Friday, January 30, 2009


This commercial always makes me smile. For obvious reasons, it makes me think about Dylan. It elicits a kind of bittersweet emotion though. On one hand, I think proudly that Dylan would've probably been "that guy". The one all the girls have a crush on and want to hang out with (just like his daddy, of course)!

On the other hand, I start wondering what Dylan would be like as a teenager. And my world is re-shattered by the fact that he will never be a teenager, never learn how to drive a car or take a girl to prom. For me, one of the most difficult things to mourn are the memories Dylan will never get to make, the things that Dylan will never get to do.

It's a wonder how something (like this commercial) can be both heart-warming and heart-breaking at the same time. It's similar to that simultaneous pride and longing that I feel when I look at pictures of Dylan. I miss Dylan dearly, yet I'm also reassured by the fact that he's no longer suffering or in pain and that he's healed and whole in Heaven.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Today, I went to lunch with a couple of co-workers. I forgot how the conversation got there, but one of the girls commented on how sweet my mom was. I agreed, of course, but I couldn't recall where this girl had ever met my mom. I asked and just looked at her blankly because I really couldn't remember. She tried to play it off like she'd forgotten also, and then she said, "You know, at the thing."

Again, I gave her a puzzled look. I had no idea where she was going with this line of gestures, she just kept saying, "The thing, the thing." I really had no idea for a solid couple of seconds, and she started getting antsy. Then I said, "Oh, the memorial [for Dylan]?"

She replied, rather uncomfortably, "Yeah, you know it's hard for me to talk about."

I didn't know what to say. I just kind of smiled uncomfortably. WTF!?!?! And I'm very understanding of the fact that people are uncomfortable, it's a natural human reaction when dealing with death. If you haven't been through tragedy, you don't know how to react to those who have. That being said, I've yet to come across someone who's been afraid to say "memorial" to me . . . until today, of course.

She still wouldn't say it. And when I said it, she immediately changed the subject. I just smiled. It doesn't hurt me to say it! Truthfully, it caught me off-guard. I wasn't angry at her, just speechless.

Some Borrowed Writing

Excerpt from "A Grief Observed"
By C.S. Lewis

If a mother is mourning not for what she has lost but for what her child has lost, it is a comfort to believe that the child has not lost the end for which it was created. And it is a comfort to believe that she herself, in losing her chief or only natural happiness, has not lost a greater thing, that she may still hope to 'glorify God and enjoy Him forever.' A comfort to the God-aimed, eternal spirit within her. But not to her motherhood. The specifically maternal happiness must be written off.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Calling in Sad, err, I mean, Sick

For the past 3 mornings, I’ve called in sick to work. And while it’s true that I haven’t really felt 100%, it’s probably not because I’m sick, per se. I mean, if I start thinking about it philosophically, I’ll probably never really feel 100% again. There’s truly a part of me missing. In order for Dylan’s heart to be whole, he had to take a little piece of mine up to Heaven with him.

The reality of the situation is that I couldn’t exactly call in sad to work. Here’s how that voicemail would go: “Hey, it’s Katrina. I’m not coming into work today. I’m feeling sad.” Most people in this situation would just suck it up and force themselves to go to work. And, truly, it’s what I’ve been doing for the past 4 months. But I’m a firm believer (and supporter) of mental health days. Sometimes, you just need them. So I put myself on a sabbatical for the past couple of days, to allow myself to grieve and cry (and do so openly, which I can’t do at work).

But, no worries, the guilt will get me back into work tomorrow.

“Pain is there for a reason. It reminds us that we’re human, that we feel.”

I guess I’ve been kind of “coasting” for the past few months. And it’s not even that I don’t feel the pain, it’s more that I cushion it so that people don’t feel uncomfortable being around me. If my general demeanor gives people the idea that I’m “over it”, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. The truth is that I’m faking the funk for them, for their benefit.

Why is it so much easier for people to celebrate with us than it is for people to mourn with us? Why is it so much easier for people to say, “Congratulations” than to say “I’m so sorry for your loss”? I mean, I get it. People generally don’t know what to say. Even the people who offered the standard, “If you need anything” . . . haven’t really been around to follow through. Yeah, I guess you could say that I’m a little disappointed in some people (co-workers and friends alike).

But because I want to end this rant on a positive note, I must remind myself that there are those few beacons of light in my life in the form of supportive, caring, sympathetic people, willing to walk beside us through this difficult journey. I received this note in the mail months ago and never really thought to post it (she doesn’t even know I’m doing this), but it’s the small things like this that remind me that we are not alone:

“The journey of healing takes patience and time, love and support, courage and hope.”

Dear Katrina,

I think of the day Dylan was born. I also remember when I found out how sick he was . . . and the call on the 17th. I was upset. I cried. I was sad for you. I sat and reflected on my family for awhile. I had no idea what you were feeling. I still don’t. But after reading your blog this morning, I feel closer to you and Dylan. It was my first time seeing him. He is beautiful! Your words really touched my heart. My emotions flowed again, much more this time though. I feel I’ve done nothing to comfort you. In fact, I know I haven’t. Truthfully, I don’t know what to do. I want to be able to support you in your recovery process. So for now, I hope this card can convey my sorrow, my hope, my support, and my love. “It is the nature of the world to provide challenges. It is human nature to support one another.” From one mom to another, who both know what it means to truly love – hold that love in your heart – it will help to heal. Thanks for letting me see your angel and share your journey. I think of you often.

What beautiful words, from a beautiful friend. Thank you.

Friday, January 9, 2009

First Oh-Nine Post!

I got a new camera lens for Christmas and haven't really had any creative use for it yet, so I've been snapping random shots around the house. A few people asked me what we did with Dylan's nursery after he passed. I guess the first thought might be that we packed everything up and put it away. It never occured to Justin and me to do that because we knew that we would try again. We went into our first pregnancy wanting children, and after meeting and losing Dylan, that desire only got stronger. So we shut the nursery door, keeping it just as it was, and knowing/hoping that there would be another baby in our future. Anyway, here are a few nursery accents that I've randomly captured:
I have fallen in love (read: become obssessed with) this quote! I never heard it before our NILMDTS photographer put it on one of Dylan's pictures, but now I feel like I see it all over the place. And, if it's on something I can buy, you better believe I do! We found this beautiful cross on a recent vacation in Charleston.
Justin bought me the frame on top for my birthday. It reads: "Those that we hold in our arms for awhile, we hold in our hearts forever." Dylan is definitely gracing the nursery with his beautiful mug, ready to watch over his little brother or sister.

Belated Thank You

I've mentioned our NILMDTS photographer ( in a previous post, and he actually stumbled upon this blog a while ago. He and his wife are such genuinely good people, and I mean good down to the core (the kind of people that Justin and I strive to be). We received the most beautiful gift from them, that they simply decided to do out of the goodness of their hearts. Coincidently, we got it right before Christmas. They'd taken one of the pictures that James shot of Dylan and created the most beautiful canvas print from it. Just like he graces the nursery, Dylan also hangs at the head of our bed, watching over mommy and daddy (thank you a million times over James, we love it! -- there's that quote again, by the way).