Singing but, I went completely somewhere else.

Zachary was a singer. The boy loved to sing. He sang from the time he was a toddler till he moved to Heaven and I can only imagine he is singing there as well.

As pics have come up on my phone from years past, I have struggled. We have a lot of life changes going on. Some days seeing the pics breaks my heart but, other days, they give me reason to smile. Today is a cry day. I made the mistake of sitting down in the closet to sort laundry and looked at my phone. The closet is an awful place to sit down and look at your phone as a grief Mom. There is something about that small space and feeling safe that allows the tears to come.

Last year I had an EPIC breakdown in Zachary’s closet because of his shoes. Today, it’s a small breakdown. It’s a small breakdown over life. It’s a small breakdown over feeling overwhelmed. It’s a small breakdown over time moving forward when I just want to go back to the morning of November 10th, 2016 and ask Zach how he was feeling physically and take him to a doctor even if he felt fine instead of just if he wanted to come home. It’s a breakdown of still having my days questioning if we paid attention enough to know anything was wrong with his heart.

You see, over a year has passed and I still have my moments where I faulter. We are one of the lucky parents who know we did everything possible to prevent something from happening to Zachary. He went two years before and had a full cardiac workup and nothing was found. His cardiac tumor was so rare that less than 300 people have died from it since 1964 and only three teenagers that I can find. No one would have known to look for it.

But, I still have those moments. I still have those moments where I doubt myself. I still have those moments where someone questions if it was his medicine that caused it rather than just accepting that fluke things happen in the body. My nephew explained it to me like this,

“Hey! Just read the article that you sent over. So the cause of LHAS isn’t agreed upon by the medical community. There are multiple theories that seem promising, but nothing definitive has been identified.

One theory says that there is a gene defect that can contribute similarly to a cancer. It’s not necessarily genetic/hereditary. Most likely it’s a random gene mutation that happened. This happens all of the time, but the body fixes like 98% of mutations. If LHAS were to happen from a genetic mutation it would be the unfortunate 2% that the body misses.

The other theory just says that whenever you have cells rapidly multiplying and dividing and differentiating into tissues during pregnancy and early life, some cells in the heart just happen to stick together more than they typically do.”

When I have these doubts, I have to remind myself that even if we knew why it happened, it wouldn’t change the fact that he is not here. It wouldn’t change the fact that we had 18 years with the sweetest, kindest boy ever placed on this Earth. I will forever be grateful that I was chosen to be Zachary’s “Mommy”. Nothing will change that. I am grateful. I grateful that I got to love someone so much that my heart breaks on a daily basis.

I love and miss you Boy. ~ Mommy

Zachary’s friend visiting his Memorial Bench.

Circle the State with Song 2009

#suddencardiacarrest #cardiacarrhythmia #suddendeath #grief #grieving #mourn #mourning #childloss #lossofchild #mamabear #compassionatefriends #imwithyoumommy #lgbt #RSU #RogersStateUniversity #ForeverAHillcat #OKEQ #wemissyouZach #ijustcant

Memorial Endowment Link Below:

It only takes a text to take you back.

Tonight, I received a text from a friend telling me one of my dear friends lost her niece in an accident. It only takes one text to take you back. One text to make your heart break all over. It doesn’t break for yourself, it breaks knowing there is another Mother and family that you know who has joined the “Loss Club” and it’s the worst place you want to be. It breaks knowing one of your daughter’s best friends has lost a cousin in an extremely close family. It breaks for my friend knowing she has lost a niece as I’ve watched how it has affected my family. It breaks for her Grandparents knowing what it has done to my husbands Dad and Donnie and my parents.

If you haven’t been here, you can’t explain it. There are no words to make it better. Nothing you can say. At this stage, prayers mean crap to you as what good are they when you just lost your child. You said plenty of prayers when you get that call and it doesn’t change anything on the drive to the hospital. It doesn’t bring them back. You don’t eat. My sister had to force liquids down me as my lips were so chapped that they were almost bleeding.

I will prob never share the actual events of the hospital because it’s too painful and too personal. All grief is painful. There is just a second process when it is a sudden death. There’s the extra shock factor that takes a long time to get over. We are a little over a year in and I still have days that it doesn’t seem possible. Some days my brain still pretends he’s at college and is just a short drive away and then, I remember. I still have moments my brain thinks to text something funny to him and, I then remember. Moments a friend will see someone who looks just like him and, she has to take a second look. Moments you see a car like his and it takes your breath away.

As I go to bed, the tears will come again tonight. Partly for them, partly for me as it brings back that phone call and drive to the hospital. No parent should have to lose a child. I won’t say bury because we don’t all bury. No grandparent should lose a grandchild, no aunt and uncle should lose a niece or nephew, no brother or sister should lose a sibling. It guts you to the core and turns your life into before and after. It turns it into “since”. It fucking sucks.

I don’t want prayers or sad emojis coming my way. I just want people to hug their kiddos extra tonight and smell the top of their heads. Tell them you love them one more time than normal.

#suddencardiacarrest #cardiacarrhythmia #suddendeath #grief #grieving #mourn #mourning #childloss #lossofchild #mamabear #compassionatefriends #imwithyoumommy #lgbt #RSU #RogersStateUniversity #ForeverAHillcat #OKEQ #wemissyouZach #ijustcant

Memorial Endowment Link Below:

Disneyworld 2010

Backpack, Backpack

So yesterday and today have been good days. There have been tears shared but they aren’t necessarily sad tears, more just life moves on without the boy here. Things change. Places change. We change.

Sarah came down last night and asked if she could start using Zachary’s college backpack. We, of course, said yes as anything that was his is hers. This is a big step for her as she will now be carrying something of his everyday.

I remember when he called me from the RSU Bookstore to ask me if he could buy one. His messenger bag wasn’t working as well as a backpack would. He sent me pics asking if he could get it and wanted to make sure it wasn’t too expensive.

I have my texts on save forever so I can go back and reread our conversations.

Back to Sarah, so she is slowly starting to want to have something to do with her brother’s things. It started with some of his T-shirt’s, now it’s his backpack. I’m hoping one day she will want to wear his fingerprint necklace we bought her. It will happen when the time is right for her. We can’t force it. When she is ready, she will want it. We will allow her that time and that grace to handle things on her time as we all move at our own pace.

Miss you Zachary.

#suddencardiacarrest #cardiacarrhythmia #suddendeath #grief #grieving #mourn #mourning #childloss #lossofchild #mamabear #compassionatefriends #imwithyoumommy #lgbt #RSU #RogersStateUniversity #ForeverAHillcat #OKEQ #wemissyouZach #jansport

Memorial Endowment Link Below:

Silly pic sent by one of Zachary’s friends to me this week.

Emotional Insulation

As I lie (or lay, who cares) here in bed this morning, I just got hit with the realization that we are going into 2018 without the boy. They say the second year is worse than the first and I tried my hardest not to believe that was true. I told myself that there was “no way possible” but it is. The second year is harder. Your brain is in less of a fog and the shock has worn off and you are stuck with the realization that it is real. He really is never coming home.

Maybe that is why I have allowed myself to pack 12 lbs on in two months. I’ve been just feeding my grief left and right. Chocolate, salty snacks, sugar cookies (damn #Lofthouse). I won’t say it just happened and I had no clue. I knew exactly what I was doing. I am emotional eater and it’s a way to feel insulated. I insulate myself with large oversized sweaters, thick boots, blankets all the time at home. I insulate so I feel that I am keeping others at a distance. If I keep them at a distance, the tears won’t come and I won’t feel.

This year, I am making it my intention to remember to take care of myself emotionally and physically. I have shut down physically and that directly affects my emotional state. I need to be here for my family, my husband, my daughter. We have formed a neat bond which I am so thankful but, without Mom, it takes more effort.

So I’m putting it out there to hold myself accountable. The past two months have been months of putting the layers on. It’s time to peel them off. It’s time to make the mental decision “just do it” . #nike Tomorrow this Mom gets a reboot. I won’t say a do-over as I’ve needed this time for my heart to feel and not be in the fog. I’ve needed this time to miss “The Boy.” I do know though, Zachary would not want me to be physically miserable. He would not want me to live sad. It’s time to get out there and exist since he cannot.

#suddencardiacarrest #cardiacarrhythmia #suddendeath #grief #grieving #mourn #mourning #childloss #lossofchild #mamabear #compassionatefriends #imwithyoumommy #lgbt #RSU #RogersStateUniversity #ForeverAHillcat #OKEQ #wemissyouZach #harrystyles #justdoit #Brookesrunning

Memorial Endowment Link Below: