Tag Archives: SIDS

I am the One who chooses

Today you’ve been gone 27 years

I can’t pull up your silent body as my immediate memory of you

It’s not gone but far away, where it belongs

That’s a long time to reach for your joyful face

Thank you for all that you’ve taught me, for waiting with me these 27 years


I choose to hear your laughter ringing in my heart, to see a grin that held secrets


I choose to go outside and breathe in deeply, the memory of your smell

Maybe hug my dad a little longer because he smells like you


I choose to stop searching for the memories of you unresponsive in my arms

Instead I will replay the sight of you hooking your toes on the front of your swing

and squealing out in delight


Today I choose to replay all of the living moments of your life that I can reach

I choose to loop them through my soul until joyful tears fall freely


Today, every day, I choose to celebrate that we shared life

That I still get to share life with your dad and brothers

with many that I love


I choose to embrace that I am – that I always have been – the best mom that I know how to be


I choose peace


Broken Rules

it happens every year to varying degrees

sneaking up in plain view, subtly marked on my calendar

written only in pencil as if i could erase it at will

the anniversary of learning that not all rules apply

parents don’t always die first


i have to remind myself that i am not unique

grandma, burdened with a disease that stole memories

but not her grief, cried out each day for her lost son

someone took my baby, where is my baby, give him back to me

my aunt sharing memories of her baby boy being brought home

in a very small box in the back of the car, long miles of silence

the afflictions are irrelevant, the stillness of our sons is not

we believed the rules would apply, the rules should always apply

all we really control is our response, all else is smoke and mirrors


he carried your casket alone, standing tall, he did not stumble

i walked behind, barely standing at all beneath the weight of my grief

we somehow set the pace for lonely, singular walks through dark valleys

delivered to babyland, like they thought it might lighten the mood

it was not, nor is it now, a rollercoaster found at amusement parks

my sadness no longer resides there, unfulfilled dreams have all grown up

that guttural sound emanating from the hole left behind is still here, now muffled

the years have covered it with surprising laughter, wrapped it with fresh hope 

love from all sides, memories of you, soften the edges and bring you to me in flashes

the smiling baby whom I loved, others barely had chance to become smitten with

life can be so unexpected that to us, mere mortals, it appears cruel and unfated

especially on a saturday morning when we are trying to pretend that all the rules apply

our hearts grasping and reaching out for what might have been and coming up empty

Watch Stop

My baby boy died today, or

15 years ago.

It’s all the same.


The crystal’s face shattered.

Take your next               breath,

You can’t give it to him.


I found Justin motionless.

The seconds-hand

Continued its sweep.


Not so shock resistant.

Cradling a lifeless infant,

Recalling perpetual movement.


Alarms meant to wake us.

Because time sprints and

All our watches are different sizes.