Friday, July 19, 2013

Happy Noise

We're still living the surreal post-loss-of-a-child life, proofing death certificates, making arrangements, and fielding the kids' tough questions about where Cora is now, and why we don't visit her anymore at UCSF.

Our life is so, so weird. Because all of those things are going on in a household where we are still laughing, still playing, and in many ways still living the same life we always do.

As an example, I offer the fact that yesterday Dom and Cosie both dressed up as Snow White.

We are in the car right now driving home from my sister's house (Jay is driving) and laughter is ringing. Dom says, "Did you bring any milk for me?" To which Cosie replies, "I'm sorry, we didn't buddy!" And then, "It's just too bad, Dynamite." And when Dom cried, "Don't call me Dynamite!," she replied, "Oh, should I call you Dada?"

Cosie has always been funny but she seems absolutely intent on making us laugh, and she succeeds at it most of the time.

There is this delicious chatter and happy noise in the back seat. But with it, also the very sad remembrance that Cora's voice will never contribute to this sweet noise. And it makes me so very sad. I wanted our life to get crazier before it got easier. I wanted the chaos to get ever more chaotic, as it absolutely should by adding that third child. I so wanted Cora one day to yell, "Dom's hitting me!," or even to cry the tears of a three-year-old from the desperately whiny pit that all toddlers seem to enter. There are so many "nevers" that are falling through my mind tonight.

All my life I wanted three children. When Cora came along, I felt our life was complete. Despite all of the ideas I had to shift having been given a child with special needs -- like accepting that we may never go camping or on scuba dive trips (we don't scuba dive, by the way) -- I always felt happy and complete. And for as wonderful and rich as it was with Cora, and as beautiful as it still is today, I just don't know that I'll ever feel that complete again. These are some of the shifts and shocks I'm experiencing over these past days. A feeling of joy and laughter and gratitude, followed by a sinking feeling of the life we will never have again.

As long as we had Cora here, there was always the hope that she would get better. And now of course that hope has sailed away. And that's just another thing for me to let go of.

Those are the scary circular pits I can go into. But then there is Cosette to pull me back. In the back seat she is whispering, "Dom got stung on his bottom, so get out of my car mister! I wanted pink glasses like that, but now I don't have pink glasses like that. Look at! She got wet on her wet!"...What?

I know I have my three children, my three perfect littles, and I always will. I got the ones I wanted, absolutely, 100%, and without a regret or a reservation. And although it doesn't at all look like what I had hoped, I feel in so many ways I got the best of everything.


Many of you have asked about donations, and we finally have some information on that. We sincerely thank all of you for your continued love and support.

We request that all donations in Cora's memory be directed to Pediatric Intensive Care at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital.

To make a donation, please make your check payable to UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital and note on the memo line or separate correspondence that the gift should be directed to Pediatric Intensive Care - B1333 in memory of Cora Vivienne Bousquet.

Mailing address:
UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital
PO Box 45339
San Francisco, CA 94145-0339


  1. Dear Michele and Jason,
    We are so privileged for you to have shared your journey with all of us. Cora will be eternally in our hearts. We'll celebrate her time on earth on Tuesday.
    Love you!
    Tatiana & John

  2. Sending you love and prayers to help you get through tomorrow.