This blog is my record of my journey with my son who had a rare, and eventually fatal metabolic illness. It is the story of the last year and a half of his life, his death, and after. I have shared this journey this in the hopes that is will not only help me come to terms with the realities, but also that someone along the way may find it helpful, as they face a similar journey.

This is my place to comment on events, blow off steam, encourage myself (and maybe you), share frustrations, show my love, grieve my losses, express my hopes, and if I am lucky, maybe figure out some of this crazy place we call life on earth.

The content might sometimes get a little heavy. As an understatement..


People who are grieving may write sad or difficult things and bring you down. This blog may not be for the faint of stomach or of heart. Read with caution and at your own risk.

If you are new to this blog, I suggest reading it from oldest to newest. It isn't necessary, as what I write is complete in itself. But this blog is sort of the result of the "journey" I'm going on, and I think it sort of "flows" better from oldest to newest.

I do hope that in the end you will find, in spite of all the difficult and heartbreaking things, things that are worth contemplating.

Welcome along!

Friday, January 8, 2010


I wrote this blog quite a while ago, but just didn't seem to find the "right time" to post it. I think I will post it now. It's about time.

In my usual vein of honesty, I have got a confession to make. For the past year or so, I have held some "grudges."

Before I go on with this, let me say that if, as you read this, you get the uncomfortable feeling I am talking about you, you must promise to read through to the end. I don't think any of the people I am refering to would be the people who would read my blog, but on the off chance it is you, or you feel it is, please keep reading.

This last year I have been really let down by some of my friends. There is nothing like going through a big time mess of grief, sadness, stress, disappointment, depression, whatever it is, there is nothing like it to show who the real "stick to it and I can count on you anytime" friends are, and who the, um, well, let's just say they won't be getting a Christmas card this year type of friends are.

Yeah. The friends who don't call you. The ones who avoid you or who are "too busy" to come by. Ever.

And that really, really hurts. So I have found myself carry around this list, the friends who get my "razzie" award. And it has been really hard to shake that list off. It seems to have gotten stuck to my fingertips with crazy glue.

The funny thing about forgiveness. You will find, not as a rule, but generally true, that if you are the sort of person who easily forgives other people, you will find it easier to forgive yourself. And if you are the sort of person for whom forgiving others is difficult, I would lay money on the likelihood that you have a hard time letting go of your own mistakes. In fact, you might be even harder on yourself than you are on other people.

Jesus says, right after the Lord's Prayer, "If you forgive others the wrong they do to you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you." I do think that Jesus meant this literally. It is certainly said more than once and many different ways. It seems clear that God wants us to forgive and to be merciful. And He seems to think that it is a hypocrisy of the worst nature to expect to be forgiven for what we do and yet demand that others "pay for what they have done."

Because that is what forgiveness is. My favorite fictional work says that forgiveness is a flower named "Bearing the Cost." That is exactly what forgiveness truly is. We ourselves bear the cost, or pay for what another has done. So if I forgive you a debt, I absorb the cost. And if I forgive you for hurting me, I absorb that hurt without trying to get you to pay for it with your own pain or penance.

I think when the Bible speaks of forgive and be forgiven there is another aspect here. It seems to me that when we forgive, we enable ourselves to experience forgiveness ourselves. Maybe others have forgiven us for what we have done, but we just can't feel it. Our mistakes and misdeed, all the ill we have done by accident or on purpose, follows after us and pops into our minds at the worst times, like late at night when we want to sleep. We feel, no matter what we know about being forgiven, that we must do penance, we must suffer, we must feel guilty and miserable for what we have done.

It seems to me that by forgiving those who have hurt us, we free ourselves not only from the grudges and "razzie lists" we hold, but from our own feelings of guilt, shame, and pain at what we have done. We allow ourselves to look in the mirror once again.

At least, that has been my experience. And this year I have not only learned which friends of mine were true, I have had my eyes opened to see more of the times where I myself let someone down. I was not there for them. I was too tired to listen. I didn't have time to call. I didn't feel like sharing their "unhappy space" with them.

So I think I will have to forgive these people. It does me no good to try and convince myself I am somehow better. Truth is, I might be on someone else's "razzie" list. I have been far from perfect, and will also be far from perfect in the future.

And so, I say it now, and will practice saying it again and again, until I get better at letting it go "I forgive you." You don't have to apologize, grovel or perform mighty acts of penance. God has freely forgiven me, and I'm going to freely forgive you too. I hope you will do the same for me.

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