No Woman, No Cry

July 6, 2005    By: Kristen J @ 9:05 am   Category: Life

Earlier in the year my 3 year old son almost died. My husband and I wrote several posts on it at the time so I’m sure some of you know what I’m talking about. For those of you who don’t; my son fell into our pool during a pool party unnoticed by me or the other parent watching. The timing is unknown but not long after he fell in I got a huge prompting to look for my son. Geoff heard my calls for Quinn and ran out to the pool where he saw him floating face down. He pulled him out, we did CPR on him and he was then flown in a helicopter to the Pediatric NICU at a local hospital. He made a full recovery in a very short time, was released to come home, and has since lived a very normal 3 year old boy kind of life (except now he is an awesome swimmer).

It’s been an interesting few months, I think about his accident several times a day, sometimes reliving it and sometimes just as just a passing thought. So, what’s the big deal you might ask, your son is healthy and happy, be grateful and move on. It’s not that I’m ungrateful; I thank my Heavenly Father daily for sparing my son. I think that when you stare death in the face you come out a changed person, I hope you would come out a changed person.

I think the biggest change for me is losing that sense of invincibility that most humans seem to have. In the past when I’ve heard about children drowning, being left in cars, or other accidents I’ve often thought, what is wrong with the parents of the child, they must be complete idiots. Now I know that tragic things happen to good parents or I’m a complete idiot myself. For my own sake I choose to think the former.

Now when I watch a movie, or tv, or some other medium that trivializes violence and death I pause and think. I think that the thug that was mercilessly blown off his feet and into kingdom come has a mother, or a father, or someone who loved him that is going to go through terrible grief and sorrow. I never have been thrilled with violence in the media but now it’s just a little more painful for me to watch.

I also think I have developed more compassion and empathy for people who are going through trials in their lives. Bob Marley has a song called “Johnny Was”. It’s about a man who was shot and killed and in part of the song he talks about the man’s mother and the sorrow she is going through. One particular line says, She still wants the child she bare. I have always found that line to be so touching but now when I think about how close I came to losing my own child that line touches me even more.

I have come to learn a lot about myself since this tragedy but I don’t know how I would have handled it if he had died. I’m not sure that I could have picked myself up and carried on like my family would have needed me too. I think I would always have blamed myself for killing my son because of my neglect and I know that I would always long to go back to February 23, 2005 the day before the accident. I would forever want the child I bore.

I still cry about it sometimes. When I’m stopped in traffic or waiting at a stop light occasionally a tear will trickle down my face. Tragedy didn’t embrace me that day but it brushed it’s fingers lightly across my cheek and that was more than enough.


  1. I can’t even imagine the fear you had. I have seen it played out a thousand times as parents have come running in to the ER with their children. Some of the children are infants and some are well into their adult years, but it is the same.

    I have seen death and the sorrow it brings and I have seen the miracles that bring children back. Some were whole, some were missing parts of themselves.

    I learned to look at parents in many different ways. There were parents who caused the problem through some type of abuse. There were parents who were away and could do nothing but mourn at the loss. Then there were those parents who took every heroic action to bring those children back. Who would have moved heaven and earth. For all I felt a different kind of sorrow. However, except in the case of the true abusers, I never felt anger or contempt. Even for the mother of the baby who suffocated while the mother was out at multiple bars, leaving this infant in the care of her 7 year old sibling. I just felt sorry for the 7 year old. I know the mother will mourn forever because of her choice. What right do I have to judge her.
    I think the most heroic thing I ever saw in the ER though was the time that we had two brothers who were trapped in a car that started to burn. The fourteen year old brother put himself over the five year old boy so he would be safe. I held the fourteen year olds head for over an hour as he slipped into eternity telling him over and over as he asked how his brother was that only his hair was singed. This boy had full thickness burns over 90 % of his body but he was mostly concerned about his brother. I had the priveledge of telling his mother what an incredible son she had, one who truly knew what it was to love without care for himself. Even now I find myself crying uncontrollably and remembering the smell. After he died I cleaned his body the best I could with the other EMT’s and brought in his family and cried with them over this brave boy, even though I knew he was much better off.
    I mourn still with them, as I would have mourned with you.

    Your son is lucky to have parents who cared enough be at the party with him. He is blessed because you were in tune enough to have felt and acted on the prompting. He is blessed now with the opportunity to do more with the life he has to share.

    Comment by Casey Blau — July 6, 2005 @ 9:46 am

  2. Kristen and Casey, thanks for sharing. We have a son who attempted suicide. I too think of it often, I weep uncontrolably, I blame myself. We still worry constantly about this son. He’s a good person, one who you would never know has had this deep of problems.

    It has obviously changed me and especially how I look and feel toward others in tragic situations. I am much more careful about how I judge others…I understand mercy better now too.

    Thankfully a loving Heavenly Father comforts us and helps us thru.

    Comment by don — July 6, 2005 @ 10:25 am

  3. Hey you guys, the title is “No Woman, No Cry” you’re not supposed to tell me even more things that make me cry!

    I don’t think I could work at an ER for long, I would be too upset all of the time. You must be tough Casey.

    Don that would be so tough to go through too. I hope when my children have problems I’ll be able to handle it with grace.

    Thank you so much for sharing those experiences with me.

    Comment by Kristen J — July 6, 2005 @ 11:49 am

  4. I’m glad your son is ok, Kristen, and you too, Don!

    I have a slight fear of water and when my kids were toddlers, if they were anywhere near a pool, I would have trouble breathing regularly, I’d get so anxious. Even though I was right next to them and if they fell in me or any other number of people nearby could’ve just grabbed them out.

    I was the same way when my co-worker’s toddlers would visit the office and just stand next to an open window (we were on the 3rd floor), although there was no way they could fall out.

    I don’t know when it happened, but at some point I’ve started imagining the worst that could happen. I put all three of my kids on an airplane last week and you don’t want to know what I was imagining could happen. Horrible. I’ll tell you, it’s really ruined amusement park rides for me. I see the rusty bolts and cables and imagine the worst.

    When I was 10 my 3yo nephew died, and when I was 20 my brother died, and when I was 21 my sister died. Also since then an uncle and all of my grandparents. I guess I’m just more aware of our mortality than a lot of people seem to be. But that probably comes from being diabetic as much as anything.

    Comment by Susan M — July 6, 2005 @ 12:48 pm

  5. Kristen-Not tough, I just love to help people. That and I am an adrenaline junkie. There is no rush like saving lives. I recently started losing my hearing and now am working on starting an in home care business because I had to leave the in hospital care situation but I love the patient care. I can’t wait to get back to it.

    Don-Your son is lucky to have parents who now are looking out for warning signs. Your biggest tool is your love and your worry, but be merciful, to him and to yourselves to. Sometimes life just gets overwhelming and we do stupid things.

    Susan-Even though there are a lot of terrible things out there live life and do things that scare you. Amusement rides are great ways to get up your adrenaline without putting yourself in real danger. It is way worse just to drive to work or the grocery store everyday.

    Comment by Casey Blau — July 6, 2005 @ 1:17 pm

  6. Wow! What a tear jerking post! Thank you all for sharing those experiences. Tragedy sure does teach you a lot about who you are as a person. My brother was in a terrible car accident 3 1/2 years ago that shattered a vertebra in his back. The doctors knew he was going to live but there was a very real chance that he would never be able to walk again. Through the power of the priesthood and a month of physical therapy he made a full recovery and went on to serve a mission, but that experience changed me. For months after that, every time I heard an ambulance I would burst into tears for who ever was in there and for their families just hoping that person would be okay like my brother. We were lucky. Many other families don’t have the same outcomes. I am so grateful to know that we have the sealing power on this earth today and all is not lost if something tragic does happen to our family.

    Comment by Jamie Johnston — July 6, 2005 @ 5:12 pm

  7. Good point Jamie, the sealing powere is definitely a comfort.

    Susan, DO NOT go on X at Magic Mountain. There is one point during the ride where I thought, If this ride malfunctions right now I’m going to be hurled clear into the next state. It was my favorite ride there. Now if you want to barf after a ride make sure you go on the Revolution that was a nasty ride. (Remeber that one Jamie?

    Casey, any base jumping or any other crazy extreme sports lately?

    Comment by kristen j — July 6, 2005 @ 5:54 pm

  8. I’ll still go on rides. I just don’t enjoy them at all. All I can think of is hurtling through the air when the car comes disconnected and dying.

    Comment by Susan M — July 6, 2005 @ 6:29 pm

  9. Magic Mtn that year was so awesome! The ‘X’ was such an intense ride! I thought I would plummet straight the earth! I was so relieved to be off it, but still had such an awesome rush of adrenaline knowing I survived! Yeah, Revolution is very barfa-rific.

    We should go again sometime…

    Comment by Jamie Johnston — July 6, 2005 @ 7:48 pm

  10. Hey little sister, don’ shed no tear… Ev’ry ‘ting gonna be alright…

    Comment by gary smith — July 7, 2005 @ 12:41 pm

  11. I’ll be fine once I chase dem crazy bald heads out of da town!

    Comment by kristen j — July 7, 2005 @ 9:44 pm

  12. This is a great post. You guys have great comments. Thanks for sharing. You made my Sunday a spiritual treat!

    Comment by A Nonny Mouse — July 10, 2005 @ 4:59 pm