The conference is officially over now. I have the rest of today to relax, and I leave for Eugene tomorrow morning. I am so glad I came here, and I have no doubt that I will come back next year.
The first two days were pretty exhausting. Imagine the intensity of emotion present in a room full of parents who have experienced the death of their children. At first I felt on the verge of tears almost constantly.
Then on Saturday morning, I woke up feeling strong and happy. I think maybe I felt so good because I was able to cry the day before. I always imagine that if I give into the urge to cry, I'll just never stop. But really it only takes a few minutes of good solid crying to release a heck of a lot of tension, and then I feel so much better.
Saturday was the 6 month anniversary of the accident. What a gift to be able to feel happy on that day! And what was really amazing was that Saturday evening all of the parents at the conference joined together for a candle-light memorial service for all our kids.
So, exactly 6 months after Sage's death, I was able to see his name on a giant projection screen, knowing his life was being honored along with those of so many other children. Like all the other parents, I lit a candle and said his name aloud for all to hear. I lit a candle for Dad, too. This ritual meant more to me than I realized it would.
And thank you to the parents who shared their children's stories with me. I carry the memory of your courage and kindness.