A mother explains how even innocent phrases can trigger the grief of losing her children.

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.

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I'm staring at my screen watching the President of the United States speak before a stadium full of people in North Carolina. He launches into a lie-laced attack on Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, and the crowd boos. Soon they start chanting, "Send her back! Send her back! Send her back!"

The President does nothing. Says nothing. He just stands there and waits for the crowd to finish their outburst.

WATCH: Trump rally crowd chants 'send her back' after he criticizes Rep. Ilhan Omar www.youtube.com

My mind flashes to another President of the United States speaking to a stadium full of people in North Carolina in 2016. A heckler in the crowd—an old man in uniform holding up a TRUMP sign—starts shouting, disrupting the speech. The crowd boos. Soon they start chanting, "Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!"

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

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Policing women's bodies — and by consequence their clothes — is nothing new to women across the globe. But this mother's "legging problem" is particularly ridiculous.

What someone wears, regardless of gender, is a personal choice. Sadly, many folks like Maryann White, mother of four sons, think women's attire — particularly women's leggings are a threat to men.

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Men are sharing examples of how they step up and step in when they see problematic behaviors in their peers, and people are here for it.

Twitter user "feminist next door" posed an inquiry to her followers, asking "good guys" to share times they saw misogyny or predatory behavior and did something about it. "What did you say," she asked. "What are your suggestions for the other other men in this situation?" She added a perfectly fitting hashtag: #NotCoolMan.

Not only did the good guys show up for the thread, but their stories show how men can interrupt situations when they see women being mistreated and help put a stop to it.

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