I am a Sweetheart to One and a Mommy to Four Loveable Babes, one of which is smiling down on us from Heaven. I am learning to dance in the rain. Come with me on my journey as I make the most out of Life's mud puddles.

Put on your rain boots. Great adventure lies ahead.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Note to Self

Whenever you put something online, you have no control of what happens from there.

Yesterday, I went out on a limb and shared a very personal story of how our blog came to be. Accompanying our story, I shared an even MORE personal montage of photos and videos of our family at Bennett's viewing/funeral/burial. While I hesitated posting it (due to its personal and tender nature), I finally decided to go forward based on the sensitive way my sweet friend photographed our tenderest of moments. Nothing alarming or jolting. Just peaceful.

At least, that is how I saw it.

Though this little blog has been up for a month now, I still have mini panic attacks regarding us being so public with our Grief. At times, I want to close up shop and do the private blog route again.

Today was one of those days.

Without going into much detail, I came across a thread today where some spoke quite critically of my openness and - in particular - the video we posted of Bennett's viewing. I in NO WAY mean to parade our grief to get attention, adulation or notoriety. If you think that, you simply don't know me. I am simply following a prompting. Period. End of sentence.

That said, thanks to so many of you who see this blog for what it is. Thank you for those who have shared their love, hope and faith so willingly with us. Thank you for those that have cried with me while reading our story. I hope some of those have been happy tears and that they have reminded you (as they have me) of the true meaning of Life and where we can find our greatest Joy. May we all give each other the benefit of the doubt and trust that we are all trying to do our level best to keep our heads above water.

I did not choose this path. It was chosen for me. But I will not shrink from the promptings I have received. I will protect my family first but I will also continue to share our journey, our faith, our hope and our joy.

Because that is what Life is about.

Note to Self.


  1. I don't remember how I found your blog, but I come here. No one can judge how others grieve. Those who do have never felt the true depths of it. Grieve how YOU need to, for as LONG as you need to. As openly or as privately as you need to. He was yours. So you decide how to honor him. Don't let others take that right from you.

  2. Thank you for sharing your story. I thought the video was beautiful. I do not know you personally but I am in your corner. I pray for your family and your process of healing. I am so sorry someone used your life as blog fodder.

  3. I really appreciated you sharing your story. It took a lot of courage to do that.

    You keep following your promptings. You are amazing!! Amazing in every single sense of the word. I don't think you will ever know just how many people your sweet Bennett boy has already touched....because YOU FOLLOWED the Lord's heeding.

    I just want to totally SCREAM at anyone for making you feel sad. People are idiots sometimes and when you come across some...and you will TRUST me....just tune them out. They are just not worth it. Just delete their comments! No one wants to see their negativity anyway.

    Loves to you! Tiff Rich (Jack's mom)

  4. wow. I was so touched by the video...I thought it was very moving and well done. I am so disappointed in that someone~ whatever they think that their reasons were. Your honesty as you share your journey is inspirational and I am grateful for it.

  5. I can only say that I'm sorry I missed it!! I don't see it on your blog now. I love your blog and love to read your story. Susanne said it perfectly. "He was yours...and you choose how you honor him". I don't understand how someone can be so critical when they have absolutly no idea what your feeling or what you're going through. There is only one judge...and that judge is the one prompting you to do this blog. You keep doing what you need to do...and we'll keep loving you and encouraging you!

  6. Love you girl!! You are an amazing mother and an amazing friend and angel that will bless the lives of others with your courage to share your story. Please know that those who willfully misunderstand you are just missing out. I feel sad for anyone who would ever take your sweet writing and tear it down in any way. Their lives must be so sad that they have to use that as a coping mechanism. You are not only blessing those who's lives have been touched by tragedy but you are strengthening those of us who are dealing with trials of a different nature. Anyway I love you girl and you stay strong and know that we love you!!

  7. I just wanted to say thank you for this. I don't know you, I know nothing about you or your family other than what you've posted on this blog. I've never experienced a loss as great as what you have. Which, by the way, I am so sorry for and my heart pours out for you and yours. I somewhat feel like because of all this it's really not my place to say anything at all...however it's really never been like me to not speak up :) I wanted to say thank you because even though I know no pain like what you're feeling and it truly doesn't compare...I've had a horrible few months. Just can't seem to find myself some days. Most are good, I'm a very happy bubbly person, but others take a little extra push to get moving in the morning. Your blog reminded me of all the things I needed to be reminded of. I started with one entry and just couldn't stop reading. With each entry I read I felt my own emotions come through and somehow pour out through your words. You've touched my heart in such an incredible way, I will continue to read each and every entry and though it's just through a computer screen...you can be sure that my heart, thoughts, and prayers are with your family every moment I'm reading. I have hope & faith that despite everything you're going through - you'll come to a moment where a deep breath will lead to a memory, a memory will lead to a smile, and a smile will bring more peace to your heart.

  8. I am so sorry for what people can do without thinking. It was cruel and unkind. Most of all it was totally un-necessary. Just remember, it is up to you how you grieve and what you post. That is all you can do, simply your best at the moment. I am sorry that their are people out there who do not stop and think about what their actions could bring. Everyone grieves in different ways. We all have different needs. One is not necessarily better than the other. We just need to do what the spirit tells us is right. Than stand by it. You are amazing. Don't forget that. I think you are much stronger than I could ever be. You have touched so many people with your courage and love. With your strength and your testimony. I hope you don't let a few unthinking and unimportant people ruin that for you. Just know that there are many people whispering prayers in your behalf. You are amazing.

  9. Let me just say.. that our household has found such comfort in your blog. I keep wanting to post when I have Grandpa Dave (Silly Grandpa) sitting beside me so we can write together. I hope that you know how much we love all of you and think about all of you each and every day. Your blog just lets us share even more of your world that we would otherwise not get to since we live so far away. Grandpa did not get to see the video so I am hoping that there is a way for you to share it privately as I really wanted to watch it with him. You are amazing and please continue to listen to your promptings even when you may wonder why??

  10. Dan and I just had a conversation two nights ago about how people can be so cruel on the internet. Now hearing this, it just gets my blood boiling. I don't get it.

    Your blog has gone viral. Unfortunately that means you have been opened up to some critics. I am appalled that there was even room for criticism in your recent blog post. It makes me want to crawl into my computer and smack all the nay sayers. Some people just lack empathy and are so closed up that they cannot understand.

    The few blogs I follow that have gone viral deal with these people. There is a troll on Nie Nie's blog that rips her up an down constantly. I find it sad that some people put so much effort into being cruel. If they don't like what people are sharing and don't agree then DON'T READ IT!

    I know it's so hard to not be affected by the criticism, but think for every negative comment, there are thousands of people in your corner being influenced for good by your story. Mandy, you are fulfilling a very important (and scary) mission for our Father. You will touch and already have touched so many.

    I so wish all of us who love you could shield you from the negativity completely. However my hope is that our love and prayers can drown out the rats and trolls. You will move forward!

    Isaiah 41:10 "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness."

    Love you daughter of God!

  11. I wasn't able to attend the viewing or funeral and felt so grateful to share in that tender video with you. My husband and I both have watched and wept over it. Please don't stop sharing. I often think your words not only inspire and bolster me now, but may be preparing me for my own roads through Gethsemane...Who can say, but I am so grateful you are sharing.
    Love Jenny B.

  12. Amanda, Please keep a list of people you would like me to punch in the face for you.... cause you know I will! Some people might deserve more than a hit to the face, other "tender" areas as well, I am also willing to do that. You call me. Hand me the list. I divvy out beatings. The. End.
    Love you,
    Jackie Barron

  13. I really appreciate your blog and I feel a real connection to you, so I hope for my own selfish reasons that you will continue to blog. I am sorry that you have to deal with negative people, but I hope it is some comfort to know that you are also reaching a lot of people too.
    I too had a prompting that I should "share my story" with others, and it wasn't until I had a few more experiences that I realized that meant to blog. So I have tried to be brutally honesty about our experience while also expressing how the gospel has lightened our burdens and has helped us through this painful time.
    Thank you always for sharing your story!

  14. I don't know how I came across your blog, but I have been reading from the beginning, and I have SO MUCH respect for you. You are going through something absolutely tragic and heartbreaking, yet you have the courage to share your journey so that others may feel a little less alone in theirs. I recently had a miscarriage and your blog has helped me keep a positive outlook in my darkest moments, when I too get angry, confused, and ask God why. My grief is NOTHING compared to yours, but your openness and honesty have touched my heart. God bless you for following your calling and for helping others in such a personal way. You are wonderful.

  15. As others have stated, I don't remember how I came across your blog but my life has been truly changed by it. You have such amazing courage to get up every day for your family and function as "normal" as you do. I lost my mom five years ago in a motorcycle accident and my father took his own life less than six months later. At the time, I had a five yr old and a 2 and half year old. It was hard for me to get out of bed some days. I journaled and wrote letters to them. It seemed to be the only way to cope with the shock of all that happened.

    Continue with what helps you to be able to function each day. I will continue to read, and not judge. I hope others will do the same.

  16. Today while I was cleaning I was listening to my Ipod. I have a Hilary Weeks album on there- I am sure you have heard of her. There was a song called "He'll carry you" on the Day of Praise Album. It made me think of you. Listen to it if you haven't heard it- it is a powerful song! I love all of the songs on that album. I am thinking of your family & I'm sorry for what people have said concerning your blog...I personally love reading it and it helps me remember how to be a better Mother to my daughter.

  17. I'm so sorry. Keep going, move forward and keep your chin high - the comments, people and situations that don't understand your positive life and what you are working towards in a big picture are just not worth it.

    This is all worth it. You are worth it. The memory of Bennett is so completely worth it.

    xoxoxoxo to you

  18. Wow, unbelievable. You just lost your son...and if that isn't enough to deal with, people question your motives for sharing your story. I'm sorry Amanda. Some people need to seek a better relationship with God if they judge a daughter of God so harshly. I know you, I can vouch for you motives. You are pure, sweet, amazing and on and on. I feel sorry for those that don't know you personally...because you make us who do, better people by just knowing you. Thank you. And keep blogging. You are inspired and are helping so many. Love you!

  19. we love you and you are amazing. just know that. look at all the people whose lives you are touching and ignore the ignorance of a few.... a very very small few.
    you tribute to bennett spoke to so many. i love everything about that video. we are all holding our loved ones close in bennett boys memory.
    XOXOX always

  20. I am sorry that I was unable to see the montage. I clicked to watch it earlier today, then got distracted by the cable man coming to change out our modem. People are harsh, and feel so entitled, especially since they can hide behind anonymity in this cyber-world. Thank you for sharing your story, and teaching ME how to help others in times of grief, and life's experiences! You are truly amazing!

  21. Thank you for following your promtings. You have been reminding me every day now for the last two weeks or so, what I have, what I want to be, what I ought to do, how to count my blessings. I am very very thankful for that. I needed that! Also I must admit I am a little more nervous at night now when our kids are sleeping, but in a good way (I think). I needed that too. I don't know you at all, but somehow I do love you (something like this is usually not easily said over here in Hamburg, Germany)

  22. For everything that does good - that IS good -there is opposition. This blog is a gift. It is a gift to those who love you, to those who have never met you and to your future posterity who will someday love you for your powerful example. There will always be "naysayers", but for every one of them there are countless others who thank you each time they read a post for the gift that you are giving them. You amaze me that you are strong enough to share your gift with others; even at a time when you could rightfully be the most selfish. Most are blessed by your graciousness of sharing your soul with us. For the others, so sad for them because it is their loss...a great loss.

  23. I am so thankful that Heavenly Father sends us the Holy Ghost to bear witness of his truths...I lost my husband 10 years ago and as I read your blog, the tears just pour in buckets. Not just tears for my own loss but for yours as well and for the gratitude that I have for someone as talented as you are that is willing to listen and to act on such a difficult assignment as to write about your grief as you go through this very intimate, tender and spiritual experience of losing "a part of you". I say that from my own experience, when my husband passed away, a part of me left the earth with him. My journal was my closest friend for many years and so, thank you so much for making yours public. You are healing hearts all along the way and eventually you will see that through this process, you will heal yours too! You are a gift! Love, a sister in the gospel, Stephanie Frampton

  24. I just wanted to say, keep writing! You are touching so many hearts and lives on this journey you are on with the words that you write from your heart. You are an inspiration and I admire you for stepping out in obedience to God and writing this blog even though some days it must be so difficult for you. But you do. And I think that you are amazing! I am so sorry for your loss and can't begn to imagine the pain of losing a child but I can empathise with some of the feelings of heartache. I pray for you and your family, for God's peace and His strength to be upon you all. God bless you. xox

  25. I'm not sure how I came across you blog either, but I have been reading every post. I lost my 16 year old son in 2006 so I truly KNOW your pain. I am so sorry that someone chose your blog to feed their negativity. They have no right to judge, only God has that right. You must work through your grief doing what is right for you, not what is right for everyone else. You are forever changed because of this experience and only a parent that has lost a child can truly understand the depths of your grief. There is no greater pain. Praying for your family in the hard days ahead.

    The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.~Helen Keller

    Kristi McDaniel

  26. Keep writing...there will always be someone that doesn't like what you're doing, but if you always choose what is best for you and your sweet family, you will be right. Blessings to you~

  27. I can't believe anyone could be so insensitive as to comment negatively on your tender feelings. I appreciate your willingness to share with all of us. I am sure that many others would agree, that your testimony has strengthened mine tremendously and made me want to be a better person. Your outlook on life is amazing and the insights you share help me in so many aspects of my life. Thank you for that. . .you are doing the right thing! HUGS!

  28. I appreciate your blog. I am impressed at your willingness to follow your promptings. It sucks that peoole are mean. But think of it this way. You are reaching them. There is something you are speaking of that they are uncomfortable with. And you are making them ask questions to themselves that they probably haven't asked before. And maybe one day they will understand better where you are coming from and understand the greatness of eternity and they will be less offended because you chose to speak up. So I think that you are doing exactly what you know you should. Don't let progress deter you!

  29. Let the haters hate. You are doing amazing things. YOU WILL NEVER PLEASE EVERYONE. There are people out there that will hate everything because they are unhappy with their lives.

    I thought the movie was totally tasteful and appropriate and beautiful and joyful and tragic and I am so glad I got to see it while it was up for a moment. I am so happy your friend captured such beautiful moments.

  30. You're amazing. Period. I can in NO way imagine someone saying anything but wonderful thoughts about you and your sweet family.

    You have strengthened me, and so many others, and for that I am grateful for you and this blog.

    Some people in this world are, for what ever reason, just mean...

    Continue writing your journey. XOXO!


Thank you for being a part of my journey. I appreciate your supportive and healing comments. Here's to a Promise of Sunshine!