What’s Easier?

It’s 12:15 am and I’m wide awake.  My husband lays in bed next to me, sound asleep.  How is it that men can sleep through anything?  I find myself not wanting to go to bed because there are so many unfinished things to do.  But in the morning I’m dragging myself out of bed, just wanting to stay under the covers a little while longer.

I’m anxious because I feel like I have work to do.  Not only do I have dishes and laundry, but I want to find my direction with Owen’s memorial.  How ironic that after I have the answers to my questions – will Owen live?  Is he brain-dead? – I feel foggy and a little lost.  I had such clear purpose when this was all happening.  Now it’s a little foggy and I’m uncertain if I’m doing the ‘right’ thing.

I need more patience.  I learned that a few times during this process.  Just when I was ticked off at God about the tubes having to stay, he shook his head and showed me what a little time can do.  They fell out, I didn’t need to be angry at all.  Is this the same?  Is he shaking his head at me saying “Child, just give it a little time.  You’ll be just fine.”  Why do I want to take off running?

Is it that I’m scared of?  When life quiets down?  You know the ‘sound’ you can hear in the dead of night.  There is that humming in the air that you can only hear if you concentrate really hard.  It scares me.  When the cards stop, the emails end and the blog stats go back down to 50 per day.  What then?  Who will I be?  What will I feel?  Will I still wear orange?  Will I want to wear orange even more?

I find it ironic when people call me strong.  It’s certainly NOT a word I would use to describe myself.  I’m just someone who has a whole lot of weird and sad things happen to her.  I live in hope because it’s a lot easier than reality.  The real-ness of mortality and the end of a 6 month old is hard to comprehend let alone accept.  Hope, is light and sunshine, rainbows and unicorns.  It’s the belief in something good.  Sounds a lot easier to me!

The day after we found Owen, my pastor asked me how I was doing.  I said “Owen is gone.  He’s not coming back to us.  But Doug was still fighting.”  He believed Owen was in there and fighting to come back.  I didn’t know what to tell him when he asked me if I thought Owen would be ok.  I felt like I was horrible for giving up on my son.  I wasn’t fighting for him, rather I was just laying down and accepting what God allowed to happen.  Does that make me a faithful Christian or a horrible mother?

Pastor answered to let him live in the hope just a little longer, the truth would be told all too soon, and it didn’t hurt to let him stay in the shred of hope.  I thought … heck if he can stay there, why can’t I?  You know what?  it is easier to live in the prayers, acceptance of an answered prayer even if it’s not what you were hoping for, and the possibilities.  Dreams are way better than reality.

So I’m not strong, I’m taking the easy way out.  There has to be something good.  If there isn’t, then that means Owen’s life would have been a waste.  I just don’t buy it.  I’ve heard so many stories of how far Owen has touched.  I’m floored and so proud of my little man.

Love, Mel



Filed under Owen's Gone, Posted by Melissa

27 responses to “What’s Easier?

  1. Ruby McGill

    I have a photo of my child, with this quote on it: “Acceptance is not giving up; it is acknowledging that some things are not meant to be.” You are still dealing with the shock and grief of Owen’s death, but having to continue to be a mother and wife.
    Your acceptance of Owen’s death does not make you a bad mother. We all accept death and grieve in our own ways; nobody feels his death like you do. You carried him, nurtured him, loved him, for nine months in your body; then gave him so much love during his short life. And I look back through your posts and acknowledge the love he gave you, too. There are some things for which we will never have answers until we can ask them of our Loving Father when we are reunited with our deceased loved ones. I think now is the time for ‘baby steps’. I know you want to do something special to affirm Owen’s life and influence, but I feel that things are still too raw and new for this to happen. For now, you need to come to a place of peace within yourself before you can reach out in this manner. This is not to say that you will not still miss your precious boy, nor that you are not honouring his memory. Rather, in spending time with your family, in making memories for your your remaining boys, in keeping Owen’s name alive, you will come to the place where you have the reserves to do something special in Owen’s memory. May God bless you and your family, and give your heart rest.

  2. Just lots and lots of hugs and prayers and love to you. That’s all I can offer. It isn’t much, but it’s all I have. If there is something else I can do, you let me know, and I will.

    And know that no matter what happens, I will still be coming back to read this words and listen to stories of Owen and your family.

  3. Kelly

    Mel, it’s more than likely that your purpose may change over time, but right now it seems clear to me that you are generating a great deal of good from your devestating loss. By blogging about what you’ve gone through you’ve reminded all of us who read you of the preciousness and fragility of life. What happened to Owen…was awful, and crushing, and the sad reality is that none of us really know how long we get to have our children with us. So many other posters have said this, but I want to reiterate because I think it’s really important. By sharing your journey with us, I’m convinced you are doing God’s work and honoring Owen’s legacy, because all of your readers are cherishing our children more. I’m more patient with my four-year-old son and hugging him and telling him how much I love him. I’m hugging and kissing his baby brother until he squirms to get away. I’m am praying fervently for you and your family and thanking God with tears in my eyes for mine. And I know I am not the only one – your work here has changed how parents are parenting their children. What an incredible legacy for your Owen.

    As a side note, I also live in suburban Milwaukee. I hope to run into you one day at Target or Menards so that I can complement you on your handsome boys, and NOT ask you if the babes are twins. Don’t be too hard on yourself, or expect too much. It’s only been a few weeks. Hang in there, Mel. We’re all pulling for and praying for you every day. We’ve got your back.


    • Chris

      Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote:
      “My son, a perfect little boy of five years and three months had ended his earthy life.  You can never sympathize with me; you can never know how much of me such a young child can take away.  A few weeks ago I accounted myself a very rich man, and now the poorest of all.”

      I felt the same for the first year or so. Things changed for us however. While we still grieve deeply, I’ve reached a point where I never want to miss him less. We still love our lost children, we always will. I try to take the moments that may have slipped by inthe past to cherish my daughter now. Fortunately and un fortunately lossing Ben has made me a better father to Taryn.

  4. Claire

    Mel, yet again your post brings tears to my eyes, I have been reading your updates ever since I came across a Facebook link when Owen was poorly. I cannot even begin to imagine what you have been or indeed are going through. You may not feel that you are strong but like so many of us reading your blog I continue to be amazed and humbled by your strength and amazing ability to put into words your experiences. For myself every entry I read reminds me to be so grateful that I have 2 healthy girls. Just now I am annoyed that my eldest has ripped a new cardigan that was a gift from my mother, it’s my daughters 9th birthday today so I didn’t get mad as I might otherwise have done, then I read your latest entry and it makes me ashamed, reminds me that it’s not the material things that matter. So it’s off to pottery painting and pizza hut we go and I shall maybe suggest picking some orange paint! Thank you Mel, I shall continue to read and look forward to your blog entries over in England. C x

  5. Becca

    This is a song from one of my favorite bands that thought I would share with you. They are a local band here in Minneapolis called Rocket Club.

    Keep writing! You and your story are touching lives!


  6. Melissa,
    I heard about your story from a link on Facebook, 2 days after my first child was born. I have to say that it made me cry and that is something that I just dont do. You have been incredibly brave and corageous through out your whole ordeal with Owen and have been so strong for your family and your other 3 boys. I have wanted to send you a comment for the longest time, but what do I say to a perfect stranger who has lost her precious boy? There is nothing that I can say that will make this time any easier for you or make it go by any faster. Just know that I am thinking of you and your family all the way over in South Africa. You want to have a memorial for Owen- and this is it. You want people to know about him and what a beautiful child he is- and this you have done. I feel that I know your family and that I share in your pain as you grieve.

    I have my little something orange for Owen- the bowl I use to clean my sons face with at bath time was bought especially in orange for Owen. So at 6pm (or there abouts depending on the day) I think of you and all your sons as I look after my own child. With the time difference it would be 11am for you(I looked it up). So at 11am know that there is someone out there thinking of you and wishing you and your family a peaceful heart.

    Please continue with your updates in any way you feel you need to. Not everyone leaves a comment but you certainly have left a mark on peoples lives.

    Durban, South Africa

    • Jessica

      I think Barbara summed it up perfectly. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about you and your family. (((hugs)))

      Dixon, California

  7. I pray for you, the boys and your husband daily. I have never been through an experience like this, but can imagine that it is like a wild roller coaster in the pitch black. Dipping and rising without notice. Trying to navigate it is impossible so all you can do is try to brace yourself the best you can with prayer and thoughts that will get you through. In my humble opinion, I think that you survive the ride anyway you can! There is no “right” way. Like you have said Mel, there is NOTHING right about a 6 month old dying….so can there be a “right” way to grieve? I personally don’t think so. Even as the blog posts dwindle and life appears to slow, please know that I will always think of you, your family and your inspiring faith. You will remain in my prayers.


  8. Kate

    I look for you online each day. When you don’t post, I worry about you. I can’t see that changing any time soon. You inspire us all to be hands on parents, while we can. You remind us that we cannot take our worlds for granted. And you share with us the memories of a beautiful, special child who was given to you and your husband, but who now belongs to people all over the world. Was a child ever so loved or mourned as this little warrior? I can think of one…born in a stable and taken before his time too. May they be together now, knowing that they have both made the world a better place through their lives and deaths.

  9. April Bogdan

    You are truly amazing. You’ve been given a gift, the gift of Owen’s life and story. But Owen’s story isn’t just Owen’s, it’s your story, it’s the little girl who has his heart’ story, it goes on and on Melissa. You have done amazing things and so has your little warrior. Things will go back to “normal” but what is “normal” anyway? My normal is totally different than your normal. You will adjust and adapt to your circumstances. I promise. So keep your head high and wear that orange and keep telling YOUR story.

  10. Hi Melissa….I found your blog the other day from someone posting Owen’s picture on Pinterest. Don’t know why, but it caught my attention to where I went further to your blog. Spent the next two hours reading blog after blog, amazed at your faith, power and love. Owen will never be forgotten, and he’s touched my life. I will continue to read.

    But I wanted you to hear about something. I live in Fort Myers and attend a non-denominational church called Next Level Church. At NLC, we have adopted two of the worst neighborhoods in our city, and every third Saturday, we go to their projects, knock on their doors, and bring Jesus. Not in the preaching way. We just walk the talk. Today was Father’s Day/Fun day. We had basketball and football, bouncy houses, slip n slides, water balloon fights, snow cones, food and more. We do a different theme every month such as mani/pedis and hairstylists for the Mother’s day month; easter egg hunts, etc. Now, you are wondering why I’m telling you all this? Well, because I never understood why we named our “campaign” what we did. You ready for this??? It’s called, “Be Orange”. Yes, that’s right. We all wear our Orange NLC serve shirts. We are a sea of orange amongst our community. Today, I looked around and thought, “Owen is here.” I still don’t know why they chose the color or the name when they did, but I now know what it brings to my heart each time I wear the shirt. It just means a little bit more. 🙂

    God bless you and your family.

  11. Tara

    I continue to check your bog everyday and pray for you and your family each night. I agree with what others have already said, this blog is a memorial to Owen. Just yesterday, I was sharing your blog and story with some of my friends. They too were so touched by Owen’s story and your honesty with your feelings. The fact that people in different states and countries are wearing orange is amazing! Owen’s story has gone global! Your little man is smiling down from Heaven, and I know he is so proud of his mommy!!
    Please continue to blog and share your thoughts. There are so many people listening!

  12. Johanna

    Mel, I wish I could tell you it gets better. It just gets different, it’s only been a year for me but it still hurts so much. It’s a real physical pain sometimes, and it just makes me so mad sometimes that everyone else goes on like nothing happened. How can the sun still shine and people be so “happy”? I’m afraid that this will always be “normal” how will we ever be truly happy again? The only way to live is to have hope, to hope that someday soon we will all be together again, without Christ there is no hope and that is what makes us strong, that is why people think we are strong even though we feel so weak. Keep doing what you are doing, you are making an incredible difference in people and may not see it directly, people see your hope and it makes them hopeful. We will continue to pray for you and your family.

  13. Katie

    You ARE strong…I don’t care what you say!! 🙂

    And about what to do for Owen’s memorial…just wait…breathe…listen…you will hear in the wind what the right thing is!

    Or maybe in the rain when we can hear Owen…

  14. sherry merritts

    Dear mel,
    You should be very proud of your little warrior, Owen. You will do the right thing with owens memorial,it just takes a little time to figure out. The quiet of the night, reality sets in,you know what you have lost and can’t changeor figure out why , no one to talk to,tears flow in the darkness of the night and you are afraid . Please God let peace and direction come to Mel and her family. Help them through these dark hours and days . Love to all of you !

  15. You are such an eloquent writer. I love it.

    Owen’s story is a constant reminder of just how precious life is…especially the lives of my sweet little rascals. I don’t own anything orange…and at first that made me sad. I wanted to be supportive…to keep Owen’s story alive and have that ever present reminder with me. Then I remembered that I don’t own anything orange because, well….my hair is orange. Now every time I look in the mirror I am reminded of your sweet angel boy.

    Our thoughts and prayers are still with you guys.

    As far as your confusion goes, remember Proverbs 3:5-6

    “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

  16. Niki

    I don’t really know how I came across your blog, but somehow I did almost three weeks go. Mel, you really are an inspiration! Your thoughts and words are so powerful and are extremely moving for those reading your blog. I am constantly checking in to see how you’re doing, hoping that you’re ok. Though I’ve never met you I can’t help but feel a connection to you (like so many other people). I have three little boys quite close together, and 10 days after my youngest son was born he stopped breathing and his heart stopped. I was at home and by some amazing circumstances I had a nurse over for a short visit when it happened. She got him back and we got the him the attention he needed. That was 2 years ago, and I still think about how close we came to loosing him on what was just a normal day. I still wonder why things happened the way they did that day, as it could have gone either way. Why did they happen differently for you? The positive that has come from such a terrible event is in your sharing of your feelings and experiences. This is an amazing thing you are offering to others, a chance to have a glimpse into your experience and learn from it. Life is so precious. Every moment has to be treasured. Though you may not feel strong, just look at all the hearts you and Owen have touched. There is something strong in that! Just keep going day by day and know there is much love and support out there for you and all your boys.
    Niki and my boys

  17. Michelle

    i am just a humble reader from montana. little owens story has spread, and he and your family are in my thoughts. i wish you peace.

  18. Angela

    Your heart is weak, but your will power is strong! Don’t knock yourself down. In your childrens eyes there is no one person stronger, smarter, or loving than you!

  19. Kate

    I took a class about spirituality in nursing last semester. Today, while cleaning out my folders, I found this bible verse and I thought of you:
    “Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.” Romans 5: 1-5


  20. Teri

    Thinking of you and Doug and your boys, on earth and one in heaven, on this Father’s Day. Praying for you always!

  21. Jenna Buckley

    I read your blog daily. I often check the link during quiet periods of my day to see if you have updated. Your story, Owens story, encourage and inspire me more to celebrate life. I hug my children more, when I embrace them, I savor the moment, I breathe in their scent deeper, listen closer and love them more that I ever knew I could. My daughters wear Orange bows in their hair, it has become a symbol in my house to remember how precious each moment is. How blessed we are to still be on this earth and to embrace each waking moment. You have touched so many lives and God’s message of strength and good will has been spread through you and your amazing family. I am reminded as I read your posts of the psalm Footprints in the Sand. Here my child, is where you are carried. But never worry, you will walk again!

  22. Julianne

    You should be proud of Owen & you should be proud of yourself. If you don’t consider yourself strong, as I do, atleast consider yourself full of grace. You certainly are. Prayers continue for you & your family.

  23. Kel

    You & Owen have touched my heart. You don’t know me but I feel blessed to “know” you through your blog, which I came across randomly on facebook. I heard a song on the radio, one I am very familiar with and maybe you are too, but I immediately thought of your family and wanted to share it with you:
    There Will Be A Day

    I try to hold onto this world
    With everything I have
    But I feel the weight of what it brings
    And the hurt that tries to grab
    The many trials that seem to never end
    His word declares this truth
    That we will enter in this rest
    With wonders anew
    But I hold onto this hope
    And the promise that He brings
    That there will be a place with no more suffering
    There will be a day with no more tears
    No more pain, and no more fears
    There will be a day
    When the burdens of this place
    Will be no more
    We’ll see Jesus face to face
    But until that day
    We’ll hold onto You always
    I know the journey seems so long
    You feel you’re walking on your own
    But there has never been a step
    That you’ve walked out all alone
    Troubled soul don’t lose your heart
    Cause joy and peace He brings
    And the beauty that’s in store
    Outweighs the hurt of life’s sting
    But I hold onto this hope
    And the promise that He brings
    That there will be a place with no more suffering
    There will be a day with no more tears
    No more pain, and no more fears
    There will be a day
    When the burdens of this place
    Will be no more
    We’ll see Jesus face to face
    But until that day
    We’ll hold onto You always
    I can’t wait until that day
    Where the very one I’ve lived for always
    Will wipe away the sorrow that I’ve faced
    Oh, to touch the scars that rescued me
    From a life of shame and misery
    Oh, this is why, this is why I sing
    There will be a day with no more tears
    No more pain, and no more fears
    There will be a day
    When the burdens of this place
    Will be no more
    We’ll see Jesus face to face
    There will be a day with no more tears
    No more pain, and no more fears
    There will be a day
    When the burdens of this place
    Will be no more
    We’ll see Jesus face to face
    There will be a day
    He’ll wipe away the stains
    He’ll wipe away the tears
    He’ll wipe away the tears
    There will be a day

    Your story is an inspiration to many. Please keep telling it……….

  24. Barb

    This is just a suggestion and maybe you have thought of it. I think this is twice I have read about you and your quandaries about a memorial fund for Owen. Have you given any thought about a community art program? The colour Orange is so important that perhaps you can make this fund something where families or at least children can come together and have fun, you have realized how helpful and therapeutic a colour can be, maybe through an art program other children and families can come to the same realization.

    Good luck and many hugs to you and your family.

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