One Love and the Love for One: Patrick James Doyle, 12/4/11 – 2/8/13

I realized that I haven’t written for a while here… it was during my reflective pause in writing that my sweet boy Patrick, just days after taking his first steps, crossed the Rainbow Bridge in his dreams and slipped gently into the stars at the age of 14 months & four days. I had never heard of Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood (SUDC) before that night and had been fairly convinced SIDS was for babies 3 months and under who had suffocated. I learned differently two weeks ago, and my life is forever changed.

Our last picture together. Rest in peace, my angel.
Patrick James Doyle 12/04/11 – 2/08/13

There has been such an outpouring of love in so many forms… I feel nearly as stunned by the response as I do by the source. There was nothing, nothing, nothing wrong with Patrick. He just went to sleep and never woke up. His full autopsy showed no organ failure, disease or damage. His brain was fine. He did not suffocate, he was not poisoned, he was not ever vaccinated, nor did he die from any disease preventable by vaccines. His little heart was so strong that its valves are being donated to save the lives of two other children, his age or younger. We also donated his corneas, to give the gift of sight (or vast improvement of sight) to one or two children his age or younger, as well.

It’s hard to think about another soul gazing through those baby blues and other life existing with a heart that refused to beat for my own baby as he lay, surrounded by doctors, machines and prayers on the table in the ER… but if there’s anything I’ve learned from Patrick, it’s about saying yes to love, saying yes to life.

I got pregnant with Patrick about six months after my father passed away from Melanoma in 2010, during a period of deep grief. I already had three kids, (from two other daddies, at that… click here for a brief backstory) but -at two weeks pregnant- I felt he was a boy, that he was a gift wrapped in timing I didn’t understand & that I could handle a new life, having confidence in my child rearing abilities. My entire world had been darkened by the denial of opportunity at life to my daddy- I wasn’t about to start the process again within myself physically while dealing with it mentally, emotionally and spiritually. So, we said yes to life & gave him the name Patrick, my father’s middle name, before he was even an inch long and I started this blog with this post, while 9+ months pregnant, waiting to give birth.

It wasn’t an easy pregnancy. I was hospitalized the first time by the time I was 9 weeks along, diagnosed with Hyperemesis Gravidarum. (Hyper= a lot, emesis= of puke, Gravidarum = Seriously.) HG was the first medical/physical anomaly I experienced. They still don’t know why it happens, just like SUDC, but some women, for some reason, throw up ALL DAY, every day while pregnant, even to the point of death. Perhaps it is my lot in this chapter of life to have to painfully purge my insides through the frustrating, exhausting & debilitating daily inner affliction to parent my older children with love and grace despite my pain and trust that there is a point where all of the months of accumulated agony and refusal to give up break forth into a new life, forever changed by love.

Some choose to medicate the process. I will admit, though an advocate of birthing, living, healing and even grieving naturally, after Pat died… I broke completely. I didn’t care. “Give me something.” was about all I could muster with my arms wrapped for the last time around the cooling body of my naked nursling. I stroked and inhaled his sweet head as if I could somehow breathe in that precious 21 grams of soul weight into my own, to keep precious and safe forever what I still could of him and our shared world as it shattered before my eyes. It was too much, too suddenly. I was reeling. I wondered how I could leave that room without my son, how I would ever sleep again without his body pressed to mine.

Whether or not they gave me something then and there is the beginning of my haze- I started taking Lorazepam and apparently the anterograde amnesia (the same blackout being fall-down drunk can cause) that came with it. If there is a time period of my life that I am okay losing, I suppose it is that time… but I also felt not present for my other children who are alive and very much in need of a conscious mother, so I made the (mostly) conscious decision to let go of my cloud and use the love I will always bear for Patrick, Annika, Aiden and Tobin, the love I feel from each of the comments, messages and cards from readers like you, along with a combination of other herbal, aromatherapeutic and other natural remedies instead.

Yes, you read that right. I am getting through the sudden loss of my baby using aromatherapy, happy thoughts and hippie shit. I daresay, if this post is any sign, that it’s not only possible- it’s working.

Transition in the birthing process is much the same as being a part of a loved ones transition between this life and what comes after- the pain can be overwhelming; something nothing can prepare you for the sensation of. It’s where most natural birthers have a dip in their “I got this!” mentality, no matter how deep and strong their resolve- or their love. I already wrote about the ties for me between birth and death here, after reflecting upon my feelings holding my father’s hand through death and in giving birth to Pat- and the rest of my kids. I have managed my grief for my dad without narcotics for years… I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.

I don’t feel I’ve “got this”. This is pushing time, time to work. I have had midwives get VERY stern about pushing time- it means business, and more than my own life and complications depend on it. Plus, pushing means I’m getting somewhere, that I’m doing something, that I’m contributing to and participating in the undeniably excruciating life experience I have been handed. This is using those contractions of overwhelming tears and sorrow to extract myself out of my cocoon of grief, into a life I can live and love in again, so I can grow the wings my boy already has. I am checking in with hospice appointments the same as I did with my midwife appointments- only, as with all else tied between birth and death, they are opposites. A midwife can prepare you before the birth, but the guiding through (someone else’s) death comes after the experience.

You, here are all acting as my doulas… generous spirits, watching over the process, watching over me, all the time reminding me that I DO have this, that my pain is natural, normal, productive and healthy; and most importantly, that I am not alone. Many parents before have and survived the loss of a child and more without the support of narcotics, nevermind worldwide prayers and cares sent every day. I am certainly not more equipped than they, but I know I am not less.

I am working on keeping myself in the moment, trusting the process and its purpose and trying to stay in touch with my pain– I feel that dulling it only distances me from Patrick even more. This pain is an open wound that will leave stretch marks and scars on my heart; like so many mothers who have learned to love their saggy and scarred bellies because of the miracle they have created, so I will bear this transformation and always regard the scar of losing Pat Pat because of the miracle he is, with tender love and time.

I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to read this and all of the support given to our family in various ways these past two weeks by my sisters, friends and family near and far, the knowledge and tinctures of my herbalist, Dana Gundling, readers like you, Arkadians and especially by PECTers (the parents’ group behind NZ’s Gay Red Shirt Day last November) for organizing memorial pages & funding to help with the costs of medical bills, his funeral, burial & memorial, time off for Danny, ongoing holistic remedies not covered by Medi-Cal (that would be all of them) counseling, as well as setting up a PO Box for people to send their sentiments to (addresses for all at the bottom) battling internet trolls (yes, unfortunately, they are present) and more so that our family can have the best possible scenario to recover in. For that, I will be forever grateful. Forever, Eileen. ♥

On that note, I want to leave you with a quote/theme/motto from that very group that has resonated with me for a long time, but never so much as now.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead

The increased awareness of SUDC has inspired many parents toward being more grateful, gentle and patient with their own children… which is all I have ever wanted for this page, for my life. In that, Patrick has given me both a fulfilled and renewed life purpose. WE are the change. YOU are the change. Love is the change, and love is all Patrick ever was or knew.

Your dirty diapers, teething woes, breastfeeding and bed sharing frustrations are my dream. The life you are struggling through now is the life I have prayed be returned to me, warts and all, from the depths of my aching soul every second since his passing. What your life looks like now is what it would look like if you had somehow been through what I have and been granted that wish, when somehow, I have not.

You are living the dream. Make it a good one.
We are all ONE LOVE.

Julie Johnson
PO Box 6812
Santa Rosa, Ca 95406

*Update: as of 2014, the PO Box has been closed. Thank you for all the love. 
*If you’d like to contribute to helping me keep the site and the message going, please consider making a small, secure donation via Paypal here.
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyTWioskFsU
Read more about the Sing for SUDC challenge here.
 
Please take a moment to read, sign and support
the sudden unexpected death data enhancement and awareness act here. ♥
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112 thoughts on “One Love and the Love for One: Patrick James Doyle, 12/4/11 – 2/8/13

  1. I too recently lost my father to cancer. My baby is fourteen months and four days old today. I just found this blog entry and cried and cried. Hugs to you. I wish we could all pick up little pieces of your pain and carry it away. All my love.

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  2. Julie,
    I am so sorry for your loss of Patrick. 34 days after losing my sweet Liliana to SUDC, I feel we have a connection. Liliana was born on December 4th, 2011. In her 966 days with us, she made our world a better place to be in. We don’t know if this great feeling of sadness and grief will get easier. As we passed the 1 month barrier, we felt worse. We cannot live in our house anymore. The week before Liliana was born we moved in. The day Liliana passed we moved out. I hope (and pray) that in the coming days, months, years, decades, my wife, older daughter, and I can make it. It is comforting to know that Liliana has many playmates in heaven, including Patrick.
    Greg

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  3. Hi Julie,
    I am so sorry for the loss of your son, Patrick. 34 days ago I lost my daughter, Liliana, to SUDC. Lily was born on December 4th, 2011 at 13:30. We had put her to bed like any other night, but she did not want to go to bed. So she stayed up with my wife and I watching TV, while she played on her princess mini couch. At 11pm, I put her to bed for the last time. At 12:30, I checked on her one last time. She was sleeping with a slight snore. That is the last time I saw our sweet Liliana. The morning of July 27th was the worst day of our lives.
    As time goes by, I hope my wife, my other daughter, and I can heal from this event. I cannot see it getting easier.
    Greg

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  4. I cannot imagine a loss so great, of your
    sweet, precious baby boy. I am so sorry. I wish you could feel my embrace through the Internet. One thing is for certain, that you are an excellent mother. So very strong, giving all the rest of us a different outlook on things. I believe I stumbled on this page for a reason. Things can get so chaotic with multiple children. I am sentimental but at times get so frustrated and I need to slow down and appreciate it all, even the tough moments of motherhood. Your most recent poem is fantastic. That also reached me. I also lost my father this past September while being pregnant with my daughter. It has been a true balancing act. Thank you for sharing your story and such wisdom with all of us.

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  5. Beautiful post, as a mother I REALLY needed to hear this message today. I have been busy being too busy. I am so sorry for your lose. thank you for your message.

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  6. Sweet SWEET angel. He is so SO precious. As February creeps closer you the Doyle/Johnson/Savage family, are ever present in my thoughts & prayers. I think of you all often & your loss has inspired me to be a more patient & fun loving mother. There are so many things I want to say but I know that few words will bring you but very temporary reprieve from your pain. So I resolve to just saying that it’s cruel & unfair that you were chosen for this task. Patrick however won the mommy/daddy lottery. While his time on earth was brief he experienced 14 fantastic months with two of the most nurturing, warm souls that this world had to offer.

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  7. Julie-I know I have said this and I will say it again: I pray everyday for you and your family. I follow you daily on fb and tumblr and you are a wonderful mother and writer. I pray that you find peace with this. I am so sorry. I send you hugs everyday.

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  8. I just stumbled across your blog by accident and it has really moved me. I'm crying (again) as I type this. I have a 5 month old who is unlike any baby I've ever met – he easily fits the "high needs" label. He is my world and I love him so much and sometimes I get frustrated with how hard it is being a new mom. Your story was such a wake up call. I can't imagine how one survives such a loss. Your willingness to share the raw and real pain is incredibly courageous and generous. I'm so sorry for your loss. I read your most recent post also – I can't even f*ing BELIEVE that Child Services would come to your home and treat you in such a way. It is inhumane and inexcusable. I wish there was something I could do to help. Your experience has made me recognize how incredibly lucky I am to have such a bright spark of a son and if he wants to stay latched on all night it's really not so bad!

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  9. I read your story and I cried! I am so sorry for your terrible loss! Impossible to find reasons behind somethings, but I just wanted to tell you how amazing I think you are. Such a strong woman to be able to write down your story here and so help others. To help us apreciate life, love and the potential we have to heal even when it seems impossible. So, thank you! I am sending you a lot of love and bright energy.Elena

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  10. *huge hugs* I am so sorry for your loss….I cannot imagine the pain. Thank you for sharing PatPat's story, and thus your story! Sending you lots of love and healing light! ❤ Stephanie

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  11. Sending so much love to you and those three beautiful children. Hold the memories of Patrick close to your heart, and keep them alive through stories and love. Many thoughts and much light coming your way.

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  12. Your strength and love shines through so clearly in your writing. I wish I could offer something…anything…to take away some of the pain. I can only hope that this love bomb surrounding you provides some comfort. You are not alone. We all grieve for and with you. Hugs ❤

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  13. Dear Julie,I will light a candle for you and your family, and with many others I send light and love your way. At some point after more time and much love from those near and far has helped ease your pain you might try looking into "The Mindful Way Through Depression." Since you are making a go of grieving without meds it might be the sort of thing that would help you out. Even if that is of no use to you, you and your family have my prayers for angelic support and help through your grief.

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  14. Julie,I am so sorry about the loss of your son Patrick. I do not have the words to express my deepest sympathy. I am sending you and your family my loving thoughts and prayers for healing and wholeness. Lu

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  15. What a heartbreaking story; I'm so sorry this happened to your little boy and to your family. I hope this outpouring of love and prayers provides you more strength to continue through the grieving and healing process. Much love to you.

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  16. I am so sorry for your loss. I cannot imagine how difficult this time must be for you. I admire your strength and resiliency and I hope that life brings you more joy and happiness down the road.

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  17. I really wish that you and your familly will have a happy life, with that little angel quarding you from up there. Live, love and laugh for Patrick, and for your other children as well. When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure… May this treasure help you be strong and carry on.

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  18. Julie & Danny~ I am so very sorry for your loss. I am so very happy for your gain, though. The time you had with Patrick, the memories you will always have and the pictures of his precious adorable face (so beautiful!) will always keep him with you, inside of you and keeping you moving forward. It is heartbreaking what has been taken from you yet, it is heart opening that you were given such a gift of a precious baby boy. I am sending you and your family all the love and light I possibly can. I,too, believe in the 'hippie' way of healing – through yoga, meditation and time. I will keep you in my thoughts and in my practice. Love will find its way – and lights will guide you home. xo

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  19. Julie, I am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful boy. Although he will always be with you in spirit, I can only imagine how painful this must be for you and your family. As a mother myself, my heart breaks. I'm sending you love and healing thoughts to help you through this time. Much love, Beth

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  20. Hey, Julie:I'm so sorry about the Patrick–my thoughts are prayers are with you and your family. I hope you have the strength to pull through. I will chant for you (that's how we Buddhists pray). And here's a virtual giant hug. 🙂 Lots of love.

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  21. Julie, I am so sorry for your loss and for your family. I read through some of your posts and I love your open heart combined with your firm foot in reality and fierce fight for more common-sense policies for families and health. Sending you lots of love, even though I know you already have so much from your family (no matter if that family is here on earth or no longer). Love, Emma

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  22. Julie, I am so sorry. I would like to hug you if I could be there in person, but as I can't, a virtual hug will have to do. Patrick was very blessed to have a mom like you. *hug*

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  23. Thank you, Julie, for reminding me that I am living the dream! God bless your family and your precious, beautiful angel. You are such a strong and inspirational woman and I my family is sending lots of love to yours as you continue to heal.

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  24. Your family is a beautiful one and you are an incredibly strong woman. I am so sorry for your loss, but happy that you have found strength in your love for Patrick, regardless of where he is.

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  25. Just READING this, I can feel your strength radiating; you, darling, are incredible. Incredible for finding so much inner strength to move forward; incredible for writing such a beautiful, touching tribute to your little one; and incredible because you chose to give the gift of sight & life in honor of Patrick.Angels all around you & your family ❤

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  26. Dear Julie Savage, I am so sorry to hear you loss. I hope you will find peace and comfort while in your grief. It must truly be horrible to loss, but even more so if it is unexplained. Much love and warmth!Christian

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  27. I cannot imagine the pain you are going through. I am so sorry that you and your family have had to endure so much over the past couple years. I wish I could help more, but all I can say is that I'm sorry. I'm praying for you. The support system you have must be exceedingly helpful. Something you need, but at the same time, not what you are wishing for. I'm praying for you and your family. For strength, for peace, for the answers that are beyond reach. I am so deeply sorry.

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  28. You are an incredibly brave and strong person, who has experienced what nobody should ever have to experience. Thank you for your beautiful words and please remember that no matter how you feel, the love of others is an enduring constant which will never change.

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  29. The light and love you have shared in this nightmarish journey is tremendous and life changing for all of those whose life you have touched- your children, Danny, complete strangers. Pat's light and love continues to live through you. You are amazingly present- filled with love, gratitude and hope. Thoughts and prayers are surrounding you.

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  30. I am so very sorry for your loss. You seem to have an amazing spirit, as a woman, as a mama, and I'm sure wherever he is now, he will fuel the spirit within you all the more.

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  31. What a sweet little boy! I wish I could be there to give you a hug and a warm cup of tea or coffee. There is nothing I can say to ease the pain in your heart, but I know God's arms are around you and your family and He will use and is continuing to use little Patrick in amazing ways.

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  32. Dear Julie – I am so sorry for your heartbreak. I can't imagine how hard life is for you and your family right now. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers as you struggle with your new "normal". May your memories of Pat and the love and life you shared with him bring you comfort and peace.Joan from Illinois

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  33. Dear Julie,My heart breaks for you and your family. I can't express how deeply sorry I am for the loss of your precious son. I just hope you know that so many around the world care. Sending you and your family lots of love and prayers.Deb from Colorado Springs

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  34. I have nothing magical or earth-shattering to say, no words nearly as beautiful and heartfelt as yours, but please know our family is thinking of yours. I'm so grateful for the reminder to truly live in and enjoy each moment, and from the bottom of my heart, thank you also for choosing organ donation as a way for Patrick's life to continue to touch others. Much, much love to you.

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  35. I admire your strength and courage, and thank you for taking the time to write such a beautiful post. Thank you for giving me perspective. I can't imagine the pain you're going through.sending love from Arkansas ❤

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  36. This is such a heart-wrenching story and I could not be more sorry for your loss. Your blog shows incredible and unimaginable strength of spirit. I find what you have said about dealing with this grief through love and a refusal to sink into narcotics etc. is really, in a way, uplifting. To see someone who can be so strong and level-headed in what must be an intensely horrible time. I think it is truly admirable and you should be proud of yourself for the way you are dealing with this. Words cannot say how sorry I am for your loss – and I hope that all the love you are recieving from all over the world can show that Love exists everywhere and that people are willing to share in that love and spread that love when people need it most. Thank you for your blog, I feel that it was an important read, and very inspiring. My thoughts are with you and your family at this time. I hope that you can remain so strong and get through this – which I know you will. Love to you and your family. I am so sorry for your loss.

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  37. I can't even begin to imagine what you're feeling, or the words that could make it even a little easier. Just know that people all over the globe are feeling for you and sending a prayer up to Patrick to let him know how loved and missed he is. My heart goes out to you.

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  38. I can't find the words to express what I feel after reading this.. my heart breaks for your loss. I lost my twin to SIDS- which I realize is no where the same.. I appreciate you sharing your experience, while it doesn't change the suffering you are experiencing.. I promise you- It's made me appreciate my kids even more.. I woke them up to hug them just now ❤

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  39. I read your story tonight. I'm so truly sorry for your loss. As a mom of two, I just can't comprehend something like this and I'm sorry that you have to. My heart has been heavy all evening thinking about this. Peace, love, and much healing strength to you.

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  40. My father died December 12, 1990. I remember it very plainly and I miss him to this day. Monday (March 4) is my oldest son's birthday. He would be 16. He has been gone from us in this plane of existence for 18 months and 24 days. My grandfather followed him twelve days later. I cry every day, some more than others, because it still hurts so much. I love going through my son’s things, even when it hurts so much I think I’m going to burst, and I love looking at pictures. And always, I think, there will be a part of me that cries out at the injustice of it all.My family and I have also been acquainted with CPS, or the equivalent of, in two states. I believe that the people who work for such agencies are somewhat less than human and I am having trouble thinking of even remotely appropriate words to describe how I feel that they would subject you to this at such a time.You seem like a very strong mama. Please know that you are not alone.-Pam

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  41. Oh mama.strong mama and family.my heart goes out to all of you. this is the absolute last thing you need right now (I wish people would mind their own business) and I will mediate on a fast resolve for you. your beautiful boy Pat Pat is just 2 days younger than my daughter Scout. thank you for sharing yourself, your pain, your grief, and your strength with us readers. I send you nothing but peace and healing over these next days and months. And just know you are not alone. light and love,jessa and scout

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  42. As a mother, my heart mourns with you. I couldn't hold back the tears. Patrick has a beautiful soul, something he most certainly got from you. He's yours forever, you know, and the time spent away from one another will be but a speck in all of eternity. I don't beleive in "goodbyes," just "see you laters."

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  43. I have a toddler named Patrick, and as I read your words I just felt torn to pieces. I know my crying doesn't do anything therapeutic for you, but I want to share my heart with you somehow. I've never grieved child, but have grieved a loss close to my heart, and just want to throw in a somewhat cliche sentiment: there's no one "right way" to grieve and however you need to do it (sit in it, plunge through it, scream in it, meditate on it, whatever) is the right way for you. People want to see this demure sorrow, but grief is often so rugged and manifests itself in unexpected ways that I hope you can give yourself permission to grieve "Julie's way," whatever way that is.I don't know your spiritual roots, but I hope you don't mind that I'm sending you my warmest, most sincere prayers as a fellow mother. And here's a virtual hand squeeze of solidarity, sister.-Caitlin

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  44. Julie, words can't express how sorry I am that you're going through this. My eyes are filled with tears and I can just feel how much you love Pat. The comparison to labor – to the pushing stage? It's so eloquent; it makes so much sense. My son Jack is three days younger than Pat and I see so many similarities. We're sending you a big hug from across the country. Much love to you and your family Strong Mama.

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  45. Dear Julie. I am deeply sorry for your loss. To write something like this must have been very very hard. Every moment must be hard for you right now. I have no words of wisdom as I have not been through the grief you are feeling, but how amazing to think that you are going to help so many others with your words. You definitely fill me with gratitude for my life and loves. Huge hugs to you. Thank you for sharing. All power to you and your family. Special love to little Pat. May he rest in peace. You're in my thoughts.

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  46. You are amazing. Your description of the pain of losing Pat as similar to the birth process is something I never thought of before, but it helps me understand, I think, just the tiniest bit of what you're feeling. I know you will make it through this, and hope you are feeling the love from all of us.

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  47. I am so sorry for your loss. I can only imagine the grief and pain of losing your little one so soon. I am forever changed by your story hun. Words can not express how profound your grief is but I can assure you I feel it though your blog. I send many prayers for the lord to comfort your aching heart and soul. God bless you and your family.

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  48. I have been forever changed because you have shared your love and bond with Pat Pat. You have inspired me. I know we don't know each other, but i want you to know I am here for you and sending my own strength to you each day. I'm holding you, your family and Pat Pat in the light. xoxo Liz

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  49. Beautiful! I am holding my nursling close as we speak. Bleary-eyed with fatigue from 2 years of sleepless nights, I will remember what you've written. We all do what we have to as parents but I will make more of an effort to do so with less frustration and more gratefulness since my child is happy, healthy, and alive. You can do this. It will take time but you will get through it.

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  50. What a beautiful post. You're doing this so gracefully, and I admire your ability to just be in this so raw and unflinching. My son (Caemon–you liked his page at one point) died of leukemia just three days before your beloved boy passed. This is a place I'm sure neither of us ever expected to be, but the way you are carrying this is inspiring. Sending you much love and compassion and peace. ~Timaree

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  51. Even in this, your "hour" of grief, you express with eloquence and poise the process of true love: self sacrifice, perseverance, pain, joy, hope, resignation, respect…and so much more. May your own words comfort you, Julie. They are true words. Your testimony and admonition and encouragement has had and will have far reaching effects. As you minister to others, may you also be healed. My love and prayers for you is continuous.

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  52. "You are living the dream. Make it a good one" you inspire me dear Julie, you and your little angel Pat Pat have touched my heart so deep. May god grant you more grace, strenght, peace & lots of love always.

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  53. I wish that the cumulative heartache we all feel after the loss of Pat Pat was enough penance to bring him back to you. Why isn't our love strong enough to keep those we care for with us?

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  54. I wish that the cumulative heartache we all feel after the loss of Pat Pat was enough penance to bring him back to you. Why isn't our love strong enough to keep those we care for with us?

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  55. B t W. I lived in your apartment right before you. I was walking down your street that night when the ambulance pulled in like Ive seen many in this area but for some reason this night was different. and last but not least *GO CHARGERS* Im from La Jolla. Godspeed to your family kelly

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  56. Julie, I don't have kids myself, but,My friend saw your post and is so amazed by it she showed me. usually when i see something so heart felt i pretend to look at it "say' oh nice or some other mundane comment and get the hell outta there. Fear and death are definitly my week points. Not this time. For reasons unknown I focused read every line cried my eyes out and saw something along with reading that is so amazing I cant explain that either. I have to say You your son Patrick and your family are truly awesome. its like I could see Patricks soul through those big blue eyes.I truly believe everything you do and are to your children is the answer to unconditional love. I think its fantastic that you are sharing your most in depth of your soul, I also believe that you have the answer to a way of bring up children that will be Beautiful from the inside out.I support you 100%. thank you for making a difference God bless and much love and respect for you and your family. R.I.P Patrick your soul lives on and your mom be your voice. kelly G…

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  57. Dearest Julie, You are so very brave. The only thing that would have kept me from taking my own life is if I had other children. Thank God that you have 3 to keep you here and continue your invaluable work in making the lives of babies and children better. I weep everytime I see a picture of Pat, or a tribute or anything associated with your story. If I don't weep, my throat aches from holding my grief back. I don't know why I get so upset for people I have never met, I do know that I get like this when I hear of something that I can relate to in some way. I wish I could give you a hug and cry with you, although I'm sure you've had enough of that. I always used to think that I had no innate empathy and that what empathy I did have was forced (I have mounds of empathy for my son, I meant with other people going through rough patches). You have proven me wrong. I am, as always, so incredibly sorry for the loss of your little boy. Love and light to you and your family always.Mandsxxxxxxxxxxx

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  58. Julie – You are beautiful! Your writing comes from the depth of your soul. I can feel it, and I'm crying with you. Your comment, "The increased awareness of SUCD has inspired many parents toward being more grateful, gentle and patient with their own children… which is all I have ever wanted for this page, for my life." touched my heart. In all my mothering days, I've wanted to do it right, I've wanted to follow my mother heart. But with the pressures of society, and I guess just being new to it and doing it all for the very first time, I've buckled. I've not always been patient or kind to my children. I've tried to do things that went against my instincts, because of pressure from other mommies. But I've found, and I'm still learning, that I am happiest, and my children are happiest, when I give them the gift of time, and closeness, we hug a lot, we do things together, we stay home a lot, and we share everything. So my 17 mo old still sleeps in our bed, and every night I remember you, and just let him breathe in my face, and treasure his little arms wrapped around my neck. Life is so unfair. But God knows that our hearts are longing for a better place where all will be well. A place where you can be reunited with your cherub. Thank you for sharing your heart. Thank you for continuing to educate. Thank you for letting us in your world and being such a leader, a true leader in mommy-hood!

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  59. I have been thinking of you often and embracing even the hardest moments with my son. Take solace in knowing that many little babies like Patrick are being parented with extra tenderness. I can't say enough how sorry I am and how unfair it is. You are an amazing person.

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  60. Julie… you amaze me with your grace during this enormous period of grief that your having to endure but what stands out more than your grace is just how real you have kept it with what you have shared. No fake smiles pretending to be okay just this stark naked honesty, a bitter tasting truth. The life you and Pat Pat shared with us, the first steps, the breastfeeding, the co-sleeping, the babywrapping, the waving, the laughter along with the tears and the frustrations, have touched so many of us in ways that i pray somehow find a way to wrap themselves around your heart at night, when your eyes are wet, your breasts are full and your grief so great and comfort you somehow.. someway…

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  61. You are an inspiration, and you remind me to be present in my life.Its hard not to be paralysed by fear for the safety of my kids and I try to be consciously grateful everyday but your words were profound to me and we absolutely should be thankful for our daily hardships (blessings in disguise). I hope that you continue to get the support you need for you and your family. Please give yourself grace on those 'harder than other' days, im so sorry you have to go through this xxxx

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  62. Your story has broken my heart, I want so bad to help you in some or any way. Reading this has made me see so many things in a different light and I can't thank you enough for that. You, your family and your precious baby boy will be in my prayers forever. Thank you for reminding me, that my chaotic life as a mom of 5 is beautiful, as I sometimes am to distracted to remember.

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  63. There are not enough words. There will never be enough words. But know that you will meet Pat Pat again one day. He is waiting for you and your bond cannot be broken by something as ethereal as death. Love conquers all, and God is love. xxx

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