hi, I'm Irene and this is my blog. all images and content © 2005-2017 Irene Nam unless stated otherwise. please do not use original images without permission. thank you!


in loving memory of
Oliver Yu-An Nam
Feb 1 - May 20 2014


Oliver's first birthday wish

On May 20, 2014, our beautiful baby boy Oliver Yu-An passed away to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) at age 15 weeks. Oliver was a precious gift who filled our hearts with so much love and joy, and we will forever miss him.

As his first birthday is approaching, and instead of the "doljanchi" (traditional Korean 1st birthday celebration) that we had planned for him, we would like to honor Oliver's memory and raise funds for BlinkNow Foundation's KOPILA VALLEY CHILDREN'S HOME AND SCHOOL in Surkhet, Nepal. We've been supporting and inspired by our dear friend Maggie Doyne since the day we first met in 2009, and although we ache for the day we can kiss Oliver's cheeks again, we cannot think of a happier, more meaningful way to celebrate his life.

We thank you all for your prayers and support during this most challenging time in our lives, and hope you'll join us.

To make a donation, click here.


how do you survive the holidays when there's a child missing?

how do you survive the holidays when there's a child missing? with the help of your framily. a beacon in the storm. my safety net. showering me with loving care. and taking the edge off that now familiar sting.

people often tell me that I'm so strong. but I am not, believe me. there are many hours spent under the covers after the boys have left for school. more hours contemplating dirty dishes, being angry, watching tv shows, crying in the shower, and ordering takeout food. the truth is, I am only as strong as the love and patience that my friends give me. and they're giving me plenty. and for that I am forever grateful.




"I'm starting to understand how these two are not mutually exclusive. that I can be incredibly sad and still happy. not quite there yet, but I see now how these two can co-exist"

Maui, July 2014.


how to have a fun vacation (Hong Kong edition)

I could go on and on about how you should take the Peak Tram (a 120-year-old funicular railway) to Victoria Peak and enjoy a stunning panoramic view of the city. or how you have to hop on the Ngong Ping 360 skyrail and meet the Big Buddha on Lantau island. and catch the Star Ferry. and visit Man Mo Temple on Hollywood Road.

I could also tell you how grateful I am for the opportunity to travel with my boys, expose them to different cultures, and help deepen their understanding of the world. 

but really. what I want to say is.

Dim Sum heaven.


"I hope you see me, I hope you're proud of me"

3 months later all I wanted to do was curl up in bed and cry. but instead I spent the day on a beach in Normandy with 5000+ kids, taking photos for non-profit organization Secours Populaire Français.

I hope you see me, I hope you're proud of me.

more photos here.


these two

6 weeks ago, the morning after Oliver's funeral, Sean was hit by a motorcycle on his way to school. he was rushed to the hospital and sent for x-rays and full body scans that revealed a broken collarbone, broken ankle, several broken facial bones and multiple internal injuries. on our lowest moments we kept asking "why? is it a joke?" only to be reminded that our son may be in pain and facing a long recovery, but he's alive.

it's been a long, challenging 6 weeks. but the lessons are invaluable. we've learned how to navigate tilted sidewalks on a wheelchair. who our real friends are. to be grateful, always. that candies make the daily injections to prevent blood clots a little more bearable. and that in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges, there is no answer but to love each other even more.

thank you so much to all of you who've kept our family in your thoughts and prayers.


a few things

some days are better, some days are worse.

if you ask me "how are you?" I will answer you honestly. I will not lie and pretend like I am fine if I'm not.

I think about Oliver constantly. it doesn't mean that you shouldn't talk about him or that he's all I want to talk about.

I will never "get over it". get over it.

please refrain from any of the following comments:
"you're so strong"
"it was God's plan"
"you can have another one"
"keep your chin up"
"your family needs you"
"tomorrow is another day"
"you can do it" (do what???)

not because they are all untrue but because they do not bring me any sense of encouragement or comfort.

but if you still want to say something say "I'm sorry". because I know you are.

I'm still the same, but I'm profoundly changed. I understand that you might not like who I am now and it's okay. really.

I've made the conscious, mindful choice to not avoid pain. it is very clear to me that there is no way out but through. it doesn't mean that I'm not functional, social, loving, responsible, cheerful, or that I do not seek the help of others when I need to.

time doesn't heal. it helps us get used to suffering, to adjust to living with the pain.

I am a mother of three sons.


no title

After only 110 days on Earth, Oliver Noah Yu-An Nam, beautiful baby of Irene and Yoon-Seok Nam, has been called home to become an angel in Heaven. Oliver passed away suddenly on Tuesday, May 20th 2014.

Oliver was a precious gift who filled his family's home with love and joy. He will forever remain in the hearts of his adoring parents and his beloved brothers, Sean and Will.

May the sudden passing of this sweet baby boy remind us all that our lives, and the lives of those we love, are precious and far too short. May his legacy be that we learn to love our families and friends more fully, and treasure every moment we share.

Calling hours will be held from 10am-5pm on Friday, May 23rd and Saturday, May 24th at:

25 rue des Longs-Prés 
92100 Boulogne

There will be a memorial service in Korean with French translation at 11am on Tuesday, May 27th at:

Eglise Presbytérienne Coréenne du Pont-Neuf
7 rue Auguste Vacquerie
75016 Paris

A burial service, in Korean and French, will be held at 3:30pm on Tuesday, May 27th at:

Cimetière de Boulogne
48 avenue Pierre Grenier
92100 Boulogne


"I promise he will be a very special boy and you will never look back"

Blackbird said.

indeed he is.

and I never did.