Memorials for Ward

I have been with James and Julie some today. They are obviously in agony. Our family takes some comfort in the fact that several other families all over the country received word last night that because of J & J's decision to donate Ward's organs, other babies and toddlers will have a chance at life. At this point, we know for certain that children in Memphis and Indianapolis will be organ recipients.

Apparently James and Julie can write letters to the receiving families, telling them about Ward, and if the families want to, they can get in touch with James and Julie. I hope this connection happens.

All the young Allison, Tant and Granju cousins were told about Ward's death this morning and are each grieving in their own way. That's really hard for all of us. The cousins are a tight bunch :-(

My littlest, Elliot, really took it hard. Julie is his godmother and he just spent a week staying with them and playing with Jack, Gray and Ward. He had made a get-well package for Ward with, among other things, a quarter, a lucky buckeye, a feather, two yugioh cards and a picture of the great wall of china that he cut out of a magazine.

Ward's brothers, Gray and Jack, look shellshocked. Julie is so amazing; when I was over there earlier, she was bustling around fixing the boys their lunch. She's such, such a great mama.

As for me, I feel a bit like there has been a rip in the cosmos or something. I definitely have a "this simply cannot be happening" feeling a lot of the time. You read and hear about this happening to other families, but never, ever imagine it could happen to your own.

When I was walking my 4 year old nephew, Jones and my 6 year old niece Eleanor downtown for ice cream earlier, and we were talking about Ward, it felt completely surreal... I simply could not believe I was having this conversation with them about Ward.

One of the hardest parts for me was how my grandfather, who is 87, broke down and sobbed when I saw him today. My grandparents live less than one block away from James and Julie and they see Gray, Jack and Ward pretty much every day. This loss is incredibly painful for them. I am very close to my grandparents and I have never, ever seen my grandfather cry.

Our family is so grateful to everyone in Bell Buckle, the Webb School community and all over the country for all the calls and e-mails and general outpouring of love. All of Bell Buckle is festooned with beautiful blue ribbons in memory of our sweet baby Wardy.

The new playground in Bell Buckle is going to be finished in memory of Edward Locke Anderson.

Here is a note from my Uncle John, Ward's grandfather:


James and Julie have asked me to let people know that should anyone want to give resources in memory of Ward, they would deeply appreciate that they be given to the Bell Buckle park fund, designated specifically for the children's playground. Any donations can be sent to Town Hall with a note attached indicating that it is for the playground. James and Julie will be notified by the town and can then respond.

We have many children in our community and more as time goes by who would derive a lot of joyful pleasure from a nice, safe playground.

James and Julie are at home and their door is open.

A service for Ward is tentatively planned for next Saturday at the Bell Buckle Methodist church. As plans become more fixed, we shall get the word out.

Again, thank you for everything. - John


Cecilia said...

Katie, I am devastated to read this sad news. I know this will be such a difficult loss for your entire family. As I read about the little cousins being so close, I couldn't help but think of my own family and the way all of us were together today for my niece's birthday party. I can hardly imagine how we would all be affected if one of the smallest among us were to pass away. I also couldn't help but think of my own parents and the way they love their greatgrandchildren so much... I know my father would be inconsolable if anything were to happen to either of them. My thoughts are with all of you. I know you will all comfort one another, but do know that you are being held in the loving thoughts of others as well. If I could come there and give each of you a real hug, I would. Much love...

mamalife said...

I'm so sorry for the loss. Ward will live on through these organ donations. We have more than one family in our practice whose babies our alive due to such generosity of parents who lost their precious little one.

Debbie T. said...

Katie - My deepest sympathies to Ward's parents, siblings and the entire family. Any child's death is a tradgedy but this one seems to be even more unfair. My prayers for all of them.


Anonymous said...

Katie, reading your blog brought me to tears. I am so very sorry for your lost.

The following might bring some consolation. My dear friend's father died on the 29th. Bruce was a man of great love. He has several grandchildren and I truly believe that, if asked, he will be welcoming darling Ward into wherever it is that they now exist.

And I'm sure there are other relatives of Ward's that have passed before him who will now be blessed with his presence.

No one is ever alone.

Susan B, from radical mamas and writergrrls

Anonymous said...

This is Ward's mom, Julie. Katie's right that we are in agony. As soon as my eyes opened this morning I started crying, and I just need to get on an even keel before my big boys wake up. I wanted you all to know that your prayers and sorrow do help. Feeling that he touched other people and that he will be missed by so many people who knew and loved him is a small comfort. I just had an image that I will share with my husband when he wakes up, of this hideous grief and pain being a huge heavy cloud that is resting on us. I think the prayers and love of those around us might help us lift it off, because it's so, so heavy for us to try it on our own.

Thank you everyone for your prayers and wishes. I also feel that exposing and talking about this awful hole in our lives, and being around other people talking about missing sweet Wardie, will help us heal.

Anonymous said...

This news is so sad. My heart goes out to Julie and your family.
Kathleen Z.