Thursday, April 2, 2009


Have you ever seen a cow, after the farmer takes her calf away?

She wanders around, mooing, lowing, crying in her own cow way. It's a horrible sound to hear.

Somewhere in my brain, I'm a mama cow. My higher brain is functioning. But somewhere deeper, millions of years of evolution ago, there's this constant unrest, searching pastures, looking for him. Trying to find him.

Some days I can't look at his picture. Today I took him off of my computer monitor at work. It was too distracting, too painful. It woke the mama cow every time I looked up.

I'm pretty sad this week.



...tom... said...


I remember a particularly compelling scene from one of those Nature or Discovery wildlife shows after a lion/cat had pulled down a young animal.

While all the other 'mommas' and 'kids' were regrouping ... one lone antelope (or wildebeest or whatever it was) wandered around bleating for her 'lost baby'.

While the details are lost ...the sound and image are not.

It does indeed suck. {{{Hugs}}}


Anonymous said...

Dear Dr Smak,

your post summed up loss so accurately... heartbreakingly so

I'd give you a hug if I could

an Aussie mum

SOCKS said...

This POST exudes conflicting emotions for me.

Your analogy is so vivid and timely as we pass pastures daily where new born calves are nippling their mama cows.

Your analogy is so sad, real and easy to relate to.

And your writing is so clever, creative, sensitive and fun.

Michelle said...

I'm so very sorry.

Laura in L.A. said...

Oh, honey. Sending love and healing thoughts to you. I am so sorry.

Love, Laura

AngelMc said...

I hope you don't think this is corny, but I put my hand on my computer screen and said a little prayer for you this morning.

rlbates said...


Valarie said...

I found your blog today through "Snickolett".
Your family's story is both heartbreaking and inspiring. You wrote of Henry's cancer, remission and death in such a beautiful way....thank you for that.
I am so very, very sorry for the loss of your son.

Anonymous said...

Every mother in nature cries when her baby leaves. It is sad.


Sybil said...

When words don't begin to speak, I Send a big hug your way.
much love Sybil xxx

Anonymous said...

I think of you and check in here once a week or so to see how you are doing. It feels like dropping in on a long-time neighbor to see if I can help in any way.

I don't believe in "closure", and I don't believe the pain will ever end. I do believe, and hope, that gradually you will learn to live with the pain the way people with chronic painful diseases do - it's never gone but they manage to go on and it becomes less overwhelming. I was heartened that you were able to read a book recently.

We are out here and you, your husband and your daughters are on our minds. When I hug friends' toddlers and my nieces and nephews I realize how lucky they and I and their families are and how we should all cherish joyful moments as there are no guarantees.

Though I'm not religious, as I age I'm seeing more and more wisdom of the idea of living in the moment, which I think is a buddhist concept. You forced yourself to do that over the last year when you and Henry had good times so that he could have some happiness. I'm so glad Henry had you as his Mom.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry.

carolnab said...

Dr. Smak:

I said a prayer for you tonight. I am praying that something will give you comfort at this time.

ADB said...

Hope that, given time, you can wholly come to terms with your loss. Have a good Holy Week.


FrankandMary said...

Be sad, and mad and do whatever you feel you need to, no matter how it "looks." I hate brave faces that mask so much pain and sadness. You should be allowed to feel all you need to feel. ~Mary

Kathy said...

From my blog last September, an article several years old published in the San Francisco Guardian post 9-11:

The Myth of Managing Grief

You remain in my prayers, mama.

A Doc 2 Be said...

It sucks, and its hard, and little Henry will be with you forever.

I'm sorry... and wish the collective arms of those out here in blogland could ease your pain.



Mama Mia said...


Anonymous said...

This is a beautiful, sad, poetic post. You are a gorgeous writer. Thank you for sharing with us.

tiff said...

When we came home without William I walked around and around the kitchen island. I knew it was lunch time and I needed to get the other kids something to eat but all I could do was wander.

Eventually I settled in front of the computer and watched all of his photos until I just couldn't anymore. It's still hard to look at them now, it brings up too many uncontrollable emotions.


You don't know me and I don't know alot about you but I know grief is hard and I know I think about you often as you walk this journey.