Interested in a cure for seizures? Here's where you can immediately help.

Feel free to share any of these posts. There are no copyrights on any of them, they are for anyone, anyplace, anytime for whatever reason. All of my love, from a man who just simply misses his son, and believes in the decency of people around the world,

**To reach the author of this blog Mike, the best email account is a silly one, but goes right to my phone. Technology is so cool. Its Thank you for reading this blog, and its been such a good project, in that it has helped others and me as well. May you all live life to the fullest, we have no idea when it shall be our last "dance."

With much love, I am proud of the Angelman Syndrome Foundation. If you can help them, and families with this condition, please consider donating to them at They are on Charity Navigator, and have done a phenomenal job over the years, on the awareness and research side.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Death of a Child: Three Years And Out

It has been a little over three years since my son Tommy passed away, on that terrible night of November 4th 2009. That date has been seared into my consciousness, and will remain so until its my time to depart this world.  I don't know when that is of course, but until that very moment, I believe it is important to be more open about death. Death. A five letter word. Something that is uncomfortable for all of us. I used to be scared of it. While I am a fatalist in many regards, you won't see me jumping out of a plane, without a parachute strapped to my back, along with numerous tranquilizers before making that leap. In many western societies, speaking about death is taboo, as if we live forever. Yet that is not the case, and the importance of embracing life, and living it to the fullest is no cliche. Rather its a mindset, and one that I've gained in growth with, even after going through a parent's worst nightmare.

Everyone handles a tragedy differently, and there's no right or wrong way, provided that you don't cause physical harm to yourself or others. If you are suicidal, by all means, call an established hot line to get help. This is a common occurrence after the loss of a child, and I want to tell you that life is so very valuable. You will not get over your child's passing. Ever. Yet you can get through it. After Tommy passed away, my reaction was one of primarily anger. How could my son be dead? What did an innocent five year old do, when I've been nothing short of imperfections throughout my whole life. My anger grew into pure rage, as I often lashed out at people, and would be so rude to folks that truly didn't deserve it. I am sorry that I acted in such a manner, and it is me, myself, and I that are completely responsible for that.

What have I learned from my son's death? A lot. More than I ever knew. I'm still learning, and look forward to each day with renewed gusto, along with more appreciation for the simple things in life. That adage of "looking at the flowers bloom, or watching the tree leaves change colors," is not a joke anymore that I scoff at. Rather I just take it all in, whether out in the woods, or fishing at the river. I laugh a lot more than I ever have, and truly just "enjoy the moment." A recent day in the woods was proof of this. Years ago, I was so hellbent on being competitive in everything. I came up empty with deer, but yet just admired sitting in that blind, the sunset, and sitting in the dark, eerie woods until I was picked up from my location. Before I would have been bitter, yet I left happy as a clam, knowing that I just had a special day that I still treasure as these words are typed.

Do I still have bad days? Yes. Often I cry, and that's okay. I fully recommend it, and to you guys who say that you don't, that's fine but I know you do behind closed doors. Its more than healthy, and will help you clear your thoughts, and go through the stages of grief. These include as Dr. Elizabeth Kubler Ross so perfectly laid out, "anger, sadness, denial, bargaining, and acceptance." They don't have to be in that order, but they are all there when you lose a child. These days I no longer have to force myself out of bed, but those days when I did, they got better. Do I have flashbacks? Yes. Terrible ones that have left me shaken to the core. When you go through the loss of your boy or girl, there is going to be collateral damage, as its a trauma that no one should ever have to go through.

Yet I have learned to live with it. I accept that my son Tommy is gone, and while I know in my heart of hearts one day that we shall be reunited, I must continue to go on. It is my responsibility to be a father, husband, and just a simple guy who does what can be possible. During my period of rage, I thought that I could do anything, and it was beyond psychotic. It was my way of "bargaining", and while I will not give up on finding ways to fund epilepsy awareness or to generate funds for that cure, at the end of the day I cannot wear myself out physically, mentally, and emotionally. That was done, and the fallout from it, was a painful experience that I would not like to replicate. At the beginning of every sunrise, until that sun sets, I am only capable of so much.

There are a lot of families going through this Christmas season, with that empty chair at their table. My heart is with you, as are my prayers. I hope maybe this helps one of you, at least understand the peeling of the onion that has to be done, and perhaps a person out there will realize they have so much to live for. Life is truly great. It is a treasure bestowed upon us each and everyday, and while there are good and bad days, all of them have lessons for us. I'm not going to tell people how they should handle the trauma of losing a child, because each of us are unique individuals, but I do believe in the honest approach. It sucks, it hurts so bad, but yet you must carry on. Whatever means it takes, to get you back in your bootstraps, I won't judge you, and nor will anyone else who's been down this road. You will find out who your true friends are, and there might be some lost along the way. That is fine, as each person has to make that decision, when the time of tragedy strikes, and deal with it in their own manner.

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