Thursday, November 15, 2007


Hi Honey... 

Thinking about you a lot tonight. Daddy, your brother Peter, and I were sitting for hours tonight just chatting about everything and anything. When we were done, I got online and made the mistake of reading the news where, of course, there were numerous stories about senseless deaths of children. My heart began to ache for those families. For the cruelty of this physical manifestation of a world. For how much every parent aches when a child is physically gone. And then, of course, I began to miss you and think about how you would have been in our hours of chatting this evening. 

Would you have chimed in with your own chatting? Would you have been bored? Would you have fallen asleep with your head in my lap while we hummed on in conversation? I have no idea who you would be by now. My gawd, I miss you. 

At the same time, I think to myself, "And yet, Kara, he was here, he is here, he is all over your experiences of life." You often come into my awareness as a sprite'ling of energy, an unmaterialized being, a guardian angel near by. 

When I was out walking today, there were almost no cars the whole time, very few people I could hear, and the trees are still thick evergreen and everything hung with the quiet layer of moss, crisp, moist air all around, a bright grey and amazing smell of winter. For the most part, I was totally alone. Silence except the birds and cows. The water of the Sound stirring off in the distance and a few sea gulls screeching. 

I stopped in the middle of the lane. Looked up the road and down. Realized that this world is magical. Something I dreamed of many years before discovering it. And as I looked around, trying to be as conscious and grateful as possible, I felt like I did as a kid playing my imaginary friends. Beings all around me, protecting, playing, lively. And I felt your little sprite'ling being. Could see you playing up and down as we walked. Pointing out the last flowers trailing on by a thread on the berry bushes. Getting excited about the horses in the stables as we wondered by. You and I. Almost two hours, walking together. 

Well, anyway, I just wanted to say thank you. Thanks for walking along with me. Thanks for chatting in your own way with me. I didn't have my cell phone with me today to snap a photo, but on our walk tomorrow, I'll try to remember. And then I'll post a photo here, okay? I love you, honey. So much. 

xoxoxo's and miracles, 
Love Momma

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Hi Kota. 
Been thinking about you a lot as notes and cards have poured in for Infant & Child Death Awareness Day (oct 15th) and Month (all of October). It means a lot to me that so many people think of you. 

And then I got to thinking about all the angels no one thinks of anymore. Child death has been a part of humanity since the beginning of time. So that means bereaved parents have been a part of humanity, too. And how many billions have passed, dust to dust, back to the ether of the universe, names long forgotten now. 

While stewing on that idea, my mind flitted around and landed on three souls who were killed in a car accident when I was a young teenager. Beaner, Link, and Vig. I had spent that whole school year with the maddest, silly school girl crush on Beaner. Given my life experience up to that point, I was convinced I loved him. In a way, I did, though he took no more notice of me than pesky friend of someone's baby sister, you know? But I remember his laugh. That sly grin. How much his mother must miss him. 

His sudden death was my introduction to this crazy grief experience. To that long-lasting battle, trying to reconcile the physical absence with the ever-present love that never goes away. 

I was so much younger than Beaner that I really didn't know him, you know? I wonder now, did he have a steady girlfriend who mourned him? Had he lost his virginity yet? Was he planning to go far away to college or stay with a home-state campus to play football? What was his favorite color? I know he had/has a sister. Did he have other siblings? Do they now have kids? 

All pretty much unknowable. 

I remember the morning I answered the phone. Shaye was on the line crying. They are all dead. That's what she said. They died. She said. I told her to leave immediately and meet me at the jr. high football field. She and I often met up there. She was already on the bleachers when I got there. I remember being cold. The field was huge, silent, empty as was the parking lot, the whole school. Must have been a Sunday maybe. We sat there till we shivered I think. Or something else made us finally decide to go back to her house. We went in thru the kitchen door around the back as we sometimes did. 

And I remember being struck by how different the kitchen seemed now. No matter what we did or didn't do from now on, that kitchen would never again fill up with Beaner's laugh. It was a sudden lesson in the finality of death. And introduction to a lifetime of transition. 

Everyday before, and everyday since, there are children who go through death's veil to the other side. How many are unnamed now because no one remembers. 

Well, for what it is worth, Beaner -- Chris -- I remember you. Kota, if you happen to run into him over there, give him a little hug for me and tell him I'm sorry there wasn't time for me to find out all those details about his life and love. 

Love you, baby. 

Thursday, October 4, 2007


The most scary thunderstorm came through the island today, the loudest, most drenching storm, sudden, fierce, shaking the whole house. And then just as suddenly, the sun broke through it all. The rain still assaulting the earth, the thunder still outcasting silence, but still, all around us the brightest sunshine I've ever seen.

And then in a flash, I was overcome with feelings of you.
Did you do that?
Was that you?

Makes no difference what meaning I nor others ascribe to the events. In the stirring of my very DNA, I could feel you today. Thanks for the visit. Maybe I should stop by here and write more often 

Love you!
xoxo's from mum

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


Hi Kota. The more time that goes by, the more I wonder at the life we've been left living since your death. It's as if you taught us what the mother of all transitions is like: the death of previously constructed self, the neutral zone of a neither-land, the total destruction of what was, the emerging of the redefined self, the slow rebuilding, atom by atom, sand grain by sand grain, pebble by pebble, rock by rock, brick by brick. 

I have always lived somewhat off the grid, on the fringes. But your death pushed me completely out of the realms of this quick witted bloom and fade world. I was forced to the floor. Many days I am again forced with the weight of a 1,000 Buddhas completely flat. And the unforgiving speed of broadband life whizzes by while I am languished in different kind of world. 

And nothing has ever been built again in some faux, rock solid pattern of an ancient castle that is still used and lived in. But instead there is an ebb and flow. Like a monk going out into the world, gathering wealth and material items as he works, only to come back to the homeless shelter of the monastery and give it all up to the community fund. 

I don't know. This is all conjecture. I actually have no answers at all. 

Except to know that I have not been able to define anything since the moment you died. Neither self nor love, neither relationship nor work, neither living nor learning. There is no definition for anything. 

It is all constantly fluid and always moving and never the same twice. It's always the ocean, but it never ceases changing, moving, flowing. 

What's that line from Now Voyager: 

Let's not ask for the moon. 
We have the stars. 

Maybe that's it. If you ask me if I'll be happy, I won't be able to say yes. But only, "Let's not ask for the moon. We have the stars." 

Hey Kota, tell Joel I send my thank yous to him for being so present to his Mom these last 6 weeks. She really needed that! I can't wait to finally chat with her and hear all about it. 

Miracles and much love to you -- and Joel, too... 

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Hey Kota, 

When I set up this blog a couple month's ago, I thought I'd be here a lot writing and talking with you. But time seems to fly, the summer days packed so full. So it wasn't until I took a couple days off this week to read the last Harry Potter book that I suddenly felt compelled to come back here. 

It's been emotional for me. The content of the book itself is a roller coaster ride. But the action of reading the book has been emotional. I can't help but think of you as an 8 year old boy. Would we have gone to the book parties that night? Would you have wanted me to draw an HP scar on your forehead? Would we have taken turns reading the book outloud to each other? Would I have hesitated at the part where Mrs. Weasley goes after Bellatrix yelling, "Stay away from my daughter, you BI*CH!"  :)

And there is so much in the content of this book that is about death, grief, learning to live again after the full knowledge of what it means to live "without" the other person alive. Would we have been able to talk about that in any real way? Or would I have felt you were young and didn't need to know death in any real way yet? Would I have tried to shield you from the full expression of grief -- curtailing, inadvertently, emotional expression in general? 

Then, of course, I come back to my "right mind" and realize that all those questions are pointless. You are not here. I will not face those quandries of questions in any real way. And it leaves me wondering what the point was to your life and death? Why does the myth of Harry Potter bring up so much for me about the path of our lives? 

Yet there are no answers. No answers. No answers. Just the unfolding of one moment into the next. 

And isn't that the crux of human experience? To acknowledge fully, the mystery of "life", the unanswerable questions AND to still live fully in the moment *experiencing* whatever is in front of us. 

Well, the "why"s and "wherefore"s abound for me. But you continue to be a living experience in my present moments, love. Thank you for teaching me this lesson. 

My heart, 
xoxoxoxo's from Mom

Sunday, May 20, 2007


This is so interesting. We started our KotaPress website in honor of Dakota 8 years ago when he died. I have blogs about my art and other work. But I never thought about having a blog just for Dakota. My space to commune with him. Lizzie, Caden's mom, is what brought me here to Share Your Story. Maybe Caden told Kota and together they got us all hooked up together here :)

Anyway. I guess maybe I'd like to make this first entry a Q&A with Dakota. So here goes: 

Me: Hi, my love. Geesh I miss you. 

Dakota: I miss you, too, Mom. But you know I am always here, right? 

Me: Yes, Kota, I know you are there. Sometimes I just feel you. Sometimes, your dad makes up little drawing and notes and signs them from you. Sometimes my friends send me ecards signed from you. I love that you are still a part of all our lives. You've grown up with us as if you were here. 

Dakota: Good. Oh, and yes, I did conspire with Janelle and then Caden to eventually get you around to here! 

Me: Kota, I often feel like you are a guide for me, pointing me toward things like this, inspiring me to be mindful, even to be playful or more creative. I wonder if that is weird? 

Dakota: Mom, what is weird? It is a judgment of your inner critic or someone else's judgment of you. There is no inner peace in that. Just accept each moment for what it is. Prescribe to it, whatever meaning feels right to you. Live fully within your own skin as comfortably as you can. Not to be complacent. But to fully be who you are right now, to be here, rather than be out in some random future trying to change or improve or be different than you are now. 

Me: Thank you, sweetie. You know, I want to thank you for leading me to Chey's mom, Dr. Jo at MISS who then led me to Dr. Peter Barr who has two sons over there with you, who then led me to Layla's mom Vanessa Gorman. Vanessa's documentary of Layla's story has so changed me. I'm moved by all that they were able to do at Layla's birth and death -- Vanessa's documentary opened my eyes to see what is possible. At the same time, I have such sadness because I was not able, at your birth and death, to vision that kind of ritual for you. Your daddy and I had no caregivers who knew enough to guide us to that kind of thing. And I have always felt badly about that. 

Dakota: I know you feel badly, Mom. But you know what? You value Layla's story so much precisely because my story was different. What Vanessa eventually shared with the world and you in Losing Layla is something that came full into your awareness exactly because our experience together was so different. If our experience had been the same or similar, you might have just glossed over Losing Layla missing the impact of it, the way it can be a tool to educate caregivers and family and friends and parents as they have their own experiences. It's okay, Mom. Your experiences with me gave rise to your ability to value what Layla and Vanessa have given your world on film. Just be okay in that for now. 

Me: Thank you. 

Dakota: No problemo, Mom! 

Me: I think I'm going to post this and go share it with your dad now. Hope he and those reading don't think I'm completely insane  :)

Dakota: If you're insane, I'm insane, they are insane, and then we're all insane and then guess what -- it becomes "normal" because we're all equally insane. It's okay, Mom. Just let it all be what it is. I love you! Glad you thought to make this blog space for us to chat! 

Me: Love you, Kota! Till next time... miracles!