstly, I would like to praise Vannessa on being a strong, wonderful, caring and inspirational mother and wife. We have been together for 17 years and never have I had one moment of regret. This year has been the worst and we can only be grateful that we have Vannessa’s strength and unique personality to support us. Thank you to my very special wife, partner and friend.

Secondly, Sitting at the Christmas Table having the whole Family there except my sister made me realise that we need to reach out to the parents with living kids to prevent devastating regret should they experience the death of a child. My sister’s kids where at the table without their mother or father because of divorce, family disagreements, etc, etc.

If you read this and know people who are neglecting their children maybe show them to one of these many blogs so that they can feel the heartache because they need to cherish what they have regardless of the irrelevant “situation” that they are in.

Thank you for the support you have given Vannessa and hopefully 2007 will be a better year for all.


PS. Vannessa, I would like you to post this message."
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