Author’s note: I republish this post every year. So the dates and activities listed may not be current. The sentiments are the same.
It’s November 14, again. Comes every year, huh? November 14 is the anniversary of my niece’s death. It was 2008. I remember the month preceding it like it just happened. I remember asking a friend, when Mary was first diagnosed with bacterial meningitis, if she had any experience with it (she had previously been a pediatric RN). I remember her looking at me and saying “Wait, viral meningitis … bacterial meningitis … I can’t remember which is the bad one.”
Turns out, bacterial is the bad one.
I remember that Saturday morning like it was today, just putzing around the house when my brother called and told me that Mary had lost her battle, that her little body just gave up. And every time I think about it, I can’t even imagine what the pain is like, for mothers who have experienced loss. If it hurts this much and I’m the aunt, I don’t know how moms get through the days.
But they do. And they go on to do good things. Jen does a fantastic book drive every year for Denver Children’s Hospital. Some help other moms and start websites and advocacy for their cause. I’ve met the founder of Unspoken Grief which is a great site to check out.
Last year (2011) on November 14 I attended a Blogger Information Day at GlaxoSmithKline, to learn about vaccine production. This year (2012), I’ll be at Nemours Children’s Hospital for a media day to learn about their expansion project. Once again, I find that the universe is working in odd ways, encouraging me on to spread the word and continue advocating for kids–it’s like little Mary egging me on. It’s a decent way to spend this somber anniversary, I suppose.
Hug your kids.