Nitty Gritty Dirty Grief

I have Banned Myself from Mom Blogs

I used to write for a couple Mom Blogs before we lost Samantha. 

After we lost Samantha and after I missed a couple blog posting dates, I explained to my favorite editor that I could no longer write for Mommy Blogs. 

“I don’t have anything to contribute,” I said, “no one wants to come to a Mommy blog for support and read how worse it could be.” 

“Well maybe they SHOULD read it,” my always-optimistic editor said. 

“I don’t want to subject a new mom to our experience unnecessarily, I don’t want to scare her.” 

And so my lovely editor let me go and I thanked her.

Because it IS scary. Our story is frightening. And the last thing a new mom needs to hear is, “well it could be worse….and let me tell you how bad it could be.  

In the realm of what is helpful to hear and what is not, our story hits the top ten unhelpful. 

This week was hard, unexpectedly hard. I gear myself up for the biggies; Samantha’s birthday, Christmas, Jack’s birthday, even Halloween. 

I forgot one……Back to School……

Back to School, you relentless un-holiday, you poster of cute first and second graders in their back-to-school outfits. 


What comes along with Back to School is Back to School stories around work. People are late because it’s back to school. Kiddos are meeting teachers, new classes, new friends, LOTS of anxiety and stories around a usually business centered office. 

I listened a lot and I turned my ipod on a lot. 

Here is what bereaved parents go through……

We LOVE your kids. We love you. And we want to hear stories about your kids.  But we cannot listen without comparing, without feeling a tad jealous, grieving and without secretly wishing that this conversation be over.

But we can’t. This week we live in a Back to School World and it was all back to School. 

At one point a co-worker said, “I’m sorry, this is hard isn’t it?” 

And I could have put her in my back pocket and carried her around  for recognizing how hard it was to hear about back-to-school drop off that morning. 

So I put on my Big Girl Panties and wrangled through the rest of the week. 

Until I made a HUGE mistake. 

Although I no longer write for Mommy Blogs, I still subscribe to them. On Friday, I found myself opening a blog called “Motherhood, The Big Fat F*ck You.” 

And I read it….I don’t always have the best judgement. 

And I got mad….as I knew I would reading a post called Motherhood, The Big Fat F*ck You. It wasn’t as bad as it sounds. It was about feeling unappreciated as a mom and stressed out about Back to School. 

And I wondered, How do stressed out parents of children, who need to vent and Bereaved Parents, who wish nothing more than to be totally, completely stressed out about their kiddos……How do they get along?

My genius answer? 

I have no clue. 

Perhaps it is a sense of perspective….perhaps from both sides. A couple months ago, a new mom cried at lunch because her baby had been sick; she was sleep deprived and  absolutely spent. 

We met later while picking through Jelly Bellys in the break room. “I’m sorry this has been hard.” I said. 

And she started to cry. “I am such an asshole,” she said. “This will pass, it’s nothing like what you have been through and I feel like such an asshole.” 

I gave her a hug, told her she was not an asshole (my goal is really NOT to make people feel like a-holes) and we picked  out the green apple Jelly Belly’s together. 

But that moment for both of us, that moment of recognition, was so very important. 

I’m not sure how it works. I know my friends….my Moms and not Moms who have stuck by me through this crazy grievous process, who have asked the hard questions and stuck around for the hard answers….are worth their weight in gold. 

And Mommy Blogs? I am banned from Mommy Blogs, perhaps for every one’s best interest. 

And I think that might be okay. 

Nitty Gritty Dirty Grief

Bye Bye to the Month of July

Adios July…..

Hasta la Vista!

Au Revoir!



July is my emotionally schizophrenic month. Somehow the emotional landmarks of my life all seem to deposit themselves in July. All I can do is hold on, navigate through the bad and absorb the good…absorb it like Vicks Vapor Rub 

Here is my July calendar: 

July 1: We gave birth to, and lost Jack
July 18th: Samantha’s birthday
July 20th-22nd: The Courage Classic
July 25th: The day we lost Samantha

I also have two Non-Profit Conferences in July on the East Coast….just to make things a little fun. 

And it’s hard to separate the good from the bad. The money we have raised from the Courage Classic is amazing. But it has been born from the fact that Samantha had a terminal disease. 

And so we hold on and ride the July ride…..

On July 16th, I started crying to a song called Florida, Georgia Line, otherwise known as Cruise. Here are some of the lyrics: 

“She was sippin’ on a Southern and singin’ Marshall Tucker
We were falling in love in the sweet heart of summer
She hopped right up into the cab of my truck and said,
Fire it up, let’s go get this thing stuck.” 

WHAT is emotional about those lyrics???!!!!

Nothing. But it brought me to tears, blinding tears on the way to work. The lyrics aren’t even GOOD! 

This is emotional roulette we play in July. 

And in between honoring my babies;  friends and family donate, come up to Copper, ride 156 miles in the Colorado Rockies and raise $82,000 in the memory of Samantha. 

$82,000 so far!!!!

MMMYYYYY Goodness!!!! More tears. 

Here I am on the ride

It is a three day tribute to Love. Love for my daughter, support and love for our family…as my dad says in the middle of July, “Thank God for the Courage Classic!” 


Here is a video….little preview of the amazing weekend we had:

I cannot thank our supporters, riders, donors enough. You keep my heart beating in July. 

tum-tum, tum-tum, tum-tum…..hear that? That’s my heart, beating in July.

As July ended, I found myself in DC at a conference. The opening speaker is one of my favorite authors, Cheryl Strayed who wrote Wild. 

Wild is about her path, hiking on the Pacific Coast Trail after her mother died. It is her journey through Grief. Oprah picked it up and started her book club again, starting with Wild.

Here we are bonding- I told her briefly of our story and how her journey spoke to me. 

She signed my book (that I already had but bought another one so she could sign it)….

To Heather

May you always find beauty on the wild journey

………..This is what I know about this month, I know without a drop of doubt. 

July is beautiful. July made me a Mother. July brings my friends and family together in a beautiful celebration. 

July is Wild. 

Life is Wild. 

The best we can do is hold on, enjoy the ride, grasp the ones we love…..tight…..and not let go until it’s kind of uncomfortable and you are wondering who is going to let go first…..and cry to random country western songs. 

July, I kind of miss you….kind of.