We lost our precious lil' love to AML Leukemia on March 8, 2010. As an incredibly strong family unit, we fought this horrid disease for 2 1/2 years........only for it to come back a fourth time to finally claim Hunter's life. Zen and I are truly devastated and the beautiful light that used to brighten our days and enhance our souls, no longer exists. Our hearts are truly and forever broken. We have a long journey ahead of us, but we are committed and devoted to surviving and living our life embracing Hunter's amazing spirit. With tremendous honor, we will carry on his legacy of love, his legacy of courage and his remarkable ambition to live strong, live fearlessly and live with passion.

You will remain forever in our hearts baby love. We carry you with us every moment of every hour of every day.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Surviving with a Broken Heart

I am sitting in my bed right now...........staring at a photo of Hunter across the room.....wondering what to do next with my day.

His face brings me such joy and peace - I hate that it's sometimes followed with such extreme sadness and sorrow. Will I ever see a photo of him and not feel so much pain and heartache? I honestly can't imagine that day ever existing. I just can't ever see myself NOT missing him as much as I do, and not feeling so completely robbed of the life he was supposed to have lived.

I often come back to the question....why did this happen to us? Why did our child have to die? And WHY did he have to die from such a brutal disease? Why did our child die in our arms. Why were we dealt such a horrible, horrible hand. Zen and I never thought that this is how our life would unfold. Not in a million years.

As far as the healing process - I feel as if we are doing ok. We are doing our best to heal in the healthiest way possible. We communicate well and never ignore or run from what we are having to deal with on a daily basis. We keep each other busy and have been trying to stay occupied with our other hobbies and interests. But somehow, no matter how busy we seem to be......Hunter is never far behind. He continues to consume our thoughts, he continues to fill our days, he continues to take over our hearts. And he's not even here.

The void that we are feeling is complete loneliness. Zen and I can be with each other all day long....but we are both aching for a sweet, little, tiny voice to just whisper our names....or ask for some juice or want us by his side. What a precious, gracious lil' love he was - I so badly want him back in our lives.

Zen and I definitely feel more sad emotions over angry ones. Anger just doesn't seem very productive or healing or comforting. There are 3 times that I can recall that I've allowed my anger to build up in my body, and it honestly felt like I was going to explode. All three times I've been in the car. It seems to be when I think of him the most and for the longest periods of time without distraction. Out of those 3 times, once, I screamed at the top of my lungs until my head felt as if it was going to just roll right off my body. The second time I wanted to punch the door so hard.....I feel as if I would have followed through, the power from my anger would have taken the whole door off. And the third time I wanted to shatter the window with my fist. But, I didn't. I was so upset and so hurt and so distraught. I am just in such disbelief that something so wonderful and so amazing is just gone..................gone.

I think of how innocent he was and how hard he tried and how little he complained. I think about the day we were leaving the hospital and him smiling so sweetly at me, not knowing that we were going home for him to die. I think about how this sweet precious lil' being never did anything wrong and he just loved and loved and loved until he couldn't love any more. I think about how happy he was and how much he enjoyed living and playing and watching Lightning Mcqueen. And I'm always brought down to my knees in tears and agony and just plain heart wrenching pain. Why did he have to have a disease that was so hard to cure? Why did he have to have the most aggressive form of Leukemia? Why why why why why why why............why MY lil' love?


There isn't an answer that will ever satisfy us or take away our grief or allow us to understand. There isn't an answer that we will ever accept or an answer that will even remotely ease our pain or take away our tears. There isn't an answer. There never will be an answer..........I guess that's what we are left having to accept.

Zen and I now refer to ourselves as "laughter seekers". We'll do anything for a chuckle. Whenever I am out and about and see something that makes me smile - I buy it. Whenever I hear a song that makes me feel good - I save it. And whenever I feel happiness or joy or peace - I embrace it......for as long as I'm allowed the opportunity to do so.

We are still very hopeful for a brighter tomorrow. We know that we have so much left to accomplish here on this earth, and we now have a little angel sitting on our shoulder reminding us to live for him, live for us, live for the other children we'll hopefully soon have in our lives.

Hunter was our everything. And now our everything has been taken away. We now have to rebuild from what seems like the bottom up. We are now completely different individuals. We are the ones at the party whose child just died. We are the ones that now have to think about every single conversation that we are having with people who aren't aware of our lives......wondering if they are going to pry just enough to bring up our past. We are the ones who people sometimes feel uncomfortable around because they don't know what to talk about or know how to approach a conversation that we will even care to discuss. We are "the ones"...

But, we are also the ones whose perspectives have now been enhanced to a whole new level of living and appreciation. We are the ones who will continue to cherish every last second we have with each other and those that we love so dearly. We are also the ones that have lived and loved and died and have been reborn.........with a new meaning, with a new purpose, with a new outlook on the true meaning of life. Our hearts are forever broken, but as usual, we are going to do our best to take it all in and run with it.......as fast and as carefree as we can.

This is the day we decided to leave the hospital
after Hunter's final relapse.
He died 3 weeks later.

Miss you so much baby love.


  1. oh my goodness lenore....i am praying for you and zen and that you will find a day simply to smile about what is in store for your lives...ryder will help to fill the hole in a very special way every time he looks at you and every little smile u get from him. he will come to bring joy into the mix of sorrow....easing the pain just a little. know that so many out here are keeping an eye on you...with prayer and thanks for who you have become in our lives. your stories are truly amazing and we are thankful for them and for you allowing us to know how you are! i look so very forward to the day you post those first precious photos of ryder in your arms...seeing them never to be empty again! you are all loved and thought of every moment of every day! much love

  2. Monica Raber Miyashita - I can honestly say I have felt everything you have felt...it is still terribly hard for me to try and process WHY this had to happen to Lydia...I don't understand it and never will. Yet like you, I know that life is precious and I must try to live every moment, because that is what she would do and did

  3. Angi Pauer Ignasiak - I 100% agree and hope to know why before I die.

  4. Leslie Klinck - Lenore, what you are feeling is part of the grieving process. Allow yourself to grieve. All of us who have lost a child have felt exactly the same way you feel. There will be a day when it isn't so painful to look at his sweet little picture. Some day you will smile and only think of the good and beautiful things and not about the bad things. I promise you. Allow yourself to feel what you feel right now. It's so great that you are writing about it in your blog. I found writing how I felt helped me to heal, anger, sadness...you name it. Keep writing. It's so great that you and your husband are openly communicating about your feelings too. Sometimes guys don't want to talk about it.

  5. We love you...hang in there miss Lenore.

    xo -

    Your friends in Colorado!

  6. Katie Drake - Still cannot believe he has gone. It can stop me in my tracks sometimes when I think about it. I look at Harry and think about Hunter. I see other 3.5 year olds and think 'you have no idea' and thank God they don't. Too hard to comprehend. And too gut wrenching to dwell upon. Still thinking about you. Lots of love. Katie

  7. Janet Melton Byrum - never goes away, as far as why? One day you will know that answer. For now live as Hunter did, never complaining, never giving up, never stop smiling, love with all that you have and give his brother an amazing life, full of Hunter stories and love! Keep Hunters memory alive by living;)
    One day you will look at his picture and smile in peace, of knowing that you were truly Blessed with that little, unfair amount of time and you will begin to smile.
    I am so sorry for your pain, for the mixed emotions you hold, and for the loss of someone so incredible and precious,be at peace knowing if you live your life in love, you will one day hold that little love again. For now he flys free:) with out a single shed of pain, the way he should be.
    hugs to Ryder;)

  8. I cannot even imagine what you r going through, and while I know that there are no words that are going to create healing, I want you both to know that I am on my knees daily praying that you will feel some comfort. Just know that you are loved xxoxoxoxoxoxox Marla

  9. oh boy Lenore, you are such a good writer. I love that you guys are the "laughter seekers". That you could think that after what you have gone through is incredible.
    Yes, no why. Hunter's death plunged me deeper into the arms of Atheism. Not like "oh, he had a long life," or a solider dying to save others, it is so unfair.
    I know that your arms are empty. I am sure you feel that every moment. He was so beautiful.

  10. Lenore,
    I read often but comment rarely.
    My own situation is quite different from yours but I too am a mother with no child to hold.

    My two month old baby along with my husband were taken from me suddenly and without warning.
    I cannot fathom the heartache and dread of having to slowly watch your child slip away, to know that you are going to lose them.

    I am further down the bitter road of grief than you - 18 months now - and although everyone is different I will tell you that...I dont think we ever stop feeling the pain and the bitterness at all we have lost when we look at a picture of our child. It is like...the pain is absorbed into you, becomes part of your being...you become accustomed to it like any chronic illness and develop the ability to work around it, with it and use it as a tool to enrich your spirit with compassion...suffering like ours gives us the unique ability to empathise with the pain of others. We have suffered. We do suffer. We know suffering.

    Sorry for rambling - Wishing that you find peace.

    much love, Ella xxx

  11. Marla Mosher - Loving, you and Zen, and Angel Hunter, and Ryder bunches xoxoxoxoxoxo don't know the answers to the why's, only know that Hunter will be forever with u all.

  12. Codi Kodama Lloyd - He was such a wonderful "lil love" all because of his two amazing parents and what they had taught him about love. I think of you everyday and hope that your sunshine is brighter every morning. :)

  13. Debbie Pflueger - What a woman. I've been one of the "silent followers", and my heart breaks for her and her wonderful husband. The love they share and the strength they show is amazing. Heartbreaking story.

  14. Arlene Forster - Heart-breaking.

  15. Corrin Crone Phillips - Hi sweet one. When we get home I want to have you and T and Ryder over for a weekend of pampering (pedis), dinners and stroller walks. I understand you felling like 'the ones' but to us you are: the ones we love, the ones who make us laugh, think and reflect, the ones we love spending time with, the ones who see life through a unique lens, the cool ones, the brave ones, the ones who have impacted so many lives for the better!!!! Can't wait to be with you both!

  16. I'm one of the silent followers and want you to know not a day goes by that i don't stop and think of you, your husband and Hunter. you two are in my prayers everyday. i hope you feel all the thought and prayers from around the world in honor of your little love.

  17. I hope one day you know why... I read your blog and often walk away in tears and asking the same question "Why do these things have to happen to good people. Why do these things happen to children" I wish I knew but I don't SO I offer you my prayers, my love, my hugs.

    Your Stranger Friend

  18. hi Lenore--
    i'm new to this whole journaling thing, but i just came across your entry and am heartbroken. as i wept, your strength jumped out across the pages and touched me. i cannot imagine the pain you are experiencing, but please know that i'm praying for you.

    best hopes

  19. Cathy Donovan Holt - You are so profound and so full of love.
    My wish for you and Zen is that the pain becomes replaced by smiles and laughter.

  20. Monica Raber Miyashita - Aw...thanks Lenore! Think about you guys every day and will continue to do so. Love reading your blog...you have an amazing way with words : )

  21. I have no words to describe how sad I feel for you.... my thoughts and prayers are with you always.

  22. The night we lost our mom to cancer (after a 10 year battle), my brother shared this with me
    The cycle of grief.
    At first I was offended and thought "how could anyone possibly know what I'm going through and make a model of it!"
    But actually, looking at it did help some...
    Thinking of your beautiful family everyday!

  23. Your words have brought tears to my eyes. I am so terribly sorry for what has happened. You and your husband are an inspiration. I want to love my daughter more and not take anything for granted. I hope you find your peace.

  24. Amazing ..Loving.. Compasionate parents you are..and will always be..Teachers to all who follow you..and read you beautiful words.. I lost a younger sibling 16 years ago.. different loss.. but same feelings.. the photos still make me smile and cry rivers...They are me..my story and will be around me for all my days..Stay strong .. bless you.. and your your new lil angel...

  25. Thank you Rosa.........I am glad we are continuing to spread the love. It makes all the difference in the world. XoXo

  26. Anonymous......I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Life seems to hit some of us pretty hard - and we are left with no other choice but to survive and survive with an overwhelming amount of pain. I'm grateful for what we have learned, but wish so desperately we could have taken a "different class". Much love and peace being sent your way......XoXo