Living With Loss

Death With Dignity

Two days ago I read about Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old woman with aggressive, terminal brain cancer. If you haven’t watched her video or read her op-ed (and you should), Brittany’s story is making news because she’s taking advantage of the Death with Dignity Act that is available to residents of Oregon (and WA, VT, MT, and NM)….

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“In A Better Place”

Our family, by Annabel. l-r Annabel, Madeline, James, Mommy, Rigby, Daddy We are careful to make sure Annabel and James don’t feel like they’re living in the shadow of their sister. They each have the same amount of photos hanging on the wall, and we talk about Madeline when she comes up naturally. We let…

I Wish I Could Have Held Her

Even though I love what this time of year brings (pumpkins, 105 degree weather, etc), I’ve found myself really battling to keep my head above water for the last three Septembers. Another school year is starting, another year that Madeline isn’t with her peers. I’ve made excuses every year (It would be kindergarten! It would…

Wrong Number

James has a new fascination with my cell phone. I get it – there are buttons, noises, bright colors, what’s not to like? When I’m making dinner I stick James in his high chair, and sometimes when he gets antsy I’ll turn on a baby app and hand him my phone. I did this the…

As We Walked One Morning

Yesterday was the Los Angeles National Brain Tumor Society walk. We all do our best to make it to the yearly walk in Jackie’s beloved San Francisco, but once we heard there was a Los Angeles walk we thought it was the perfect opportunity to raise awareness closer to home. I have to be honest…I hate these…

Second Verse, Worse Than The First

Whenever I meet someone who’s just completed their second year of grieving, I ask the same question: “Was the second year harder than you expected?” I’m almost always told yes. As Mike and I navigated all the milestones that came in the initial twelve months following Madeline’s death, we always said to ourselves, “We survived…

A Marriage Surviving

It’s no secret that many marriages fall apart after the death of a child. I completely understand why. The death of a child completely shatters you. You’re the same people, but at the same time, you’re really not. Everyone changes throughout the course of a marriage but it’s rarely so sudden and complete. So you…

Guilt And Gratitude

After Maddie died we received such an outpouring of generosity. Our friends set up a P.O. Box so people could send us cards. Well, it went way beyond cards, and we were sent some truly amazing, soul-touching things. In another example of how great our friends and family are, they went through everything we were sent in…

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