Our Little Warrior Owen

This blog is dedicated to our little sunshine angel Owen. We named him Owen because it means little warrior and we knew he would have to be with two older brothers. He was our little sunshine and his heart stopped beating unexpectedly on his 5 month birthday. We are devastated by the loss of our little guy. Hopefully, this blog will give readers a sense of what a beautiful spirit he was, how he completed our family and will help to keep his memory alive. We hope this gives light into our grieving process and can help other families that suffer a similar tragic loss.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Owen's 1st Annual Balloon Launch - Sunshine for Owen

Dear Owen,

Did you just love all the balloons all your loved one's sent to you in heaven for your first birthday?  Thanks to your auntie Katie for organizing the First Annual Sunshine for Owen balloon launch on February 12, 2013.  I know you met Katie when you were just over a week old.  I am so thankful she was able to meet you. 

Thanks to all of you across the country that sent balloons to Owen in heaven.  We were all SO touched by your love and support.  It really meant a lot.  It warmed our hearts on a day where we just felt so empty.  Thank you thank you thank you.

Here are pictures from the event:

Sunshine for Owen:

Thanks to all of you who sent us cards, flowers and other reminders of our angel in heaven.  It was so nice to feel so much love and support on one of the hardest days we have faced since Owen went to be with God. 

Owen, Connor and Liam really enjoyed sending balloons to you in heaven on your birthday.  It was very windy on your birthday at the cemetary but we managed to send a few balloons up your way!  Their loving daycare that knew you so well also sent balloons up to you after Connor and Liam returned to school.  We were so touched that they had the whole daycare participate in this event to remember your sunshine soul.  Finally, over the weekend we sent up lanterns with some other family in town.


We are now down at Disney celebrating your life and getting away for a bit.  It is amazing how much Liam misses you.  Out of nowhere today he mentioned things you would have liked.  While we were swimming, he pointed to the other pool and said you would have loved that pool because it was so big.  When we were eating cookies after dinner, Connor and Liam both said you would have loved chocolate chip and would have eaten so many cookies!  Though Connor was quick to point out that your mouth was pretty small so it would have taken you a lot of bites :) While we were on a ride at Disney today and Liam said he wanted to give the Pirates a hug, he then told me he wanted to give you a hug.

What I wouldn't give to give you a hug today, or any day.  One last hug.  One last kiss.  I miss you more than I can ever express but I know you feel my love and the love of all that love you up in heaven.

Until we meet again face to face.

I love you to heaven and back.


Your one and only Mom


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wherever you are, my love will find you

Dear Owen,

Happy 1st Birthday.  Oh how we ALL missed you today.  Though, we honored you ALL day long. We felt your love and presence which was very comforting.  We woke up to a beautiful sunrise and the sun was shining all day.  We made pancakes and your brothers blew out candles for you.  Then we made strawberry lemonade cupcakes for you since they thought you would have liked them.  I love the way their little minds work!  Since Connor likes Vanilla and Liam likes Chocolate, they thought it would totally make sense that you would like Strawberry!  Then we took off to the city and went to the zoo.  It was empy which was nice so we didn't have to deal with people everywhere.  I was constantly reminded of the time I took you and your brothers there.  Liam picked out a little elephant to take home since elephants remind them of you since your "wawa/lovey" was an elephant.  Connor picked out a little keychain with your name on it.  Your dad got a little elephant statue that he left at your grave.  After we left the zoo, we then had a beautiful yummy lunch at Sabrina's Cafe. 

Up until this point I felt a sense of peace and love.  I knew your soul was with us and we smiled a lot and remembered you so fondly.  Since you were born at 4:01pm, we decided to head to the cemetary around this time so we could officially since your happy birthday song, blow out candles and release your balloons at this time.  The second I walked down to your grave, I lost it and haven't gained it back since. 

Your brothers were so excited to release the balloons to you in heaven.  They talked a lot about how the balloons had to travel all the way through space to get to you.  Only you know about that journey to heaven.  After singing Happy Birthday to you all day long, we "officially" sang happy birthday to you at 4:01pm.  I couldn't even get the words out.  I miss you so much.  I wish you were here to sit in your high chair and discover frosting and cake for the first time.  We could barely light the candles because the wind kept blowing them out.  We knew this was you taking your stab at blowing out your own 1st birthday candles. 

After our traditional birthday dinner of pizza and fruit, we decided as a family to watch the video your tante Michelle made for us of your all but too short life.  I hadn't watched it in so long.  I think I was protecting myself because every time I watch it, I am reminded of how much I love you, how much I miss you and how much I ache to hold and kiss you again.  This time was even more difficult than ever.  Connor, your oldest brother, cried the entire time.  This is one of the few times I have seen him cry for you.  He was uncontrolable and wouldn't let go of me.  This was so insanely diffficult for your Daddy and I.  it broke my heart to know how much pain he is in and will go through for the rest of his life.  It also broke my heart knowing that you died and I couldn't protect you.  It's so hard to see your children suffer and not be able to take the pain away.  I just kept telling him we will be ok and that you, Owen, were still with us.  It is such a hard concept for a 5 year old to process. Liam cried a little bit but he was also so happy to see you on the big TV and kept waving to you and singing along to the songs.  Connor just kept asking why you died and sweet Owen, I wish we had an answer for him.  We are still working through all of that.  We all held each other and wept as we remembered your sweet soul and all the great times we had with you. 

You have taught us so much in your short but sweet life and we continue to learn from you every day.  Your birth out of the 3 I have been through was definitely the most painful.  It was completely natural and it was crazy hard but it was WORTH it.  I remember thinking right after you were born on 2/12 last year that that was the worst pain I will have ever been through in my life.  I guess I was wrong.  The emotional pain I am in now is much worse.  The only thing that brings me comfort is knowing I will see you again.  I know you are with us and I find peace in that.  You are a part of me that I will never forget.  There is never going to be a day that I don't think of you, pray for you, speak to you. 

I feel like grieving a child is a life sentence. I hate that I tell you this and make you know that I am so sad but I am.  Yes, I go through the daily motions, work, errands etc.  but I really feel like I am never really there.  I am always partially disconnected, just to survive.  I watch crappy TV just to escape this reality that is my life, the rest of my life.  I know I have SO much to be joyful for but I feel like I am living two different lives.  I am so overwhelmed that every year I will have to celebrate your birthday without you.  How will I survive this?  The only answer I can come up with is with God's love and support, the love and support of friends and family and YOUR LOVE and SWEET SMILE.  I have to believe one day, whether it be tomorrow or 70 years from now, I WILL celebrate a birthday in your presence in heaven.  Please help guide me as I navigate this world of a grieving parent for the rest of my life.

As I sit here with your candle burning and your brothers asleep upstairs, I am reading the book I bought for you for your 1st birthday.  I know it is a book that most parents probably buy their children when they grow up and leave the house but I find it perfect for our situation too.  My love will find you whever you are and I know your love will find me, wherever I am.

May your eternal birthday celebration in heaven be a party with the angels.

Wherever You Are, my love will find you
by Nancy Tillman

I wanted you more
than you ever will know,
so I sent love to follow
wherever you go.

It's high as you wish it.  It's quick as an elf.
You'll never outgrow it...it stretches itself!

So climb any mountain...
climb up to the sky!
My love will find you.
My love can fly!

Make a big splash! Go out on a limb!
My love will find you.  My love can swim!

It never gets lost, never fades, never ends...

if you're working...

or playing...

or sitting with friends.

You can dance till your dizzy...

paint till you're blue...

There's no place, not one,
that my love can't find you.

And if someday you're lonely,
or someday you're sad,
or you strike out in baseball,
or think you've been bad...

just life up your face, feel the wind in your hair.
That's me, my sweet baby, my love is right there.

In the green of the grass...in the smell of
the sea...in the clouds floating by...
at the top of a tree...in the sound
crickets make at the end of the day...

"You are loved.  You are loved.  You are
loved," they all say. 

My love is so high, and wide and
so deep, it's always right there, even
when you're asleep.

So hold your head high
and don't be afraid
to march to the front
of your own parade.

If you're still my small babe
or you're all the way grown,
my promise to you
is you're never alone.

You are my angel, my darling,
my star...and my love will find you,
wherever you are.

Happy Birthday Sweet Angel.

Your one and only Mom

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Owen Michael O'Brien Memorial Fund

For all of those who have been asking, we set up a memorial fund for Owen on his 1st birthday. We are working to raise funds to establish a park here in Yardley on the Delaware River to honor all children lost too soon. We want to create a sanctuary where all grieving families can feel comfort in knowing their children are not forgotten and are ever so loved.

Owen Michael O'Brien Memorial Fund
c/o First Federal of Bucks County
Bristol, PA 19007-9893

Happy 1st birthday my sweet angel.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Weather Forecast for your 1st Birthday: Plentiful sunshine

Dear Owen,

How do you do it?!?  I just looked on my phone for the forecast for tomorrow because your Daddy, Connor, Liam and I are going to take the day off to celebrate your birthday.  After a weekend of snow and a very foggy and dreary day today, the forecast tomorrow calls for "Plentiful sunshine". 

We are so blessed to call you our sunshine and know you will be with us in spirit tomorrow, as you always are.  Your brothers are so excited to make your sunshine cupcakes.  We just wish you were here to smash it on your face.

We love you more than ever.

Happy early 1st birthday my sweet bear.  You truly are my sunshine, my only sunshine.

Your One and Only Mom