AUTHOR: Marty, a.k.a. canape TITLE: Reaching In DATE: 4/12/2009 12:00:00 PM ----- BODY:
I don't know how to explain it, this grief that has permeated every thought this week. It's not like I knew her. We are fellow bloggers in the SVMoms group. Twitter friends. Internet acquaintances.

But the grief is real for her and her husband and everyone who did know Maddie. Everyone whose life she touched, and that includes mine.

The thing is, it didn't matter how well we knew her, how long we knew her, or if we knew her in real life or not. Maddie's eyes, her smile, warmed our hearts even as they brightened our screen. Her passing is beyond tragic.

There begins the cycle. I mourn for Maddie, and then I think about the unimaginable pain her parents feel, and I mourn for them. I know that I wouldn't be able to handle it.

Then this morning, the first email I read is one with the news that Shana lost her baby boy, Thalon yesterday. I'm so tempted to close down my computer and not come back for a week because I just can't bear the sadness. My stomach feels like a bowling ball has taken up residence, and my head hurts from holding back the tears.

But I won't shut down. Because whatever I feel, is only a tiny tiny fraction of the agony that Heather and Shana must feel right now and forever more. Being here, leaving comments, donating, praying, and supporting however I can is what I have to offer these two families whose pain is felt across the world by people who have never even met them.

This community - we feel what we feel deeply. We, if I may boldly say, shoulder some of the pain when another of us hurts. Every time I have lost a pregnancy, an unborn baby, the community has come together and woven a blanket of support to warm me. We helped carry Susan through a horrific battle with cancer. We do these things for each other as fellow mothers, writers, Twitters, bloggers, and friends.

So when Heather or Shana need a break from holding up the weight of their grief, I hope they know that there are thousands of hands, reaching in to hold it up for them for as long as they need us to.

Triangle area March for Maddie

Donate to Shana's family

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----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous whymommy DATE:Monday, April 13, 2009 at 6:41:00 PM EDT Amen. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Convertible Girl DATE:Monday, April 13, 2009 at 6:43:00 PM EDT Oh Marty -- I don't even know what to say, except I am so sad for you and for your friends and those sweet babies. I cannot even imagine the pain, and my heart aches even with the thought of it. We are sending you (and them) the light. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous jodifur DATE:Tuesday, April 14, 2009 at 8:49:00 PM EDT What a beautiful post. And I wrote a similar one today also. Because how can you not? It's all so awful. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous cindy w DATE:Wednesday, April 15, 2009 at 4:58:00 PM EDT Very good post. And thanks for linking to my March for Babies Maddie team. We've already got six people marching in Maddie's honor, but I'd love to have more. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous becky DATE:Thursday, April 16, 2009 at 12:34:00 PM EDT I am so very sad this has happened to both of them. Maddie was only 11 days older than my little guy. Everywhere I go right now, I see her face. And I just start sobbing every time.

Then, someone posted a link to Shana. I had no idea her little guy was sick. I met her the year before I met you, at BlogHer in Chicago. I cannot imagine the pain (and I'm afraid to). My heart goes with both of them. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Susie DATE:Sunday, April 19, 2009 at 12:35:00 PM EDT I'm just catching up and absorbing the pain as well. It's just so unfair. My heart breaks for these families... ----- --------