Friday, November 8, 2013

FREE Book Giveaway

From Saturday November 9th until Monday November 11th you can download COPING WITH GRIEF: THE ANTI-GUIDE TO INFANT LOSS for free on Amazon.

This is a limited offer that should have run during Infant Loss Awareness Month but, better late than never. Also, proceeds from paperback and ebook sales are still going to the Empty Arms Foundation for the rest of November, too.

Friday, November 1, 2013

3-1 Anthology

I am happy to announce that my story RED ANT  will appear in an upcoming anthology called "Three Minus One." It is tied into an upcoming movie starring Minnie Driver and Alfred Molina about a couple who suffers a stillbirth called RETURN TO ZERO. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Sharing the month

Over the course of the past few weeks I've watched several of my friends really struggle as they've tried to hold fundraisers for their SIDS foundations and organizations. Some have been more successful than others.

What's frustrating is the fact that Infant Loss/SIDS Awareness Month just happens to fall during the same month as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I'm not knocking the awareness and money that's raised for breast cancer. I have close friends and family members who have fought breast cancer. But it's difficult to see sooo much attention brought to that cause and so little brought to infant loss and SIDS. For instance, many buildings are being turned pink in honor of breast cancer, without mentioning the fact that pink is also one of our colors as well.Even the White House got in on the act.

Wouldn't it be great if we also had a national spokesperson? If SIDS got the research money that breast cancer did? If there were more nationally organized walks and fundraisers? If there were commercials and posters and NOT just the ones that seemed to point the blame at parents for deaths that were not even sure the cause of?

Wouldn't it be nice if infant loss wasn't such a taboo subject? If, like breast cancer, it could be talked about openly without making people feel squeamish and we could mention facts and figures?

Infant loss ribbons are blue and pink. Yet there has been talk of also using blue and pink to signify male breast cancer ribbons, too.

I mean no disrespect towards breast cancer survivors or those facing breast cancer at present time. In fact, I don't want awareness decreased for those or funding cut for those. I don't want anything taken AWAY from breast cancer victims at ALL. What I want is awareness raised for US.

Last year I contacted three local newspapers and asked them if they'd be interested in doing a story about infant loss awareness month or even October 15th, Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Not one single paper replied. Several stories, however, were ran about breast cancer.

I'm happy to keep supporting my friends who are moving forward with their fundraisers, especially Karla Roy with Empty Arms. This is her below on a local talk show, talking about her foundation. See how young and pretty she looks? Maybe one day infant loss won't be such a taboo subject. We'll also be able to paint the town blue and pink.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Promotional Event with Empty Arms

For the next two months I am running a promotional event with my book, Coping with Grief: the Anti-Guide to Infant Loss.

As of now, there is NO CURE FOR SIDS

We can, however, support research

In honor of Infant Loss Awareness Month, for the months of October and November for every copy of Coping with Grief: the Anti-guide to Infant Loss that is sold I will be donating $5 to the Empty Arms Foundation. The Empty Arms Foundation supports SIDS research and Dr. Hannah Kinney, one of the world’s leading SIDS researchers, at Boston Children’s Hospital. It is a nonprofit organization.

During those two months, I will not be earning any royalties from the book. All of the money will be going straight to research. Although there isn’t a cure yet, with research, we get a little closer every day.

Buying the book is easy. When you click on the link from my website you can sign in with your Amazon account and be order the book using the payment option you have stored on Amazon. You can also visit Amazon’s website and order the book from there as well.

If you’d rather order by check then fill out the contact form on my site. You can also donate directly to the organization.

Every little bit helps. 

Your purchase is tax deductible!

You can find more information the link to the book and to Empty Arms on my website at:

Monday, October 7, 2013

Facebook memes

I really hate some of the Facebook memes that people create. Some are funny, of course. I re-post a lot of them myself. But some of the overly sentimental or religious or political ones really get my goat.

I don't think I'm an overly sensitive person. At least not anymore. I belong to a couple of grief groups and sometimes people post things in there and I think, man, I'm glad I'm not in those early-early stages of grief anymore. Walking around with your heart outside of your body just feels awful. I feel for those folks because I remember what it's like.

But then something will cross my path and it's like-WHAM.

The other day one such meme went my way and it didn't hurt me, it pissed me off.

It read:

"Don't forget to pray to God today because he didn't forget to wake you up this morning."

Well, excuse me, but...fuck that.

So I guess my son died because some almighty being just accidentally "forgot" to wake him up? Like a little "whoopsie?"

I wanted to say something to the person who posted it, but I didn't. Okay, actually I did. I just commented and said, "Wow."

I joined an atheist support group last year, not because I am one but because I prefer talking about my grief in a non-religious context.  (I do believe in a higher power, I just don't like talking about my grief in that kind of context with others.) Within that group, some of the members get angry when people in their newsfeed post memes that say things like:

"God has been watching you and He knows you're struggling. Close your eyes and think of the one thing you want most. Think about this for ten seconds and then open your eyes. Share this picture and within 24 hours you'll have what your heart most desires."

Yes, because within 24 hours we're going to have our dead children back.

It's basically Facebook's version of the chain letter. Perfectly harmless, of course, but still. And, if there is a God, does he really care about what images we share or "like"?

Sunday, October 6, 2013


It irritates me when another grieving mother uses her blog to write a passive aggressive blog post about me. The two times that I have actually written a blog post in response to another person's blog I have actually posted the blog's website. Although I might have been bitchy about it, at least I wasn't passive-aggressive. I hate that shit. And, hell, it even opened up the lines of communication. We talked about it.

I guess there is a lesson to be learned here. Although we might share something in common (the loss of a child) I don't have to like you. That's kind of freeing in a way. I LIKE the fact that the fellow bereaved mothers I am friends with are my friends because I like THEM and not just just because we're part of the dead kids club anymore. That feels good.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Introducing Iris

I've felt strange about introducing Toby to Iris. I know that other parents have had mixed reactions about introducing their deceased children to their "rainbow" babies and I was never really sure how I was going to approach that with mine. I didn't want to put any pressure on her. Of course, she was never going to meet Toby or know him. The cemetery, to her, is always going to be a place that she visits but it's not going to hold any special meaning for her. She doesn't know anyone buried there. For now, it's just a place that she runs around and plays in.

Sam has no memories of Toby. It's sad that he doesn't remember him, but he doesn't. We don't pressure him to remember him. I think it's almost better that he doesn't remember him. I mean, what if he remembers that last morning? Who the hell wants to remember that? Or the funeral? Or the hospital? I wish he could recall the fair or Nashville or our picnic or even just hanging out and watching cartoons but if he doesn't then he doesn't. It's sad but that's life. I remember and that has to be enough. He can look at pictures and point Toby out to us, but only in the same way he can look at a movie and point out characters from something he has seen a lot. Toby is no more than a character from a film to him.

We no longer make Sam visit the cemetery with us. It's a long drive and it's boring. After being there for a few minutes he gets bored and antsy. There's nothing for him to do and he's ready to go as soon as he gets there. We've started leaving him with Mom.

Iris, on the other hand, has a grand time. Of course, she wants to run around and take flowers off of other people's graves but since most of the other people buried around Toby are our relatives we figure it's okay. Last time we were there she kept taking small petals off of Uncle Linden's grave and putting them on my shoes. Wasps had made a nest on top of Toby's headstone, which was weird, and we tried to clean off around it while she played. We were there for about 45 minutes. When we got ready to leave we said, "Tell Toby bye," and she very plainly called, "Good-bye Toby," and waved.

A few days later I was on the computer and pulled up some pictures of him. She crawled up in my lap and we went through them together. I showed her some pictures of Toby and Sam and she laughed each time she looked at them. "There's Sammy!" she cried each time she saw one of him. Whenever Toby came on screen she would get quiet and then say, "Baby."

I don't know what I am going to tell her about Toby yet.

She is definitely becoming more aware of him, though. I'm not sure that I want him becoming the dead brother that hangs around the house, his presence everywhere. But I don't want him completely gone either. I like having his room decorations in our office and his pictures on the wall. I like decorating his grave on his birthday and major holidays. But I am also getting to the point where it's becoming less and less important to include him in things, too. That makes me sad.

Yesterday I was talking to our dog, Lucy. She was being a real brat and I said, "It's like I have three children!"

That makes me sad, too.