Monday, April 9, 2012

Are you sure the world isn't over?

This past Friday was the 3rd anniversary of the day my kids were killed in a car accident. Three years. THREE YEARS!!! I still don't get it.

In some ways it feels like yesterday. In some ways it feels like it was 300 years ago. It doesn't really matter. I still don't get it.

I started this blog so I could let people know how I was doing. There were and are so many people who care and who worry and I wanted to let them know where I was in my grief so maybe they wouldn't have to worry so much. I also wanted to have a place where I could share my feelings and thoughts so I could get them out of my head and not feel so alone. For a while blogging really helped. I just had no way of knowing that life after the death of my kids would be this difficult.

I chose the name "Callapitter" because I loved the idea of the callapitter turning into the butterfly just when she thought the world was over (and of course I also loved the way Peter said "callapitter"). I knew things were bad and that losing my kids was some sort of horrible awfulness that cannot even be imagined, but somewhere in my soul I thought that things would get better. I thought that, initially, this blog would be a place to release the dark and disturbing experiences of grief, but eventually I would have more positive things to share.

Here I am, THREE YEARS LATER, and I'm still convinced the world is over.

It is so hard for me to share this with you. I'm not the type of person to complain endlessly or be negative all the time. I try, I REALLY TRY, to find the bright side in even the worst situation. But at this point I can't. There is no bright side. My kids are dead. The end.

Here's the real reason I haven't blogged in forever: I can't stand to be this negative. I feel like a big fat jerk for complaining when I have so much. Some people have nothing. I am not one of those people. Therefore I am a jerk.

But here's the thing: I am trying so hard to move forward and turn my life around after this truly devastating loss, but it's not fucking working!!!!

Let me cut through the crap and be specific. Many of you have inquired, hinted or suggested that maybe I should have more kids. Maybe that would help. I agree with you 100%.

I am a mom. I have always wanted to be a mom. When I was 13 and all my friends were saying they wanted to be teachers and doctors and marine biologists (because for some reason everyone wanted to be a marine biologist in the 80s), I said I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. My high school teachers teased me because I was going to spend a shit-ton of money going to college when I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. I can't help it. It's who I am.

Problem is, at this point, I'm a "childless mom". That term is all wrong. That's all I have to say about that.

So 18 months ago, as you know, I got married to a wonderful, amazing man who I love very much. I thought, "This is a new beginning. We're gonna have kids. I can be a mom again."

Now don't get me wrong. I know in my heart of hearts that having more kids is not going to take away the pain of losing Kate and Peter. I can't replace them and I will miss them with every ounce of my being until I someday see them again.

I do believe, however, that having more kids could add joy to my life which might help balance out the pain and sadness. I also think Ken and I could be pretty good parents and maybe have some kind of nice, happy family. Trouble is, it's just not happening.

I realize that 18 months isn't really that long when you're talking about trying to get pregnant. I also realize that I'm getting old. I'm not older-than-dirt old, but I'm old enough. I'm old enough that doctors say wonderfully sensitive things to me like, "at your age, you can't afford to wait a year before considering your options. You just don't have that much time left." Or, "we have to look at your ovaries to see how many eggs are left in your egg reserve. At your age, you may not have enough eggs left to actually get pregnant". Gee thanks, I appreciate that. Assholes.

So 18 months in I have spent many hours in doctors' offices having every test imaginable. The tests show nothing. I have something called "unexplained infertility". Like I couldn't have figured that out myself.

I mean, I guess it's good they haven't found anything wrong, but the recommendations are the same as they would be if they had found something wrong: extremely expensive, hormonally charged, crazy-inducing fertility treatments that are rarely successful. Sign me up!!!

I apologize for the extremely sarcastic tone of this post. I'm angry. Very, very angry. For once, I want something to be easy. Really, I just want my kids back, but that's not going to happen. Did I mention I was angry?

Ken and I are at the point now where we are considering our options. All of them. We are fortunate, we have options. I know that.

I also know it's not a hopeless situation, but I feel hopeless a lot of the time because I'm so damn sad. I miss them so much. SO MUCH!!!

I do hope to someday blog again more regularly, but I won't do it if I don't have anything good to say. For now just know that I am still swimming and I'm still trying to find my kids, wherever they may be. I occasionally still have moments where I feel them around me or I get what I consider to be a sign or an "after death communication". To end this horribly negative post on a more positive note, I will share my most recent experience.

Ken and I recently spent some time in Australia and New Zealand with my brother (who lives in Australia). We did a lot of hiking in New Zealand, which may quite possibly be one of the most beautiful places on Earth. One day we were hiking in the Southern Alps near Mt. Cook when I looked to the side of the trail and saw this:

Yes, it is a heart made of rocks with the letters K and P in it. No, I did not put the rocks there and no, it is not photoshopped. I swear. I can't explain it. I can only say that on my worst days, it's things like this that give me a little bit of hope. So thank you, Kate and Peter.


  1. You don't know me from a hole in the wall, but as painful as it is for you, I am happy to carry whatever part of your load you can pour out onto my shoulders. I'm sure everyone who reads this feels the same.

    You are a parent without a child - maybe your path needs to lead you to a child without a parent so that you can both become what you need to be. Please don't for a second feel I'm telling you what to do, that's not my place, and it's certainly not my intention. My children made me who I was supposed to be - their mom. Without them, I don't think I'd have the grace you do, and I know I'd feel incomplete.

  2. I'm glad to hear from you again. For what it's worth - I had trouble in my mid - late thirties getting pregnant in a new marriage (I already had a preschooler / grade schooler from a previous relationship) - then.. had three in a row at 39, 40 and 42. My Mom was infertile for almost ten years (which is why I'm adopted) - then three pregnancies in her mid 30s'. I can't explain it - I don't know what will happen - I just want you to relax and enjoy your new marriage and your new husband. You are a born mother, aren't you?

    I can't believe it has been three years either. The pain does not go away - does it? Just changes. I do think you'll find some peace, and I so enjoy your stories of ... well.. inspiration - the rocks this time - songs and little signs in the past. As you know, I believe it all - I feel so deeply those I've lost at times - and, other times, we are definitely alone, ya know?

    Thinking of your Kate and Peter - lit candles for them a few days ago - will remember them all week in little ways (and I only met them through you these last few years). You know I won't be the only one.

    Take care and I hope you have more good days than bad as you keep swimming. You are, btw, the least negative person I can think of right now!!!

  3. From another person who had unexplained infertility in her late 30s, I'm here to tell you not to give up. You will find a way. IVF worked both times for me & my husband (in his 40s). That may not be your path, but I tell you this only as someone who survived the craptastic road of infertility and came out okay.

    I think of you & your kids often. It is really good to hear from you. Love the picture of K+P - apparently they are thinking of you very often and making sure you know it! Keep on swimming!

  4. I wish I had some magic words to say that would make anything even a little bit better. I think it is very normal for you to be angry. I once heard it said that a child who loses his parents is called an orphan. But a parent who has lost her children - it is so tragic that there is no word for it.

    I am glad to see you writing here again, even if it's sporadic. Any small way that we can help you. I am definitely still praying for you, and I think of you often. I love the rocks, and I'm so glad that your kids made sure that you saw them.

  5. That picture brought tears to my eyes and I don't know you at all. Commenting bc I am also an "unexplained infertility" mom. First time IVF worked and now I have wonderful twin 3 yr olds. The testing and the drugs are awful...but I don't remember them much now. Your body already knows how to do just needs to be reminded ;-)

  6. So good to hear from you again - you do have lots of people praying for you & Peter & Kate. I love that you are so honest & I love the picture. Sending you good wishes that you will get some good news soon.

  7. You don't know me either, but I've followed your blog and have often wondered how you are doing. I just want to say that I don't think you should have to qualify anything in this blog -- it's your blog, your experience. If you feel negative, that's ok. Shit, it's understandable. The people who are reading this blog are not thinking "Boy can't she get over this already?" Be true to your own experience. I continue to think of and pray for you.

  8. So good to hear from you. I loved the picture of the rocks-- such a beautiful sign. I think of you often and continue to wish you peace and happiness. I just visited Disney and when I saw the things from the movie "Cars" I instantly thought of Peter and how we used to watch that movie many times (along with Nanny McPhee!) when I would babysit. The memory made me smile... Take care and keep swimming.

  9. I check regularly to see if you've returned to your blog so was very happy to see (through Ginny at That's Church) that you've posted again. You've given me - and so many others, I'm sure - a very valuable gift through your loss. To better appreciate what we have in our children TODAY because you never know what tomorrow may bring. ~ I too had unexplained infertility and after 5 years finally decided all we were doing (IUI, IVF after IVF) wasn't working and used a donor egg. At 40 years old I had my daughter. We think she's a miracle and feel so blessed every single day to have her in our lives. Never give up on your miracle - regardless of what road you take. I will pray that you're able to find some peace. It seems certain that would be your precious Kate & Peter's greatest wish for their strong and lovely mom.

  10. About the rocks- Oh wow! Did you want to spend the whole day there or what!?!?!? I would have never wanted to leave. The other day someone, who didn't know her, called me Kathy (my mom's name). I have never wanted to kiss a perfect stranger until then, I can't imagine how that must have taken your breath away!
    About the grief- Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. In my own sucky grief experience, I have come to realize that there's just not gonna be a day that I wake up and say, "Gee, that was really bad, but now I look back and I'm all better!" Not to be a total downer to you. Instead it's like I always wear a necklace. It used to be a noose, now it's just a necklace and on most days I get the thing caught on something and it pulls, I loose my breath and I want to scream at what ever pulled it and made it hurt. It's always there, it's even beautiful in some weird way and it is really valuable to me. I wear it with pride because I loved her so much. Some people want me to take it off, but I will never take it off. It's part of me now, almost like a tattoo, but it's bulky and doesn't alway work well with other things I want to wear... It's been with me so long now that I can't remember what I looked like before it was placed around my neck. I'm even stronger because of the weight of it. The only thing I would trade my necklace for is to have her back, but I know that's not happening in this life, so I wear it.
    I know it isn't the perfect analogy, but sometimes I think about it that way. You don't have to take your grief off for anyone. It's you process, you have to do it your way. I admire your courage! Even though I don't know you and never knew Kate and Peter, I think of your story often and keep you in my prayers. I will be remembering your desire to have another child in my prayers as well.

  11. I check in regularly just to see if you have posted how you have been....I cannot imagine the pain you heart truly does ache for you....and I hope your journey to have children is successful! Please stay strong and try to keep your head up!

  12. I have tears running down my face.... I just can't even begin to fathom what your life has been like since your children died. What I know is that you are so amazing and strong despite how horrible you feel. I also suffer unexplained infertility. I have been through a round of iui and while I responded well, it didn't work. Now my husband and I aren't financially able to get more treatments st this time, and I continue to not get pregnant. I lost a baby three years ago to miscarriage at three months. In no way does my loss compare to yours, but it is something I will never just get over. I guess we shouldn't ever get over that.

    I send my prayers that you are blessed very soon. I know Kate and Peter are watching you closely, tucked right under your heart, literally the breath in your lungs. I just know in my heart they are waiting patiently for you, and want the best for you.

    Hugs and prayers

  13. Amy: You have every right to complain and be negative. Pretty much the worst thing that could happen happened to you. If you need to vent here, you should. But know that many of us will be here to support you even if you don't come here often.

    I will continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers, particularly that you and Ken will be blessed with a child/children soon.

  14. The picture of the rocks is amazing. I hope you continue to get these signs that your precious children are watching over you.
    With love from a mother without a son.

  15. God, how many of us infertiles are there out there? Seems like we're everywhere. I am praying for you to have a baby (me too!). One of the things that helps me ovulate is when I am eating really low carb. Maybe something to try? Can't hurt for a couple of months.

    God bless you, and your sweet children. All of them.

  16. It' a sign. Don't give up... Or maybe, give up. But realize that in giving up, you are making room for something else that is possible. To be honest, I give up all of the time. It happens. It's just life. Forgive yourself and try to move on. We are all just dust in the wind & I firmly believe that your kids would have wanted you to find some sort of happiness. Whatever form it may take.

    Peace from Caliifornia.

  17. Amy - I read your blog last week and wanted to reply, but couldn't find the words. Partly because the anniversary of Catherine's death is exactly one week after Kate and Peter's, and that seems to immobilise me, and partly because I was just so distressed for you. I am one of those people who was gently (ok, brashly, I don't do subtle well) saying that you should consider more children - and that you have been trying and struggling to conceive is completely unfair. I know it doesn't work like this - but it feels like we have already dealt with so much, some how we shouldn't have any more bad stuff to deal with.

    I am devastated for you. No wonder it feels like the world is really over. It is hard to explain what it is like to other people to be "unmothered" - to go from having children dependent on you, to suddenly having none. Catherine was my whole world - my life was structured around her - and then suddenly everything that anchored my existence was gone - just out of the blue - totally unexpectedly. I so get what has happened to you. We buried Catherine the day after my 40th birthday. I knew I couldn't depend on getting pg again, and I was frantic to conceive, and then terrified to miscarry.

    The six months of trying (with an early miscarriage) and the first 3 of the pg were the worse of my life - the grief is terrible to carry, I think, because whilst other children don't mitigate the pain of the child(ren) you have lost, they do provide an alternative joyful focus. Being a childless mother was so hard.

    I conceived Catherine very easily - the first month we tried - so the difficulty getting pregnant felt like a punishment - a terrible, uncalled for burden. The unfairness was over-whelming - I was bearing my grief - I was being positive - I was trying to pull my life back together. Why couldn't I just get pregnant? Surely God/the Universe/the Giant Scorecard in the Sky owed me that? I felt so depleted - like I didn't have the strenght to deal with this too - but I did.

    I don't know if you feel like that at all - but I wanted to share, in case you do - and you feel like you're going a bit crazy.

    The things that helped me through were finding others in the same situation. I wrote a blog post about the on-line support I got from other 40 year olds trying to conceive. I also got great strenght from 2 other bereaved mums, one less pg than me, one, who was pg when I started, who had both lost only children and then struggled to get pregnant again. We all have babies now. One friend had lost her IVF baby to meningitis, and like me was in her 40s when she started IVF to conceive her second child. I don't want to do the - other people are worse off than you lark - because our lives are certainly bad enough - but it helped me to know that it was possible to keep going in the most difficult of circumstances. It is possible to keep hopeful however hard it is. I think it also helped me to know that I wanted to be a mother again - and that whatever I needed to do (medical intervention wise) to make that happen, I would do. It sort of took away the hassle of making any decisions.

    I hope you have some good support. I am always here - on facebook or the phone - if you ever want to chat. All you have to do, in the face of the most terrible loss, is to keep going - one foot in front of the other and NEVER give up. But that was always the case anyway.

    The world isn't over - it has just stopped turning for a little while. Sending you much love, with precious thoughts of Kate and Peter. X x

  18. I'm so happy you found the heart with K + P in New Zealand. Those messages, I'm certain, are real.

    I keep trying to think of something encouraging to write here, but I have nothing. I'll be thinking of you and hoping your world starts to turn again very soon.

  19. Sorry things are still so tough and rough, my friend. Thanks for sharing. I don't think you need to worry so much about being negative. You're being honest, and that's pretty important. Hugs.

  20. It never fails that right around the time I think to check in to see how you are doing, you have just recently posted.

    Damn girl, you got tons of reasons to be negative and miserable and pissed! screw anyone who doesn't understand that.

    I TOTALLY believe that Katie and Peter are communicating with you. They know when you need it. Even though you can't "find" them and don't always "feel" them, they are with you and they are watching you and they want you to be successful. in everything.

    I know this statement is going to sound cliche' and is not necessarily what you want to hear, but I think "everything happens for a reason". If you are meant to have another child, you will. Obviously there's nothing physically wrong; you CAN have a baby, it's just not meant to be right now. Maybe it's God's way, or the Universe, telling you that YOU aren't in control of this, you have to let it go and let it happen as it's meant to...
    I feel incredibly crass in saying these things because if I were in your shoes, I'd be ticked off and ready to say "F YOU UNIVERSE". Because you probaly feel like you already Have NO CONTROL; otherwise, you'd still have your kids. I hope I have not offended you. I just believe that we are all here to learn lessons and grow and evolve and we choose the life circumstances that we have to live. No one thinks "Yeah, I CHOSE this crap to happen to me" but I do believe we do. who knows why, we just do. There is a reason for everything (I'm full of the cliche today aren't I?) we just don't always know what they are. No comfort I bet. sorry. I'm not much help at all Am I?
    I think about you all the time. I wonder how you are and I mentally send you love and healing thoughts. I'm so happy you found Ken and you have someone to share your life. Please continue to write, even if it's negative. It helps with the healing, it helps other people who have gone through what you are going through and it helps those of us who love you to know you are doing alright. Take care and know you are loved, even by those of us you don't know or barely know. People you have never met are touched by you and that is so important.

  21. I'm glad to hear from you. I think of you often.

    I don't mean to dismiss your trouble with getting pregnant, but I'm just certain that your child will come to you when it is time. Hang in there. :) (keep on swimming).

    I think that rock message is amazing!

    greetings from Mexico

  22. Thinking of you today. I can't pretend to know even an ounce of the difficulty of how hard days like today are for you, but I just wanted you to know you are in my thoughts and prayers.

  23. thinking of you and praying for you today.

  24. thinking of you, praying for you. wishing you every blessing.

  25. That last heart photo made me cry. So amazing. Even if it's just coincidental.

    You're allowed to feel this way, for the record. You're allowed to be pissed off. I'd be pissed off. I'd be so sad, angry, and every other negative adjective.

    Hang in there just a little longer.

  26. It's ok to be pissed and sad and angry at everything and long as you keep letting it out and don't let it build up and fester. Blogging is a great way to vent and let it all out. Don't stop because you're tired of being negative here. This is YOUR space. You can write anything you want. No one is forced to read it!

    I don't know how old you are, but I got a surprise pregnancy when I was 38, and actually had my son when I was hang in there! It is great that you guys are also open to different options. You'll have another child one day - no doubt :)

    And those rocks in NZ?...I don't really believe in coincidence. They were there for a reason. What an amazing thing to see. I can only imagine how your heart must have done a little leap when you saw them!

    Be blessed and keep hanging on!

  27. Thinking about you as we head into another holiday season. I know you will always miss your babies but I hope you have some things to be thankful for this year. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  28. My twin brother was killed in a car accident 6 days after this post. I just woke up at 6:30 am to feed my cat, somehow ended up finding this blog after reading about hair growth.. And stayed awake for an hour reading it. My favorite posts are the ones where you hear Kate & Peter. I have similar stories and would love to share them sometime. I'm headed back to sleep but felt I needed to write a comment back first. Your posts certainly feel cathartic to read and I hope me telling you that will give you some catharsis in return. I'm going to check out the book you mentioned, Love Never Dies. I hold similar beliefs as you about reality so hopefully I too will find it therapeutic. I know this post is from 7 months ago, but if you're still trying, I wanted to mention that Acupuncture for infertility could help. Best of luck and love to you, Kate, and Peter. And thank you.

  29. I just stopped by hoping to see a recent post. My heart aches for you and I think about you now and then and hope you are finding some peace. Whether you are or not, I would love to hear how you have been these last months. Like anon, above, acupuncture (as well as a donor), helped me and my husband in our quest to have a child. I was 40 when I gave birth to my little girl. In part because of you, I hold her a bit closer, try never to take her for granted, and count my blessings every day.... and for that I thank you. At some point you will be reunited with Kate and Peter. Until then, you deserve happiness and I hope you're able to find it.

  30. Knowing that this week's events touch you in a way that is beyond my comprehension, I am thinking of you now. I wish you peace and comfort and love.

  31. ditto 12/16 comment

  32. Could you be so kind and share a link to other resources concerning this subject of course in case you happen to know some.

  33. thinking of you Amy.....I hope you are ok?
    love,adee xox

  34. Thinking of you and your sweet kiddos - can't believe it's been four years!


  35. Just wanted to say you continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

  36. Was hoping to see you had written more. Hope you are well.