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About Devianz

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    Subject in Flux

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  • Location
    Midwest US
  • Loss Type
    Loss of my Son Nathan
  • Angel Date
  1. Guilt is the worst part of being a parent of a child who died. I don't think any of us hasn't asked the question, "What if I had done this differently?" and there are no great answers because we can't go back and change the past. It's important to remember that you are human, and that you are enough. You loved them enough, you did the best that you could under the circumstances, you were enough. And then forgive yourself. No matter how small or how great, you have to learn to love yourself again and know that you are a human being, with all our foibles and flaws and that we can only do our best in that moment and that it was out of our hands. I think that in many ways, the death of a child is such a deep and painful heartbreak and that it takes time for us to learn to love ourselves and others without that fear of loss. That fear holds us back a bit and changes us. It changes us, and all of the relationships around us. We have to learn to create new foundations and new pathways not to get back to where we were, but to create the world we would want to live in. Sometimes it means letting go of relationships that are unhelpful for us. Sometimes it means finding new friendships and relationships to help us heal, All you can ask of yourself is to do your best in that moment. Be as kind to yourself as you are to others. Talk to yourself like you would talk to your best friend, lifting them up and being there for you. Day by day, you'll be able to let go of some of the negative thoughts and emotions and replace them with love and light again. It takes time, there is no set timeline or path. Just forgive yourself. Thank you all for your kind thoughts and wishes on Nathan's birthday, it really meant a lot to me. I woke up that morning hearing the Goldfinches (Wild Canaries) in the yard, and stood at the kitchen sink watching the brothers play ball in the yard, even though I was the only one awake. I felt him surrounding me that day, and standing beside me as I made his favourite meal, just as I had every year on his birthday for 20 years. We were together as a family and sent up a toast in his honor, and I fought tears all day. I still miss him so much and it felt a little heavier knowing that the womb that carried him into the world was also now gone. It felt odd in a way, I can't explain it. Today we found out that my Mom has stage 4 lung cancer. She had a spot removed back in January, and they thought they had gotten it all, but it metasticized to her adrenal gland and possibly other places, they are putting together a cancer board team for her that will meet next Tuesday and decide a diagnosis and treatment approach. She's 82, so we'll have to wait and see but along with my health issues, we're in for another year of pain. Please send prayers for my mother Judith, as she is a believer and in need of a little extra something.
  2. Happy 22nd Birthday Nathaniel Ryan, where ever you are. You were so loved. Beloved Son (on your 16th birthday) If I could start all over again, I would remember to draw iridescent moonbeams for you. To fill the night sky all of the stars with the tip of my pen and write your name on each one. I would draw to life the trees, like arms to always wave hello so you would always feel noticed I'd never forget that things like love, are fragile and need to be carefully tended I am a thousand words of sorry, and a hundred sentences of regret. These are what I have left to write, and you will be in each and every one. I will keep writing until you look up at me, and your tears no longer blot the page. Maybe then you will know that I have loved you as much as I am able. Margo S. August 16, 2009
  3. Thought I'd try to get on and at least let you guys know I'm ok. They took out... a lot of things. Turns out that I had been riddled with not only adhesions but adenomyoma and leimyoma throughout the walls of my uterus and they did have to do some intervention with other organs as well. The pathology was mostly good, but there were a few malignancies, but they believe they got it all. I have a PET scan on Monday to make sure, and then we'll come up with a treatment plan if any is needed at all. They think they caught everything early enough. My advice to others is that if you are feeling physical pain along side your emotional and mental pain, go see a doctor. I should have gone in right away and instead I suffered a year with pain and bleeding that could have been helped. I believed it was from the stress, and indeed stress can cause great illness. It's better to go and get it taken care of so that at least you don't have to be fighting the pain on all fronts. My love to you all. Thanks so much for your prayers and well wishes. Hugs
  4. Kate, Here is the song you wanted posted. I've also posted a version by the band Disturbed, it's a remake and it's so beautiful and appeals to our younger generations too;
  5. Thank you everyone for your prayers and thoughts. You all are such special people and I cherish the day I stumbled into this place and found such a great group. You all have been a great source of comfort, stories and sharing moments. Nathan's angel day was beautiful, and many trees got planted and many stories told. We stopped by the place where he was killed and placed hundreds of carnations in the holes of the cage right outside the gas station and it looked like a blanket of flowers with a picture of him in the center. The owner is such a kind man, and he liked Nathan so much. We spent the evening with just our two best friends around the fire pit, trying to play Nathan's guitar (I'm not very good yet and many laughs were had about that). It was a very hard day, and I cried a lot. So much that my head hurt but it was also a good day to know that I am not alone in my missing Nathaniel. The next day felt very empty again, so it felt very up and down. Perhaps next year we will do something much more low key. With his birthday coming up so closely, I need to get this surgery over with and get my youngest son's room put together so he comes home to less chaos. I get to see him in a week, and I can't wait. I wish I had more video of Nathan, I only have pictures, but I have thousands. I love looking at pictures of him and remembering the good life he had while he was here on earth. It means a lot to me that he was happy, and healthy. I have a few videos, one of him dancing and a few of him playing guitar. I cherish those. Our family isn't really the "video" type, but everyone always has a camera.
  6. Susan, Thank you so much for your kind words. What I like about putting him out there is that we are going to be with a group of people, friends and a few family, who are going to be planting over 30 trees tomorrow as an effort to put some trees back in an area that had an invasive species (Buckthorn) burned away about a year ago. Once I walk away from the planted tree with Nathan's ashes under them, I'll forget which one was his but know that it is one of them. Providing shade and shelter to the wildlife in the area for many generations to come. It won't matter which one, just that everyone came together to give life to the earth after tearing away the weeds and trees that kill the area habitat. It will be nice to know it's there. Cleaning the water with it's roots and the air with it's leaves. It's peaceful and it will get me out of the house and involve me in busy work so that I am not wallowing or dwelling in the dark corners. We plan on spending the evening at the beach weather permitting, it was one of his favourite places to play guitar and we live about a mile away. Hopefully some of our family and friends join us there as well. It will be nice to watch the sunset. For those with PTSD, it is such a hard part of the whole grieving process when it's there. I had to watch the video of my son being murdered, and it's something I am traumatized with to this day. Even sometimes when I close my eyes briefly. And sometimes it is little things that set it off, a bit in a movie... a word from someone. The other night I burst into tears during dinner because a commercial came on in the other room about milestones you'll want to remember in your child's life as they grow to have children of their own. It adds a layer to the sorrow that feels like our wounds get flayed all over again and become raw and bleeding again. I've been being treated with this therapy called EMDR or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing and I am about 5 treatments in of an 8 session treatment phase and it's working okay but the problem for me is that I am going to be re-exposed to the trauma during the trial phase of the man who murdered my son and possibly exposed to more. Most medical plans don't cover it (like everything else mental-health related if you live in the US) and there is always a stigma to any mental health treatment even in todays world. As for the increase in suicides among the young, it's so many things. It's a multifaceted problem that people don't want to look at. It is the marginalization of youth in both the media and stereotypes, it's the bleak outlook in the world post 911, it's the sociopathy of social media and overexposure of violence and despair on TV. It's a lack of good role models over the inundation of role models who are unrealistic and unattainable (Kardashians, Disney princesses, media that only covers models and actresses who expose themselves for vanity sake, a music industry that loves it's drugs and scandals) as well as a lack of morals and values in general that kids are exposed to. It's the quick gratification of electronic devices and "reality TV" versus the reality of the world outside their 7 inch screens. It's so many things, and it's also the cruelty of other children who take examples from people who are in power and even in some cases, run our country. We, as older adults, MUST recognize that children growing up now do have it extremely rough in a more exposed way than we ever had it in our day. We have to reach out our hand to comfort and try to understand instead of condemning them, or calling them "weak" for having depression, mental health issues or worse... vilifying the other children who have walked the path into darkness and not recovered. I know for me as a parent who knows what it's like to lose a child, it is important for me to reach out to other parents when I see a child exhibiting behaviour that can lead them into despair or even put them in danger. I don't worry anymore about how that parent sees me, or if they think I'm meddling. We SHOULD meddle even if it saves just one child. It takes a community to raise a child...
  7. So this weekend, our basement flooded and the sump pump failed at 10:30 PM, just when all the hardware stores had closed for the evening. We stayed up all night trying to keep things out of the water and I noticed that some of Nathaniel's things got a little wet on the bottom and my heart was crushed. I spent most of Sunday in the basement sorting through what could be salvaged and what had to be thrown out. It was a cruel end to the cruelest year on record. Tomorrow is Nathan's angel date, and I am not sure I'll be on to respond. I'm tired. I have that major surgery in one week as well, so I'm getting double the dose of stress and anxiety. We also found out that one of Nathan's friends committed suicide over the weekend, and I know he was distraught for a long time after Nathan's passing. I reached out to his mother and we both had a very long conversation filled with lots of tears and lots of hugs. I have that funeral to attend next weekend. She did not want to have it during the week. Tomorrow we are going to plant a tree in a protected forest preserve and place a spoonful of his ashes beneath with the help of a ranger friend of ours. He loved the outdoors and camping, so we felt it was only fitting.
  8. Dee, Thinking of you today and sending many warm thoughts your way for you and your family. I've been so grateful for your stories and words over the 11.8 months and I find strength in your courage and hopeful attitude. Much love and light to you all.
  9. Lesley, It sure can be really difficult to get through sometimes. I'm glad you did okay, and that you are well enough to post and explain your emotions. It really does help those of us going through similar experiences. You are a treasure. It was kind of your sister to talk to the children before hand. That can be very uncomfortable, so it was very compassionate of her. My sister bought us a month of Blue Apron meals after Nathan was killed, since she lived too far away to bring us meals. It was such a kindness for us, and the fact that we cooked them together as a family made it even better. Gave us all a reason to drag us out of the depths to come together and be close. A blessing. I have lab tests tomorrow, for the pre-op physical even though the surgery is still 3 weeks away. And I also have to do a colon prep, so that's something to look forward to! (sarcasm) I've actually come into work today despite not feeling up to it and I regretted it as soon as I arrived but I'm trying to make the most of my time in the office and touching base with everyone I need to face-to-face so that they know I still exist.
  10. Thanks all for the thoughts, Matthew arrived safe and sound. Now I have to get through the next month without losing my marbles!
  11. I lost my son violently last year in July, and it never really feels real. There is a surreal quality to life now, and on bad days I even question what is real and what is fake. It feels so lonely at times, even though I have a loving partner and some people around me. Most of the time I feel like people around me are going to be gone in an instant, and the terror of that is so debilitating. I have very high anxiety most days. I don't like it when people say, "He's in a better place." or "He has a plan for your son." because I had a plan for my son, he had plans for his life and some violent ahole took his life from us. That's not a better place. That's not his plan. It's not comforting for me when people say things like that, a better place is here with family and friends who love him. But I lost my faith a long time before my son was murdered. Court cases can take a very long time. Just be prepared to wait for a long while before getting any closure on justice for your Mom. My son was murdered on July 25, 2016 and they caught the guy July 26, 2016. They have a signed confession, a video of the entire incident and a ton of evidence and still the defense puts in delay after delay after delay. We've had so many potential court dates and still they keep pushing it out further. They had it scheduled for September 11th, and just last week I found out they aren't going to meet that either. It's a very frustrating and painful process to get justice. Be patient and don't be afraid to ask others for help in your journey. Taking care of yourself is so very important. I saw my son's body before he was cremated, and it broke my heart. I saw the scar on his upper lip and I knew it was him, so I kissed his brow and said my goodbyes. Like you, it's a memory that will always be stuck in my head. It's hard, really hard most days so I know how you are feeling. It didn't look like him, so the closure I was seeking was not there for me and still hasn't come. Maybe after we get a guilty verdict... maybe never. My sympathies go out to you, I am so sorry you are going through this. it's the worst journey you can go on, and you are not alone Sadiepup6983. Someone bought me a book after my son was murdered called; 'I Wasn't Ready to Say Goodbye' and it's a great book about healing after a sudden/violent loss. They have a workbook as well that is equally helpful. Here's more information: I Wasn't Ready to Say Goodbye: Surviving, Coping and Healing After the Sudden Death of a Loved One by Brook Noel and Pamela Blair PhD
  12. Gretchen, My heart is with you today and hope that you find your peace today. Your anxiety is an anxiety I know all too well, and I am so sympathetic. May you have an easy and light journey today and that you find what you are looking for to help ease your soul a little bit. Many many hugs and all the light I can give to you and to Forest on this day. He was a beautiful boy whom I know brought you much joy and light. Godspeed my dear. Susan, What a lovely picture of you and your family. It must have been a wonderful day, and it's always good to keep those memories close to your heart on days that remind you so much of John David. Sherry, Thank you for the lovely words, it is very stressful lately with the delays and the courts. I'm just so exhausted all the time, and I know it's not helping that my health isn't good right now either. I feel like some days I have internalized all the pain and that is why it sits in my womb and pains me so. Today I also sent my youngest son to the airport with his father to fly to Canada to spend a month with all of our relatives, which we do every year but this year I am especially anxious and sad. I gave him a big strong hug and told him I'd love him and I'd miss him before they left, hiding the twisting in my gut and the tears. I try so hard not to make my grief, his grief. To let him grieve in his own way and to live life without the fears and anxieties I have for him. Some days it's really hard. Today is going to be a very long day indeed. I ask that all of you keep my Matthew in mind as he travels over the earth to be delivered safely to his grandparents in Calgary. He has many friends and family waiting there for him and that it gives him the space and freedom to remember how to be a child in a world that has made him grow up a bit too fast. ~Margo
  13. Tinay, I just want to reach across the internet and hug you right now. That is the worst thing for me too, the pain of knowing that my son died with no friends around him outside a dirty gas station after being stabbed by a guy he thought was a friend and whom he knew since 5th grade. I think I remember the coroner telling me that he died almost instantly, but I think this is something they say to family to try and ease the pain. I can find no peace for these questions either and some days it just eats me up inside. I wonder if he knew he was going to die, I wonder how much pain he was in. It's just the painful questions we, as parents, ask ourselves over and over because we were supposed to be able to protect them from pain and suffering. But there was nothing you could do, it was out of your hands and you couldn't have prevented it. Oh my heart hurts for you, I spend so much time with the same pain. hugs hugs hugs Lou Ann, Thanks for the kind words. Yes, the anniversary date is July 25, my surgery is July 31, and his twenty second birthday would have been August 16th. So it will be a rough time for a bit for me. In a way, it's good that they pushed the court date back because I'll have more time to recover and gather myself. As much as I want the trial over with and to see that man permanently behind bars where he can't hurt anyone else, I want them to do it right so there is zero chance of appeal. Jennifer, I am so sorry for your loss in such a traumatic way. It's so hard to lose a child when you know the fault is someone else's. It's a very hard journey to walk, and please know that many of us are walking that same journey and understand and feel your pain. The pain never goes away, and I haven't gotten over the occasional thought that Nathaniel will walk through the door at any moment and I will be filled with his laughter once more. Some days are better than other but I still walk around corners expecting to see him standing there. It's very difficult. My heart goes out to you, you are not alone. He was a beautiful boy, treasure those pictures and keep posting. We'll walk with you.
  14. So we had a court date on the 22nd, and apparently the defense is stalling claiming he doesn't have enough access to his client (not due to the jail but an overload of the public defenders office) and now we will not start the trial on September 11th. It's delay after delay after delay. It is just now 11 months after Nathaniel was murdered, and the man's mother gets to visit him in prison and celebrate holidays and birthdays when we sit in this kind of purgatory between getting some justice and the horror and devastation that was caused. I'm beyond angry right now, and because of my current issues, I just don't have any energy. I feel like some days this whole thing is slowly killing me. I'm stressed beyond any limit and I just want to sleep all the time. Even small triumphs that I am meeting in my life are so fleeting and temporary in their bit of happiness. My youngest son leaves to visit our family in Alberta next week and he'll be gone for one month. I'm very anxious about it, but I think it will be good for him to be away in a very nurturing environment with his grandparents, aunts, uncles and lots of cousins. And I'll be having surgery at the end of July, so it will be good that he is not here for that. He doesn't need the extra stress and anxiety. I'm looking for a place nearby where we can go camping one weekend while my son is away as it's always a good way for my husband and I to regroup and get to know each other again. We sit and play cards and chat for hours next to the campfire and it's just heaven. We were camping just 3 days before Nathaniel was murdered, so it would be nice to get that peaceful time away to reflect. I did a ceramics workshop two weekends ago that was good for my soul, but I realize how much I miss doing ceramics during the summer and I can't wait for the semester to begin. I really need to get past this trial and then focus on building my own studio. I'm also struggling right now with not feeling like the place that I am at has enough open windows. I'm not sure what it is, but I want to be able to breathe the outside air all the time. I have to have open windows, and not just a fan or AC. It's driving me batty really, and I can't tell if it's these stupid BC pills I'm on to stop the bleeding, or if it's some new feature of my anxiety/ptsd. I'm beyond frustrated about it. I have a call into my doctor. Speaking of doctors, all 44 of my genetic tests for the genes they know cause breast/ovarian/colon cancer came back negative, so that's a relief and they won't be taking the ovaries, just everything else. So at least there will be no crash course in menopause, it will proceed normally just without the other bits. It also means that once surgery is over I can go off the lunacy pills that are causing increased nightmares and extreme moodiness. Ready to get the whole thing over with now that we have a plan. It's a waiting game Georgina, I was very happy to hear that Charlotte is back home, my thoughts and wishes go out to her for a speedy recovery and to you for strength and compassion. Laurie, I'm glad that your medical procedure was clear. Here's to many more of those and to your good health. Lesley, It's always hard to catch your son out of the corner of your eye when you see someone who looks so much like him. My youngest son looks very much like Nathan did though he is much taller. Sometimes I hear him speak with Nathan's voice and it takes my breath away. I hope the visit goes well, and that you know that each one of your family keeps your son alive in some way, and while it's hard sometimes to see you can take comfort knowing that there are still hopes and dreams alive in your sisters son. Dee, I am glad that Jonathan is on the mend and that you get to spend time with your grandbabies. I can tell you from experience that time spent with grandparents can make lasting memories for children and the time you spend with them will strengthen your bond far into the future. it's good that you live close and that you are able to take care of them. What a blessing for you all. I will continue to send loving thoughts to you and Jonathan, Shannon and the children. You will all need patience and kindness in his journey to wellness.
  15. Dianne and Lou ann, Thank you for thinking of me on Friday. It was a rough day for me and I carried the anger through the weekend for the most part. It's exhausting, but the house ends up really really clean with my frustration and rage. That's where I channel it; into scrubbing floors and walls, cleaning the oven, shaving the poor dog.... anything to keep my mind and hands busy so I don't throw things. Because I really want to throw things. Also, I find you can scream while you are vacuuming and the neighbors just assume your vacuum is on the fritz. The dog doesn't like his new hairdo so much but his fur will grow back and it's better for the summer anyway. I am however, getting a lot of side eye from him now. I did get some ceramics done this weekend, a couple of cups and a bowl that turned out pretty nicely. I was feeling up to that at least. It looks like I'll be having surgery July 31st, to remove a "number of things" but we won't know the full details until the genetics tests come back. Then we can put together a game plan, and get 'er done... so to speak. I have to be completely convalesced by September 11th as that will be the first day of the trial whether it is a bench trial or jury trial. Still a long way off it seems and I still have to get past the one year anniversary. Thank you Dianne, Dee, Susan and Lesley for sharing your personal narratives with so much kindness and wisdom. Sometimes when I am not up to posting, I just sit and read what you all write and it makes me feel so much less alone. It's a comfort to me that you are all willing to share and give us so much time, grace and courage when a lot of us are very early in our journey. it's a big help to me, and it fills my heart so I can't thank you all enough. Tinay, Let your body tell you how much it can take, and don't push yourself too much. Grief is as much physical as it is emotional, and sometimes we can push too much and find ourselves a little thin and vulnerable. Just listen to your body and take breaks where you need to. You are a strong woman, and I am sure you were so proud at your son's graduation. It must have been a bittersweet day, but I am sure that by wearing her bracelet, you had her with you by your side. Sending much love and positive energy to Georgina and Charlotte, and hoping for a healthy outcome. I'll keep you in my heart over the next few weeks.