ARTICLES
Child Death
Accidental > From Blake's Mom

By Katie Hodge Dean

My son died when he and I were in a horrible car crash caused by a red light runner. My son, Blake died instantly; I was knocked out and went into a coma. I suffered a severe traumatic brain injury and wasn't expected to live at first.

The Universe brought Joanne Cacciatore-Garard into my life and convinced my family not to bury my son until they knew for sure one way or the other about me. She was adamant about me attending Blake's funeral. After a week I began emerging from my coma and moved out of the ICU to a different hospital better suited for neurological rehab. I still had no capacity to make any decisions whatsoever.

I was a single mom at the time but my parents, thinking they were doing the best thing, wanted the sperm donor <that's what I refer to Blakeís father as> to be involved. So my bonus-dad and the sperm donor went looking at cemeteries and made the decision as to where Blake would be buried. I attended the funeral, but was highly drugged up and wheeled in and out so fast I had no idea where I was or what the surrounding area looked like. In the clear blue sky I noticed the beautiful Papago Mountains as the backdrop and my bonus-dad pointed to a tree saying that Blake would be placed under it; I found comfort in that.

Well it didn't take long after I was released from the hospital that I visited the cemetery on my own and decided I hated it. And Blake was nowhere Near a tree.

Gifts left for Blake are often stolen and the cemetery has many stupid rules: closing hours, no children's section, no headstones, and ďclear-offĒ days Ė so they can mow the weeds and scar the grave markers with their lawnmowers. On Blake's birthday, his first one not being on earth, we got to the cemetery around 6:00 PM, (in Phoenix, that's still practically high noon!) and the gates were closed. My mother, bonus-dad, brother, sister, sister in law, and me, the cripple, all climbed the cement block wall. Bring it on stupid cemetery-rule-maker!

The cemetery chooses to water the grass <a.k.a. weeds> in the middle of the day; and this is in Phoenix, AZ! They wonít wait until night to keep most of the water from evaporating before it hits the ground. They don't bother with planting real grass anyway; itís dead crab grass and trees are sparse. In driving along the path to get near to Blake, thereís a huge billboard advertising, ďPlots for sale. Plan for your future. Come by the office.Ē

Iím tempted to throw that sign through the office. Which, by the way, is a brand new, massive, and beautiful, 2 story real brick building. Did I mention itís made of REAL bricks?

I have struggled A LOT wanting him out of there; Iíve consulted with Joanne on the entire process of having him moved. I got phone numbers and forms that would have to be filled out to begin the process.

One day, I wasn't thinking about anything; just noticing how beautiful the cool winter air felt in the morning and I heard Blake speak to me. It was crystal clear, not the sound of his voice exactly, but these words just entered my head: "That's not where I am, mommy. I'm with you."

Simple as that. Boom. Thereís my answer. Thank you, Peanut.

I have since moved to a different state and have been asked, "Does it bother you having Blake in AZ and you in CA?" The answer is No; it doesn't bother me at all. That's not where he is≠Ė he is with me.

It's just his shell, that's my belief. Blake, and all of our babies are more than just a body. Their power and love transcends all of what we consider and experience as reality. Just as our love does the same: I donít think itís possible our babies donít know we love and miss them terribly. Just as itís impossible for us to miss them terribly with every breath we take.

For more about the author and MISS Foundation

Please see www.missfoundation.org
Katie Hodge Dean
National Chapters Co-ordinator & CA Facilitator
Huntington Beach, CA Chapter
Founder of Dancing Peanut Productions
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