Sunday, May 31, 2009


I basically just came to tell you I really have nothing much to say. I'm not really moving forward with my goals but not going backwards, either. Kind of just hanging in there. Working. Keeping up (just!) with the dishes and laundry. Just kind of doing what I do.

But I didn't want you to think I forgot about you. I think I'll come back in a few days and do some book reviews. How about that?

And I booked our hotel to go to the conference for Bereaved Parents of the USA in NYC in July. Anyone going?

Hope you all are doing ok ;0)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Send a Card, Send a Smile

I'm warning you this might sound like an infomercial. Sorry about that. I really have had an amazing weekend and would like to tell you all about it. So bear with me.

I had told you last week I signed up for SendOutCards, which is a service that lets you use your computers to send cards to people in their mailbox. It is cheaper, easier and faster than getting a card at the store, going to the postoffice to get stamps and then I usually forget to mail it in time to get it where it needs to go. So, I knew this card thing could be really good for me.

So I've been playing around this weekend sending cards to a bunch of people. And you know what? It is pretty fun to send cards. Such a simple thing. I like to think about how they will feel to get something in their mailbox that isn't a bill. I like browsing all the beautiful, funny cards. I like thinking about something that isn't about ME and instead try to do something for someone else.

I sent about 25 cards this weekend. And I have noticed I am happier. Is that a direct relation? I don't know. I think so.

I do think that if you send positive energy out into the world, positive energy comes back to you.

If you want to give it a try, click here. Just send a few free cards. No strings- seriously. I just want you to feel this little happy buzz I've got going.

Also, the more I learn about this company the more I like it. It was started by a guy who had ignored a prompting to go over and give his brother a hug. Later his brother died in an accident. It is all about allowing people to easily act on their promptings.

I have tried to do this over the weekend. If someone pops into my head I think that is a message to me to send them a card with a few words to let them know I'm thinking about them. To let them know they matter to me.

Reach out to someone today- tell them you love them, tell them they are important.

And if you'd like to get a card, email me your snail mail address at nickwilberg @ hotmail. I'd love to send you one. You guys are important to me too. I hope today is gentle for you.


Monday, May 25, 2009

A Day to Remember

A moment of quiet to remember those who have served our country by giving everything so that we may have freedom. Thank you.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

You Will Smile Again

Pain- has an Element of Blank-
It cannot recollect
When it began- or if there were
A time when it was not-
-Emily Dickinson

I know I found this true for me. I was grieving so hard and in so much pain that it was hard to remember that there was ever a time when I had been happy. Or to ever imagine that there might be a time when I might possibly be happy again.

And that makes it even more obnoxious and offensive when people around you go back to everyday things. Or worse, trivial, trite things.

I often read a message board on a site that is for scrapbooking, but they talk about all kind of things. And I remember there was a post "What color are your toenails painted". With like 6 pages of replies. Really? There exists a world out there where people talk about this stupid kind of thing?

And another post where the woman was upset- FURIOUS really, because her inlaws had said that for this year instead of Christmas gifts they were going to take everyone on a cruise. I remember this post was early in the year- April, May, something like that. And she was already working herself up for a family fight because instead of Christmas gifts she was going to get a free cruise. Because "she was going to be pregnant by then and wouldn't be able to drink or look cute in her bathing suit".

It took every bit of my control to not smack this lady in the head. I know so many women who wish and pray and suffer through all sorts of medical prods, pokes, pinches and examinations in the hope they will be pregnant. It isn't the kind of thing you can really SCHEDULE. And really? To get upset because you are being given a free cruise? This lady needs a dose of reality. Of perspective.

Perspective is one gift Gabriel gave to me, I think. I use to get so upset and frustrated by small stuff. And now, when I can, I really try to take a step back and think "If this is the worst thing that happens to me today it is really a pretty good day" I'm not always successful with this, but I really try.

I'm so sorry that some of us here are still in the place where it is impossible to think things will ever be 'good' again. They will. You will smile again. It definitely takes time. Hang in there.


Monday, May 18, 2009

A new project! Need your help!

You know how you have ideas floating around in your head, maybe two or three things and then all of a sudden there is a connection and you just say, "Well, duh! Why didn't I think of that before?"

This is kind of like that.

But it is only half baked. I was going to wait until I was good and ready to go, but I'm guessing you all will have some ideas for me and maybe point out a few things I haven't yet thought of.

Here we go. I'll share my crazy thought process.

It kind of started with Kara's March Compassion Challenge and the idea that I carried through the last few weeks or so as I was having a hard time anticipating Gabriel's anniversary and Mother's Day. The idea that when I'm feeling bad I need to reach out and do something nice for someone else.

Then, I had thought to send Mother's Day cards out to anyone who wanted one. If you were one of the recipients you will see I'm not so much a crafty hand-makery kind of card person.

Someone was talking to me this week about a site that is kind of like netflixs but for greeting cards. You can use your computer to find what card you want, click and send it to someone in their mailbox. Snail mail, not an electronic greeting card. For as little as $25 you can get 10 cards that includes postage, so it is less expensive than buying the cards in the store. I found out you can have it send you reminders when special dates are coming up, which was the clincher for me because I am always thinking I'd like to send moms cards on their baby's anniversary dates but I am terrible about remembering them. (click here to find out more info, but I'll get back to this in a bit)

Then I signed up to be a Spirit Jumper- the button is on the side of my blog. I get addresses for people fighting cancer who need some well wishes and I can send a card or small gift. It cheers them up and feels good for me to do something for someone else.

But just a few minutes ago I had a 'zing!' kind of moment where I thought we need a list like this but for bereaved mom's missing their babies. Where we can send a card or small gift to someone who is having a hard time and let them know they are not alone in this.

What do you think? What should we call it? My first thought was 'send a smile' or 'sending smiles' or something like this but I'd like to hear your ideas.

Now, back to the 'sending a card with your email' thing. The more I look at this system the better I like it. You can upload your own photos to the front of the cards. You can use it to track and send cards easily and more inexpensively than store bought cards. And the BEST THING YET is we can make our own cards SPECIFICALLY for moms missing their babies.

Did anyone else have a hard time with the fact that I didn't really want a "Happy Mother's Day" card but not quite yet either a "Thinking of you on Mother's Day". Something kind of inbetween.

And you go to Hallmark and there are "Sympathy" cards and "Thinking of You" cards and "Sorry for your loss" cards and "Sorry for the loss of your pet" cards but NOTHING for "Sorry you are missing your sweet baby". Nothing that says "Congratulations on the birth of your beautiful child- I'm so sorry s/he is not with you".

Anyway, that is what my brain has been churning with and I'm working on putting it all together. Any comments? Suggestions? Ideas for names?

If anyone wants to try out the card sending system I can set up a gift account so you can send a few cards for free to give it a try. Just shoot me an email at OR click the link and then click on the banner that says 'send a free card' and it will walk you through it.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Anniversary Dates

I know some of you are very early in your journey, and I'm so sorry you have had to start down this path at all. I wish I could help make it easier. Some others of us are a little further along and have experienced anniversary dates. They are tough. I just had Gabriel's 7th anniversary on Sunday. And yes, it sucked.

I kept giving myself advice. Do you ever do that? Hear little voices in your head telling you what to do? I think: "If someone had posted this question on a message board, what advice would I give them?" Because I am so chock full of advice when it comes to message boards. Ask me anything about parenting, health, school situations or life and I'm glad to tell you what to do. But when it comes to actually doing it myself or giving myself that same advice that it gets tougher.


I kept giving myself advice I might tell someone else about surviving an anniversary date. Here are some of my little gems:

The days or weeks leading up to the date are harder than the day itself. This is usually true for me. Sunday was pretty ok until I hit about 1:00 and then I just crashed. I ended up in my backyard hammock for 3 solid hours just sleeping and watching the birds fly around down in the swampy area behind my house

Don't make a lot of plans until you see how you feel that day. Give yourself permission to stay in bed or in the house if you don't feel like going out. Yes, yes, I did this. But also I knew that I wanted to go to the cemetary and have cookies with my family and let a balloon go, so I had to force myself out of the house at some point. I usually make my husband take the day off of work, but he didn't need to do that this year because it was Sunday.

Do a random act of kindness for someone else in memory of your child. I had done this throughout the month of May. Whenever I started feeling kind of sad or freaked out I did something for someone else

Make some kind of tangible memento to put in Gabriel's scrapbook In the past this has included taking a photo of the sky on Gabriel's day and also writing a letter to him. I try to do a scrapbook page each year to continue to add to his scrapbook

I'd love to hear what you have done on anniversary dates. Thanks so much for sharing with us what helps.


Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

I wanted to let you know I am thinking about you all this Mother's Day. It seems wrong to say "Happy" Mother's Day, but you loved and do love your babies as much as any mom and I hope Sunday is a special day. I'm so sorry your babies are not with you.

For me, I can't believe it is 7 years since Gabriel was stillborn. I'm not sure what the plan is for Sunday. I am reserving the right to stay in bed if that is what I need to do. Often we go for a hike on Gabriel's day. In the evening we go to a nearby church cemetary (even though Gabriel is cremated, he is not there) and have a family ceremony where we talk, eat cupcakes and let a balloon go.

I hope it is a gentle, peaceful day for all us moms. This week has been terrible. I keep telling myself what I tell other moms- the weeks or days leading up to an anniversary date are often harder than the day itself. I hope this is actually true.


Friday, May 8, 2009

Aloha Remembered

You may know I have taken down my sand-site-that-shall-not-be-named but you may not know we are still taking photos of our babies names in the sand.

Check out our new site Aloha Remembered

My sister lives on the windward shore of Hawaii- there is a beach there designated as a 'quiet place of rememberance' and she will take photos of our babies names. I will post your baby's photo on our site, and you can choose to either receive the high res image by email or an 8x10 by snail mail.

We have decided to start charging for this project, so we are able to donate from the profits. Some places we have donated so far include March of Dimes, SHARE and my hospital's bereavement committee.

I picked the name "Aloha Remembered" because the photos are taken in Hawaii and the word Aloha means both hello, and goodbye. Actually, it means quite a bit more than that, including peace, love, compassion. So fitting. All these things I said and felt to my baby as I said both hello, goodbye, and 'I love you' to Gabriel all at once. 7 years ago this Sunday

If you have a button on your blog from my other site, THANK YOU. But be aware that site is no longer active. I'm working on a button for our new Aloha Remembered site and hope to have it up soon.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Under the Tree

How long has it been since you lost your child/ren? Has your grief changed at all? Is your life becoming any easier or is it just harder as time passes?

Sunday will be 7 years. Unreal. Life has become easier, except for a month or so around Gabriel's due date.

How do you feel when you see pregnant women when you are out and about?

Like I want to run up and tell them to enjoy every second of their pregnancy- don't take it for granted because sometimes it is over all too soon.

What's your therapy in the aftermath of losing your child/ren? Do you go to counseling? Do you do artwork or some kind of exercise or do you simply just let yourself be? What helps you?

I do not really do artwork and have never gone to counseling. I spend time at SHARE message boards and writing my blog as an online journal.