Saturday, October 27, 2007


In the midst of watching your infant die, the last thing one would think about is blessings. Well I did and I do. There were many mercies and blessings associated with Brennan's illness and death. I'm going to do a Janice list for this one.

Seeing the positive aspects of my youngest son's illness and death:

1. Brennan did not die the first time we ended up at Childrens Hospital. It was touch and go but he survived.

2. He wasn't very damaged by the first traumatic stay. He came home on phenobarb for his seizures but was still quite interactive when not wiped out from the barbiturates.

3. My mother came and visited, meeting Brennan for the first and last time, when he was still very cognizant.

4. He was home for over a week before we ended up in Childrens again.

5. The nurses and Dr. Deb who was in her last year of residency and was a friendly face from our first stay.

6. Brennan recognized me until the moment of his death.

7. Once we knew Brennie was going to die we got a private room which was soooooooo nice after being in rooms with 6-8 other babies.

8. The awesome glider rockers in which I rocked my infant for between 15-20 hours a day.

9. The 87 days we had with Brennan at home before he died. I cherish that time with him and loved him as much as if he lived to be 82 years old. I feel this time was a true gift from God.

10. The fact Brennan was never in a vegetative state and that he did not live for years that way. I think that would have been harder on our family.

11. The generosity and kindness of neighbors, friends, strangers and church members. It was very humbling to see how much others cared for our family, especially for Keenan and Riley.

12. My God given ability to rise to the occasion and be my very best Mom self when necessary.

13. I learned to be assertive without being obnoxious.

14. Brennan did not die on Riley's birthday but a week before. I am so grateful Riley's day was not turned into a sad event.

15. I got to hold my baby whenever I wanted and needed to. I needed to hold him often.

16. The circle of women friends who supported me and came to our house on death watch duty~just like in the days before modern technology. This was a wonderful example of what a community of women can do to help others. These women also truly loved Brennan.

This is what comes to mind right now. There were other blessings scattered around but these were the most important to me.


Anonymous said...

This is such a beautiful list. When a parent looses a child to death, it must be so hard to focus on the blessings that surrounded you. I am so happy that you are in a place now where you can reflect, and remember that despite how awful the circumstances were (the worse possible thing that life could hand you) you can go back and find the blessings and the goodness of the situation. Also, the kindness and love of the people who love and care about you and Brennan. What really speaks to me the most is how you had the gift of a private room, a lovely rocking chair and just being able to hold, rock, cuddle and whisper in his sweet little little ears. That time together had to be so very special and needed.
It still makes no sense, why things like this happen, but I like how you are looking at the blessings. There are always blessing, even if they are hard to see at the time.

Summer said...

Oh Janice, the part about you rocking your son for 15 to 20 hours a day just choked me up. I know I would spend all that time doing the same thing. As always I'm just so very very sorry.

Ed Padgett said...

Greetings Janice,
so sorry for your loss, hope you're able to enjoy the holiday's.

I lost my son a little over four months ago, and I'm working overtime tonight to keep busy. My five other children and I will celebrate Christmas tomorrow.

Edward in San Dimas

Shinade said...

Oh janice, I just now found this blog of yours and found out about this.

First may I send my condolences to you and your family. I cannot even begin to imagine how it feels to lose a child. But, as a grandmother and mother I do know just how very precious our children are to us so I can to a certain degree imagine how awful it would be.

My first grandson was born with his entire upper and lower intestins exposed and was not expected to live. He was in intensive neo-natal care for four months. So that agony I can and do know very well.

I think what you have done here with this list is simply incredible. You are a very special person to be able to have written this. And, I am very glad to have found you.
You are an inspiration to us all.
God Bless,