A smile and a tear 1

I was walking across campus this morning and there was a small group of toddlers in front of me. It must have been a daycare group. They were about the same age as Marlon would be now or a little older and they were so cute with their raincoats and their gumboots having fun jumping ...

The meaning of being broken 2

The meaning of being broken
I have started to contemplate a word, maybe even dislike it a little. I have used it before. It gets used in this context a lot. The word is “heartbroken”. We say things such as “I am heartbroken” or “something is heartbreaking”. It seems like a fitting word to describe emotions and the devastation we ...

Medical language: devoid of emotion 1

I get it: each profession needs its own specialized language. It does have a purpose. It would take much longer to discuss things without a common understanding and standardized use of specific terms. Nobody wants to search for appropriate terms to express what they need to express, esp. in time-critical situations that medical staff might ...

Misperceptions of stillbirth

I remember a conversation I had with my wife after our first son Marlon died shortly after his birth. I have to admit that it was really the first time that I had actively thought about what actually happens during miscarriage or stillbirth. There is a baby and he or she has to come out. ...

Infant Memorial Garden 1

Infant Memorial Garden
After we listened to this CBC radio documentary “Buried so Deep”, we had to visit the children at the Infant Memorial Garden at Mountain View Cemetery. So many of them, more than 11,000. Often buried without name or marker. Meant to be forgotten, but forgotten they never were. Their parents remembered them always, despite having ...

The price we pay

The price we pay
We watched the documentary Horizon: The Secret You yesterday which seeks answers to the question how we know who we are and touches on concepts like the soul. In the documentary (6:40) they present the mirror self recognition test which can be used to identify self-awareness that apparently leads to what is known as the ...

2010 Canadian Childloss Statistics

I recently posted about the national child loss statistics for 2005. I sent a request for updated data to Statcan and have received a response from them. Although neither data for 2012 nor 2011 is available there are a few datasets for 2010. However, it is very much incomplete compared to the other details I ...

Language of the Innocent

I admire writers who do such a good job in describing the feelings of bereaved parents. I sometimes come across posts and all I can think is “wow, I could not have said it nearly as well”. Here is one of such posts by Sarah from Austin, Texas, who lost her daughter Genevieve in July ...

The Land of Sunshine

Jens and I went to the gym next door this morning to get some exercise on a rainy day. While I absolutely avoid music at the moment as it is the worst emotional trigger, I need music to exercise. So I go for something fast and innocuous. I was listening to Faith No More (Angel ...

Just give me the birth certificate 1

I was browsing the internet and came across a petition to change the law regarding birth certificates in several US states. In fact, there are a number of sources talking about the same topic (1, 2, 3). This brought back a lot of memories. When our son Marlon died, we applied for a birth certificate ...