if only it was a dream

I have been watching life go by in slow motion this week. One way I can describe it is that it has been similar to watching a dream sequence in a movie. Another way is to think back to one of those movies you’ve seen where the momentum of the story is slowed down in order to emphasize a particularly poignant moment. Another thing I can add to that description is that it also feels like I am on the outside looking in on someone else’s life but it’s difficult to see what exactly is going on because the window is so thick with brown, disgusting dirt and dust that I know I am missing the important parts of the show. Surely, this cannot be my life right now.

And yet it is.

I have watched people go about their daily lives, bustling around, smiling, laughing, some not so happy, others seeming impatient while standing in line, angry for no reason, others oblivious to anyone else in the world except themselves. All are unaware of my broken heart, unaware of the deep cavernous grief I am experiencing at this very moment. I want to scream at them, yell at the top of my lungs “DON’T YOU KNOW MY SON JUST DIED?” I don’t, of course; yet I cannot help but wonder just how the hell life can go on for everyone else while my has stopped?

And yet it does.

Dylan _ square photoMy beautiful, cherished and much loved son died suddenly but peacefully in his sleep on July 29, 2017 from a intracerebral hemorrhage sustained from a fall down his stairs. He was 28 years old. Much too young, much too vibrant, much too full of my dear, sweet boy, much too full of everything to be gone.

And yet he is.

There is nothing on the face of this earth that can prepare you for this kind of pain nor is there anything that can take this crippling and nauseating and excruciating and gnawing and heavy and raging and tortuous and violent pain away. It feels as though my heart has been ripped from my chest, twisted, squeezed and crushed on its way out. There are moments when I cannot breathe, so many moments when I feel like I am going to be sick. I only eat when food is placed in front of me. I have no taste, no desire to nourish my body. I want to curl up in my bed and never come out of my room ever again.

And yet I do.

Sleep is elusive. The first few days after Dylan died I was afraid to close my eyes for fear that I wouldn’t see him if I did. Where would he go if I closed my eyes? How would he know I was thinking about him every minute of my day if I was sleeping? Last night, I managed a few hours of sleep in a row rather than the five to ten minute chunks of sleep I have been getting. My first thought upon waking at 3:00 a.m. was, where is he?

And yet I knew.

Dylan at the Ocean

He is in my heart, my soul, my very being. He will be in the sun that rises and sets each and every day and he will be in the gentle breeze that blows through my hair. He will be in each raindrop and snowflake and leaf that falls for the weather never bothered him. He will be in my laughter, my tears, my dreams, my very breath, and in every single thing I do from this day forward. He will be there encouraging me to get up on the days I do not want to. He will be there urging me on, one day at a time, one step at a time, one breath at a time, when the last thing I will want to do is carry on with my life.

And yet, somehow, I will.

AND I will carry on, not only for me but for Dylan as well because that is what he would have wanted. I will carry on for my husband, Mark, and for my sons, Ryan and Liam because that is also what they will want and need. I need to survive this. I must survive this. I have to survive this.

And I will.

Dylan and Me
This is the last picture of Dylan and me together, taken December 31, 2017, Edmonton, AB.

Dylan would expect nothing less from me and that’s just the way it’s going to be.



  1. Oh my, Linda. I am so very sorry to hear this. My heart breaks for you and your family. For some reason, you and your men popped into my head earlier this week – your cover photo with everyone smiling so hugely. I pray for comfort for you, from those you love and who love you, but also from those rare and unexpected places. I know it will not not take that pain away, but perhaps it will help you walk through it. I will be thinking of you.

  2. I feel your grief in every word. I have often wondered how the world keeps turning when I have lost a loved one. Shouldn’t it stop, if only for a moment?

    Nothing anyone says will take your pain away, but it will eventually find its place inside you, and there your son and the pain his passing has caused you will reside. You will always have your memories and in them he will live on.

    I’m sorrier than I can say. No mother should lose a child. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.


  3. Sometimes there are just no words. So here’s a hug. My prayers and hope is that you find a way to live your life with Dylan in your heart for that sale of those who love you. In time, I pray you find a way. God bless.

  4. My husband was killed in his duties as a Police Officer 14 years ago…..the pain is still there…..it’s different……but still there😞

  5. I’m so sorry for your loss. :'(

    Doctors diagnosed my Mom with breast cancer while she was pregnant with me. She picked out this poem, anonymously submitted to Ann Landers, to have someone read at her funeral; the way you phrased how you feel sounds much like it & I can only hope I’m not over-stepping by sharing it with you:

    Do not stand at my grave and weep,
    I am not there; I do not sleep.

    I am a thousand winds that blow,
    I am the diamond glints on snow,
    I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
    I am the gentle autumn rain.

    When you awaken in the morning’s hush
    I am the swift uplifting rush
    Of quiet birds in circled flight.

    I am the soft stars that shine at night.

    Do not stand at my grave and cry,
    I am not there; I did not die.

  6. You’re words are ever empowering. I have experienced loss, years ago, although not the loss of a child. You’re description of the world still turning while you remain still in grief is so true. You do want to scream but the living part of you knows and respects that life does, fact, go on. Grief challenges , daily, and unfairly to be kind to others and yet again, for you, to take a back seat. When the dust settles, we see things more clear than we ever thought we would

  7. Sending boxes and boxes of love and hugs, Gorgeous… There is nothing I could say or do to help, but my thought are with you every day! xxxx

  8. All loving condolences to you and family at this tragic time. Words fail me – my thoughts and prayers are with you all. What a lovely photo of you and Dylan-

  9. Oh, I am so sorry for your loss! I certainly feel and can only imagine your pain. The loss of a child has to be so difficult… I might even suggest the hardest to handle. The grief you are and will have within your soul, will most certainly take time to heal…..
    I cried a tear as I read….. take care friend… Diane

    Psalm 34:18 The LORD is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

  10. I’m so very sorry for your loss, my heart just breaks for you.

    You’re right though, he will be everywhere.
    We lost my Mum in November after a difficult battle with dementia.
    I had a hard time and still do some days, but I know she’s here.
    The little Robin who watches over me and the breeze through her bluebells, all little signs that she is gone but not forgotten.

  11. Linda…
    As I sit here and read your words- Within a few seconds my eyes are full of tears and my chest feels like I have a house sitting on it- hardly able to breathe. I cannot imagine to the full extent what you must be feeling but your words are so wise and true. I am so so sorry for your loss and even though I am in Gananoque now…. please know you can all come to visit anytime you need to get away. Thinking of you all every moment of every day during this very difficult time 💖 TL xo

  12. Oh my god I cannot even imagine how horrific this must be! The thought of losing one of my kids nearly puts me right over the edge–just the *thought*. I am so very sorry for your loss and your pain and all of the god awful misery that goes with having a child yanked away in their prime. I’m at work trying not to burst into tears for you…you have a better attitude than I would, I’m afraid.

  13. I gasped reading this and then bawled. I am so very sorry, my sweet girl. I have no more words, except that I am thinking of you from afar. Much love, Other Linda.

  14. You have my deepest sympathies! It is hard to see others living their lives as if nothing has happened when your life has been turned upside down in an instant. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  15. Linda I’m so sorry I missed you and Mark and Ryan today, but was glad to be able to hug Liam and Margret and send my tender loving caring sympathy and overwhelming heartache as a Mother of Sons through them. Words cannot be expressed or said to comfort you all at this difficult time but please know your in our prayers and your broken heart honesty will help others sharing your grief it was beautiful and your pics are worth a thousand words. May God give you all strength and embrace you with his ever lasting love until we are all together again in his caring hands. Take care always from long time friends whom truly care. Luv Laura❤️Bill, Fraser❤️Candice, Kyle❤️Jayme
    PS. If you ever need to talk to someone I’ll be there and if I can help please don’t hesitate to give me a call sincerely💋 I’ll never forget the time you helped me out when I needed you to babysit my lads‼️ XOXO

  16. Linda. My heart aches for the loss you and your family have been dealt, and I wish you all so much strength as you move forward through your grief. I am so sorry. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. xo

  17. What a glorious smile on both your faces. I hope that’s the memory you can see when in your darkest moments. I sit here typing with tears streaming down my face admiring your drive and desire to be there for your family because that’s what he would want. I wish you joy and peace in your memories and in your future as you traverse this indescribable journey.

  18. I just don’t have the right words, honey. I’m a mom too and I can’t imagine the pain and heartache that you are going through. You and your family will be in my prayers. Love and light to you. Love, Mary xo

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