Wednesday, January 4, 2012


"I can't imagine what you are going through."  These are words I hear a lot.  No truer words can be spoken.  Jonah's death is something I imagined occasionally when he was with me.  When we were at the pool or the playground I thought about all the difficulty and danger in the world, and wondered how I could possibly protect him.  I would gaze at his perfect body while he slept, and contemplate how I would ever survive if I lost him.  And then it happened.  I quickly discovered there is no imagination that can match the difficult reality of losing a child.  There is sincere sympathy and empathy, and yet experience is the strictest and finest teacher. 

Kelly, Finn, Ryan and Colum Pa

On Christmas Eve the Pack family were driving home from a family party.  An SUV jumped the median and hit their car in a head-on collision.  Both parents were critically injured, and their adorable little boy Colum (who was Jonah's age) died on Christmas day.

As I read about this family I wept, and I heard myself say to Jordan "I can't imagine..."  I truly can't.  I have lost my own little boy, but I can't imagine losing him because of a drunk driver.  I can't imagine having a broken body and a broken heart.  I can't imagine the heartache, the anger, and the physical and emotional pain that this family is feeling. Only they will ever know how it feels. 

While I try to fathom their loss, I find hope in imagining the goodness and service, that will envelope the Pack family this year.  I know it will come to them because it has come to me.  This is an experience that I know by heart.  There are many sympathetic hearts in the world.  Many will try to imagine how the Pack family feels and then they will act.  I am amazed by the simple and sometimes extraordinary ways people find to lift the burdens of broken hearts.  I know that Ryan and Kelly will have the same experience.  The abundance of pure love that follows tragedy is a phenomenon I could never have imagined. 

Colum Pack
I hope when you hear of someone's tragedy, like mine, or the Pack family, you will find ways to help.  If you can't think of what to do, use your imagination!  Or read this post.  If you have sent us letters, donated money, brought food, visited, called us, and countless other acts of service...thank you.  It all helps.  It all heals. 

A few additional notes:

Colum's strong healthy heart now beats in another baby's body.  Organ donation is a selfless choice, and a healing miracle.  You can sign up to be an organ donor here.

If you feel inclined to help this deserving family you can do it here

If you ever drink and drive you need to stop today.  


  1. As another Angel Mother, I too cannot imagine this situation.
    Thank you for posting about it. I will donate to their cause right away.

  2. Yesterday, as I was reading this story, I wanted it to be anything but a drunk driver that was driving the other car. How can you get past that? This family is in my heart and prayers. I hope they can find a little peace.