1/20/91 ~ 2/23/12

It’s no exaggeration to say that I knew the worst moments of my life on February 23rd, 2012. One of the first things I thought when Phil told me Philip had died was, “Right now, this very second, there are people all over the world who are feeling like I am right now. And if it is possible to feel like this, what is the point of being alive?”

Many of you know exactly what I’m talking about. And all of you are helping me, every day, to find some “point.” You have shown me love and so taught me gratitude. Because without love, without connection, there is no point.

I thought that instead of writing something today, I’d scan a bunch of pictures of Philip and post them, but that didn’t feel right. For  reasons I can’t yet figure out, posting that last picture of Philip and Natalie sent me spinning into despair. Then I thought I’d post some quotes from an anthology  I have of writers and poets on losing a child. Except I read so much of that book today that I started to drown in it all, which meant I wasn’t breathing and the world was turning into the color of death.

I haven’t much to say. It’s quiet time now. But I wanted to mark this day somehow, so here it is. And I’ll end with just one quote, which pretty much sums it up:

“I love the boy with the utmost love of which my soul is capable, and he is taken from me…yet, in the agony of my spirit in surrendering such a treasure, I feel a thousand times richer than if I had never possessed it.” ~ William Wordsworth

RIP Philip – my love, my heart, my son.

© 2014 Denise Smyth


34 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. jmgoyder
    Feb 23, 2014 @ 23:41:24

    The Wordsworth quote always takes my breath away. Oh Denise, please know how much I am thinking of you today. xxx


  2. Joyce McCartney
    Feb 23, 2014 @ 23:41:41

    That quote is simply perfect. Love


  3. edcol52
    Feb 24, 2014 @ 00:01:45

    Thank you for that quote. It expresses our feelings so eloquently. My heart goes out to you on this day, there are no other words to say.


  4. lensgirl53
    Feb 24, 2014 @ 05:54:38

    Sending you warm Brandon bear hugs…knowing it will never be enough but my heart is with you all the same. And you know how I feel about the quote. It would take a poet with depth and sensitivity…as most poets are…to express grief so eloquently. I honor Phil’s life and know that he is truly more than just a memory. xoxo….dale


    • Denise
      Feb 25, 2014 @ 16:56:35

      Dale, you’ve a heart and a strength that moves me. Brandon and Philip are both more than a memory but right now, that’s not making it any easier. I’ve found that the days after the “event” – the birthday, Christmas, whatever – are harder than the actual day. Because it’s over and he’s still gone…at least, the way I want him here. I thank God for the way I feel Philip’s presence, but I’m still racked with grief.

      I am grateful you’re around.


  5. Rose
    Feb 24, 2014 @ 08:30:40

    Denise, thinking of you today….and yesterday and the day before, and the whole month of Feb…just because I knew in my heart that this month would hard for you. Today, is also a hard day for me as my cousin would be turning 47 and coincidentally enough, he left this world on the same day he was born….so, as I was reading something I thought of you and me… “We do not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness cosncious” Carl Jung.




    • Denise
      Feb 25, 2014 @ 17:00:08

      Rose, it’s so good to hear from you – and I’m so sorry about your cousin. He came full circle, dying on the day he was born, no? I hear Philip tell me that I am where I am and I won’t be forever, so why not try to enjoy it? And yes that makes sense, but it’s hard.

      Such a thoughtful quote…really something to ponder. xoxoxoxoxo


  6. lenwilliamscarver
    Feb 24, 2014 @ 09:57:49

    I thought of you yesterday, I know it is bizarre to have the dates of my blogger grieving mothers on a calendar but I do. This month I have tried very hard to reach out on the angelversary of each one but had to stop after the first week as my induction into the exclusive Grieving Mothers Club took place on Feb. 19, 2011 and I found my heart to overwhelmed with grief. I wish you comfort and strength for there is nothing else to help. HUgs.


    • Denise
      Feb 25, 2014 @ 17:02:45

      I don’t think it’s bizarre, I think it’s kind and thoughtful and compassionate. So we’re just about a year apart, then? I’m so sorry, for all of us. And I wish you peace, my friend, and am sending so many hugs.


      • lenwilliamscarver
        Feb 25, 2014 @ 20:27:46

        yes a near year apart…and I don’t know how I have made it thus far, if it was not for the support of others on this blogging journey I don’t think I could make it. Hugs my dear one just big hugs

    • Denise
      Feb 25, 2014 @ 20:33:00

      I agree – and I am wrapping myself in those hugs, I am. xoxoxoxo


  7. tric
    Feb 24, 2014 @ 10:25:16

    Thinking of you, and how you hurt. xx


    • Denise
      Feb 25, 2014 @ 17:04:13

      Thank you for your kindness; please tell your friend I’m thinking of her, and wishing her strength and peace.


    • Denise
      Feb 25, 2014 @ 17:29:44

      I’m so sad for her…I think because you wrote about her, and to think of her watching her child suffer; it just breaks my heart. Too many parents, Tric; just too many. I know we’re all gonna die and who’s to say what the right time is…but it feels like too much.


      • tric
        Feb 25, 2014 @ 17:37:59

        A mother or fathers pain at losing a child is so immense and life shattering. However my friend knows how hard everyone tried to save Dan. He was never going to recover and be the boy he once was. This doesn’t take the hurt away, but it does mean she has less questions. She often says a car accident or sudden loss must be impossible.
        I think of your pain often. As my friend and I walk and talk, I wish sometimes you had such an outlet for your grief. Have you?

    • Denise
      Feb 25, 2014 @ 20:10:19

      I have several dear friends that I can talk to any time; and I have my blog. The fact that I can keep writing about him, that people read and pay attention, is a huge part of what gets me through this. My blog is my go-to; Philip is my muse.

      Thank you, Tric, for your concern and caring…thank you.


  8. tersiaburger
    Feb 24, 2014 @ 14:47:31

    My dear Denise, How my heart aches for you. You are in my heart. I wish I could take the pain away!!


    • Denise
      Feb 25, 2014 @ 17:06:04

      Same here, Tersia. Maybe we can just help ease it. I think you’re amazing. You’ve been through hell and you still keep giving; I don’t know how you find the strength. I think of you often, and it helps get me through. xoxoxoxoxo


  9. Greet Grief
    Feb 24, 2014 @ 15:22:24

    There are no words or actions that can take your pain away except in knowing that you are held by prayers and caring concern…


  10. grahamforeverinmyheart
    Feb 24, 2014 @ 22:21:35

    I burned a candle for Philip this weekend. You’ve been in my thoughts. What can anyone say? The heartache is real and very painful. I know how much you miss Philip and how this was never how your lives were supposed to turn out. I’m just so sorry.


    • Denise
      Feb 25, 2014 @ 17:09:50

      As I am so sorry you’re going through this, too. I know I’ve thanked you before, but again – that you started that webpage in the midst of all this – what a gift to all of us. And the candle; what can I say? I’m so grateful to have met you.


  11. mewhoami
    Feb 25, 2014 @ 17:56:39

    Came here via a comment you made on Tric’s page. I am so very sorry for your loss. One thing that is evident from all the wonderful comments above, is that you are loved and not alone.


    • Denise
      Feb 25, 2014 @ 20:07:01

      Thank you for reminding of that. Grief leaves me feeling lonely in ways I never knew possible. I miss my son; I miss him. The people that care for me – and so many of them I’ve met through blogging – have saved my life; and none more than my daughter. She is a blessing and a gift.


  12. Denise Hisey
    Feb 26, 2014 @ 20:09:15

    Sending you a hug during this difficult time…


  13. Denise
    Feb 26, 2014 @ 22:14:02

    And I’m wrapping myself right in it…thank you.


  14. emmagracie13
    Feb 28, 2014 @ 23:08:34



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