Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Independence Week

I think most kids are patriotic and Daniel, when he resided on Earth, was certainly no exception. He enjoyed Independence Day each year as most kids do. We enjoyed the purchasing of fireworks for our annual dramatization of "the rockets red glare".
We ate watermelon, and the holiday staples hot dogs, hamburgers,with all the cole slaw, beans and the condiments we all enjoy. Daniel liked a plain hamburger with ketchup only. Once in a while, we would make a sponge or pound cake topped with cool whip and blueberries and strawberries, a red, white and blue treat. We had the annual placing of boards on the front yard, hosing them down to avoid sparks starting little fires elsewhere. Then at dark, my husband and eldest son Adam would light the fireworks one by one,using one of those gas torches which allowed rapid ignition. Daniel loved the spectacle. Matthew, Daniel, Stephanie and I would sit on the porch, slapping at the mosquitos,watching one firework after another until ultimately the gunpowder and smoke was sufficient to make all the mosquitos in a mile radius depart for their lives !

Sunday, June 27, 2010


One of the things Daniel loved most was creating his own parody songs, and enjoying the humorous songs of this type, written by others. My paternal grandmother's family hailed from Canada,originally from Scotland, and so I think Daniel would find this particular video with original song rather amusing.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

With the Reality

Today I got an e-mail from the physician who was ostensibly in charge of Daniel's autopsy. Yes, eighteen months after his passing, there is still work which is going on with the samples which were taken. Our pathologist is moving on and leaving this major medical center and wanted us to know who directly to contact at the other US center which is now entrusted with continuing to do DNA testing. They are looking for genetic causes for arrhythmia, because in actuality,this is the best guess we have. The good news is that they do, in fact, have a viable DNA sample. The bad news is that there are, in my understanding, about two places in the world capable of doing such sophisticating testing.In fact, with worldwide budget cuts in research, this center may presently be the only one. They believe that it will be an additional eighteen months before they can provide definitive answers as to whether Daniel actually carried one of the known genetic markers for Long QT syndrome, or another related or similar genetic arrhythmic disorder.
Of course,even though we live with this every moment of every day, when we hear about something concerning Daniel's case, it is upsetting. We are grateful to everyone who has worked so hard to find an answer for us. One of our other children will be having a cardiac mapping and ablation this year, and as much information on Daniel's case as possible, would be helpful to the electrophysiology cardiologists doing the procedure.
I still cannot fathom that my brilliant boy, who was looking at colleges at 12 1/2, went to University of Virginia as a cadaver and not as a student. Sometimes the horror is no different than it was,the week it happened.
I try really hard to understand that life is the schoolyard, and not eternity, and I do have a strong faith in God. However, sometimes we just sit here on Earth with the reality.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

There Are Others

As you may have guessed, my own relative composure in writing many of these posts starting only about five or six weeks after Daniel's passing, is owed to a lot of other people other than myself. Other than God, Daniel and Dad, our friends and family, we have received support in a variety of ways. One of these ways has been a number of bereavement support groups. In general,I am not a "joiner". I often prefer to manage life's hardest lumps myself, make sense of them myself, before going headlong into support where there will be people with complications, reactions,and nightmares I have not even yet considered. I need to make sense of something first and then somehow climb out in tandem with others. I did join a bereavement group however, consisting mostly of women, which was internet based. They have been a wonderful opportunity for me to have people to lean on, who truly understand, and an opportunity for me to support those who may be a few months or a year behind where we are now. Grief is indeed a personal and an individual thing, but there are so many commonalities, particularly for the mothers who lose a child, that sharing with other women who are veterans of a similar profound loss can be a godsend. In our group, my family and I are not the only people who believe that we have had after life communications with a passed loved one. There are many with stories of "how they knew" or "how their child behaved the last time they saw them" or how their child's voice woke them, several days or weeks after their child had passed.
It was therefore wonderful to be able to share with this group, a feature from 20/20 which profiled the families who lost people from 9-11 and how they have experienced everything from premonitions, to after life communication. Here is the link.


Apparently, one of the families has written a book on the various phenomena post the 9-11 losses, and it's quite interesting.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Morning Dreams

Yesterday morning it was hot, and is said to be one of the hottest Junes on record here, so after I finished the mornings animal chores, I lay down at 7 am, and fell into a deep sleep. As I slept, I dreamt that I was sitting at my desk at the computer in the master bedroom, and Daniel was directly to my left leaning on the printer. He was talking to me, but his words were less clear and precise than I remember. I was upset and confused in the dream. I realized that he had passed, and I did not understand how he could be in the flesh right next to me talking. He explained that although he is without his body, a perfect one of HIS body has been saved for him and exists. He said that he may be gone from this plane, where everything is "pretend/impermanent" anyway, but that the next one is more real. He told me that he can and does still talk to me, but that I can't always hear him, or understand or remember all he says. He says that we operate on different frequencies, and at a different "download speed" or baud rate, for lack of a better word, and that many people don't understand. He tends to relate these things using the concepts he understood while he was here and so he relates many things in terms of computers as analogies,and of course I don't understand computers a fraction of as well as he did. He also said that time, years to us, layers on top of itself. If I go somewhere, and we were there together, than in a sense, we still are. When I remember that time together, he will as well. He said that he is less tied to places, when visiting Earth, and more tied to us, and so if we were to go somewhere else, he would come with us. At times,the information flowed faster than I could understand. During the dream I was not in control. Tears welled up in my eyes as I remembered the last time I saw him in flesh and I felt all the pain of being unable to save him with the CPR. In all, I awoke, thinking he had intended to help me to feel inspired, but in a sense I failed him again too, by having tears which interfered with my being able to listen more attentively to his message. I should have just listened to him and smiled, and told him again how much I love him and my Dad. Still, after 18 months, it's still a wonderful gift to hear from each of them, whenever and however they are able to do continue to do this.
Daniel never knew the song which follows. I just think the singer is fantastic and the tune haunting.
I also sometimes feel that I too have cried enough or perhaps even too much.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Probably Not Really Like Daniel

A photographer's conception of how Daniel might look if he were still on Earth today.

Some time ago, I located a company that will take a picture of a child who has passed, and age the child from childhood to adulthood or anything in between. They run specials at Mother's Day and Father's Day. They also do a number of other rather miraculous photography alterations, and they are very diligent. In reality, other than a haircut, growth in height, maybe thinning out a little or having shoulders broaden even more, I don't expect Daniel to have recognizably changed TOO much since he left here at 12 1/2. I think I would know him if he passed me on the street. For Mother's Day, I provided several pictures of Daniel, and asked them to age him to 14, the age he would be right now. The picture above is what they thought he might look like. Of course, our other children, two of them artists, don't agree. (Our daughter is a professional illustrator and our eldest son, a professional sculptor.) They believe he would be more muscular and that his eyes would be larger. One said he would never have submitted to a haircut which exposed his ears. (That might be true, but as we grow, we do change)
Should you ever want an age progressed or age regressed picture of anyone, an adopted child, a lost child, etc. this is the website of the company that does these. They also have a number of other services. (They can actually take seperate pictures of relatives and incorporate the two of three people into one photo.)


Someday I might provide some different photos to them and see what they come up with again. After all, it serves me right for trying to take a premature glance into Heaven !

As for the song below, I don't think that Daniel could ever have heard it while on Earth, but somehow I believe that he would LOVE this song. I have a copy of the CD in his room.
The parody of the song at the end is very much like something Daniel would like. One of his favorite things to do was to alter or amend a song a la Wierd Al Yankovic, whom he once saw in concert.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Power of a Song

I thought I was doing a little better toward the end of the week, and somehow, as far from Christmas as we are, I heard a song, and I was reduced to a blubbering fool. The last couple of Christmases with Daniel here on Earth, I played this song, the Avalon version, quite a lot. So, when I heard the song again, I was instantly transported to being here at home at Christmas with Daniel and hearing it. It also has rather ironic lyrics when you consider that my dear boy is no longer on Earth, and also that life and the people in it seem to change so very rapidly.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Sometimes the Going is Tough

We are very lucky that we believe that we have had communication from Daniel and from Dad since their passing. So many people flounder wondering whether there is any conciousness beyond this existence or whether it is possible to send a message or leave a gift or change something in the physical world sufficiently that loved ones will know it. We have had those little gifts and we are grateful. Sometimes though, it simply doesn't matter. There is still a massive void in our lives where both of these wonderful people stood. Sometimes, the tears just continue to fall, even as we sit some 18 months or so from their passing. Today was one of those days. I think the song, below is an encouragement and helps to say some of the words that are stuck in my throat, and trying to explain these happenings to my heart.