He didn’t earn his wings …

You know, I generally have an issue with how others view those they’ve lost.

It sometimes bothers me that the majority of parents hook into the angel concept, even a year and 3 months later. (I count, it’s a widow thing).

Shane Dare


My boy was not and is not an angel. I often want to yell this at the heavens. I guess that’s strange. Trust me though, nothing is strange or to be concerning during the very lengthy grieving process.

I am a Christian and I know that my boy is in heaven, with God and the angels and his dad, who died 16 months earlier.

My son did not “earn” his wings in heaven. If we could earn wings he’d still be here working on that! And I would not want to shout it in the imaginary room of suffering mothers.

Being in need of something to control, my logic wants to continually correct the concept, but another mom’s insight that it’s a comfort for them, has somehow, after all this time, soften my need to correct them.

Seriously, what’s my motivation there? Am I worried that they’ve put their missing child on the throne? Idolizing a mythical angel child? I must step back and leave their shattered hearts to God. He will bring them to right understanding in His timing.

To see their child as literal angels with wings comforts their shattered hearts, and that’s okay, that’s needed. Anything that comforts, for now.

That is the prime motivation…Comfort.

What will comfort my shattered hopes and dreams? What will bind my broken heart? What will shore up the corrosion of my exhausted mind and being?

A mother, who has lost her child, must find and purposefully engage something to motivate life. Some must motivate… Her other children, her husband, a job. I chuckle as I think of the fact that I don’t have those motivations.

All I know is my little family was severed in two. My heart is in nothing I do. I sit day after day trying to fill hours upon days until I can go back to bed.

No grandbaby to see him in, soothing my anxiety. No Little to tell daddy stories to, keeping my boy’s memory alive.

No cardinals or feathers to tell me hes near.

Continue reading


A Return to a Call

Write.Hello again.

I’ve been unable to write for months . And as most bloggers know sometimes life gets in the way of our writing.

I’m back with the hope that I can combine my two blogs and get back at it. I do hope I am able to still write. I remember writing .. it’s a start.

The last months have been difficult. I’m still trying to understand/emotionally accept that my two men are gone. I’m trying to figure things out on my own power and that never goes well. Good thing I tend to take those things I feel the need to figure out to the Word. So I’ve not gotten myself in any trouble.

The last three days have been an emotional rollercoaster. I got pulled under by a tidal wave of grief, primarily for Don, however, it’s difficult to explain the grieving process of a person who has endured so much trauma. Suffice it to say everyone who is on this journey grieves individually; in God’s time and His way for that person.

It is also hard to think, remember, function and there is no ‘being normal’ [see, I just forgot what I wanted to write just there “no being normal” and it took almost five minutes for it to come back].

Well, in therapy terms all this and more fall within the parameters of PTSD. Which is what my therapist diagnosed. You know me, or maybe you don’t, aside from asking my trusted prayer group to pray , I don’t speak the word. I do not gather it into myself and own it.

Nothing, no weapon formed against me can prosper. – Isaiah 54:17

Yes, illness and disease are weapons against us. We know this because the Word says we ‘we’re’ healed. Catch that “we’re”. Before we were born. Before the foundation of the earth. [Ephesians 1:4] It’s also somewhere in Deuteronomy.

So to finish the come back introduction. I want to try something. In various journals around the house I’ve written letters to Don. And this is their home.

So I invite you to read the journey of a broken, shattered woman. A woman who doesn’t remember who she was before Don and Shane took up residence in her heart.

Love is forever, Grief is a lifetime.

Nobody’s wife. No one’s mother.

Just me, Andrea … Who has changed, in ways I cannot explain.

Just so everyone knows, there is a LOT of God written in my posts. And I will be writing about cancer and addiction or substance abuse disorder [SAD], dear LORD that acronym just stopped my breath; and heroin and fentanyl and the devastating plague of these two insidious killers.

Also, just as a heads up: I know addiction is a brain disease. No manner of dispute in this area will change my knowledge of this fact, so please only polite comments.   🙂

Thank you so very much for waiting for me to return.

And as always, thank you for reading. God bless.


Andrea … and so she decided to pursue her calling and write.

Expectations be damned!

Oh how I’d love to spend some time with this widow. I pray we all come to the depth of her wisdom on grief.

We as a society would be so much healthier. Ready to comfort our grieving without the insane expectations.

As a wife and mother of “the deceased” I have found that due to our warped societal expectations that even the grieving crave an end to the emotions of our grief, as if forgotten. Out of the pain of enduring this process alone.


Shane Dare

May we all, as a society follow true Christianity – Father God’s acceptable model of caring for our grieving family, friends, neighbors and acquaintances.

James 1:27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Here’s my favorite excerp from the article:

Stifled Grief: How the West has it Wrong –  Michelle E. Steinke – Huffpost

Expectation: Time heals all wounds.

Reality: Time softens the impact of the pain, but you are never completely healed. Rather than setting up false expectations of healing let’s talk about realistic expectations of growth and forward movement. Grief changes who you are at the deepest levels and while you may not forever be in an active mode of grief you will forever be shaped by the loss you have endured.

To read the whole article: A link to wisdom

Follow Michelle E. Steinke on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/OneFitWidow

Thanks for reading. God bless.

Avoiding the Dawn

Trouble to sleep,

To visit turbulent dreams. 

Fighting awake.

Avoiding the dawn, 

Again to grieve, anew. 

~ AHutchinson.

Grief is the price we pay for love. – Queen Elizabeth II

Every night when I go to bed, I hope that I may never wake again, and every morning renews my grief. – Franz   Schubert

The name for a parent whose lost a child.

I found it! The name for us parents who have lost a child!!! I’m sure others have walked in the search for the conundrum that no one has ever defined one word to describe a parent who has had to bury a child, and found what I did. However, that doesn’t lessen my excitement in finding it.

I found it here, and it wasn’t like someone made it up, a professor from Duke did the ultimate research to finally put a name to who we are and what we endure. Thank you, Duke Professor Karla Holloway! I sure hope you find this and others like it and derive some joy at finally naming us.

A Name for A Parent Whose Child Has Died

Upon losing my husband the first early hour of a Tuesday in April 2015, I became, forever, a widow. Now we all know that a widow is a woman/wife whose husband has died.

Not one of us wanted to change our title in our marriages. Not a one. However, the fact was that we, in the blink of an eye lost the one who was closest to us, like the touching of bare skin on a summer day and we became a widow.

I remember walking around shaking my head, repeating [in my head] I’m a widow. I’m no one’s wife. I’m a widow.

I am the Widow Hutchinson. Makes me want to bow like in those King and Queen Castle movies.

Widow is a sanskrit word that means empty. When I read that line in Professor Holloway’s paper my heart and mind agreed with the meaning. That’s exactly it. Empty was a tangible feeling, widows can touch it. Empty remained for months upon months, keeping grief company on the couch that I rarely moved from.

I’ll take the definition and I’ll raise you the definition and word for a parent’s loss.

Now I’d suggest you read Professor Holloway’s paper. I wonder if she might be a member of our group. A grieving parent in search of a name for what she had become. I know I wondered and was confounded that we as a society didn’t give these suffering parents a title.

Because for the love of all that is good and holy, they, we, deserved one. So here it is …

Vilomah, meaning against the natural order.

Again my heart shouts YES! YES! Thank you!

I’m a Vilomah. A widowed vilomah. A woman who buried a husband and a son.

The Widowed Vilomah Hutchinson; though I don’t think I’ll be actually running around flaunting the title as that would be crazy. However, I was relieved to find the title that explained my circumstance.

It may or may not be, in your personal opinion, normal to bury a spouse. I don’t, it was never a part of our plan. His death killed all of our plans, and I suddenly had no future. I didn’t know what my life looked like.

But I had my kids, my adult boys to pull me out of my futureless existence.

Burying your child, now that is not natural. Ever. It shouldn’t ever be. It certainly is against the natural order of things. So I sat there, on the couch that I had just recently rose from, again, pondering just how deep and wide sorrow could invade one  heart.

Wondering what words I would use to explain who I was now.

Widow did not encompass my unique situation. I had lost exactly 1/3 of my family in a 16 month period. And while death is never expected when it actually comes, we were prepared, whatever that means, when my husband died.

Now let me just say this,  saying we were prepared is what we say because it makes other people happy and content with our company.


Losing my son, well that was a numbing shock. I would sit on that couch, my best friend forever, and yes even sometimes now, longing for my husband to comfort me in this new profound and deeply painful grief. Feeling the grief sink even deeper in the realization that he was not there for my comfort, and that I must face the loss of someone closer to me than even my husband had been. I had just lost a literal part of my body. Alone.

And there was no word I could use to explain and comfort those who offered the usual platitudes. But come to think of it, there was. Mother. I was the mother of the deceased. I did not cease to be his mother simply because he passed. After all he resided within me for 10 months. The mother of the deceased, my boy has been gone for 7 months.

Yet I still pondered why there wasn’t a universal title for us.

And now there is. Vilomah. It even sounds right when said out loud.

God bless you, us, all. The widowed. The vilomahed. We who traverse the parched vastness of deep loss.

Thank you for reading.  1Andrea



Wife and Mother

Mother’s Day is looming. Lurking around the corner just waiting to dawn, lighting upon the happy hearts of mother’s everywhere. I thank the good Lord in heaven that there is no “Wife’s Day”. I guess some would say that’s Valentine’s Day … and I’m blessed that that Hallmark Holiday wasn’t a thing for Don and I [the man really did hit the jackpot with me, and he knew it.]

So, mother’s day and a five minute writing prompt word [you guessed it!]

Welcome to another round of Five Minute Friday!

To learn more about FMF, click here

This week’s Five Minute Friday prompt is: Mom

Five minutes on the timer … Go.

So, as you know I’ve had tremendous loss these last 2 years and 1 month. Oh my, will the counting of time ever end!

I am numb. Deeply sorrowful. And at a loss for Mother’s Day.

My mind goes to the towheaded blonde locks of the sweetest boy you’d ever know. My mother’s heart constricts making my heart physically ache.

Shane toddler

How can I be honored on this day to honor mothers?

“Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Ephesians 6:2,3

I feel as though I failed miserably. My boy is gone and I couldn’t do a thing about it.

Shane Dare

I am blessed though to have 3 other children and grandchildren but on a weekend like this, a day as precious as mother’s day, My spirit is heavy with what is gone. With who is gone.

Oh and just to get my mind off of what my heart is saying, this is the first Mother’s Day after my boy has passed. There’s the counting again …..


I want to reach out to those mother’s who have suffered the single most worst loss a human being can bear. And bear it we do.

On our hearts.

On out minds.

On our sleeves for all to see.

Sweet mother, you are still a mother.  You are still the best mom your sweet child could have had. I know this because I believe God gives us the children [on loan] that we can best parent. Giving that child everything they could possibly need and desire [though in moderation with the desires] to do what they came from heaven to do.

You are still a Mother and still to be honored. Know that you are definitely not alone. I know that holidays like Mother’s Day tend to bring us sorrow and the agony of newly opened grief. I know that this is a pjs and head under the blanket day. But I encourage you today.

Dare to honor your motherhood. Celebrate your other children. Celebrate with family and friends. Do something good for you, a treat.

Then the mother of the child said, “As the Lord lives and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” – 2 Kings 4:30

We nurture and raise our children the best we can, placing them firmly on the path they should go, and then we pray. And our hearts say … as the Lord lives and as you, yourself live, I will not leave you. We don’t leave them even in their worst rebellions, we don’t leave. We pray.

Mother’s pray, it is the most important service a mother can give her child.

Today I pray for all mothers, but I raise up a little higher to our Heavenly Father the ones who have lost a child and are suffering an emptiness even as they smile and celebrate with their other beloved children. I ask, Lord that you blanket them with your peace. With a knowledge that their child is safely at home in your arms. Lord relieve the sorrow, dear heavenly Father we remember  and humbly thank You for the promise in your Word to be close to the brokenhearted and save those who are crushed in spirit. I thank You Lord for caring for these beloved children, even as I lack the understanding, not knowing how this could be a part of Your plan for our lives, but still we trust You, Lord. Moving forward, caring for our families and cradling in our hearts the memory of that literal piece of us that is gone. Comforted that they rest in You. Thank you Lord for Your faithfulness. I humbly pray in Jesus’ name, amen.


It’s been a long time coming …the blog.

Well here I am. I am back and with an urge to write. I’ve been gone since the end of       April ’16! Did I hear a gasp of breath?

It certainly has been a long time …

I’ve changed the name of this blog for a very good reason …

So what has kept this widow from writing. Well obviously grief and coming to terms with grief’s place in this new life of mine. But there’s more to it … In October of ’16  my youngest son passed away, here at home. There was much trauma in his death, unlike the death of his dad.

Just before he passed away, a week before actually, I woke up one sunny morning and felt as though I was ready to begin thinking about what my life was going to be going forward. I was ready to think about living my life. I had begun thinking that there had to be more to life than numb grieving. There had to be a way to grieve and live too.

And then … heroin took my boy. I was slammed back to my knees. I couldn’t breathe again. God help me.//STOP

FMF Post – so I stopped at the 5 minute mark, because the theme of FMF is to freely write for 5 mins. without regard to punctuation, grammar or sentence structure. You should join us there. Follow the link.

** There was only one thing I believed that could possibly be more devastating than losing the spouse you know God meant for you … and that was the loss of the precious child that God gave you charge over.

Breathing hurt so much.

It wasn’t unfounded guilt. You may not understand that. The mother (parents) of an addict often blame themselves. However, I had worked my way out of the prison of enabler. So there was no time to wallow in false guilt.

I couldn’t breathe because I couldn’t bear the the weight of the loss. Shane’s loss was parallel to Don’s death … let me try to explain. The grieving is now two. I am grieving separately for both men. It’s like my son’s death laid atop my husband’s death and now they move forward, simultaneously, like a double deck bridge … one path above the other, neither one more important than the other, yet not equal either. It’s surreal really. And grief’s sister joined us for the journey.

So I stopped moving. If I didn’t have to work, if there was nothing demanding my attention, I didn’t leave my house. Funny … now that I think of it I barely leave my house now. Just church, bible study, groceries and medical or therapy appointments. However, I move some now.

I am always amazed at the fact that my boy has only been gone four months in four days. Funny how the counting works. As a widow you begin counting how long your husband has been gone … now add a child … the counting seems almost to mirror OCD. Thank God it’s not that.

Widow’s begin to count the years, not from their birthday or New Year’s Day, but from the date that they lost their other half. So the start of my year is April 28th each year. I wake on that day and put behind me the old and count the new … today I am just 3 months shy of 2 years old(er). See how that works?

And it just dawned on me, this day, that their is no title for a mother who loses her child; if there is I’ve not heard of it.  There really should be though. We carried those precious ones in our bodies for ten months. He was physically apart of me and it feels as though something has been torn from my body at his loss.

Like losing a lung. The devastation makes it hard to breathe. It’s debilitating really. But I smile and say I’m okay. I’ve become an accomplished liar on the subject of okay. Yet I noticed the other day, while talking on the phone and putting on makeup at the same time, I genuinely laughed at something that escapes me now … and caught my breath a bit when I realized that my laugh, that my smile, even genuine, no longer reached my eyes. This mad me sad. My husband, for a lifetime, said he loved my eyes, that they spoke my emotions. Now, I guess they don’t any longer.

Anyway … I believe I’ve begun rambling. So here I am, I hope I’m really back. I’ll need to get into a comfortable groove as I will be managing both of my blogs, and maybe I can fit my photography blog back on tract too … one step at a time though … thanks for reading. God bless.