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Ask anyone who has lost a loved one — grief creeps up at the most random times.

It doesn’t matter how many months or years it has been, all it takes is one second for those memories and heartache to rush back. For me, all it took was an awkward moment to remind me that grief never goes away.

I was recently at a routine appointment. As the woman walked into the room, she smiled and said, “How are the kids?” I gave her a puzzled look, wondering if I heard her correctly. As a mother of one surviving triplet, I’m not used to hearing the plural form of “kid.” She repeated herself and that’s when I realized — she didn’t know that two of my children died.


My heart began to race and my breathing became faster as I explained that Abby and Parker had passed away within two months of being born. The tears erupted as my mind instantly flashed back to three years ago, when I said my final good-byes to two of my children.

The woman felt terrible and rushed up to hug me. As awkward as I felt, I know she must have been mortified. It was the epitome of a “foot in mouth” moment, and here I was, a grieving mother brought to tears.

I left the office in a daze, my mind stuck on that awkward dialogue.

During the first year after my triplets were born, that was a common question. Some people weren’t aware that two of my babies had died and often asked how the triplets were doing.

Because it’s been three years, this time caught me off guard. I assumed most people knew my situation, or if they didn’t, they thought Peyton was an only child. I may have been surprised by the conversation, but I wasn’t mad or upset. All it takes is a simple mention of my children to bring me to tears. That’s part of living life after loss: the grief never goes away.We may moved forward in life, but we never forget. I wear those tears with pride, a sign that a piece of my heart will always be with Abby and Parker.

There is no perfect handbook on how to grieve the loss of a child.

The same goes for comforting a grieving parent. While a simple hug can go a long way, I was more comforted that day by how the conversation ended between me and the woman.

After mentioning that I only had one survivor, the woman went on to ask about my two angels. She repeated their names as I told her about sweet Abby and her peaceful face. And she listened intently as I shared stories of Parker and Peyton in the NICU. She asked about Peyton and I happily shared how strong and healthy she is today, a far cry from her NICU days.

I may have cried at my appointment, but I left that office with a full heart. As parents who've lost a child will tell you, one of the most comforting things people can do is to say your child’s name. Hearing the woman say “Abby” and “Parker” was a beautiful reminder that they existed, and sharing stories of them warmed my heart.

When I explain to people that my daughter is actually a triplet, their smile turns to shock before a sad look takes over their face.

It’s a common expression that I’m accustomed to seeing. A parent is not supposed to outlive their child, and when people realize that I’m the parent of two angels, it often becomes uncomfortable for them. Grief is a hard topic to talk about, especially when it involves the death of a child.

The awkward encounter I faced is something so many of us parents of pregnancy and child loss experience and it’s something I know I will face often in my lifetime.

While it can stir up emotions and memories that have been tucked away for years, there is something positive that can come out of it. I like to think that each time I’m asked about my children, it’s a sign from above. It’s Parker and Abby’s way of saying, “Hi, Mom,” from heaven. And while the other person may feel uncomfortable, they are actually giving me the best gift of all: the gift of remembering and embracing my children who are no longer here on Earth.

via Pexels

Three people engaged in conversation at a party.

There are some people who live under the illusion that everything they say is deeply interesting and have no problem wasting your time by rambling on and on without a sign of stopping. They’re the relative, neighbor or co-worker who can’t take a hint that the conversation is over.

Of all these people, the co-worker who can’t stop talking may be the most challenging because you see them every day in a professional setting that requires politeness.

There are many reasons that some people talk excessively. Therapist F. Diane Barth writes in Psychology Today that some people talk excessively because they don’t have the ability to process complex auditory signals, so they ramble on without recognizing the subtle cues others are sending.

It may also be a case of someone who thinks they’re the most interesting person in the conversation.

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Democracy

Patagonia says it will pay bail for employees arrested in abortion rights protests

A powerful statement from one of our nation's most trusted brands.

Everyone loves someone who had an abortion and other prote… | Flickr

In today's economy, people who work are demanding more accountability from their employers: better wages, benefits, transparency and alignment on values. The emphasis on shared values is coming to the forefront in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, which removes federal protections for abortion. States, local governments and individuals are scrambling to react to the decision, which tosses out 50 years of legal precedence.

While the nation sorts out the politics and future legal decisions surrounding reproductive health, some companies are getting ahead of the issue by coming out publicly to support abortion rights, commonly referred to as "reproductive justice" by activists and advocates of a woman's right to choose. One of the most outspoken companies is Patagonia, who announced in the wake of the Supreme Court decision that they will not only financially support individuals who choose to have an abortion but they will provide funds to pay the bail for individuals who face legal expenses while protesting for reproductive justice.

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One of these things is not like the other.

Sometimes, life can unexpectedly snatch you away from safety and thrust you into imminent danger. Other times, life can just as quickly turn a dire circumstance into a heartwarming miracle.

Such was the case for a baby hawk who went from being dinner to being adopted by a family of bald eagles near the city of Nanaimo in British Columbia, Canada. The amazing moment was captured by a 24-hour livestream webcam run by GROWLS, a nonprofit organization that helps rescue and rehabilitate injured wildlife.

The video shows the seemingly doomed baby hawk being tossed into an eaglet’s nest. Pam McCartney, a GROWLS volunteer who had been watching the livestream at the time, braced herself.

"Usually when I watch, like, David Attenborough and his shows, I can close my eyes or fast forward or whatever, but this was live at the time, and I was just like, oh, my gosh, oh, my gosh," she told CBC.

Much to her surprise, nature seemed to have something else in mind.

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