Friday, July 17, 2015

Fault Lines

The more I am at fault, the more I am not at fault. The more I an not at fault, the more I am.

I know the above statement makes no sense in so many ways, but it is my life. I either killed or contributed to killing Colin, or I did not. It is that simple. SIDS is that simple. Death happens for a reason. I have struggled for 4 years, 4 months, 2 weeks, and now almost 2 days looking for an answer to something that makes no sense and offers no real answer. SIDS is a diagnosis of exclusion and when you finish the list of what might have happened, you arrive at a SIDS diagnosis. It gives no comfort, no solace, and no path toward healing. It is truly an insidious acronym that just looks at you and shrugs its shoulders.

So, if you are still reading...what next?!?!?! What do you do with an non-answer to an open ended question. Well, for me, you obsess, you make poor choices, and you slowly die in an effort to derive reason from the unreasonable. It is a maddening, selfish, and very dark pursuit that I do not recommend. The answers never come. The path leads to dead end after dead end, and you destroy everything around you, because you destroy yourself. At the end of the day, the answer is still the answer...your (and my) child is dead, and we can not fix, change, or alter the outcome. Dead is really fucking final, and it really fucking hurts. It has taken the above listed time frame for me to understand this, and I hope this post lessens the time another Dad (or Mom) needs to come to the same realization.

I know that I do not post often and I have withdrawn from the SIDS community, but if this or any other post touches or helps you, I am still here...just not as "out there" as before.

I wish you all a peace and love that gives you comfort, and knowing that is more difficult than imaginable, I can say that it can be found through the love of friends well known and friends you never wish you had met.

Keep pushing forward, and never be afraid to reach matter what time of day or night

Steven (Colin's Daddy)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Just Needed to Babble

I have spent over four years trying to figure out the how and why of everything, and why it is so hard to forgive myself, stop wearing the guilt, and just move forward, always remembering what my family lost, but being able to allow myself to move in a more positive direction. The answers have been all over the place these past four years and none of them has ever really addressed what I realized about myself and why this still hurts so much. Throughout this journey I have been looking for the answers in all the wrong places. I obsessed over SIDS…like knowing what it is makes a difference. Dead is dead, no matter the cause. I have consumed more alcohol than I ever care to admit figuring that numbness was better than pain, but as always, the numbness wears off, and the pain is still there. I have yelled, screamed, cursed everyone and everything in this universe for having to live with this unfairness, and I have just gone into my own shell and wallowed in depression because I wanted and needed to constantly beat myself up since it had to be my fault. Then I realized something…and this is why I believe grief is the most selfish of emotions…I was unique in that I am the only one on this Earth who can never get away from Colin’s death bed. I know, I know, my wife and oldest daughter have their uniqueness surrounding their experiences and grief, but this post is about my realization. Recently, I have become a bit obsessive when showering in washing my shoulder (the physical place where Colin died), like soap is going to wash away his death. I know it doesn’t make any logical sense, but I do it anyway. Recently, I started having flashbacks again since my youngest has now taken to resting her head on that same shoulder, and every now and again, I get a cold chill that runs throughout my body, triggering another flashback. I look down to reassure myself that the child there is my living daughter, and not my dead son. Sometimes, it takes a few seconds for the image of Colin’s lifeless body to go away. Sometimes it disappears immediately and my heart stops racing, and my mind goes back to the here and now. Either way, it has been making me a bit obsessive in trying to rub death off of my skin, which again, is a bit crazy, but it is at least a better coping mechanism than a lot of other options. This is the part when my brain starts wishing for replacement parts so I could just go to the hospital and get a whole new arm because, quite frankly, I am really quite tired of feeling so damned unique.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Please Help a Friend

I spoke with a friend today with whom I have never met in person, but has the common bond of burying our sons. We also share the bond of having buried them pretty close together in the month of March. Sadly he just passed the first anniversary of his son's death, which is the toughest. To compound things, the contract he was working on expired, and he is battling a case of about being kicked in the gut...repeatedly. This is not just beyond unfair, it is some cruel joke someone is playing on my friend. So, by now, you are probably wondering why I am rehashing his troubles here. Well, I am writing to those who still come here from time to time, to take a moment and let my friend here know how you survived. Let him know that you can make it and go on living a good and productive life. Let him know that as dark as it ever gets, there is still a glimmer of hope that keeps you going. He knows my story, and how I have made it this far. I know he knows other stories as well, but being part of this god-awful club does give us the power and responsibility to help one another...especially during the really dark and difficult times. So, on behalf of my friend, I am asking that you let him know how you survived...and continue to survive.

Comments are open, so you can put your story here if you like, or just your own blog or message boards. Either way, just post it so my friend and others who feel all hope is lost, know that it is not.

Thank you

Monday, March 2, 2015

Another Daily Anniversary

Well, here we are on yet another anniversary that no one wants to celebrate. It is official. Colin has now been dead for four years. Yesterday was far tougher than today since we went to church and the mass was offered up in his name (per what we do every year), and friends started to well up and look over at us since just about everyone knows whose child died and where we normally sit. It is an awkward moment when you catch the eyes of someone crying for you and your dead son, and all you want to do is stare at the floor and pretend to not be noticed or notice them.

Anyway, yesterday got me thinking about today and what does the actual anniversary date mean. Is it different from any other day? The answer to that question is yes and no. It is different for everyone else because they have their own lives and while friends and family think about Colin and us from time to time, they do not live "it" every day…we do. So, there is the no part of the answer. It is not different for us because every day is its own anniversary. Every day is a reminder of another day that we will never get to see Colin grow up and never know what it would be like to have a now four year old little boy running around the house. So, the anniversary date really is just a marker in time for everyone else to reflect about whatever they need to. It is also a day when they reach out to share that they too lost the "neighborhood baby" those four years ago, and it is comforting in an odd way to know that they still grieve in their own way. Maybe it is not so odd actually, since Colin's death really did unify a community in its own way. Many relationships started soon thereafter, and many others flourished because of the outpouring of support. So, on this anniversary, Colin will be remembered and love a little bit more by all who miss him.

Tomorrow, everyone will go back to their normal routines, and that is what should happen for all of them. We will also go back to our normal lives and routines, because tomorrow, and every day forward is just another anniversary we recall and reflect upon but never celebrate. Colin is missed a greater deal by a great many people, and that brings comfort on this particular day when we all take a moment or two to think about how and what he would be like now.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Another year gone

On Monday, it will be four years since you died. I just can not believe that it has been that long and yet still feels so fresh and raw some days that it is overwhelming. My sweet little boy who never got a chance  at life yet in two short months effected some many people in such a positive way. You were and still are the neighborhood baby, and I know that I am not the only one who misses you, but I can guarantee that no one, except for Mommy misses you more. I still love you and miss you so much that I can never express how much in words.

Friday, January 2, 2015

4 years old

Happy birthday to my little boy who would be 4 years old today. I love you and miss you as much as ever.


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Holiday Grief

Holidays are clearly some of the roughest terrain we navigate after a loss. The ways we handle them are as individual as we are. What is vitally important is that we be present for the loss in whatever form the holidays do or don’t take. These holidays are part of the journey to be felt fully. They are usually very sad, but sometimes we may catch ourselves doing okay, and we may even have a brief moment of laughter. You don’t have to be a victim of the pain or the past. When the past calls, let it go to voice mail…it has nothing to say. You don’t have to be haunted by the pain or the past. You can remember and honor the love. Whatever you experience, just remember that sadness is allowed because death, as they say, doesn’t take a holiday.

Even without grief, our friends and relatives often think they know how our holidays should look, what the family should and shouldn’t do. Now more than ever, be gentle with yourself. Don’t do more than you want, and don’t do anything that does not serve your soul and your loss.


As much as it hurts, the holidays are not going to go away. This is the best advice I have read in quite some time.

"You don’t have to be a victim of the pain or the past."

Here is the link: