Posts Tagged ‘grief’

17 years

Amazing …

It’s been 17 long yet short years that my then 17 year old middle child died at dawn on May 30. He has been gone as long as he was alive.

People have come and gone, yet he lives on in the hearts, minds, and souls of many.

I will forever and always miss him. My heart will ache for 17 years times 17 years times infinity.

Keegan, your spirit lives on.

17 years


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It doesn’t matter how old someone is or how long a true “daddy” has been dead.  Today would be my father’s birthday.  I still miss him and I always will. 

I was an awkward gangly smart-mouthed little girl.  I was tall (actually … lol … I still am), skinny, red haired, fair skinned, and freckled.  I have worn glasses or contacts since I was 7 years old.  I was too smart for my own good and didn’t fit in with any particular crowd.  He always encouraged me to be who I was at my core and loved the fire in my soul.  Most definitely not everyone liked it, and it frustrated and angered him at times, but he never wanted to squelch it.  He celebrated me.  This is how he would have described me …

Nevertheless my daddy always made me feel beautiful … even when my sharp tongue got the better of me. 

I know I am incredibly blessed to have had a daddy like him.   Not everyone is so fortunate and I am sorry for that.  He taught me to be a strong lady that could handle and withstand anything life threw at me. 

Daddy, I miss you.  I always will.  Go fishing 🎣 with Grandpa and Keegan up in heaven today to celebrate 🎉 your birthday 🎂.  


Glenn B Crowley


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Yesterday was the 16th anniversary of Keegan’s death.  While it’s not something I choose to celebrate, it’s something that’s hard not to acknowledge because it’s woven into the very fabric of my being.   If you can’t understand completely … be thankful … but at least be compassionate to those of us that live it 24/7 forever and always.  All 3 of my children are part of me, whether currently on this earth or not.  The love will be there no matter where they are or what they say and do.


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Fifteen … yes … 15 … years ago you left us all behind.  You suffered with ill health for 17 years.  You left your pain behind … and can now breathe and run freely.  For that, I am forever grateful.   

My pain will always continue. 

Always I will miss you. 

Always I will love you. 

Always I will carry on your memory and your passion.

Here’s to my #2 baby boy!  Everyone that knew you misses you.

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Fifteen years ago this week, my 2nd son was granted a Make-A-Wish trip due to his on-going battle with Cystic Fibrosis, a little less than a year post-double-lung-transplant at Stanford University Hospital. He was doing well at the time and his 17th birthday occurred while we were on the trip. It’s bittersweet remembering those great times we had on the Disney Cruise, looking at pictures such as this, and then knowing that he was in the hospital fighting for his life only one month later. He died just three months after this trip. I choose to remember him like this … happy, healthy, and thrilled to be on a life-long bucket list dream of his … a cruise in the Bahamas.

I miss you, Keegan, but, without a doubt, the 17 very short years you were with us were worth the joy, the grief, the pain, the loss, the love, the ups, the downs. Until we meet again … just remember this:


(a story for a different time in a different blogpost in a different galaxy)

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I do not know who drew this, but I saw it on my FaceBook feed this morning from one of my friends who has children that have died.  I cried while on the early morning commuter bus.  It touched me to my soul.  Every time I look at it, I get teary.  It was posted with the poem below.  It sums up what I tell people a lot with regards to my beloved son, Keegan, and his death.  Do not judge.  Unless you’ve been there … and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone … you don’t understand … and I hope you never have to understand.



Do not judge the bereaved mother.

She comes in many forms.

She is breathing, but she is dying.

She may look young, but inside she has become ancient.

She smiles, but her heart sobs.

She walks, she talks, she cooks, she cleans, she works, she is

… but she IS NOT …

… all at once.

She is here, but part of her is elsewhere for eternity.

Author Unknown


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Keegan, my middle child, died 14 years ago today at dawn … at 5:47 am to be exact. It’s still unreal to me that one of my babies died. It just doesn’t seem possible that a child of mine would have died at the age of 17 from complications of Cystic Fibrosis a little over a year post-double-lung transplant. It still amazes me how much he accomplished in his very short life.

You know what astounds me though? People that think I should have “gotten over it” by now. Just because a certain amount of time has passed doesn’t mean the grief ends. As a parent, I’ve lost a piece of my heart. His sister and brother have lost a part of who they are. His friends have lost a piece of their childhood. His grandparents have lost a piece of their legacy.

Let me put it this way. If you lose an arm, is there a time limit that you have to “forget about it” and “get over it”? No. You learn to deal with it, but you will always and forever miss that and wish it were still a part of you. There are other illustrations I could give, but essentially it boils down to this. When someone who is greatly loved dies, you lose a piece of your heart.




Those that think and say that sort of thing are positively clueless … or heartless … or both.

So anyway, on this anniversary of his death, even though it’s not something I tend to “celebrate” like I still, as his mother, celebrate, for example, his birthday, I send this out to him and to all that knew him, knowing that this is the way he’d want them to remember him.




Don’t stand by my grave and weep,

For I’m not there. I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow.

I am the diamond’s glint 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 circle 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.


Keegan Crowley Wahler

2.29.1984 (2:30 pm) – 5.30.2001 (5:47 am)

This is Keegan on his Disney Make-A-Wish Cruise in February, 2001, just 3 months, almost to the day, before he died. 


I miss you still, baby boy. 

I always will. 

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