Parenting & Loss

Drop Dead Life on Kickstarter

»Posted on Aug 8, 2013 in BLOG, Coping With Loss, Dating For Widows, Death Of Spouse, DROP DEAD LIFE, Featured, Memoir Excerpts, Parenting & Loss, Publicity, & Interviews, Sudden Death | 0 comments

For the past ten years, I have been advocating for widows, women, defibrillators in schools, and a treatment for Brugada Syndrome—the sudden death cardiac condition both of my daughters, unfortunately, inherited from from my late husband, Erik. And now, I am reaching out for help to reach 100% of my Kickstarter funding goal by 8/19 so that I can publish my forthcoming memoir, Drop Dead Life: A Pregnant Widow’s Heartfelt and Often Comic Journey about Death, Birth, and Rebirth. This is more than a story about widowhood. Drop Dead Life dives deep into the worlds of online dating, hereditary depression, finding humor, parenting, afterlife connection, and the belief that each of us—regardless of our circumstances—can create the love and happiness we...

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Embracing Children’s Psychotherapy

»Posted on May 31, 2010 in BLOG, DROP DEAD LIFE, Parenting & Loss | 0 comments

  Keira, my five-year-old daughter, whined, “I don’t want to talk to anyone,” from under her purple, fuzzy blanket. She did not want start going to therapy. She had recently returned from school one too many times, saying “nobody likes me,” or “I’m not smart,” or “nobody wants to be my friend.” But that was as far as the conversation ever went. She really didn’t want to talk to anyone. Not even me. I pulled the covers back, exposing her angry, brown eyes. “That’s just it, honey. It isn’t good if you don’t talk about your feelings.” She wrapped her front teeth around the base of her thumb’s cuticle and chewed on the skin. “I don’t have any feelings.” “Honey,...

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Grieving Daddy’s Death

»Posted on Apr 20, 2010 in BLOG, DROP DEAD LIFE, Parenting & Loss | 0 comments

Tatiana, my eight-year-old daughter, begins to cry. “Mom-my! I’m not talking to you. You are making me so sad.” Her curly blonde hair flies everywhere, as if being blown by a fan. She stomps into the bathroom, slams the door, and locks herself in. All morning, Tatiana has not been listening, and I’m fed up with having to repeat my words six times just to be heard. Deep breath, I tell myself. I call through the bathroom door, “Honey, come out here.” To my surprise, she twists the knob right away, but her sobs continue rising like a helicopter. “Come sit here.” Tatiana curls in my lap, making her lanky body compact. She blows her nose on her orange sunflower dress. “I know we’ve all had colds and that you’ve been...

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Mommy Guilt: Widowed or Not

»Posted on Mar 2, 2010 in BLOG, DROP DEAD LIFE, Parenting & Loss | 0 comments

Guilt. Mommy guilt. Daddy died guilt. Always the guilt. Each morning, at 6 AM, Julian, 2, calls out, “Ma Ma. Ma Ma? Ma Ma,” and the race begins. Ugh! I shouldn’t have stayed up so late. Four kids, like newly hatched spiders, crawl up my skin. They nip at my arms, my shoulders, my feet, and I want to flick them off. I want five minutes, just five freaking minutes, to make my coffee, before I get them ready for school. “Clothes on, hair brushed, then come to the table for breakfast,” I command, but they continue to swarm, completely ignoring my orders. “Ewwwwwww!” Tatiana, 8, screams, as she holds her Hello Kitty toothbrush an inch from my swollen brown eyes. “Tati, WHAT are you doing?” “Mommy, Juju...

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11-Year-Old Boy Tries to Save his Father

»Posted on Oct 12, 2009 in BLOG, DROP DEAD LIFE, Parenting & Loss, Sudden Death | 0 comments

Erik told me about his dad, Hayden, when we first started dating. We were both 20, both students at Florida State University. Erik majored in computer science while I studied creative writing. Within days of knowing one another, it was obvious that Erik’s rational, organized side would compliment the artist in me. Erik spoke slowly, with quiet intensity. “We were on vacation.” I sat cross-legged, on Erik’s bedroom floor, soaking in the masculine whisper of his words. My attention was focused entirely on him. He stretched out on his back and put his head in my lap, his eyes directed at the circulating ceiling fan. “We were on vacation, at the beach . . . I was eleven. It was just me, my mom, and my dad. My dad had brought me out...

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Father and Son’s Ashes Scattered Together

»Posted on Sep 29, 2009 in BLOG, Coping With Loss, DROP DEAD LIFE, Parenting & Loss | 0 comments

I give Troy the burgundy velvet bag that contains Erik’s ashes. “Do you mind holding them? I may need to run down to the beach by myself.” “I’ll put them in my back pack.” Troy rests the gray sack by his feet and slides the ashes in. He starts to zip up the backpack, but pauses. “Jeanette, I might be able to fit yours in, too.” Jeanette hugs her pine box closer to her chest. “No, I want to hold him. Hayden’s fine right here.” My mother-in-law, Jeanette, has held on to her husband’s ashes for 17 years now. When we talked about scattering Erik’s ashes, she said, “We’ll scatter them together. It’s never felt right to do it before, but it feels right now. Erik can be with his daddy. They can...

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