Sunday, June 26, 2016

WTF Life!?

What is someone to do when they just lost their soul mate of 12 years in child birth to their first miracle baby?
  • Stay up alone late at night every freaking night because your heart is beating through your chest even though it feels completely empty and broken
  • Cry more tears than you ever knew possible
  • Name your baby James but call him “JJ” because that was the pre-release “code” name that his angel mom called him from the moment she learned his gender and never had the opportunity to call him anything else
  • Turn to family:
    • have your mom hold you like a little baby at 3am as you cry yourself to sleep
    • Beg for help in raising a new born
    • Get and give lots of hugs
    • Fall deeper in love with your wife’s family than ever before
  • Dump out any and all alcohol because you know that shit is tempting and can ruin your life even more
  • Be afraid. With Sharry I felt like no matter what the future held we would be able to face it and conquer it together. Now, I’m afraid of the dark.
  • Turn to all of her family and friends for love, support and connection
  • Reach out to your own caring friends from over a decade ago
  • Alternate sleepless nights between the NICU with JJ and at home with your first baby who just happens to be a scared and lonely kitty
  • Listen to lots and lots of music especially her music (some of her recordings and our Spotify playlists)
  • Buy FOUR books for widows and then laugh when the first used copy comes with stickers all over declaring it was previously in a senior center
  • Every single morning wake up groggy and hope the nightmare is over
  • Realize that people can be extraordinarily generous in the face of tragedy with words, money, food, gifts and time. But also realize there is no way you can ever offer enough gratitude for what has been done.
  • Know that this baby is deeply connected to Sharry and as such have an indescribable love and attraction for him. Yet know if given the chance I would trade him in for her ASAP
  • Look to the future with total emptiness and loneliness and the only thing you can really look forward to is busting your baby boy out of the NICU
  • Know that every baby milestone will be a bit bittersweet as we were supposed to experience it together
  • Fear that you are going a tad bit crazy as you often talk to Shar when you are alone. Topics range from prayers, pleading for signs she’s still around and I will see her again someday, to gossip, to the Bachelorette, to what should I do, where should I live, etc
  • Finding AMAZING little easter eggs of love and breaking down in tears of gratitude, love and loss every time
  • Attempt to absorb the incredible amount of love, prayers, kindness and compassion coming our way and know that, frankly, it is impossible.
  • Realize that there is NOT another human being on this entire planet that I would rather trade places with because then I would miss out on 12 years of imperfect bliss. Note also that if I were in fact in another’s shoes I would never want to switch places with myself
  • Buy Zelda: Ocarina of time for my 3DS to fill time because when were first dating Sharry was able to coach me over the phone through the whole game without seeing it
  • Know that the anger is coming and be nervous about it but right now the sadness, loss and emptiness are just too all encompassing
  • Try to live our Buhanan-Decker family philosophy of Ahimsa and to “give a shit,” but know that has never been so difficult
  • Gotta up my cute game. Sharry scrapbooked, took pictures, wrote journals, documented big days, planned fun events (big and small). None of the above has really been in my wheelhouse
  • Have a deep and longing connection blossom with my childhood LDS faith as I want more than anything to be a forever family with JJ and Sharry with a loving Heavenly Father and Mother. Yet have some big doubts and know that even if my hopes of a forever family are true it doesn’t really take away the sting, loneliness and emptiness from the next 50-60 years
  • Be soooo grateful that JJ survived because without him I would have disappeared either into the wilderness, lose myself on the road or have done some serious harm. He is my anchor and my star in an incredibly dark existence.
  • Fear greatly for all the future nights that were spent with my best friend forever and wonder how in the world I will fill those up. Tentative plans:
    • learn guitar so I can sing and play (poorly) to JJ like his mom was supposed to (not poorly)
    • Write, journal, blog
    • Baby
    • Video games
    • Family and friends
    • Read
    • Connect with nature
    • Netflix
  • Be so grateful that babies are so needy and take so much time. Once upon a time I was nervous about all the time he would take away from Sharred time but now I’m pretty excited for someone to keep my company in the middle of the night
  • Live with regrets
    • For all the stupid petty fights and to be honest I would give anything to go through some of them again
    • For all the times she wanted to take couple/nature/family pics and you were resistant. What I wouldn’t give for a few dozen more pictures of her!!
    • For those many nights when I fell into deep slumber instead of staying up with her as wanted me to stay up and just hang out with her
    • For not cherishing her as much as she deserved to be cherished
    • For not marrying her twice (she always wanted to have a vow renewal party, but we always put it off) 10th year wedding anniversary (12/28 2016) was supposed to be it
  • Spend more time on Facebook than you ever have before because the thoughts, pictures and memories of Sharry shared are little glimmers of heaven and you know soon they will fade away as people move on (as you have for others before) but know that you will never be able to move on and never would even if you could
  • All you can do is move one day at a time and hope it is a smidgen better than the last. My goal is 10/10 Hell -> 9.9999/Hell -> 9.9998/10 Hell, ad nauseam
  • Find yourself incredibly jealous of other NICU families who have babies in much much worse condition but at least they have each other
  • Find out that a NICU can be a fortress of solitude, a home where you feel a measure of peace and incredible support from kind, capable and compassionate medical professionals
  • Find yourself at a very difficult professional crossroads. On one hand your dream job where you feel incredibly loved and supported and you have literally fallen in love with hundreds of students and teachers. On the other hand JJ (and I) needs a lot more family support right now and there is a lot more found in other destinations

I will attempt to keep this blog updated. I have a LOT more time to fill than I have in the past and this will be a kind of therapy for me. I will write about the horrible experiences of a young widower. Share Sharry’s wonderful legacy through sharing pics, songs, stories, easter eggs, writings, art, memories and bucket lists. And of course give updates on JJ as he and I continue our adventure through this existence. An existence that can take your breathe away with beauty and wonder (a large part of my last 12 years) or knock the wind right out of you with utter soul breaking tragedy.


  1. I'm glad you're writing. You and JJ and Sharry have been on my mind and in my heart this week. Wishing you peace as you navigate through this tragedy. All the best, friend.

  2. Love the BD family with all my heart!

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  4. I'm so glad you are continuing to add to this blog. This was almost as much therapy to read as it was for you to write. Can't wait to keep this as a favorite site of mine to peek at:) I love you, Jared. We are always here for you!

  5. Thank for continuing on Jared. I will hang on every word. I am always here to talk or text or visit, or babysit. Seriously.

  6. I learned of your heartbreaking loss of your wife, and beautiful gift of your son through a link on a mutual friend's Facebook page. My heart is broken for you. My soul aches for all the emotions you are experiencing and have shared...the beauty and the ugly. While we don't know each other, your precious little family is in my heart and prayers. I hope you find all the peace you need in the time ahead.

  7. Though I hate when people say "I understand" because they really, really don't or couldn't~ I can relate with almost all of these feelings. The nights of insomnia and never ending tears seem like they will never end, but they do. Then it feels like numbness and more roller coaster of emotions. Tragedy like this definitely gives one a broken heart if that's truly what the Lord requires.

  8. Jared my heart breaks for you. I look forward to reading more about You, JJ and of course Sharry. It was so amazing to her of the woman she had become after the little girl I remember when we were kids. Love you man and will continue to pray for you and JJ. I know it's not the same but we are all here for you.

  9. I'm friends with Sharry's cousin, Kara Brown Sorensen and learned of the tragic and sudden loss of your spectacularly gorgeous wife, Sharry, through her. I can't tell you how sorry I am and can't imagine how you must feel. Even though it's a different situation, I lost my youngest brother, who was 21, exactly 60 days ago today at 4:23pm. It's been the hardest thing in the word. He was incredibly adored and good. I just wanted to let you know that there are dozens (and more) strangers out there whose hearts are with you and who are so saddened, even if they never knew her, by your loss. Keep writing about her and your experiences. It has been the only thing that has gotten me through. So many people are pulling for you and would love to learn more about your precious wife. Bless you!

  10. I just wanted you and JJ to know that you have another stranger praying and thinking about you two. I didn't know Sharry but I grew up in Santa Clara so we have some mutual friends. She is so special and beautiful and I really do believe that she is with you and JJ and always will be. Thanks for sharing you thoughts. You're already such a great dad! Will continue praying and sending good thoughts your way (especially at night!).

  11. Glad to read your words, man! I've been wanting to contact you but know you are overwhelmed, grieving, and frankly probably too busy to get back! Just know that I'm enjoying watching you and JJ recover together. Best wishes.

  12. You don't know me, but I know one of your family members. From the second I read of your tragedy I have not been able to forget it. Just know somewhere in Las Vegas there is a girl named Kara praying for you and JJ. My heart is with you as I wipe a tear from my cheek. You've got this. I promise.

  13. Jared, you and JJ and Sharry have been in my thoughts and prayers the past couple of weeks. I know that God loves you! You always had such a tender heart and I just hurt for you during this awful time. Know that I am thinking and praying about you! --Georgia

  14. I don't even know you but I have kept you and JJ in my prayers since I heard of your heartbreaking tragedy. Your wife is absolutely beautiful. And I'm SURE she is watching over you and your son.

  15. I pray for you all the time. I couldn't sleep for a few nights either, which is weird considering how removed i am from your life, but it really affected me for some reason, thinking how hard and awful it must be. To be on the other end as someone who had a baby die instead of a spouse, i have had many of those sleepless nights in a different way. Facebook and writing helped me too. I wish i had words to make it better. There are no words, yet words are all I have. I can't imagine your pain. You're not crazy for talking to Sharry. Your little guy sure is cute. Words. All i have. I hope in some small way they help.

  16. A stranger from NY is hard...for you. You're sweet JJ is precious. I will share your story and blog and keep Sharry's memory alive ❤️

  17. Sending lots of love and prayers to you and JJ. I think and pray for you guys daily and hope you feel Sharry and Heavenly Father's love.

  18. Hey man. I've been reading about all this from a distance and i just wanted to let you know how sorry I am. The extended Reeder clan is here for you if you ever need ANYTHING.

  19. I followed a link on fb here. Im so sorry for your loss. Your wife is very beautiful and through her words i feel like she was such a beautiful soul as well.
    Thinking of u from Australia. All the best x

  20. I am not sorry. I cant relate to your situation. I also cant say or do anything to make this situation more tolerable. Because I dont know you. But what I know is, that when a 15-year old girl from Germany or somebody from Australia or an other country, who was hanging up on facebook and randomly read your blog and now is crying, that youre not alone. All the people who are reading your blog cant feel what you feel, cant see what you see, including me. But they can communicate with you, they can speak with you, they are all feeling something, something deep, no matter if theyre friends or strangers. And they can prove you, that your not alone in this dark and empty hurting stage of life, that you dont have to go through this alone.

  21. Please know that your blog has deeply touched me. You don't know me and I don't know you - but the ties that bind are strong. And the love of Christ is even Stronger. Please know that you and all who loved and lost her are in my thoughts and prayers!

  22. Jared,
    I heard your episode on strangers and was extremely moved by your story. I’m very sad that this happened to you. I pray that God gives you the strength and help you need to move forward and raise your beautiful son. On the episode you expressed that you weren’t sure if you’d for sure see your wife again I wanted to share this article with you as I believe you will find comfort in it. You are in our prayers.

  23. well I've made it here after reading every post...this blog is beautiful and honors sharry and your family in ways that are yet to be felt, but are full of power, wisdom, and love waiting to be discovered. thank you so much for the bravery to carry this blog on. i'm a better person for having read it. i know many other readers will be similarly changed. what a priceless, precious gift from you and sharry.

    with a new sense of love,

    a stranger

  24. I learned of your heartbreaking loss of your wife, and beautiful gift of your son through a link on a mutual friend's Facebook page. My heart is broken for you. My soul aches for all the emotions you are experiencing and have shared...the beauty and the ugly. While we don't know each other, your precious little family is in my heart and prayers. I hope you find all the peace you need in the time ahead. teach meditation