Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sunday at Grandma's: An Aunt's Premonitions

Every Sunday we will post writings from a family member's perspective. Here you will hear from my husband, sister, mother, grandmother, brother-in law, and hopefully more extended family along the way.  I need to understand their grief, to know that my child touched their lives, and they need a place to let the world know that this is true.

Today's "Sunday at Grandma's"post is written by Nora's Awesome Aunt Kristi.


Looking back at Lindsey's pregnancy, many moments stick out now, not so much as "warning signs," but as sort of premonitions of the tragedy that would come.

Distinctly, I remember it was in August, when Lindsey and Nick had just found out the gender of their baby.  (I knew it was a girl all along!)  We were talking about the name that they had chosen for her, Nora Kelly, and Lindsey was worried that Nick was already using it so freely.  Referring to her as Nora right away, whereas Lindsey wanted to wait a bit longer.

She was worried that something bad would happen.  I responded by saying, "Even if something bad happened you would want to name her.  She would still be your daughter and still have been an important part of your life."

She agreed with my statement.  At the time she was more worried about something happening early on, and with every passing day I believe her fears were somewhat eased.

Thinking about that conversation still makes me wonder if it was destined to be, even then.

The other prophetic moment that happened makes me sick to my stomach to think about, because I often feel that all of this was my fault.

Let me explain...about a night or two before they went to the hospital, I was talking to Lindsey on the phone around 5pm.  She was getting antsy because Nora was late and her induction date was still about 4 days away.

I joked that Nora is her daughter, so it makes sense that she is late (Lindsey is notoriously known for not being on time).

But Lindsey was not eased by my humor.  Our cousin had recently had her first child almost exactly on her due date with no induction needed.  So Lindsey was wondering why hers couldn't be the same way?

I said, "Perhaps this is the universe going easy on her for once [our cousin's mom died to cancer a few years ago], and you just have to wait a bit longer.  Kind of like a series of checks and balances."

At this my sister said, "Oh god, don't say that, something bad might happen."

And I said, "No it won't.  It will all be fine."  Because a sister's job is to ease her pregnant sister's fears. Right?

Just writing this conversation down makes me sick and makes me wish I could take back what I said that night.  That I could rewind time and take away what seems like me taunting the universe.

At the hospital these words resounded in my mind.  I felt so guilty and sick.  Had I done this?  Was this my fault?  Was Lindsey going to blame me?  I still have this fear, because not until this post have I brought up this conversation to my sister.

I fear what she will say.  I am so very sorry for my words, though I know that they did not cause this.  It was a complete and awful coincidence that all our fears were realized. That all these premonitions amounted to the most horrible day of our lives, especially for Nick and Lindsey.


  1. Gerry,
    Your post is so honest and brave. I too had preminitions about my daughters pregnancy with Jordan. Not even too sure what, but sometimes I would have a strange feeling, like a voice was saying "oh no". There is a beautiful foto of my daughter, 38 weeks pregnant, on a swing with her 2 year old daughter pushing her. Such a beautiful foto, both laughing and my first reaction was one of fear.. why??? No reason!!! It was a beautiful foto. I have read in other blogs that mothers have the feeling that something is wrong, or that the crib will remain empty. After a couple of months I told my sister (she lives in Australia) about the feelings I had, I cried when I told her, because I was ashamed to say those words. Later I told my husband and he said.."why did you never tell me, I had the same feelings". I cannot and will not believe that any of us have the power to harm our babies or grandbabies, it is just a fear that many (grand)parents have, and when everything goes well, you forget your "premonitions" and when they sadly become reality you think it was your fault. It is not your fault, or our fault, or anybody's fault!!
    Thank you for sharing your deepest thoughts and I hope that talking about it helps put your fears to rest. (((((hugs))))) Pamela

    1. Thank you for sharing such deep emotions and thoughts Pamela. I think part of us just has a way of knowing things. Can't explain it.

      (((((hugs))))) back to you.

  2. After my son's boys died I remember feeling that I must have done something wrong. I wracked my brain for months trying to come up with what I might have done that was so terrible that my son had to pay for it with the loss of the boys. Losing a child is so awful that I think our minds try to come up with a reason for that loss. We so often blame ourselves or our shortfalls when there is no blame to be had. Be easy on yourself and put your mind to rest.
    Hugs and peace, Pat

    1. I will let my sister know to forgive herself. I told her after she wrote the post that I do not hold anything against her and the conversation didn't even cross my mind as why Nora is no longer with us. Sometimes it is nice to have others give us permission to go easy on ourselves. Thank you for that. I will pass the message along.



  3. I think that everyone has thoughts or things they wish they could take back. I know I did, but we have to remember that we did not cause this. Of course, that is easier said than done. Thanks for sharing this story.

    Lindsay, I really enjoy these posts from your family. It is great to see other people's perspectives. Sometimes I am so wrapped up in my grief that I forget how many other people losing Maddox affected. If you don't mind me copying your idea, I am going to ask some of my family member's if they would like to share their stories.

    You are doing great things and I am very glad I found your blog.


    1. Hi Tasha,

      Of course you can steal my idea. I am sure it's not an original. :) You know it was actually my sister's need to share her grief that inspired me to have my family members write. It just seemed like everyone in our family was so impacted by Nora's death that we all needed an outlet. I have to say that us writing and sharing it on this forum has helped us all understand each other and our grief more. So please do the same with your family and friends. It seems to be a nice healing technique for us all.

      Also, in May I will be dedicating most of the month to the grief of family along with grief within my marriage with Nick. It should be a great month to see how family members deal with their grief.




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