Tag Archives: sudden unexplained death

What does it take…

to be removed from the Babies R Us/Toys R Us mailing list?

Last Monday, I had some minor surgery (I’m doing fine) but still needed to spend some time at home resting so my body could recuperate.  By Thursday, I was ready to get out and run a few errands.  The day was going o.k. until the mail arrived.

In the mail was a Happy Birthday coupon for Alexander from the Geoffrey’s Birthday Club.  Once again, Babies R Us ignored my plea to be removed from their mailing list and once again, I had to call to explain to them why I wanted to be removed.  The customer service rep I spoke to acknowledged they had record of my previous request.  After speaking to the first customer service rep, I was transferred to someone in corporate customer service. Demetria said she’d put in my request again.  However, they sometimes receive updated information after a request is made.  I’d love to know what “updated information” takes precedence over a mother’s tearful plea.

Demetria began to tell me about how she lost her son a few years ago but then quickly stopped.  She said her son was older and she had no way of knowing what I was feeling.  I was in tears and appreciate her trying to comfort me, but her efforts at bonding didn’t help.

I’ve been trying for a year to get off their list.  It feels like I have to call them every 2 months (I’ve started keeping a record of the date of my calls) and nothing works.  I don’t what I’ll do if I get something else from them.  Maybe write a letter to the Chairman of the Board and the rest of the Executive Committee?  I’m sure they’ll never see it but on the chance they do, I’m sure they’d love to hear the story of how despite my repeated efforts, this desperate mother can’t get off their list.

The rest of the week went fine.  I tried to stay busy and Dan and I had dinner plans with friends on Friday and Saturday night.

Today will be another day of rest and relaxation before I begin a very busy week.

Snow is bringing me down

Life has been busy lately.  I’ve found myself really having to juggle to feel like I’m staying on top of everything.  Through it all, my thoughts of Alexander remain foremost in my mind.  Some days my Alexander thoughts bring me comfort as I remember all the joy and laughter he brought to my life.  Other days, like today, the sadness overtakes me and I can’t stop the flow of tears.

I watched a couple of Alexander videos this morning because I needed to see him happy and hear his voice.  They just made me miss him even more.

This Sunday is Valentine’s Day.  Alexander only got to celebrate one. I get so sad when I think of the many firsts that he will never get to celebrate a second time. I think this combined with the mounds of snow surrounding us really has me down.  The snow makes me think about trip to Killington and taking Alexander on his first sled rides and knowing that he would have such fun with the powdery stuff outside now.

I find myself stuck in that place where I feel if I stop thinking and talking about Alexander so much, people will forget him.  Yet, if I don’t move forward just a little, I feel like my heartache will crush me.  I’m not sure why I need others to remember him because he’ll always be a part of me.

I have a meeting in a couple of hours so need to pull myself together to face the day.


I was doing some work on Alexander’s Run today and decided to stop by the bank to ask questions about setting up an account.  The first question the bank rep asked me was “How’s the baby?”.

It’s been more than a year and I still have to tell people what happened.  I’m sure my grief will never end (change over time but not end) but I wish I didn’t have to continue to tell people that Alexander has passed.  Can’t they see the sadness and grief that surrounds me?  Can’t they see a big part of me is missing?  I got through our conversation without shedding any tears and I’m sure that’s the reason the bank person told me ‘I was doing so well’.  If only she knew…

1 Year

While others have been eagerly awaiting the holiday week, I’ve been feeling nothing but dread.  It’s definitely been a long and emotional time for me. I needed to remind myself each morning of the day of the week.

Sunday, December 20 was one year since Alexander left us.  Dan and I slept late. Neither of us wanting to wake to the day that a year ago changed our lives so radically.  While nothing can make us forget Alexander or our pain, we distracted ourselves by playing lots of Wii and reading.  We also talked about Alexander during the day.  Surprisingly, the anticipation of the one year anniversary was harder on me than the day itself.  Maybe, it’s because I felt so numb.

Due to the heavy snow, the gates were locked at the cemetery and we were unable to visit Alexander’s grave today.  Dan suggested “breaking in” but I didn’t want to do that. The cemetery is Alexander’s final resting place for his physical body but he’s not there.  I carry Alexander with me at all times so while I was disappointed we weren’t able to get in, I was ok.

Monday, December 21 was one year and one day since Alexander left us.  Still feeling numb.

Tuesday, December 22 was another day in my journey through grief.

Wednesday, December 23 – On this date a year ago, we buried Alexander.  It was and continues to be the second worst day in my life.  Dan and I went to the cemetery and then to a movie.  We finished the evening by going out to dinner.  Again.

Thursday, December 24 – Isn’t Christmas over yet?  For those of us not in the Christmas mood, this one day holiday seems to go on forever.

Two of my most loved holiday movies were on this evening: It’s A Wonderful Life and White Christmas.  I couldn’t bear to watch either.

Friday, December 25 was another day of distractions.  I don’t think I can face the cheerfulness of the outside world.  I read and watched tv all day.  As it turns out, December 25 is an excellent day to go out for dinner.  There are no lines and service is fast.  We went to a Malaysian/Thai restaurant near our home where several others had the same idea.

Saturday, December 26 and I’m starting to emerge a bit from the fog of the week.  I’ve spent the entire day vegging out at home.  I did manage to workout while Dan was at the movies.  It’s out to dinner again for us tonight.

Sunday, December 27 and another week begins…

Rabbit Hole

While listening to NPR last week, I heard about a play in Philly called Rabbit Hole.  The play is about a couple struggling to survive after the tragic loss of their 4 year old son who had been killed in a car accident.

Dan and I went to see it last night and had very different reactions to it.  I really liked Becca (the mother).  In many ways, her fictional experience is similar to my own life.  She also said and did some things I wish I could do. But, Rabbit Hole is a play and I’m living in the real world.  I also enjoyed the performance by Howie (the father) and the comic relief (yes, there were moments of laughter) offered by Nat, the mother.

The performances by  Becca’s sister and Jason, the teenager responsible for the car accident, left something to be desired in my opinion.  As it turns out, Becca’s sister is pregnant.  Dan felt she represented the “future” while Jason represented the “past”  and as such, their performances weren’t that important and could be dismissed.

Overall, I found it helpful to attend.

After the play ended, we both felt the need to decompress so we had dinner at a little place not far from the theater.

Before going to the show, I discussed it with my therapist and we agreed I should see it if I was feeling up to it.  My own life still makes me sad and tearful, but I’m glad I went to see Rabbit Hole.

A Day of Remembrance

Dan and I attended a remembrance ceremony today hosted by the SIDS Center of New Jersey.  God and prayers were mentioned too many times for me but it was still a beautiful service.  It was very emotional.  At one point, they did a slideshow of our children.  Seeing Alexander’s big brown eyes staring back at me from the large screen at the front of the room was so hard.

We both left the service feeling emotionally drained.  Dan said he hadn’t felt that way since Alexander’s funeral service on December 23, 2008.

I miss Alexander so, so much.

Not feeling very thankful

Thanksgiving week is usually one of my favorite weeks of the year because I get to celebrate Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday) and my birthday.  I usually only do something big for my birthday every 5 years and otherwise, I’d just go out for a nice dinner.  However, this year the thought of celebrating my birthday when Alexander didn’t even get to celebrate his second just made me too sad to even want to go out for dinner.  The best gift everyone could give me this year was to let the day pass without mention.

I know I should be thankful for the things I have: good health, cozy home, family and friends who care about me, etc.  I’m missing Alexander and not feeling so thankful.  Instead, I’m feeling angry, sad, and depressed.

As the holiday season kicks into high gear, I wonder how I’ll survive the next few weeks.  All around us people are putting up their Christmas trees and shopping for presents.  I’m just trying to figure out what I’ll do for the first anniversary of Alexander’s passing.  I wish I could avoid Christmas this year but I can’t. It’s everywhere.

Dan and I have decided to seclude ourselves at home during the second half of December.  He’s planning to work on a small renovation project and I’ll probably do some work on my website.


11 months – Picking a headstone

This past Friday, November 20, makes it 11 months since Alexander passing.

On Saturday, we finally completed a task we’ve been postponing for the past 11 months.  We ordered the headstone for our family plot.  We still need to decide what to put on the stone but we’ve got some time since it will take a couple of months for the stone to arrive.  Aside from what to include about Alexander, we also have to decide if we add our names to the headstone now or wait until later.  It will hard enough to see Alexander’s name so I’m not really sure I always want to see mine there as well.  It just doesn’t seem like something one should see while still living.

Things just weren’t supposed to happen this way.

Locked in the cemetery

During the summer days, the cemetery stays open until 7pm.  As it begins to get dark earlier, they switch the closing time to 5pm.  Not realizing the hours were changing, I visited Alexander in the early evening and got locked in.  Thankfully, the caretaker was still on the grounds and was able to unlock the gate for me.  I don’t know what I would have done otherwise.

Thursday was a busy day.  In addition to getting locked in the cemetery, I also got an education on taxes.  As usual, Dan and I were among the late filers.  Our accountant called me a couple of weeks ago to tell me that our tax forms had been rejected because of Alexander’s social security number and that we’d have to file manually.

I finally picked up the taxes and while there, I reviewed the rejection note and asked for more explanation.  Our accountant didn’t know specifically why the rejection happened but we both guessed it was because the social security office had been notified of Alexander’s passing.  Apparently, when taxes are filed electronically, the social security numbers are first transmitted to the social security office to verify their validity.  Who knew?  Since I haven’t had the energy to contact them yet, I guess the hospital or medical examiner’s office must have notified them.

I checked online and sure enough there are a few genealogy websites which allow you to search the social security death index (I’m not kidding.  That’s really what it’s called) and Alexander’s name is listed there.  I couldn’t believe there were only 6 Alexander Dodsons in the index.  Aside from our sweet little boy, there were 2 born in the late 1800s and 3 born in the 1900s.

The index even includes the social security number.  With records being so automated and easily checked these days, I guess it’s a little difficult to steal the identity of these folks but still, it seems odd that their numbers are listed.

It made me sad to see Alexander’s name because it was yet another reminder of our loss.


10 Months

My emotions have been all over the place this week. Tuesday, October 20 marked 10 months that Alexander has been gone. The day itself wasn’t so tough for me. It was the following day that bothered me more.

I had to pack for a trip to Denver for a conference. As I was packing, I began to think about preparing for the same conference last year and all I had to do before leaving. Of course, the biggest job was making sure someone would be here to care of Alexander. Thinking I didn’t have to do that this year and that Alexander wouldn’t be here to greet me on my return just made me so sad.

On the way home from a JL event Wednesday evening, I just couldn’t stop crying. At one point, I thought I might have to pull over because I was slightly blinded by my tears.

I returned from Denver this afternoon.  For the most part, the trip went fine.  There were a few times I needed to excuse myself from conversations because they became too kid centric.  However, I do enjoy being with my fellow NJ delegates so that made the trip better. I heard lots of useful ideas to take back to my JL and I look forward to sharing with my membership.

Alexander’s Run Update
I participated in a webinar earlier this week about organizing a run. The webinar was conducted by the Boston Marathon Race Director but much of what he said could be scaled down for a smaller, first year run like what we’ll doing for Alexander’s Run. I took plenty of notes and have started working on the project plan.