01 January 2019

3, 4, 5

The parents were not for the GOP
So we all got along. That’s a plus! 

I was once talking about my Ex, 
And the Mom asked how long it had been since I had seen HER - so she already knew I was gay, and out...
And that was no hurdle for our relationship. 

In Pediatric Home Health 
It’s seldom the kids or the work 
that is a problem. It’s bonding 
With the family. 

Moms and Dads with special kids
Often don’t have the energy to be
Full of grace. 
Most of them are one step away 
from a total breakdown.
Or exhaustion. 

The Baby played with my nose,
And face, and hair! 
She could really grab and pull hard! 
We spent hours a day sitting in a rocking chair, 
and doing Baby things. 
Talking about anything 
And everything. 
And nothing at all. 

I said many times 
“If you have a problem, 
Then *I* have a problem. 
And whatever it is, we’re going to find 
a way to get through it. Together. “

My face with her on Thursday. 
Hospital on Saturday. 
Gone on Monday. 

In Hospice, we say that
Every Day Is A Gift. 

And yes. There’s so much emotional risk 
For exactly what I’m going through.

I might have mentioned, 
I’ve been asking for this position 
Since 2007. 
Turns out I’m not as tough as I thought. 

She had a very small chance  
to even be born. 
An equally small chance 
To come home from hospital. 
And like a 1% chance to live one year. 

I guess I thought I would see a sign. 
I guess I thought I would be ready. 
I guess I thought she would live forever,
And miraculously be the first baby 
To beat all the odds. 
Since she was so smart and happy. 
And in fact, somehow Devine. 

She would cry. 
My God- how she would cry!
A hallmark sign for Hospice 
Is inconsolabilty. 
Morphine and Lorazepam can’t touch it. 
Fentanyl can’t touch it. 
Drugs just knock them out 
while the angst subsides. 

With kids, you obviously have to be 
cautious with opiates. 

So we played 3,4,5. 
AKA “Stop, Look, and Listen.”

We see 3 things. 
We feel 4 things. 
And we listen for 5 things. 

The “game” takes a minute or 2. 
And it’s really just a way to 
Self regulate from break-through anxiety. 
Or whatever it’s called where 
pain and anxiety meet and overlap. 

So I see 3 things. 
That’s easy. 
I look around the room 
and see a Christmas Tree, 
I see a window. 
I look up and see your hair. 

Now we feel 4 things. 
OK. A little more challenging! 
I feel the chair. The fan. My shoes. 
And I feel your hair. 

Now comes the money shot.  
We listen for 5 things. 

I hear the music. 
I hear the clock tick tick ticking. 
I hear the heater. It just kicked on. 
I hear the beeps. So many machines. 
I hear birds outside! 
(I think they came to sing to her!)

To actively listen, 
You have to be still. 
And quiet. 
It works for a moment. 
Try it! 

If the feelings persist, 
It’s probably pain. 

So we did that often. 
I’m doing it all day. 
It makes me stop crying 
Long enough to focus 
on this exact moment in time. 

Thanks to everyone reading
Who posted comments. 
Words don’t exist to express this  grief. 


  1. It does tear your heart out when these littles pass. I've done this for years in the NICU and in their homes. You become so attached fall in love with the baby and the family and then the relationship is over. But it doesn't have to be over. You can keep in touch with the family and share the joy of holding playing and loving their littles as no one else can. Big hugs.

  2. I came over here to wish you Happy New Year, but now it’s Deepest Sympathy...
    After weeks of frustration, the powers-that-be at the Googleverse let me sign back into my Blogger account so I don’t have to be Anonymous Val anymore!

  3. Oh my dear Anne. I have been here through all your posts, I just read and learn and watch and listen. My heart is breaking for you. I did your work for 12 years and my last one was just the finally straw, I couldn't do it anymore. I miss the families, I miss my people, I miss the ones I loved. My heart is broken. It's been 27 years for me now away from that sorta of heart break but it's always there and expecially since there are two families that are still mine.
    I am sorry Anne. Very truly, from the bottom of my heart sorry. Take the time you need, go say your goodbyes but keep the family. They need you, you need them. They are blessed to have had you and your little angel.
    Love Julie

  4. Thank you, everyone for your kind words. It means the world to me.


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