Thursday, October 3, 2013

What About Brian?!?...

This post is not for the faint of heart.  (Which, unfortunately, includes ME at this very moment!)

I started writing on CaringBridge back in early 2008, when Gavin was just months old and very sick in the hospital.  I created the CaringBridge page for the purpose of keeping family and friends in the loop about his health and progress.  I found, quite by accident, that writing was helping me cope with being cooped up in a hospital room with my first born son... pumping day and night with people in and out of the room... missing my husband who would come every night after work and then go home so he could sleep before work again... sharing a room with other patients and their families that would be admitted and discharged, admitted and discharged... and sleeping/eating/sitting/pumping/writing/crying on a metal cot next to his metal crib.  It was not easy - and writing about it helped me get through it.

Then we came home.

Gavin came home needing therapy - practically every day.  He was on a feeding tube.  Oxygen.  He had severe reflux and would cry day and night - night and day.  I continued writing on CaringBridge even though a few people told me I should stop.  That CaringBridge was only for "patients" while they're in the hospital.  (not true) My internal argument was that now I was the patient.  My writing would continue, dammit, no matter what anyone said.  Once again, it was helping me cope.

Then I was pregnant... Brian was born... life was hectic... I was juggling Gavin's many, many needs and an infant... and then a toddler... and then Brian's speech delay... and along the way, infertility and miscarriages and IVF and Darcy's death and therapy and more therapy and trying to keep things "normal" for everyone.  I would write and write and write and, once again, it helped me cope.  I wasn't writing for feedback (although I did receive some excellent tips from other special needs Moms along the way), but I got it anyway.  And sometimes... it was not so nice.  For example, I wrote about my idea of "Love Bombing" - not knowing that it was actually a real "thing."  I had been noticing that Brian, at the time, had been acting up - something that was not normal for him.  He was little and had no way of communicating what was really going on inside of his little mind and heart - so he used his behavior to try to tell us.  I decided he needed a day devoted to him - a Love Bomb Day.  That focusing just on him would show him that he was valued... important... and that we could have fun just the two of us.  Once I instituted random "Love Bomb Days" - his behavior changed.  And I enjoyed those days with Gavin, too.  I got some heat for that on this blog... and in my email.  Comments like, "Gee - I wish someone would take me out for the day and spoil me every time I whine and act up!"  and  "The way you spoil your children is insane." or "You're rewarding negative behavior!"   What is Love Bombing?  It's just time that you are 100% devoted to your child and have fun together.  Where you say "yes" to everything (within reason, obviously).  Ice cream before dinner?  Sure!  Want to play this game for the fortieth time?  I'd love to!  Want me to watch you bounce in a bounce house for an hour?  Sign me up!  I'm pretty sure they had entirely missed the point of "Love Bombing."  Whatever.  I moved on and I'm sure they did, too, to another blog.

So, today was one of those Love Bomb days.  For no reason - it wasn't spurred on by anything.  That's how it usually works around here.  Every so often, for no good reason and spurred on by nothing, the boys would be surprised with a Love Bomb day with Mommy or Daddy.  It is something we all love.  Brian chose to go to his favorite place, "Arnold's Family Fun Center."  This was one of Gavin's favorite places, too!

Brian bounced...
...and jumped...
...we played a TON of video games and carnival like games...
...we did Duckpin Bowling and, when he kicked my butt, we celebrated his big win with a Hershey Kiss.

When he saw the big animal figures near the carousel, a memory was triggered for him.  He said, "Mama - take my picture in the lion's mouth like you did for Gavin!"

So I gladly did.

Then... "Take my picture with the bear for Granny!"

So I did.  Gladly.
We went to Target afterward because they sell these orange "push pops" (filled with orange sherbet) that Brian loves.  And I let him pick out a toy.  We had an awesome afternoon together.

So, when I came home to an email that brought me down from my "Brian high" - it was the one final push that brought down the entire house of cards.  It was the last straw.  My breaking point.

This is what it said... 

< Kate, I'm very concerned about Brian's emotional well being.  All day long you're posting on Facebook and all it is is Gavin.  We hardly would know that you had another son.  Don't you think he'll look back on this time and feel forgotten?  Your readers want to get to know Brian and not just hear about Gavin.  I'm sorry for your loss, but please think of your other son. >

Oh, did this make my blood boil.  Typically I can write things off that don't apply to me or our family... I can chalk things up to people just not knowing the entire story.  But today it pissed me off.  I can't help it - I'm human.  This particular person is not the first to make this kind of comment.  There have been others... little comments under photos of Gavin and emails that were a little more subtle.  And I'm sure, even after this journal entry, they will still arrive.  Yet I will still continue to write tonight - hoping that I can get a message across to all of you.

Please.
Stop.

Here is the deal.  Gavin died.  We were left in shock.  And I was shocked to be pregnant.  And we have Brian, who misses his brother terribly.  But he's also four and grieves WAY differently than an adult.  He's active and busy and talkative.  My days are exhausting.  I have been determined not to complain - at all - about my pregnancy.  Mostly because I truly have nothing to complain about.  But if you're wondering... I have suffered terribly with allergies this entire time.  Constant congestion, feeling like I'm in a fog every day, blowing my nose, clearing my throat and having sinus headaches.  I also have pretty bad (okay, really bad) sciatica which I always get.  And at night?  I have restless leg - another common pregnancy deal for me.  I'm tired - but I can't be.  I'm mothering Brian all day.  I'm dropping him off and picking him up from Pre-School - overjoyed to see him.  I'm playing with him and reading to him and turning on the TV at times for him so I can just... sit.  I lay with him every single night at bedtime after a book (I never laid with him at bedtime until Gavin died) and we talk.  He always wants to talk about Gavin and his feelings.  I treasure this time.  Brian is handling things so well and - quite frankly - we are handling him quite well.  If you are new to the page or to my blog and are one of the ones wondering, "What about Brian?!?" - then I would urge you to read more.  Go back to older posts.  Get to know how we operate as a family.  You'll see how much we dote on Brian - in the past and now.

For a while, Brian and I were going through the photos on the computer to choose to share on Facebook.  He loved it.  Know why?  Because these were HIS memories, too!  Many of the photos and videos I posted had him IN them.  And many of the ones I posted were CHOSEN by him.  He has been loving this walk down memory lane and laughing at his baby pictures and videos.  Especially the ones of him and Gavin together.  So, I was not ignoring Brian to sit on Facebook.  And then I figured out how to schedule posts ahead of time - which is what I do now.  The photos and videos are chosen the night before and I schedule them to automatically post every two hours from 8am to 8pm.

The Facebook Page has become a bit of a memorial page at the moment as I post these memories of Gavin until the end of his life.  It just kind of happened that way.  I still write about Brian on that page - when there's something I want to share that I don't write in my journal entries.  Going through Gavin's life - just because - is important to me.  And knowing that others are learning new tips and tricks that I picked up along the way - things that can help the "Gavins" in their lives - means so much to me.  And I appreciate... SO much... the kind comments and the wonderful support.

Grieving publicly is a choice I have made - but it isn't up for dissection.  If you read my blog posts... or if you knew our family... you would never think that Brian's needs - emotionally or otherwise - were neglected.  And if you think that the amount of photos on my page reflect anything - the amount of attention he gets, favoritism, neglect - than we have other issues to discuss.  As much as you shouldn't look at a photo and assume I'm a good housewife or a fashionista or even an "amazing" anything... don't assume you know the whole story if you DON'T see a photo.

Listen - Gavin is dead.  Once I finish going through these pictures... I won't EVER have any other new ones to share.  You can't begin to imagine how much that wrecks me.  I took photos of the boys nearly every single day.  I really need you to realize the gravity of this for me - when I get to April of 2013 in my photos... it's over.  I will be at the end of Gavin's life.  Just as I've always needed my writing to cope... I need to share his life in this way to cope.  After I reach April 14th, 2013 - the day Gavin died, the day I turned 43 and the day we discovered Hope was in my womb - it will be over.  And then, you will grow tired of seeing way too many photos of Brian and Hope.  And I'll sit back and anticipate the emails that will say... "What about Gavin?"

So, please... 

Brian is great.  
Hope is growing and kicking like crazy.
Ed and I are putting one foot in front of the other.
We are trying our best to honor Gavin in every way while balancing that with parenting Brian and making sure he feels loved and heard and important.

I am grieving out loud - which is not normal, I know.  But this outlet ensures that I can leave it all here and then be "there" for Brian and Ed and Hope.

I hope that helps clear things up.  Thank you for your compassionate understanding and seeing the pain through this long rant.



131 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I agree 150% You go girl and tell it like it is!

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    2. You and your family NEED to grieve and heal in a way that is best for YOUR family, so shame on anyone that criticizes your most intimate thoughts and feelings. Brian seems very well loved and cared for and not neglected in the least. It is so important for his healing that you continue to talk about Gavin and share pictures and his favorite memories of his brother. You are coping the best way that you know how to and nobody can criticize you for that. Stay strong and focused and thank you for sharing your beautiful family with us.

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    3. Amen, amen, amen! You are one awesome Mama--to all of your babies.

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    4. You are an amazing human! I am honored every day to be a part of your family's life! It's been such a gift to love you, Ed, Gavin, Brian & Hope so much, yet never having met you face to face! Thank you, thank you & God bless you!

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    5. Whoever that was hasn't been paying attention. Go ahead and do what you need to do. I see Brian in it all as do most of your readers. No one has a right to criticize or think they know when they haven't been there. God bless you.

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    6. Exactly what I was thinking. YOU.GO.GIRL.!!!!!!!!!

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  2. it is painfully clear you love your children, the ones you hold in your heart and the ones in your arms (and womb). I am so sorry that someone made that statement and more sorry that it hurt your already broken heart. You truly deserve joy and to honor Gavin in all your minutes on this earth. Brian is a huge part of that process I am sure. He too needs to see that just because Gavin is no longer there with him in body that he is his brother forever. You are doing awesome simply by breathing, you experienced something that would suck the life out of most of us.

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  3. I personally think that was rude and inconsiderate. I love reading about both boys on Facebook and your blog. I never would have thought you speak of one more than the other. Thank you for sharing your children with us. I love your memory walk.

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  4. You are a wonderful woman, and shame on anyone who scolds you. I would tell anyone who judged you, to change the web page they are reading and move on.

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  5. Awesome rant. And people who've been following you know there is no question that Brian is adored and loved to bits. I hope you feel better, because I sure do seeing that you are as capable of a good vent as I am :) You're doing amazing with little Brian and I can't wait to see you be just as amazing of a mommy to Hope! Much love. xo

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  6. Good for you :) and as a relatively new reader to your blog - I never thought "what about Brian". Keep it up lady - you are doing a great job.

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  7. This makes me feel terrible for you. I know it is difficult, as I know I too would be sensitive to the comments people make, but you have to delete them and move on. NOBODY should ever criticize the way someone grieves. Your love for Brian is so obvious for anybody who reads this blog regularly and your devotion to his well-being is also crystal-clear. People who think otherwise are undoubtedly people who go through their lives looking for something to criticize, something to complain about. xo from Florida

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  8. Again people prefer to focus on the negative because that is the society we live in.... I ADMIT I have wondered sometimes of the priorities of your life but it is not mine to judge I read on and wait patiently for your answers to my questions, because again I don't judge. I would probably wonder and worry more if I did not see you love, devotion, emotion in you words and pictures. So carry on my friend Gavin would be proud. I wish you peace and love.

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    1. I am new to this beautiful blog and think your comment is unthinkable. It is not up to you to judge or "wonder" about this fantastic mom's priorities. I would take the old sage advice about not saying anything if you can't say something loving.

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  9. Kate, I'm so sorry that people are so rude. I love the posts you have been putting up. There is always lots about Brian and it never crossed my mind that he was being neglected or that you were favoring Gavin. Nobody has the right to tell you how to grieve. The fact you are welcoming us in during this incredibly difficult time is amazing. Thank you for sharing your family and please don't change a thing! Hugs!

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  10. Good for you! Anyone who has read your posts knows how thoughtfully you and Ed are handling Brian's grief and needs. Your blog and your facebook page are for you to express yourself, not for you to meet anyone else's needs. Keep on doing what you knows works.

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  11. Kate, it is your life! Write about anything and everything you CHOOSE. It's your blog. Other people always seem to know what's good for us don't they? I think not. You are a fabulous mom...I look at you as just a mom like all of us who have struggles...yours have been unique to you and hard for you...I just wonder what the motivation is behind the person who sent you this message. I like to think that hurting people hurt people, not just mean evil people. But I like to be optimistic.

    So, kind of mean email sender, what is going on in your life that you think you can make judgments on Kate's? From what I can see and read, her family works just fine...for her family.

    Make yours just as you wish...

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  12. I have chosen not to post before because I felt I couldn't adequately express my feelings on your loss. Please don't let idiots get to you. I started reading after your loss of Gavin and have faithfully read everything you have posted. You love all your children. You know it and so does anyone with half a brain reading your posts. Don't let anyone and I mean anyone make you feel anything but love and support. Excuse my language but the other people can just fuck off and stop reading!

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  13. I have been following your story for months and my heart breaks for you. I have never felt compelled to respond but tonight I say, YOU GO GIRL!!! Don't let anyone tell you how to live your life, love your children or find a way to get up in the morning. I am impressed you are not writing from a dark corner in your bedroom closet. If your crime is to love bomb your beautiful little boy, tell those in judgement to go F.... themselves!!! You and your strength is an inspiration and Brian is beyond lucky to have you for a mom.

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  14. Wow! Amazed at how you managed to write these thoughts in such a loving, compassionate way with a foundation of strength. You and Ed are letting us all take a peek into your family life, and I am so grateful to you guys. May God bless you with continued courage. *Love* Sandra

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  15. Kate - I cannot even believe the audacity of someone who would question your love or loyalty for your children. It is insane. Grieve on, love on. We got your back.

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  16. Kate,
    I think you are doing a beautiful service to Gavin, Brian, Darcy, Hope and many other members of your family. They will have your memories and posts forever. All will be remembered. You can't please everyone and need only be true to yourself. You have my sympathy and empathy as a mother who has survived 10 years after her first born passed away suddenly in an accident. My only wish for you is that you learn to live your life as best you can with your wonderful husband and children. Delete any email that seems negative, or, delete them all. Blessings to you.And, by the way, I love to read about your journey. It comforts me. Thank you.

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  17. Oh, Kate, I am so sorry that people have criticized you. You are doing a marvelous job through all of this. I'm a therapist, and I love your honesty and your ability to label and process and make sure your family is cared for. I can honestly say that your children would/will grow up to be amazing human beings - how could they not? Every child needs to be loved unconditionally, and you and Ed have demonstrated some of the absolutely best parenting skills I have ever witnessed. For the ones who are critical, their issues are their own - they are not your issues. Love bomb away, Kate and Ed! That kind of behavior shows that you love your children and you "get" when they are hurting. Kate, I cannot imagine what you are going through with all the hormonal shifts of pregnancy on top of pain and stuffiness! I'm delighted to see the pictures of Gavin and Brian, and to be able to witness the wonder of your family, and to witness how you are managing grief about losing this wondrous little boy. I have fallen in love with your family over the last six months. I have no concerns whatsoever about the parenting you folks are doing. I only wish the clients I see had had such loving parents/families!

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  18. Normal is overrated. You're grieving in the way that you need to grieve, and you're parenting your child in the way you need to parent. No one has the right to judge.

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  19. I'm not going to lie - I have had thoughts and concerns for Brian at times - almost feeling guilty that I was always reading about Gavin. But you know- it is just how you said- You have chosen to grieve publicly and writing is your outlet. So of course it would be normal to read more about Gavin. By all means just keep doing what you are doing. Our thoughts and opinions are that of outsiders and should not be considered. If we don't like it we can read something else. If this blog helps you get up every day and keep moving forward - then by all means do it :) I enjoy hearing about all your children and thank you for sharing yourself and family with us. Much love.

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  20. I've never posted here, but I think you should know this...

    I'm a 26 year old woman in her second year of marriage with no children. However, I've felt compelled to read your blog since the moment it randomly popped up on my Facebook news feed. Why? I'm not sure. What I do know is that I've told your story to others because I find you to be somewhat of a super hero. I know you've left that title for Gavin, but I think that it had to come from somewhere, like any other personality trait of a little one.

    You're a great mother and although this is a blog that some may see as full of grief and sadness, I've learned so many things. When I'm a mother, one day, I hope that I can be as great as you are. You're honest, caring, and incredibly strong. Keep blogging and "screw 'em" if they don't understand.

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  21. It's YOUR blog. The Judgey McJudgersons can go elsewhere if it's bothering them. Geez.

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  22. Well said Kate! No one should be questioning how you, or anyone grieves and lives on in the face of unbearable loss. I love the memories of Gavin's life and applaud you. You are creating a legacy for Brian and Hope as well, for they too will be able to live and relive these memories in their future; and the love bomb that you unleash is wonderful, what wonderful memories being created for you and Ed and Brian (and Hope in the near future)!

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  23. That is funny. I have never once thought that you may be neglecting Brian in any way based on your posts. I have however considered that I may be neglecting my own children based on your posts ;)

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  24. I have often admired your ability to keep mothering Brian and growing Hope in the midst of truly unfathomable grief. If I were in your shoes and to have someone criticize that? My blood boils FOR you! Good for you for speaking up.

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    Replies
    1. I'm sure we all have our blood boiling tonight!!! Makes me so "darn" angry! After all your family has been through??? Really??? That person needs help!!!! Grrrrrrrrr.......

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  25. Holy, moly, that made me mad. I've never commented before but, Kate, that you even felt the need to write that explanation to the people that, while perhaps well-meaning, don't and can't understand the precious responsibility you feel to appropriately tend to Brian makes me want to scream. Nice meeting you. Sincerely, Jenny Page

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  26. NOBODY has the right to tell you how to grieve or to pass judgment on how many photos you're sharing of any of your children. NOBODY. You have chosen to share this incredibly personal, extraordinary bittersweet time with thousands of strangers, which, unfortunately, has a dark side. I'm sorry you had to experience that ... all of this, actually. As a reader, I've never felt that I "didn't know" Brian ... and if you didn't want us to "know" Brian, that would be perfectly within your rights. I hope you continue to find comfort and peace and healing in your writing. Continue what you are doing for yourself and ALL of your beautiful children.

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  27. Dearest Kate,
    I am so sorry that you recieved that email. That person is obviously not a follower of your blog because you post about all of your children all the time. I love reading about all of your children so keep the posts coming and don't let negative comments like that get to you. Also, you know what is best for your son. I think the "love bombing" is an excellent idea! Why not have days like that with your kids? They are only with us for so long.
    About your sinuses. I had horrible sinus problems when I was pregnant so I can relate. My doctor told me Claritin was okay to take. I was nervous about taking it because I was a high risk pregnancy. I have found that the Neti pot works wonders for sinuses. I live in one of the most polluted cities in the US and the neti pot helps me a lot. I hope your sinuses clear up soon because that is the last thing you need to deal with. Take care of yourself.

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  28. Kate...do not even give those comments the time of day! The entire world knows what kind of Mother you are to all of your children, past, present, and future, and it is beyond comprehension to me that you could be SOOO wonderful!!!! We cry with you, laugh with you, and applaud with you, and those precious babes! Brian has more than enough love and attention...not than anyone could have to much love, but, he is a very, very, lucky little boy to have you for his Mommy and Ed as his Daddy!!! I'm only anonymous because I don't have any of those accounts...I would love to come face to face with this insensitive and very inappropriate person! They don't know what they are talking about!!! You GO GIRL!!!!

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  29. Until someone walks a mile in your shoes they have no room to judge! You and only you can decide how to grieve the death of your child. Anyone who criticizes is or "worried" should realize they only see a portion of your life and what you choose to share. Shame on anyone else for being so judgmental of another. Hopefully you won't give this a second thought, as you have more precious things to think about in your life, than narrow minded people!

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  30. I don't know why some people love to try to tear down someone else. This is your blog, your family, your children, your life, your grief and your agonizing hurt and loss. You honor us by sharing your whole self turned inside out and grasping for it to not hurt so bad you can hardly breathe. How dare the rude person insult you like that!!! Whoever you are go away, If you don't agree then don't be so nosy reading, go somewhere else. Leave this family and our friends alone.
    We love you, Ed and Brian. We all loved Gavin so much and he changed our lives.

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  31. Wow...wow!! This person will never, never understand your pains! Please continue on sharing your story. If they dont like what they are reading, they can just remove themselves off!
    xoxo from Delaware

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  32. One more thing...when you get to that awful April 2013 day and there are no more pictures of Gavin he will still be your/everyone's superhero and he will still be loved by all. I totally understand the stark reality of the end of the pictures and what that represents, but please know this...Gavin is still a superhero and still loved by all. I am so desperately sorry for your
    loss. Brian is fine. Can't wait for Hope to join him!!

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  33. Kate,

    You don't know me and I don't know you so it seems a bit weird to write to you, but I really felt like I should. I have followed you for a long time. I'm a Monkee and Glennon shared your page on her blog. I am also a special education teacher that works with students that are labeled as having significant disabilities.. I don't like that label though. I think my students are so much more than that label. I'm also a mom, pastor's wife, and believer in Reiki. I thank you for writing about your experiences. It has really helped me as a teacher, mother, and human-being. I pray for you and your family every day. You don't need my words to validate you. I just wanted you to know there are people that thank you and lift you up.

    Blessings,
    Lori

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  34. I hope the pitiful person, becomes so sad and sorry for what she has said and done to you and your family.... Brian is being listened to and being heard... he has been in each step. He is very happy to do for and give to others from his very young heart to bring honor to his brother who he has lost also... Yes we are happy to listen to you as you grieve and yet must face each Day,,, May God Bless you..

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  35. I have had comments like that on my facebook page as well. You know, What about Margaret? But I mother her in the flesh every single day, but the mothering I do of Jack now is through remembering through photos and stories and those are in finite supply, which sucks. Keep doing what you are doing! There is health and healing in that! xoxoxo, Anna aninchofgray.blogspot.com

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  36. Obviously the person who wrote that has never lost a child or they would never judge you. I know from reading your posts that Brian has probably been one of the biggest reasons you have continued to go on and not get swallowed with grief. I also started a blog when I lost my twins, and writing s a great outlet and way to memorialize your son. It helps you remember him and never forget the little things. Brian will TREASURE your blog someday.

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  37. Tricia aka tripletstaxiOctober 3, 2013 at 8:41 PM

    Oh for cripes sake person get a life! Gavin has not even been gone for 6 months yet and she thinks you shouldn't be posting pics and talking about him? If she really read your posts and saw how you had the dept at the hospital help Brian thru it and everything you have posted about Brian and how excited he is about Hope and how much he misses Gavin I don't think she would have been concerned for Brian's emotional health. I am more concerned about parents who after a child dies pretends they had never been a part of the family, that would harm the other kids emotionally. As a fellow special needs parent I have such admiration and respect for you and how you have dealt with all life has sent your way. Please don't let this one email make you feel bad there are thousands of us who think you are doing things wonderfully. As a parent of 3 boys I can't wait to see pictures of precious Hope!

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  38. Kate you are a wonderful mother to all of your children. This is your space to grieve and that should be respected.

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  39. Oooommmmggggg! People will never cease to amaze me. Kate please do not hesitate to use your delete button as often as necessary. People like that do not deserve any space in your head. I am even more sorry that this is not an isolated incident! WE love you and your family Kate, keep on keeping on!

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  40. Oh Kate, I am so sorry that people would do this. Being a bereaved mom I know what it is to have someone say "but what about..." when they think you are dwelling on something sad that makes them uncomfortable. To expect you to not talk about your sweet Gavin is absurd, especially just 6 months after his death. Let me tell these people something...I lost my first 3 children during pregnancy at 19 wks, 24 wks and 10 wks 14, 11 & 7 years ago and I STILL talk about my children on a very regular basis. They are and always will be an intrugal part of my life. Just because someone is uncomfortable doesnt mean I will love or miss them any less nor does it mean that I am a neglectful parent to my living child. Quite the opposite in fact, he is always being loved on, even on my worst days.

    You are right that it isnt common for a parent to grieve out loud. My reason is people like those who have emailed you and commented on your photos. I wouldnt be able to keep my cool as well as you do. I have been inspired by you to let my voice be heard during the month of October (It is Pregnancy and infant/child loss awareness month) by posting something on my Facebook at least every other day.

    There is nothing wrong with the way you are grieving and from the small window you have opened up for us to peer into you are doing a fabulous job mothering. Keep on doing what you are doing because you are helping me to realize that I am not alone in this mothering after a loss thing and I am not crazy for feeling the way I feel.

    Shame on people.

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  41. Kate I enrolled my 4 year old in T-ball BECAUSE of your recent posts about Brian and how cute he is out on the field and how funny the experience is and wonderfully he was progressing with it!! I hope your "rant" makes you feel better--it was the most eloquent vindication I've ever read. I'm just so sorry you had to write it to begin with :-( PLEASE blow this off and get a good night's rest (as much as Hope will allow)--the people who made comments are obviously not paying attention and simply had no business making judgement. Wishing there was a way to give you a big hug <3

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  42. I don't know why some people love to try to tear down someone else. This is your blog, your family, your children, your life, your grief and your agonizing hurt and loss. You honor us by sharing your whole self turned inside out and grasping for it to not hurt so bad you can hardly breathe. How dare the rude person insult you like that!!! Whoever you are go away, If you don't agree then don't be so nosy reading, go somewhere else. Leave this family and our friends alone.
    We love you, Ed and Brian. We all loved Gavin so much and he changed our lives.

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  43. Big hugs. No one has the right to tell another person how to grieve, how to mourn, how to move forward.

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  44. Ignore the negative Kate...we love you and your family and know Brian is grieving and well taken care of. God bless as you grieve your sweet boy Gavin, raise Brian and prepare your lives for Hope

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  45. Wow. I get the opposite reaction when reading your blog--that you try very hard to balance your grieving for your son Gavin, with your loving attention and care for Brian.

    When people say hurtful things to you, it's often not even about you--it's usually something they find lacking in themselves and so they project.

    I know it's difficult, but if what they write is not true (and you know the truth better than anyone), try to ignore the instigators who try to mask their mean digs at you with feigned concern for the welfare of Brian.

    Karen

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  46. I was SO mad when I saw the reply on your fb about it being nice to see you "talk about Brian" what the heck?? The entire birthday trip was pretty much FOR Brian to show him its a day to remember and also celebrate. My goodness most would of sat in a corner and cried I would have but you didn't you don't have that option right night. I'm proud of you for pushing through the pain. who ever makes those comments need to really LOOK at your fb page there is LOTS and LOTS of Brian there... geeze. BTW you DON'T have to take his ENTIRE birthday month to talk about him all day! He is there with you.... You have many more memories to make no reason to stay in the past for a month during his birthday month. Gavin is NOT here.... big difference! There is NO doubt you love Brian madly ... people need to stop the hate! btw I also have a special needs child who also is non verbal. You are a inspiration to me! Love needs no words! I'm only posting anonymously because I cant get this to let me make a id I have no url to link. love. .. Christi.

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  47. Kate, that person was wrong. And I suspect those may not have even been his or her true feelings. In this world there are a lot of trolls, for lack of a better word, who want...NEED attention. And to them, negative attention is just as good as any. And they're so miserable that they take some sort of sick pleasure in tearing down those who are vulnerable. This makes me angry for you! Take heart. I don't know you, but from all evidence I've seen, you're an incredibly loving wife and mother. I love your pictures and stories. You are even helping those of us whose children don't have special needs. You're a beautiful inspiration, in my humble opinion. Let's just pray for the trolls.

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  48. Kate I have been following your journey for months now. I have loved getting to know Gavin and Brian and soon Hope. Certain people are not happy unless they are making others unhappy. For what its worth I think you are a doing an incredible job in untenable circumstances. I am a survivor sibling whose mother did not handle the death of her son with as much grace and fortitude. Nor did she take the moments needed to help her other 3 children through the grief process. My mama heart understands and empathizes with the anguish but my daughter heart is forever broken. What I am trying to say is you have put Brian first in every action you have taken to protect his beautiful spirit. You have done and are doing an amazing job in trying to help Brian through this process. Don't let anyone tell you different

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  49. How disgusting for someone to say that to you. I know being public about your life brings with it more than your fair share of negativity, and you have handled it with an amount of grace that I would NEVER have been capable of. I LOVE reading your blog and the pictures and stories you share are fantastic memories for you, Ed and Brian....not even the nasty naysayers can take that away. Praying for you!

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  50. I'm so sorry someone said that to you. That person obviously doesn't read your blog regularly or they would know better. Big hugs to you and yours... that was a very thoughtless thing to do and you should not have to deal with it - grieving publicly or not. <3

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  51. I admit to being “judge-y”. I watched grieving parents force their children to talk about their lost sibling. I watched them interrupt their children’s play, filled with laughter and giggles, to make their children kiss memorabilia of their dead brother/sister. I listened to them insist that their child retell the story of a frightening dream they had of their lost sibling. I felt so damn bad for those kids. But I never said anything. Just invited them over to dinner and tried, in whatever little way I could, to lighten the load. But yeah, inside, I judged.

    So, with full admission that I have been judge-y of a grieving parent, what kind of idiot would question your love for Brian? Your attention to Brian? Your complete joy in being his parent? They would have to be sight impaired with poor reading skills.

    You have invited so many of us into your life and your grief, but we are guests. Your words should be greeted with kindness and respect. I am sorry that people forget that.

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  52. I'm so very, very sorry that happened today. You keep doing what you need to do, and know that there are so many in the world who support you and pray for you and your sweet family. Your "love bombing" sounds awesome and I think I need to start a new family tradition. ((HUGS))

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  53. Sometimes, you just have to wonder what can cause a person to write things like that. Don't let it get to you. You are a GREAT mom to ALL of your kids.

    And a tip for the allergies and congestion. Use a netti pot. (though I'm not sure that's how you spell it). I like the squeeze type instead of the pour it in your nose type. I find it easier to use. But seriously, it's great. It really helps clear lots of the junk out of your head. Use it a couple times a day and you should start feeling better in a few days.

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  54. Kate, there are always people out there that will choose to judge us no matter what we do. I do not blame you for being so upset. You are a beautiful person, and Mother. Focus on those of us who love reading your story who love seeing your pictures of Gavin and Brian and soon to be Hope. I think you are such a strong, selfless person. You have the right to grieve anyway that you need too. Choose "not to be offended" by those people who judge you they probably didn't have a loving, selfless, caring Momma like you are. Brian looks like a very happy, sweet little boy. You are doing what's best for your family. Keep doing it. All my love.

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  55. Good for you, Kate. I feel like I know your entire family just by reading, especially Brian. That person evidently hasn't been reading from the beginning. Keep the faith, we know you are doing the best you can with your situation and you are inspiring us to be better moms and parents.

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  56. I think you are amazing. I think about you and your children and family a lot in my daily life. You remind me to be more of the mom I mean to be, and enjoy my children for the gifts they are. You remind me to be patient and grateful for all of it. I think you do an amazing job as a mom, and I love that you share so much with us. You are human, you make mistakes, but I don't think anyone paying attention could ever say neglect is one of your mistakes. I think you and your family are a wonderful gift to the world and your children are amazing and motivate so many of us, me definitely, to be a better person and give something beautiful and filled with love to the world. Thank you. I'm sorry some people are so mean.

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  57. I have stayed strong through all your blog post. Holding back tears. Tonight i cry. Im so angry that you even have to write a journal entry like this. It pains me to hear peoples insensitivity. Stay strong kate. We love you

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  58. You did not deserve that woman's judgment. And while I understand posting this in response (isn't blogging GREAT therapy???), you don't owe any of us an explanation. How you (or your family) are grieving is your own business. But since you do choose to share the journey, may I just say that I think you are awe inspiring. Brian is blessed to have you, and Hope is the luckiest girl ever.

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  59. Very well spoken!!!!!

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  60. You are amazing, that even in your grief and justifiable anger, you can respond with clarity and exposition. I don't understand how anyone could write an e-mail like that (or even make the comments about your "Love Bomb" days!), but you responded with an amazing grace. My heart goes out to you for all that you have endured, and rejoices with you for your blessings that remain.

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  61. HI Kate! I have only commented here a time or two. But that comment made my blood boil FOR you. I have not experienced the loss that you have. But I understood right away at least a piece of why you've been walking us through Gavin's life and honoring him- so we can all understand just a little bit better, just a little bit more. I don't think I've ever wondered "What about Brian?" It is so clear that he is loved and cared for and cherished. And your support of his grieving process is evident. You know what they say--haters gonna hate ;) Let them move on to another blog...the rest of us just want to become more mindful and present and that is what I try to take with me every time I read a new post. Sending you hugs and prayers! -Jane in Pa

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  62. Gosh, all I can say is that I am sorry that somebody would even suggest that you are somehow neglecting Brian. I have been reading your blog since Gavin died, and it is clear to me that Brian is a priority for you!

    I guess you can't please everyone - while one person criticizes you for "spoiling" Brian, another criticizes you for "neglecting" him. You have every right for your blood to be boiling - any time a stranger feels the need to be concerned about somebody's family, it almost always means they are being nosy rather than being honestly concerned for the welfare of that family. It's one thing to gently point out something factual to another mom (like if you see that she somehow has her infant seat strapped forward-facing in a car or something obviously dangerous - I saw that once and am not sure how it was actually done that way), but it is another thing entirely to assume the emotional well-being of other people's children based on seeing some pictures or reading a few blog posts. I saw a mom post on Facebook that her child had whooping cough and another person immediately responded with, "Hate to say it, but that's why they make vaccines!" And this was a mom whose first child had had a bad reaction to that very vaccine... People just don't always know the whole story!

    Keep your head up and do what you know to be right for your child, because as his mother, you are the one who gets to make those kinds of calls! Prayers for peace and for you to not find any more nasty comments!

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  63. I could have written something very similar not that long ago. I too was accused of being "so stuck in my grief over Isaiah" that Tabatha and John were being neglected. I was hurt and angry, especially since I had just shared several stories about Tabatha and John and lots of pictures of them. I only have a handful of pictures of Isaiah because he lived less than a month. Like you said, there will never be any new pictures. That hurts.
    And it hurt because anyone that knows my daughter knows she is very capable of informing me if she felt even slightly neglected.
    I am sorry you too are getting such judgmental comments from people who really don't have a clue!

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  64. I have always been so impressed at how you are there for Brian despite your physical and emotional exhaustion. I have learnt with my experince with my daughter it is possible to be both happy and sad at the same time! You are so clearly trying your best and making happy memories with Brian while grieving at the same time. Wishing you happy memories, peace and blessings for little Hope...

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  65. This accusation seems particularly unfair to me because one of the things that make me want to keep comng back to your blog was the exact opposite: in all the special needs mom blogs that I've encountered, yours was a rarity in that you seemed to devote equal time and attention to both your children!

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  66. Dear Kate, I`m following your story from the last days of Gavin. I can imagine how deeply that comment cut through your heart. I just wanted to tell you that as I read each of your entries, I never got the feeling that Brian was neglected or not spoken enough of. On the contrary- Brian is on almost every photo and his life is so intertwined with Gavin`s that it`s impossible to separate their stories. I`m absolutely sure that you love both your boys to bits, and this pours out from every sentence. Unfortunately, getting this kind of inconsiderate remarks is part of sharing in public. Please take care of yourself and focus on what is important for you & your family! Hugs and positive vibes for your pregnancy from far, far away Bulgaria!

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  67. don't feel the need to defend the decisions you make as a mother - especially at THIS time! as my mother used to say....don't trade spit with a jack@ss.

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  68. Whoever wrote that quote is a crank! This isn't a tv show. We wouldn't like to "get to know Brian". He's not a character to feature more. This is a place to express your feelings, share what you're going through. I'm am constantly inspired by your frankness and honesty. I hate to put that burden on you though. I have just recovered from leukemia and I have 2 youngish sons

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  69. Oops I had to continue here. My iPad froze up. So, I have two youngish sons (9&7). People are often saying I'm so strong etc etc and I really hate that because I say, what would you do in that situation? But I'm getting off point. You still amaze me with your honesty. Don't let the fools get you down. Share your journey however you see fit because it is YOUR story to tell. And keep sharing it because it helps so many. Sending love and light from NJ - Jenny
    Ps why do I have to sound like a crazy woman the first time i decide to comment??

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  70. You are fabulous.

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  71. My dear, , sweet firend, I simplycan't understand what goes on in the minds of people who send you such offensive and bitter comments. You are reacting in the way that any parents would. Obviously Gavin will always be a major part of your life, but it's equally obvious that you love and cherish Brian (and Hope) Personally I think Hope is a God given gift to you, not as replacementt for Gavin, but considering the dates, I believe this is no coincidence. You have been surely blessed. Peaceful and loving thoughts winging their way to you, Blessings

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  72. You grieve the way YOU need to, not the way anyone else thinks you should. No one else knows what's going on in your heart and head but YOU! It only takes a second to look at the smiles on Brian's face to see what a well loved child he is. Opinion's are like @$$ holes, everyone has one, but it's generally the @$$e$ of the world who like to push their uninformed opinions on people. Keep on loving your family the way you do, it looks to me like you are doing a fantastic job. Blessings to you and your family

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  73. I love your writing, I love your honesty, I love that you will not conform or bend. You are you and no one knows what you are going through and no one has any right to tell you how to post or blog or parent.

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  74. Hugs to you Kate. I have been following your blog for months and following you on FB as well. It is clear to me as a parent that you are 100% devoted to all of your children. No one gets left out and you are doing the best you can. Keep writing, use the outlet of grieving that you have found works. Keep your head up and don't change a thing. Do not let the 1% bring you down, you know you have 99% of your followers (even those who don't know you personally) behind you 100%.

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  75. The nerve of some people! Grrr. I thought the whole "Love Bomb" thing was great! I did it with my girls as well although I never had a name for it. It was just something we spontaneously did. You don't owe anyone an explanation on how and why you are grieving the way you are. It's obvious you adore ALL of your children and for anyone to make something out of it speaks to their character, not yours. Holding your family in my prayers.

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  76. Thank you for sharing you life. That's all anyone should tell you. You are a beautiful soul who has been given the gift of being able to communicate through writing. Thank you for sharing your gift. You are a mother doing her best with what she's been given. Thank you for sharing your experiences. It's an honor to be included!

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  77. All your posts seem to include Brian, Gavin is in there too and soon Hope but Brian IS in your posts. And you are dealing with a bucketload of stuff,BUT you can't just lie down and wait for it to pass. I remember one time after coming home from the hospital,after another miscarriage. My inlaws had my preschool age sons and thought maybe they should keep them for the night. I told them no, I needed them here. They gave me the reason to keep going. Carry on!

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  78. I don't normally post or comment. I don't know why I'm drawn to you and your story. You are humble and giving and sharing your pain helps. It helps you. It helps other parents going through the same thing. You give hope and renew faith. I hope your writing provides the same for you.

    Blessings on your day. Prayers for your well being. Patience for...well, patience.

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  79. I read this last night and was honestly too pissed off to comment. I am offended FOR you. I've cooled a bit, so I want to say this - you are an amazing mom, just like the rest of us moms out there that never think we're doing enough but we're really slam-dunking it in our kids' eyes.

    You and your family are grieving in your own way...just like the rest of us would grieve in our own ways if we were having to deal with such a tragedy. No two persons grieve alike, and add adult vs teenager vs preschooler and you have an even bigger difference in the process. Keep doing what you're doing. God is guiding you. Gavin is guiding you. Brian is guiding you. Ed is guiding you, just as you are guiding them on how to handle you and your heart and your grieving process.

    Let those people that have the audacity to peer in and think they know what's going on, continue to do so...in quiet. Delete those emails. Delete those posts. You are a grieving mother who has chosen to grieve out loud for UNSELFISH reasons. So that maybe one post might help another special needs mom with a trick for their kid, or help a grieving parent look at another way to deal, or help those of us that aren't dealing with EITHER know how to help those we love that may be. I am proud of you, and so happy that I found your blog and took the time to read the entire thing and check it regularly. I wish that you have peace and continued hope, that your faith remains strong, and that you can always feel God's embrace in the moments that you need it (and in the ones that you think you don't!).

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  80. I don't normally comment, but whoever said that to you CLEARLY does not read your blog. You post about Brian on here ALL THE TIME, as well as Gavin....and even Hope! I have read your story for months now and just want you to know that there are some people in the internet world that do nothing but sit behind a computer ALL DAY AND NIGHT and TROLL others and try to get a rise out of them. Anyone who is ugly to you on your Facebook page I suggest you just ban them immediately. You don't have to put up with that. God bless all of you and many prayers!

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  81. Wishing for a circle of light and love to surround you and your family to protect you from the darkness and negativity that assails you.

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  82. Kate, we have but one Judge, who also happens to be a loving and compassionate God. He lost His son too. No one else has the right to criticize you. God bless you and your family. Please keep writing and posting. It's not just what you say, but also how you live your life and communicate love that inspires me. You will always have something valuable to say.

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  83. This blog as open and revealing as it is will never represent 100% of what is going on in your family nor should it. It is what you need at the moment as it is yours a vent, a shared memory, a wish or whatever but it doesn't mean that it is everything and that you should be judged by it. However once again you have showed all your children how to handle people who don't get it and who have time to waste in negativity with grace. Continuing to enjoy the pieces of your journey you choose to share. Sorry that you had to find such an email.

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  84. Oh, Kate!!! I have not even read any other comments. I am sure they echo mine...I am so sorry there are ignorant people out there. Go away, people! This is Kate's blog...let me tell you what I see when I read it...that she is a mom who adores ALL her children and would die for them if she were given the choice. That Kate is a person who has overcome some huge personal obstacles in her own life, which I believe have given her some really amazing insight into being there for others who are in need. Kate lost a litlle son...that will never change, the grief may dull but will never go away, and if she had TWENTY other kids, that would NOT change her feelings...feelings she and her family are fully entitled to (uh-oh, dangling participle!) I would trust Kate to care for my kids anytime...and know that she would do a super job for them, emotionally and physically. I think the Leong family totally rocks! :) If you think differently, REALLY differently, then go away. Cuz this is Kate's blog. I am so thankful that she will not let negativity stop her...I would so miss hearing about all the moments of life...good and bad. Life is wonderful...but it can be messy, and sad, and sticky, too. It's a big bundle and it happens. I love you Kate...haven't met you, but I love your heart, and I love your family.

    Nancy Johnson in CT

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  85. Please don't stop, Kate. I love your posts and look forward to them everyday! I appreciate your frankness about Gavin and Brian and Hope and I have come to feel like I know you all, at least a little bit. Hang in there. There are always rotten in the world, but I have found that there are MORE "nice" people than rotten people. The rotten ones just talk louder! LOL! Hugs to you and your sweet family!

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  86. Thanks for posting this. I think it gives grieving parents (and other people in the midst of life turmoil) permission to take what power they can over their situation. Thank you, as always, for being candid. It is inspiring! I wanted to thank you too for all your posts about Gavin, especially the ones that show his Early Intervention services. My daughter just started her EI journey yesterday, and I was SO excited because I had seen all the awesome things they did with Gavin! I was not disappointed :) thank you for inspiring me to get excited about helping my own child!

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  87. This may be my first comment...I'm not sure. Maybe my second. I found your blog when Gavin passed away. I've loved hearing about him and Brian and now Hope. I'm so sorry about your loss, yet also so happy for you about Hope. If anyone can't see your love and attention to Brian, then they aren't really reading. You should be allowed to say whatever you want about Gavin, for as long as you want.

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  88. Kate, I am so sorry that there are people who feel compelled to write things like this to you. I am sorry for their family and friends, who have to endure a lack of empathy and understanding when they go through difficult times. It is so obvious to any reasonable person reading your blog how much you love and adore ALL of your children. I am sorry this person hurt you and I want to assure you that you are a great mom to all your babies, those on earth and those in heaven.

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  89. Thank you for your courage to share. I know you've said it's something you need to do. But you made a choice to share your powerful words. And because of that, you are helping other children and families. You're helping moms you won't ever know. For every mom who reaches out and thanks you for saving her, there are probably 10 more moms you gave hope and courage to who you'll never hear from. And you're helping all of us by giving us a place and a way to give back to other children through supporting things like the toy drive and waiting room make over. Please don't feel the need to apologize. What a gift you are giving all of your children, yourself and your husband to have this collection to look back over. Stories and memories that would have been lost are saved. I love being a part of your celebration of Gavin's life. Please don't stop. I like your term, grieving out loud. But you said you knew it was unusual. I think it's healthy though. Very healthy. In fact, I think everyone grieves out loud. You know the people who retreat and are scared to leave the house after a loss? That's how they are grieving out loud. People who cry all the time? How they grieve out loud. People who return to work and brush off reassuring words from friends, telling everyone they are fine...how they grieve out loud. Most people don't have the courage to be honest and transparent in how they are grieving. You are allowing us a glimpse at what grief really looks like. I suspect we are only seeing the fringe of your grief actually. And that's okay. It scares people. That's okay. It makes other people who are grieving feel normal. That's wonderful! People say ridiculous things. That's not okay. It's not your burden though to worry about how people handle your grief process. The internet casts a wide, wide web. If people aren't comfortable, there are lots of other sites they can read. This is your spot, and this is how it is here today. You are so wise. You see that this is a season. Some people just don't get that, and probably never will. Carry on and know that there are lots more of us here who get it, who support you, who are learning from you, and are inspired by you. But most importantly, people are here who support you being you and don't expect greatness and perfection every moment. You are enough. Lots of love, enjoy this lovely Love Bomb Day and don't forget to give yourself one every now and then too!

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  90. I usually don't write anything - just lurking on the blog and reading about your sweet family. But that comment irked me also. I don't follow you on FB, because I just check the blog, but I can't believe that someone who reads your blog AT ALL would comment about Brian! Do you link your blog posts to your FB page? That would be the only way I could see someone thinking that you only talk about Gavin. Brian is in almost every single post. My jaw just dropped. Anyway - hang in there! Praying for a safe and easy delivery for you and Hope.

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  91. I normally do not comment but could not resist today. It is very clear that Brian is your focus and coping with the gaping hole in your life by the loss of Gavin is overwhelming. The way I see it is you are mothering Brian in real life and Gavin here. Sharing his life and his story is what you get to do to mother him. Brian gets you all day every day and while Gavin is there with you, you are sharing him and his story and his life here. Please ignore the negative and cruel comments. As a bystander it is clear you love both your sons(and your girls as well).
    Thank you for sharing your story and all of your children.
    Jennifer

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  92. Melissa Maggio (melissaannmaggio at gmail.com)October 4, 2013 at 2:51 PM

    Hi Kate - I hate to see you having to deal with such negativity! I just wanted to share a quick comment related to your congestion/allergies. I'm also pregnant (due Feb and have a 17 month old at home!). With each pregnancy I've had terrible congestion that the doctors have said is probably allergies - but allergy medicine doesn't work. I've determined it is pregnancy congestion (which is a real thing). The only relief I've been able to get is from using a humidifer in my bedroom and sometimes sleeping with those Breatheright strips. Unfortunately, I haven't found a good daytime solution except walking around with a box of Kleenex all day.

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  93. I love that you are so brave, that you are sharing your journey. I hope you'll keep doing it--your faith makes the world a better place.
    You are a good mother! I pray for your family and for your little Hope.
    Sorry there are jerks.

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  94. I find that interesting since the whole reason you started a blog was because of your Gavin! Just because a family member passes away does not mean he is not a part of your family!!! How outrageous to question and suggest he should not be included in your daily thoughts, which include your blog. As for Brian, any mother knows there is always room for love for ALL of your children, all of the time. It does not have to be explicitly said or written in a blog to show it. You keep sharing what is on your mind--that is why we all come back. xo

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  95. I'm not sure if I've ever commented. I think I found your blog from Glennon's blog, and I've been a reader ever since. First, I am so sorry someone was that rude to you. People online are so much more gutsy than people in real life sometimes, and I can almost bet, he/she wouldn't have EVER considered saying that to your face. Unless someone is a close friend or family member, they don't really have the right to say interject something like that. They don't know you, they don't know your heart, they don't know your pain. Second, what blog are they reading??? If it's this one, they're clearly skipping LOTS of posts, because I think you post almost as much about Brian as you do about Gavin. Selective reading, maybe?
    I hope the support you've seen here has been an encouragement, and that you don't let one person cause you to second guess everything you post now. :) Thanks for being so open and letting us have your back on this one. :)
    Amanda in MI

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  96. Oh.My.Goodness. I cannot believe that someone would dare butt into your life like that under the mistaken impression they know ANYTHING, let alone EVERYTHING about what goes on inside your family and your home. You hang in there lady. We know you are doing your best and it just so happens that your best is a GREAT JOB!

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  97. Also, at some point Brian will reach a point (I know he's just four now) when he'll find EVERY SINGLE THING YOU HAVE EVER DONE IN YOUR WHOLE LIFE humiliating. By choosing very carefully what you post about him now, you limit the number of times you will have to hear "Ugh, Mom, I can't believe you put THAT picture of me out there for the whole world and my Algebra class to see". Gavin won't ever be fourteen and embarrassed by Mom. (You know that. But it hurt me typing it.) You don't HAVE to choose as carefully (though I'm sure you do - for all that we see a lot about him, I'm dead sure there is plenty that stays silent in your heart or held close between family) which pictures and experiences go out there.

    Also, to those idiots who think that because you have opened your life to us we are somehow entitled to posts about certain things or privy to what goes on in your house and mind,I offer a big, wiggling, middle finger.

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  98. I have to chuckle because your thought process regarding Brian and your family's grief is so beyond what this person is suggesting. Some people have all the answers, don't they? This is a reminder to me to get my own answer in place for when these types of comments come my way. Preparedness is key. Let's see - under the ideal circumstances...I will take the comment at face value and thank them for their concern or say that I understand why they might be concerned, then say that I have given it a lot of thought and have it covered, so they need not worry. Then I will ask about their kids, family, parents. If they don't respect that answer, then I can know that what they're really saying is that they don't respect me, so I will take that knowledge and move on -- for the best.

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  99. Screw anyone who tries to judge how you are grieving. I lost my 3 month old son 2 years ago. I still grieve publicly. I talk about missing him. I talk about the crying and the despair. Everyone grieves differently and honestly, screw the people who haven't even lost a child for judging how someone should grieve.

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  100. I also never comment but just had to say that you are doing a fab job and are so brave to share your grieving process with the world. Don't listen to the negative people out there who have nothing better to do than criticize you. For every one of them, there are a thousand people cheering you on. My best to you and your family. Keep up the great work :)

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  101. Your example through your words help me to be a better mother to my children. You have fun ideas and implement them despite all you have going on. You are immensely caring to those who have touched your life. I'm sorry that one person sent negativity your way. I hope you feel the positive and grateful thoughts from the rest of us...

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  102. I'm so sorry Kate that people can be so cruel. You guys are amazing parents and an incredible inspiration. You have traveled a road that would have broken the best of us, and have done so with incredible grace, compassion, and honor. Thank you so much for being so courageous to share your story, reminding us and teaching us again and again what true love and sacrifice looks like, and just how precious our kids should be to us each day.

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  103. You are an amazing person, mother and wife. Only if half the people reading your blog were as open and honest about who they are and what they are going through, I'm sure this world would be less judgmental.
    My best friend has a little man that is just as amazing as Gavin is. But she also has 2 other boys at home that she still has to mother, I cannot even imagine how hard life has been on either of you. I do not have children, but if I did I wish I could be as amazing yourself and my friend.
    I love to reads your blog, I will read it for as long as your write, I cry and laugh like I'm sitting right next to you as you write.

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  104. Your blog was what introduced me to Love Bombing! I think I made my very first comment ever on this blog (on any blog!) because I was so grateful to learn about it. In fact, this post has inspired me to plan another day with my eldest :)

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  105. Can't believe people have nothing better to do than pick on a grieving mom. These people are sad. You are doing great.

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  106. The nerve of some people! How dare they weigh in on you and your family. You and your family have been so open with us, total strangers, sharing every emotion, every heartache and every moment of Hope. Its a pity that certain people feel the need to criticize. I think you are amazing and strong. Your love for ALL of your children is obvious and admirable! They all hold a special place in your heart now and forever. And Brian?! It is SUCH a joy to see him enjoying t-ball and swimming and your special outings - he is one amazing kid. He loves his big brother and you have done so well keeping Gavin's memory alive for him. Please don't let the critics get to you...they aren't worth it Kate! Stay strong!

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  107. That is CRAZY!!! Brian is all over this blog, and it's clear to me that you're showering him with love and support all the time - you are doing an awesome job!

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  108. I just wanted to say I am amazed anyone could get such a wrong impression, it is the last thing that would ever have crossed my mind reading your blog as your love for and thoughtful attention to Brian is so key to all you write. I feel stupid even saying that as it so obviously goes without saying. The comment you received is so bizarre to me, I guess all you can do is try to ignore it but I can imagine that sometimes these misapprehensions are just upsetting and I hope you get few to none in future.

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  109. Thank you for this post. Before this, I "sort of" agreed. Although, I never though Brian is "neglected" by any means.
    You're constantly writing about Gavin. It's easy for readers, who are only reading snippets of your life, see how Brian might get lost in the thick of things or even Hope for that matter. In a way, I feel like Hope's birth is over-shadowed by Gavin's death. It must be difficult to separate the death of Gavin from the conception of Hope because of the dramatic way he left and she entered. I think I remember you saying at one point that you hoped she would be like Gavin. I hope she isn't. I hope that your baby Hope is her own beautiful person who is not subjected to following in anyone's footsteps. I say this kindly, not in a menacing way.
    Gavin, as you've told me though this blog is was a very special and mysterious child and his equally special mother has spent the past few months keeping his memory alive. I feel like you're nervous/uneasy that he will be forgotten someday. But I think you should take a nice deep breath because the simple truth is that he wont. He can't be forgotten. Sure as the months and years will pass you may not think of him all the time but he won't be forgotten. He will forever live in the hearts of all of the people who have met him and read about him. The best way to honor Gavin is to live your life to the fullest and teach your other children to do the same.

    Lastly, I want to remind you to take "Kate Time" because aside from seeing just how absolutely heartbroken you are, it's very clear you put everyone above yourself.


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    1. WOw. I am new to your blog. Love it! I have a close friend who lost all 3 of her kids in a car accident. They still post often with photos of the children 6 years later and even though God has gifted them with new triplets to love again. I read all of the comments here and two stood out that might be from this insensitive idiot. How dare they judge you! Just reading about how you fed your boys and make the food makes you the best mom ever in my eyes. I also have a Hope, my sweet girl who is 8 and also mild special needs. Keep on with the great work!

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    2. Man this comment ticks me off. Think she should go find someone else to judge.

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  110. What they said.

    And this...you are not the first grieving parent to be pushed into this place of defending your grief. I love that you push back, and not just because I am pulling for you. Also because you tell the truth. And that person needed to know that she is being mean. Even if her intentions are good, or she thinks they are, it's still mean. So thanks for calling it out. Thanks for keeping your boundaries intact. Even through all this.

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  111. I have followed your blog for months, literally reading every post word for word, many times through tears. Never, ever have I had any concern for anyone in your family being left out. You do an AMAZING job of writing about your family in a way that shows you are (somehow) still SHOWING UP for all of them. You are praying Hope into existence, playing with and helping Brian daily, and somehow still finding time to praise everyone who helped you all along the way.

    Anyone who has posted these things has CLEARLY not read your blog. In my mind, you truly are the "mother of all mothers" and should know that from my little corner of Georgia, I am amazed at all you are managing to do every day. Your words will bring so much help, comfort and love to other parents who may horrifically lose a child, or who may be experiencing challenges raising a child with special needs. Your words bring hope and inspiration to me - even though I'm not dealing with any particular challenges that relate to yours.

    I read your posts because your writing is raw, truthful, and makes me want to send very positive vibes your way. I read because I learn from you and I want to comment so you know you are cared about. You - and your whole family - are cared about. I will never grow tired of a Gavin story, or a Brian story or a future Hope story. I'm here for the long haul, to send love and blessings your way.

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  112. I do not even understand how anyone dares to call you out on how you grieve or how many pictures you post or do not post of Brian and Gavin! It is your way of dealing with the most tragic event of your life and no one is entitled to criticise that in any way!

    I am sure I could never handle this as brave as you do and anyone who thinks that Brian does not get enough attention does not know anything about you and Ed!

    As if what you post on Facebook would be the complete reflection of your real lives! That is just ridiculous.

    Sorry that you have to deal with such criticism, Kate. Please stay strong. Sending you huge hugs!

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  113. I think you are handling this tragic situation with grace and love. There is no wrong way to grieve and shame on anyone for making you feel bad.

    Keep doing what you do, mama...and I'll keep praying for you.

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  114. Don't they know?? Don't they know that we special moms go to sleep every night with the weight of "those others" on our mind? We worry every second about the emotional well being of those others - that they only feel the joy in this journey and not the strain. We worry that they get a small taste of the version of a mother that every other child out there gets to have 24/7, but with all that we have on our shoulders, that we are not even sure how to pretend to be that. Nope, they don't know. Nor do they know that 20 years of perfect motherhood could not create the hearts in those others that just 5 years with their special brother has. From one special momma to another -- you have got it just right. <3

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    1. I've realized you just can't make people see... Or get it. Many people only relate to their own life circumstances. And even more people don't feel good about themselves unless they are playing armchair psychologist and trying to fix people or circumstances that they know nothing about. I don't take it personally anymore. I see you, though...and I get you. And I thank you for knowing this life. People just don't get it, and that's ok.

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  115. Ive only been reading yout blog for just over an hr and I can tell you dote on brian your grieving for the loss of gavin which no one has got the right to criticise ive read most of ur blog thru tears and smiled and ur memories of gavin and seen the love between gavin and brian I think ur a very brave person

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  116. Loe it!!! tell tb
    Hem!! Write what you want its your blog. Sorry about your losses. I am reading your blog for the first time. God bless you and your family.

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  117. Hmmmm. . .For the best positive spin I can think of to put on that comment: you have got this person caring about your family, and Brian in particular. She clearly doesn't "get" you or your grief, but she does care about Brian. Maybe this post will help her understand better.

    I have never understood the people who think you can control grief, or suck it up - but then I'm the type that can cry over something for years and years and declare my life "ruined" by it. I find your example of how you are trying to work through your grief inspiring and helpful. Thank you for sharing it.

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  118. It pains me that you actually had to explain this to people. I'm new to this page, but I can clearly see how much BOTH of these boys are loved by you! Brian is in many many pictures! He looks genuinely happy and healthy and LOVED! I appreciate you sharing your story! It's beautiful and inspiring! My heart of truely touched by these beautiful boys and yourself.

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