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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Grief and Maddy Middleton

My son is dead.
Riley's hair that I carry with me
It’s Madyson Middleton’s mother, Laura Jordan, that I cannot stop thinking about. Her missing daughter, who was found dead Monday night in a Santa Cruz dumpster, makes her like me. Her child has died, our children are dead. And while her daughter’s horrific murder is not the same as my son’s failed heart surgery, their deaths link us. We are mothers of dead children.

Trying to remember what I was doing two days after Riley died, I keep wondering what she is doing right now. Sleeping, not sleeping. Vomiting, overeating. Crying, shaking, shouting, chopping down trees. Is she in bed? Who is checking in on her? Bringing her food? Tissues? Something to drink? What kind of medicine has she been prescribed. Is she taking it? If she is, does she feel guilty about it? Will she bring her daughter home in a cardboard box? I hope she gets to have a clipping of Maddy’s hair. Will she still carry it with her nine months later as I do with Riley’s?

Overwhelmed with the spotlight and media attention, I want to shield her, hold her. Her journey will not launch her into isolation as mine did. She has been launched into the media spotlight. There will be reporters and questions. There will be news vans and live updates outside her bedroom window.

I remember feeling like a rat inside a wooden maze. It felt as though everyone was looking down at me from the maze walls, scrutinizing my every move. No! Why did she turn left? Didn’t she know she was supposed to turn right? I felt as if they knew what I should be doing as I fumbled along in grief. Does she feel that way? Or it is just too soon to feel anything aside disbelief? I can’t help but wonder if the process of grief is some kind of riddle that each of us has to decipher.

I'm so sorry Laura. This is the worst kind of horrible. Maddy should be playing on her scooter. Riley should be playing catch with his brother. I'm grieving for both of them and for both of us. Life will never be the same.


  1. I think of you often. I have your family Christmas picture in a place where I can be reminded of your capacity of being a good mother and a wonderful friend.

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  3. I remember when you cut Riley's hair and will carry that with me as one of the most tender mother/child moments I have witnessed