I Miss My Grandmother

Just a few weeks ago, I got an odd phone call. “Who is dis?” an older woman asked me. “You called me,” I responded, laughing. “Oh, dear, dear. I was tryin’ to reach my daughter. I tink I have the wrong number. I am very sorry. Please forgive me.” Now I could hear a Caribbean lilt. “That’s OK,” I told her, softening. “You have a good day, you hear? Take care.” ...more
My own Grandma is 92 and the early stages of dementia are setting in. It's heartbreaking. I call ...more

Blogger Anna Whiston-Donaldson Turns Grief for Her Son Into Humble Magic

Writer, blogger and mother Anna Whiston-Donaldson—whom I first knew as Anna See, from her blog An Inch of Gray—landed herself the kind of internet fame we've all come to fear. She lost her son, Jack, when he was just 12 years old, in 2011. ...more
I love this review! Anna and her writing - truly treasures.more

What Was Really Happening With Those Azaleas

Six or seven months ago as I walked to my office one morning, I saw a man from the grounds crew chopping up azalea plants by the sidewalk. My first reaction was horror—those plants were perfectly healthy. While I stood there on the sidewalk with my mouth hanging open, the man turned to me and shrugged. He spread his arms out wide over the wreckage then shook his head with resigned disgust. ...more
TheBlackTortoise Thank you. I hope you see jewels everywhere you look.more

Grieve. Letting Them Cry, Laugh and Go On.

My father-in-law passed away last week. Pop was 80 years old and fought a brave-faced, 14-month battle with pancreatic cancer.Soon after I received the news about Pop's passing, my mind went to the task I had in front of me. As a parent, delivering such sad news to your children is a bit of a gut check moment.I knew it couldn't wait. I knew it needed to be truthful, deliberate, and thoughtful. Other than that, I really didn't know what to do. So I decided to just follow their lead. Do what they needed to do. In their time. On their terms. And pray that I could help them....more

My Husband's Suicide

(Piece originally written in 2004; updated in 2006 &  2014. Since I am new to this whole “blogging” thing, I wanted to give my new readers some more background as to who I am, where I have been, and where I am going.  It’s been a journey.  As it continues, I hope you enjoy taking it with me at www.mamalawmadingdong.com.)...more

How Do You Say Goodbye When He Doesn't Believe He's Dying?

How do you say goodbye to someone who doesn't believe he’s dying?You don’t. You don’t get to say an actual goodbye. You don’t get to say what you mean to say, like John Mayer tells us to do.You don’t. You don’t get to hear them say that they are proud of you or that you are doing a good job.You just don’t. You might not get to have that kind of closure. You don’t get to ask the questions. You might not get to learn the answers....more

The Child We Never Held

On October 15 of every year, besides the usual scramble to get my taxes in on the extension deadline, I take time to remember and think about our first child – a baby I loved more than I ever thought possible despite never holding him or her in my arms or carrying him or her full term. For those who might not know, October 15th is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day....more

Empathy for the grieving mother?

Two of the least helpful responses I have received after people learned about the death of my baby girl stand out. “WhAt?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!” And, “That sucks.” The single most inhumane response I received was being directly reprimanded for forcing my grief and loss onto unsuspecting and unwelcoming innocent people. You might imagine my immediate shock, horror and anger. Have I ever told a person to get their joy and happiness out of my face when I am hurting or sad? No, I do not believe I have. ...more
Thanks Shantelle. People own their feelings. I have grown into a more loving human, and I will ...more

To The Mom Whose Arms Are Empty: A Love Letter

The nursery is empty. There are gifts still piled in the corner, a hand-sewn blanket draped perfectly over the handed-down crib. A soft, brown bear with a blue ribbon tied smartly around his neck sits expectantly in the rocking chair. You stand at the threshold, numb with the enormity of it all, absentmindedly placing a protective hand over your belly which is still swollen from the space he held and stretched, wondering if the tears will ever stop. ...more
Thank you for this.more

I didn't get a chance to mess her up too much

I did not make intentional mistakes on my baby girl. Most parents do not wish to make mistakes on their children. I, however, already regret the mistakes I made in 46 days of my precious girl's life. I can only imagine how other well-intentioned parents feel when, while trying their best, they make mistakes on their children. This is an unusual thing to appreciate. I am grateful that I did not have more time to make more unintended parenting mistakes during my daughter's lifetime. I will explain this a bit better. ...more

The Dead Parents to Cancer (DPC) Club... A club no one wants to join, but too many of us have

When I was 25, I unwillingly said good-bye to my father after watching him suffer a horrible six-month battle with cancer that ended up riddling his entire body before he passed.It was then that I became a member of the Dead Parents to Cancer (DPC) Club. On the same day that my oldest niece was born on July 6, my father was supposed to have a simple surgery at another hospital across town. The surgery had nothing to do with my father's existing prostate cancer, but because the surgery went horribly wrong and caused internal bleeding from an unknown source, it led to the need for exploratory surgery. The exploratory surgery caused "the small constricted bit of cancer" to explode throughout my father's body like a volcano. His quality of life was vastly diminished and the next six months were spent mostly sitting in the recliner or laying in a hospital bed in the living room of my parents' house. He quickly went from being my vibrant, full of life father, who never looked a day over 50 even though he turned 70 six days before his exploratory surgery to a man who was forced into a wheelchair after eventually losing the ability to walk and most of his functions....more


"He shall be kept alive to always remind me of how close I came to danger." (Queen Elizabeth)You contacted me yesterday. I was surprised. After almost eight years. There are million of things that happened. You told me....more

Beneath the Ashes

“The fire which seems extinguished often slumbers beneath the ashes.” ― Pierre CorneilleI've been debating all day whether to write this or not but I'm still thinking about it so I guess I will go ahead....more