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


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.

Reader Comments (14)

"We have a tendency, especially in an achievement-oriented culture, to want to solve problems and repair brokenness — to propose, plan, fix, interpret, explain and solve. But what seems to be needed here is the art of presence..."
Jun 28, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterj. lee
Love you, my friend!
Jun 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNinotchka
What a beautiful, honest post. Love to you and your family.
Jun 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEmily
Your post is beautiful, your words so very true. I am so very sorry.
Jun 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJenny
I more than like you.

I respect and appreciate honesty.

And I am truly, deeply sorry. :(
Jun 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJennie
When my infant granddaughter passed away, we heard all of those comments and more. Even "you need to move on". Even lost some friendships, which in my mind were never true friends. I know your pain on an infant/child loss level but Oliver was your son and only you know your grief. Dont ever let anyone define it. I'm so very sorry, Irene. At the end of the day, it just doesn't seem fair. Hugs. Xo
Jun 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterH-
thank you all. xoxo
Jul 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterIrene
I am truly sorry...i will never forget your wise words. i do hope Sean is feeling better..
Jul 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTheresa
I lost my beloved son nearly 24 years ago. He was Marine and perished in a helicopter collision over the Gulf of Oman during Operation Desert Shield, the build up to Desert Storm. You are so very right. There is never "closure." I think Rose Kennedy said it so well when she said, “It has been said, 'time heals all wounds.' I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.”

It. Is. Never. Gone.

Sending love.
Jul 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTina Tierson
Tina, I am so, so, so very sorry for your loss.
sending you much love and holding our sons close.
Jul 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterIrene
Sixteen years ago, we lost our first son. He was just four hours and seventeen minutes old. We never heard his cry, nor did we ever get to see what color his eyes were. In fact, I lost all sense of visual color. I knew the sky was blue and the sun was yellow, but somehow it didn't register and this lasted for nearly six weeks. What finally saved me were two things: writing letters to our son and watching a heron glide across a mist covered pond early one fall morning. As he glided across the water, the color slowly came back into my world and I could see just how beautiful it was. You will survive this tragedy and loss, but like you said, you will be a different person afterwards. I know I'm different 16 years later than I was that long ago September morning. My heart goes out to you and your family, it really does.

Sep 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKatie
It was almost 13 years ago but some days, it feels like it was just yesterday and it hurts just as much... Il ne se passe pas une journée sans que je ne pense à elle...
"and I want you to know that I am both happy and sad, and I am still trying to figure out how that could be"
Just sending my love...
Nov 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterValérie
Valérie: merci beaucoup. so sorry for your loss. holding our babies close.
Nov 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterIrene
Katie: thank you so much for sharing your story. much much love to you.
Nov 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterIrene

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